Celebrating 40 Years of Impact

Posted on Dec 01, 2021

Celebrating 40 Years of Impact

In honor of the 40th anniversary of Chase Oaks Church’s founding, we asked our local campus pastors to share about their own histories with Chase Oaks. Read more about their history and what they envision for their campuses, moving forward, below.

Q: How long have you been a part of Chase Oaks Church (formerly FNBC)?

Peter Park (Legacy Campus): 8 years

Jeremy LeBlanc (Sloan Creek Campus): Begin attending in 2012, joined staff in 2016

Todd Baughman (Woodbridge Campus): 18 years

Jeffrey Jones (Richardson Campus): I first attended FBCN with my family as a student in 1988, and then later as a Student Ministry Intern/Resident through 2005. I’ve since returned in my current role (2020) with my wife and two children.

David Harms (En Español Campus): As soon as we moved to Plano in 2008 we started to attend Chase Oaks 

Matt Snellings (San Antonio Campus): I was first hired at Fellowship Bible Church North as their Junior High Pastor and was in that role for about four years. Our family moved to the San Antonio area after that, and I accepted a new role at another church. About a year ago, I jumped on board as the Campus Pastor of Chase Oaks San Antonio. So that’s a total of five years.

Matt Brandenburg (Anywhere Campus): My family and I began attending 3 years ago, shortly after the Richardson campus launched

Q: How did you get involved with the church? How has Chase Oaks/FNBC impacted your spiritual journey? 

Peter: Chase Oaks hired a recruiting agency and I was plucked out of So Cal to immigrate to the country of Texas. It was absolutely an awesome God-thing! These past 8 years is filled with what feels like 18 years worth of learning, growth, and being surrounded by incredible people all around me to learn from. What a journey it’s been so far!

Jeremy: My wife decided we should check it out! I came to know Jesus at Chase Oaks Church in 2013, so it’s had a huge impact on my spiritual journey.

Todd: I took a big step towards engagement after the “Kingdom Assignment.” I was one of the guys who got the money. This led to using my workplace as a mission and it led to me understanding the importance of being in a group. Joining that first group (Discovery) launched me towards a level of growth I’d never experienced and was a catalyst for where I am today (but I still have a ton of growing to do).

Jeffrey: See above. In my life, the gift of FBCN/Chase Oaks has been invitation to join God in the work He is doing in the community through His church…and they’ve equipped and empowered me to confident lead out of my gifts. Each accepted invitation to serve and lead has challenged me to know and trust Him more.

David: We had been serving as missionaries for 41 years before leading a church in Atlanta. I had resigned from the pastorate so my wife and I could support our daughter, who was at the Legacy Campus after going through a recent divorce. We started to heal at Chase Oaks. Also, we saw Jeff gave an all-call baptism service that knocked me over. As a missionary, baptisms are a big thing for me. To see over 100 people baptized? I knew that I was in the right place. 

Matt S.: I first heard about Chase Oaks through a friend, Ray Tang, who was working with the youth group. Chase Oaks has impacted me significantly. I have never been a part of a church that was so committed to loving the surrounding community through service as I have at this church. Our commitment to creating an environment that people of all cultures and backgrounds feel comfortable coming to and hearing about Jesus in, is inspiring to me. It has encouraged me to love others as Jesus loved them.

Q: How have you seen the church change since you first became involved? 

Peter: I love that every year Chase Oaks is becoming more multi-ethnic and multi-generational (both of which can be very rare in churches). This is a glimpse of heaven!

Jeremy: We’ve grown, for sure. From two campuses to seven. 

Todd: The cool thing is I see us living out the core biblical functions and the cultural freedoms we have very much the same way I saw it then. Humble servant leadership that is the same on Monday morning as it is on Sunday morning. Sure, we’ve changed a ton of things, from programs to locations, etc. but really that’s just an example of living out that foundation of core functions / freedom in forms that we were founded on.

Jeffrey: The church has continued to grow in its size, impact and influence. 

David: The campaign for Next Gen and smaller offices. Then came campuses. And I sure was thankful for the Family Center. The Family Center and the En Español Campus were answers to my prayers for the Hispanics around us. 

Matt S.: The church has grown numerically for sure. The name has also changed since I first joined the team. The biggest changes, however, have been our reach in the communities we have been a part of. We have made more of an impact to our neighbors than ever before. I have seen this staff stretch themselves in very difficult situations to understand the culture and times that we are living in so that we can love and serve people who are not like us. Jeff has also shown a tremendous amount of courage and leadership in navigating some very difficult circumstances.    

Matt B.: Well, I’m biased, because I’m the Online Campus Pastor. I started attending in 2018, but came on staff during the pandemic, which meant there was a big pivot towards reaching people digitally.

Q: Are there any specific interactions with Gene Getz or other church leaders that have left an impression on you? 

Peter: What an incredible man of God Gene is! In his late 80s, he is not slowing down. He still has an incredible passion for God and God’s Church all around the world. I can only pray that I have half the amount of energy, passion, and love for God and His mission on earth if I live to his age.

Jeremy: Early on, when we first started attending, I was blown away with how approachable all of the staff made themselves. From Gene, to Tyrone, to Jeff, to Jack – anyone we met was willing to engage in an authentic way. That type of authenticity became even clearer when I joined the staff of Chase Oaks and realized everyone was who I thought they were.

Todd: SO MANY. I think one of my favorites was when Gene Getz showed up to support an event I was hosting at my restaurant. The event was a big step in using my work as my mission. Him being there really validated what God was doing. I also love that Gene’s always available and willing to engage (without meddling). I remember when we launched Online (7 years ago) and I was trying to wrap my brain around communion online. Gene was one of the people I went to for guidance. His perspective helped shape our vision.

Jeffrey: Yes…of course. Gene was my pastor for 15 years. I watched Gene each week, after every service go to one exit or the other to shake hands w/ the people as they left. I loved how he was able to teach the Scriptures in a way that would further unlock the text for my understanding. When I last saw him teach, he did so without any notes, speaking with the confidence and clarity as if all of God’s Word was written on his heart.

Perhaps my favorite story (at least as I remember it) was hearing Gene share with a bunch of Dallas Seminary interns about how he used to grow his sideburns as far down to his chin as possible because at the time DTS had a no facial hair policy…but there was no policy against sideburns.

I think this is my favorite because Gene’s legacy in my life is in the invitation to thoughtfully think how Jesus would move in our current cultural climate, and do so with a grace that helped people better know the love of God.

David: The first person I met was Gene Getz. I was hurting badly over my daughter's divorce and asked for the opportunity to meet with him. After I arrived at the office, I was told that he was expecting me, but he was down the road sitting in the corner of McDonald's. Wow, Dr. Getz in the corner at McDonald's? He was more than understanding and very consoling about my pain.

Matt S.: I’ll never forget hearing the stories about how Gene handed over the leadership of the church to Jeff. It has always struck me that it was so peaceful and healthy. Gene showed a tremendous amount of courage and discernment in the timing of it all. I’ve also admired Gene’s vision for this church and his own life. I have also been encouraged with how Jeff has taken Gene’s vision and expanded on it. Whether it is from the stage or in our neighborhoods, we have challenged ourselves to make a bigger impact for Jesus, thanks to Jeff’s leadership.

Matt B.: Mikey Yeilding approached me out of the blue and told me I should apply for the Online Campus Pastor role. That left an impact that someone saw that in me. Glen Brechner and Jack Warren have also rewired my thinking on how to lead in a healthy way.

Q: As you look ahead, what excites you most about the future of Chase Oaks Church (including your specific campus)? 

Peter: These past 2 years especially has caused a refinement of who we are as a church and where we’re going. God is setting Chase Oaks up to make an even greater impact on the unchurched/dechurched by making the love of Jesus more shared and known. The future looks super exciting as God is at work in our new world and in this new chapter.

Jeremy: What excites me the most about the future of Chase Oaks is that we are pursuing others. Specifically for Sloan Creek, I love that every week new people are coming through our doors. Some are long-timers in the area, some have recently moved to Texas. The community of Chase Oaks has consistently created a welcoming environment and I am excited to see how that inclusive posture will continue to make an impact for the kingdom.

Todd: I’m excited every time I see that look in someone’s eyes that says, “Hey, this isn’t what I thought church was, I love it, and I think I can grow here.” God is doing that every week in the Sachse, Murphy, Wylie area. I know we are positioned to break down barriers that keep people from biblical community and a growing relationship with God.

Jeffrey:  My prayer for the future of Chase Oaks Church is that our church continues to strive to be the church God is calling it to be today, building upon the legacy of faithfulness to God, love for His people, and innovative every step of the way.

David: The future is wide open. With the Local Good Center right in the middle of our Hispanic neighborhoods, we are poised to make a major impact on that population which has so many needs. 

Matt S.: I love that the San Antonio Campus is a next step in the vision for how Chase Oaks can change people’s minds about what it means to live by faith. It is exciting to me to see this campus grow and embrace Gene’s original vision for creating a church where people can come as they are, be transformed and make a difference in their world. I am most excited about seeing how that vision can catch on in the San Antonio area.

Matt B.: We are just scraping the surface, as we launched the Anywhere Campus in October. I have no idea what it will look like in 5 years, but I’m excited for the future!

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