Chase Oaks Church was born out of the Fellowship Bible Church movement, which began in the early 1970s after Dallas Theological Seminary’s Dr. Gene Getz was challenged by his students to reevaluate the viability of the local church. Together, they dove deep into the New Testament for wisdom to answer basic questions such as “Why does the local church exist?” and “What about the way we do church… should it be flexible as culture changes? What should stay the same?”
The results of this study were published in the landmark book, Sharpening the Focus of the Church, which argued that while God has called the church to various functions that must not change (i.e., teaching the Bible, worshiping God, etc.), He has given us freedom to adjust the forms these functions take in response to changing cultures. That way, the church can remain both faithful to God and relevant to today.
Called to leave the comfortable world of academia and to put these principles into practice, Gene and his colleagues launched the first Fellowship Bible Church, which was unlike any that Dallas had ever seen. It grew quickly, paving the way for around 350 like-minded churches to spread throughout the United States and even more worldwide. In 1981, after building up Fellowship Bible Church and Fellowship Dallas, Gene founded Fellowship Bible Church North, which would eventually become Chase Oaks Church.
Passing The Baton
In the years that followed, two young leaders—Bruce Miller and Jeff Jones—emerged to create The Center for Church-Based Training, an organization committed to leadership development. Their experience and dedication prepared them both to answer two enormous calls—Bruce was sent out to launch Christ Fellowship in McKinney, and Jeff was asked to succeed Gene as FBC North’s Senior Pastor. The leadership baton was officially passed in January 2004, allowing Gene to retire earlier than expected. However, to this day, he continues to represent us as our Pastor Emeritus through his writing, consultations, and speaking events.
For twenty-five years, FBC North proved reasonably effective at reaching one generation, but as cultures continue to change, the time had come to reach another. Pushing the restart button, our leaders once again sharpened their focus, envisioning a more external outreach, fresh ministry forms, and a more visible location to “replant” ourselves with room to expand. Because this location was in the vicinity of another church called Fellowship, we decided to change our name to Chase Oaks Church.
With our new focus came the goal of ministering to the 920,000 people living in the 10-mile radius of our new location. After much prayer and consideration, Chase Oaks developed a strategy that involved multiple campuses in the hearts of our neighboring communities. Rather than ask people to come to us, we would go to them!
In 2010, we launched our second campus, which is now our Sloan Creek Campus that serves the Allen/Fairview area. In the summer of 2013, we launched our Spanish-speaking campus, Chase Oaks En Español, to help minister to the area’s growing Hispanic population. In January 2015, we launched our fourth campus, Chase Oaks Woodbridge, that serves the area of Murphy, Sachse, and Wylie.