In 1973, seven like-minded families began to meet in homes for Bible study. After meeting for 3-4 months, the group felt called by God to plant an official church with the mission of being an Evangelical witness to the Bartlett community. The bible study grew as other families began to attend and catch the vision. There were 12 families attending the Bible study when they were chartered as a church through the Evangelical Free Church of America. For the next 3 years the Village Church of Bartlett held Sunday services at the local elementary and middle schools as home bible studies continued. During this time, the church hired its first full time pastor who served the church for 3 years. Since the church had more youth than parents, they hired a full time youth pastor that same year. When the church was formed, Bartlett had a population of under ten thousand.
When it was time for the church to start thinking about a building, they held their first fundraising dinner called the Harvest Dinner. The funds raised at the dinner were used to buy five acres of land along West Bartlett road. The land was purchased from the Sisters at the convent on the adjoining property. The church applied for a loan from Bartlett State Bank (now Harris Bank), and began clearing the land. The banker asked what they were doing. The answer: building on faith. The bank approved the loan with the thought that the building could be used as the public library if the church failed. During these years attendance was consistent: 60 people in the morning service, 60 people in the evening service, and 60 people on Wednesday evening.
Many of the materials used to construct the first building were donated or provided at cost. Members and friends of the church also donated much of the labor. The building was completed in 1976 with a large multi-purpose room surrounded by small classrooms. During this time, the church hired a young pastor, Jim Mooberry, who shepherded the church for almost 25 years as he faithfully taught the Word of God. The church continued to grow both physically and numerically under his leadership.
In 1988 the cornerstone was laid for the next church expansion. The project included a new sanctuary, offices, classrooms, and remodeling of the existing space. Again, volunteers supplied much of the labor for the building.
In the early 90s, Jim began to teach the “five solas” which are five Latin phrases that emerged during the Protestant Reformation. Not only did these summarize the Reformers' basic theological beliefs, but they also became the very DNA of the VIllage Church. The Latin word sola means "alone" or "only" in English. The five solas are Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone"), Sola fide ("by faith alone"), Sola gratia ("by grace alone"), Solus Christus or Solo Christo ("Christ alone" or "through Christ alone"), and Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone").
In the late 90s, the Village Church clarified the distinctives that would guide its ministry into the new century. We would be Word-centered, develop Worshippers, Evangelistic in focus, a Spiritual family, and would seek to be a “Member-active ministry” with everyone using their spiritual gifts.
In 2001, the Village Church hired its next Teaching Pastor, Don Yates. Under Don’s leadership along with a growing staff and leadership, the Gospel and Word of God were protected and preserved for another generation. It was about this time that the Village Church further refined who we were as a church. We wanted to exalt God by equipping believers to employ their spiritual gifts and thereby both edify the body and evangelize the lost.
In 2005, the Village Church made the decision to disaffiliate with the Evangelical Free Church of America and become an independent, non-denominational church.
2008 began another revamping and refocusing of the Village Church’s mission, values, and ministries. God has used this most recent season of transition to unify and strengthen our body by His grace. With a renewed focus, God called Michael Fuelling to serve as our Lead Pastor in 2010. Michael had served as Youth Pastor since 2003.
As the Village Church continues to grow in grace and unity, it is our deepest desire to see lives transformed by the powerful Gospel of Jesus Christ and to make disciples who go, grow, and overcome! We desire to be a church of broken and humble people wholly reliant on the grace of Jesus Christ and living out His mission as the local church He created us to be. We desire to accomplish this mission in each of our ministries by building everything on our five core values: 1. in all things Christ-centered, 2. Upholding the the Word, 3. pursuing discipleship, 4. being led by and motivated by the Spirit and 5. building community.