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a brief history of bcf

Blacksburg Christian Fellowship, or BCF as it is popularly known, was founded in November 1969. Prior to this time several families had been meeting for Bible study and prayer, with a particular concern that the Lord raise up an effective biblical ministry to the students of the Virginia Tech campus. Growing from these meetings, the Lord led them to begin a public ministry on Sunday mornings. The Wesley Foundation agreed to the rental of their facilities, and the first meeting was held in November 1969, with about 30 people in attendance.

Since the first meeting BCF has been greatly blessed by the Lord and has seen a steady growth in ministry and in numbers. Two other local churches were formed in part from BCF. In 1974 the Lord led Houston Couch, who at that time was an Elder in BCF, to leave and start Dayspring Christian Fellowship. In 1980 Max Harris, who was a regular attender at BCF, was encouraged by the Elders and members to start a ministry which has now become Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. In spite of these departures, the numbers attending the Sunday services at BCF were such that it was necessary to start two services in 1981.

A new phase in the ministry of the Fellowship began in the Spring of 1988 with a request from the Board of the Wesley Foundation that BCF make alternate arrangements for a meeting place beginning in 1989. An intensive search of available properties led to the purchase of seven acres at 2300 North Main Street, and construction of the building began in May, 1989. The first service in the new building was held on December 17, 1989, and the building was dedicated on April 7, 1990.

The Lord has continued to bless the ministry of BCF in its new location, and an addition consisting of the chapel, expanded nursery facilities, and new classrooms was built in 1995. Continuing growth of the Fellowship made it clear that the ministry of a full-time elder was necessary for biblical shepherding of the body, and Sandy Young, who had attended BCF as a student and a new believer in the early 1970's, was appointed as the first full-time elder of the Fellowship in December 2000. Growth has continued since then, and in 2004 the elders and the church approved the planning phase of a second addition, to consist of new classrooms and possibly a new auditorium.

The church has always had the goal of equipping members for ministry and encouraging them to serve, but it was not until 2003 that this ministry vision was summarized in the vision statement: "We seek to be a fellowship of ministers, growing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and sharing God's love and the joy of knowing Him with the world."

By Paul Ribbe. This month is BCF's 40th anniversary!


Josh said…
cool! I've always wanted to know a bit behind how BCF came to be.
Mark said…
BCF is unique, as those of us who have moved away can attest. BCF gave me the chance as a very young man to teach adult Sunday school and even preach sermons. I haven't lived in Blacksburg for 21 years, but BCF will always be my home church. I got baptized there (well, in the Marriott swimming pool), I was part of one of the first housegroups, I got married there (well, in the memorial chapel on campus as BCF had no building), and we dedicated our first child there. I remember with great affection the elders and their families, the breaking of bread, the variety of preaching, men's prayer breakfasts, cooking for the ladies' prayer breakfast, the wonderful focus on missions, and many other things. May God continue to bless BCF!

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