North Side Baptist Church has been recognized in Outreach magazine’s annual report on the country’s 100 fastest-growing churches, coming it at #59 on the list, reporting 24 percent growth in the past year. The list compiled by LifeWay Research offers a glimpse into what churches are doing across the nation and the impact these churches are having on their local communities. The Outreach 100 is a self-reported survey with participation solicited from more than 27,000 evangelical Protestant churches nationwide.
North Side’s average attendance of 1,300 may not place it on the mega-church list anytime soon, but this growing church in a small town with a population of 25,000 is ultimately more interested in encouraging true spiritual growth than filling seats. Located north of the railroad tracks in historic Weatherford, where it was founded in 1897 as an expansion of the First Baptist Church, this Southern Baptist congregation is known for their eagerness to invest in their community and a strong core of ready volunteers participating in activities ranging from Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life, Operation Christmas Child, Center of Hope, Kids Hope USA, and Packs of Love which provides backpacks full of food every weekend to children with limited access to food outside of school-provided breakfast and lunch.
Senior pastor Van Houser and a well-coordinated staff seek to perpetuate a church family that is relevant and welcoming to every generation. Their approach includes a fundamental presentation of the gospel, two styles of worship services, and a strong emphasis on small groups as a way of fostering connections and support among church members—recognizing we are all on this journey together.
"Our church is a near match with the makeup of Parker County,” said Houser. “ We have the same diversity in our congregation among socioeconomic groups, and the same age ranges. We are a church for the entire family, from birth through great-grandparents, all under one roof."
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