Fort Worth

Pantego Bible Church gets a new name after moving in 2001. But it still welcomes all

Central Bible Church pastor explains name change from Pantego

"We feel like Central (Bible Church) really speaks to where God has placed us and who we are."
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"We feel like Central (Bible Church) really speaks to where God has placed us and who we are."

Pantego Bible Church will officially change its name on Aug. 18 to better reflect its location.

Pantego Bible Church’s roots go back to the early days of Pantego in 1906 when a dozen families gathered under a brush arbor for worship services.

But the church hasn’t had a Pantego address since 2001, when it moved to a new facility off Eastchase Parkway in east Fort Worth. For the last 18 years, the church held on to the name Pantego Bible Church because of its rich history. But the name also creates confusion for people.

So the church will rebrand with a new name: Central Bible Church.

Executive Pastor Roger Sappington said the new name better reflects the church’s location between Arlington, Fort Worth and the Mid-Cities.

“If you look at a map that’s where we are pinpointed,” Sappington said. “We want to be a church that’s connected to those three locations. Those are the locations where our people come from. Moving here allowed us to broaden the geographic base that we were serving.”

Lead Pastor David Daniels said there are many people who don’t know the town Pantego even exists and aren’t sure what the Pantego name signifies. Others know about the town and are confused about why the church has a Fort Worth address.

“We have just needed to seize on the opportunity to have a name that more clearly identifies who we are and who we’re not,” Daniels said. “This communicates more with outsiders that we would love to invite to come to our church.”

When the church moved out of Pantego in 2001, it also ended its affiliation with Pantego Christian Academy, though many children who go to the church also attend the school. It was an amicable split, Sappington said.

Accepting of all

The non-denominational church has about 20,000 members attending two main services on Sunday plus special services for Hispanics and African refugees.

The special services reflect the church’s heart for immigrants. The church also offers English as a second language (ESL) classes, which typically have 60 adults enrolled at a time.

The African service has refugees from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. They feature a multitude of choirs and a worship that’s unique to those countries.

“Many of them still feel more confident in Kirundi and Swahili, which are their native languages,” Sappington said.

The Bible said to show God’s love toward orphans, widows, the poor and the immigrants, Sappington said.

“Those are four groups that were very vulnerable during the time of the Bible and the Old Testament and in many ways they’re still vulnerable today,” Sappington said. “Our church has been welcoming of immigrants and refugees for many years now. The Bible gives us the call to welcome the strangers.”

The church also partners with a multitude of local missions, shelters and charities that help people in North Texas and around the world.

Serving a need

Looking to the future, Central Bible Church had hoped to donate land on Anderson Boulevard to Midwest Food Bank for a warehouse that could provide much-needed food to the region. That project has run into some roadblocks because the distribution center use requires a zoning change to industrial.

For now, that project is on hold but Sappington said there’s a desperate need for food in the area.

“There’s a food insecurity issue in Tarrant County and we were seeking to use some of this land for that purpose,” Sappington said.

Midwest Food Bank Board President Richard Stoller said this gives them more time to recruit volunteers, raise money and build support in the community.

For back-to-school, they’re partnering with a ministry that provides food for hungry children.

The original plans called for a $15 million, 100,000-square-foot facility just west of Central Bible Church’s campus on Anderson Boulevard.

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