We know that God's imperishable seed buried into a human heart crreates life. Our fellowship began with God's seed burying itself into the hearts of three young men leaving a Pathways (Cursillo) retreat on the West Shore of Flathead Lake, in the spring of 1995. John Creamer, David Morris and John VanArendonk found their hearts burning for more of what they'd just experienced together: authentic, Biblical Christianity with meaningful fellowship inspired by contemporary worship, grounded in solid Gospel teaching, in a relaxed informal setting. Who we are goes back to that moment in time.
What we've become remains true to the DNA of that imperishable seed, even as we've been shaped by each of the leaders God has leant us for their season.
Carl Herndon, a fellow believer with similar aspirations, organized a series of meetings with the other three in his home office. They prayed and searched for a way to continue in the Spirit of that meaningful weekend retreat.
The four men and other likeminded believers began meeting Sunday evenings at the Swan River Hall on June 25th, 1995 for worship and Bible teaching. Within weeks, the explosion of attendees pressed them to consider what God was doing, for none of them ever intended to start a church.
When that unmistakable call was recognized, the four men called Charlie Owens as their first pastor. Charlie was a gifted, visionary Bible teacher who had recently moved to the area from southern California to start a para-church ministry. Together, they became Horizon Christian Fellowship of Bigfork, Montana; an independent, non-denominational community Bible church.
A young Randy Passons joined the church in 1997 to minister to the church's burgeoning youth. A matured Randy remains to this day, having served faithfully under every administration. He has become the living repository of our corporate memory: its joys & heartbreaks, its beginning & endings, our exuberant growth & devastating crises. The tenacity of his enthusiasm has fused with the courage and humility it takes to repent and forgive in order to embrace the "much more" God has for us.
In 2001 pastor Hal Curtis was called to father us through a crisis to begin anew. We became Crossroads Christian Fellowship.... the name that dropped like a bright seed into Randy's heart as he considered the parallel between our physical location and our opportunity to be the place where people could find God's help, when they reach a crossroad in their lives. Under the leadership of Charlie Shields, beloved elder, we ended our wandering from one rented facility to another, to finally build a home at the "Crossroads" of Highways 35, 82 and 83, enabling us to better serve our community.
In his season, Mel Haug's musical gift brought worship to a new place. And his warm outgoing nature birthed the construction of the addition, where we linger after every service, our fellowship strengthened by our sense of belonging to each other.
Who we are is rapidly transforming into who we are meant-to-be under our newest pastor, Mike Chong Perkinson. A spiritual warrior, a powerful teacher, an intimate with God, he incarnates the reality of redemption fleshed out in a broken life. He lifts the strong horizontal element of fellowship before us-but not as an end in itself. As in the cross, hefastens it to the all-important, primary, vertical relationship established between heaven and earth. From that place he speaks past the wreckage of broken lives, to call forth the incarnate Jesus he sees in each of us, modeling how we are to do the same.
Who are we? We are witnesses to the power of God's imperishable seed burying itself in human hearts to create new life..