This brief history has been recorded to document the beginning of Lake Country Bible Church, but more importantly to share how the Lord through His patience, faithfulness and provision brought this church into existence. The Lord used many steps to bring Lake Country Bible Church to the starting line. As we look back, it is clearly evident that God was at work and His timing is perfect.
The conviction to plant a church in the Nashotah area actually began in 1990, while Country Christian School was in the process of finding a new facility. It was the strong belief of several individuals on the CCS building committee that good stewardship meant sharing a building with an evangelical church. The thought was that a school would sit empty on the weekends and evenings, while a church could utilize the facility at those times. Both ministries would share in the cost of operating the facility. Several churches in the process of looking for new facilities were contacted. After many in-depth discussions of a joint venture, the Lord seemed to close the door.
In 1994, a group of six men came together with the conviction to plant an evangelical church in the Nashotah area. These men met weekly for almost a year to pray, study and fellowship together. There was no consensus and no confirmation of God’s direction at that time, but the Lord was establishing a foundation.
In 1996, a well-established denomination agreed that the Nashotah area was in need of an evangelical presence. Planting a church in the Nashotah area seemed to be a real possibility. However, the obstacles for both CCS and this denomination were too great to overcome. There was again no confirmation that this was God’s direction at that time.
But God was at work! From 1996 to 1998, several families continued to believe that God would establish another evangelical witness in the Lake Country area. There was also a growing group of people frustrated with the trends affecting the church as a whole. The “growing wider, but not deeper” approach seemed to be evident in many churches. This level of frustration was discussed informally among several leaders. They began to sense God’s leading to plant a church where the Word of God was taught expositionally, and where God honoring, joyful worship glorified God through “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.” (Colossians 3:16; Psalms 33:1,3)
The Lord brought this group together on June 21, 1998 at the home of one of our founders. Another of our founding families felt the confirmation of God to begin this new work in Isaiah 43:19. It says, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” The Lord brought renewed joy and a sense of purpose to this new body. The church enjoyed fellowship and worship together in homes for several weeks, and then moved to the larger accommodations at Country Christian School in Nashotah in late August of 1998.
The Lord continued to care for this infant church. The constitution and bylaws were drawn up by a temporary steering committee, building on the foundation laid back in 1994. Sal Massa was called to serve as the pastor in December of 1998. He clearly experienced an anointing from God for ministry, and left a secular job to shepherd the flock at LCBC. Sal has been and continues to be supported in ministry by his wife, Elena, who also serves in the church ministry center. God has indeed used many steps to get us to the starting line, and we know He is faithful to finish what He has begun.
In 2005 a prime piece of land in Nashotah became available. A vision was cast to someday build a permanent church building on the property. The land was purchased by Lake Country Bible Church and paid for in less than the 2 years. Due to legal hurdles with the local municipalities, the reality of breaking ground was delayed until 2013. The church continued to meet at Country Christian School until 2007. Then moved to Lake Country School in Hartland. We also moved into a roomy office suite in Hartland that served as our Ministry Center.
God was about to do a new thing! In 2013 the legal hurdles were removed and the church was free to build. Through careful planning and stewardship, the church was able to keep new building expenses equal to what it was paying in rents at the school and the Ministry Center. The building project was launched and we moved into the new facility in October 2015.
To God be the glory, great things He has done!