In the summer of 2008, six people began to periodically meet together on the back porch of Jonathan and Denyse Smith's home to seek direction as to whether God was leading them to plant a new church. By the end of the year, it was evident that God was leading them to start a church in Delaware, OH.
We began to gather individuals to grow and develop through weekly gatherings. This group outgrew the Smith's home and then moved to meeting in the back of the Mill Restaurant at Buehler's Grocery store on Sunday nights for Bible study. Later in 2009, we began to have Sunday morning meetings in the community room of Buehler's. Soon we outgrew the community room at Buehler's. It was at this time that we began meeting at the Seventh Day Adventist Church. After some time there, we moved into the community room of what was, at that time, Rodman-Neeper Funeral Home. Although this provided an updated facility it did not solve the problem of the community knowing Berachah existed or remove the church from a peculiar setting.
In many ways, Berachah Church publicly launched on Easter Sunday 2012. It was the first Sunday we began to meet in a shared space at the former Delaware Baptist Church/Lifepoint Church off of State Route 36. The property was being used for a small private elementary school. For the first time this allowed Berachah to have some stability and a presence within the Delaware community.
BE PART OF THE MIRACLE
At Berachah Church we believe strongly that God did not call us to survive the world, He called us to change it for His glory! In 2013 Berachah Church began an initiative we called "Be Part Of The Miracle." It was a strategic plan of prayer and personal involvement as we asked God to provide us with a meeting place to better build relationships with our community and reach those far from Him.
As we look at the example of God's people in the book of Joshua, we see that the Israelites had wondered around in the wilderness for 40 years because of a lack of faith and trust in God! Now they stand on the banks of the Jordan River. It was the only thing stopping them from moving from the wilderness into the Promise Land. But it was a huge obstacle. There they were faced with a crisis of belief! Would they trust God or not?
There were sure to be some who thought, "There is no way. This is never going to work. What are they thinking?" And, then there were others who said, "Without God this makes no sense, but with God nothing is impossible. I want to be a part of what God is going to do and be part of the miracle?"
Due to the growth of the church and the lack of accommodation by the facility we were leasing, it became necessary to move again. In the Fall of 2014 we bagan to meet at the city's recreational center located in Mingo Park. Each week we had a group of faithful individuals who converted the gym to house our worship service.
THE BE PART OF THE MIRACLE STORY TIMELINE
April 2013 - began a building fund for future church property
September 2013 - intensified search for new place to gather as a church
January 2014 - found potential site and entered into a contract to conduct feasibility study
May 2014 - aquired 4.95 acres for future church site at 2440 US 23 North in Delaware
June 2014 - new roof put on existing building and clean-up began on new property
July 2014 - launched Be Part Of The Miracle initiative
August 2014 - relocating to temporary location at Mingo Rec Center
2015-2016 - non-structual demo work was done in existing building by Jeff and Jerry Stanley
January 2017 - major renovation was begun on existing building
March 2017 - major rehab was begun on Berachah's waste water treatment plant
July 2017 - soft opening begins at 2440 US 23 North in Delaware
August 20, 2017 - Community Grand Opening and beginning of two services
WHAT GOD IS DOING AT BERACHAH NOW
We have fully come to know that the church is not a building. God is knitting individuals together and using us. We have watched God do some amazing things at Berachah over the past few years! We have seen people come in totally broken and desperate and have witnessed God pick up every broken piece and give hope and make something beautiful out of them. We have seen marriages restored, families put back together, addictions broken, forgiveness given, love shown, and grace extended. All in tangible, visible ways - where everyone knew it could have only been Jesus! God has given us an active presence in the Delaware community and people are seeing and experiencing who God is through Berachah Church!
We don't know how this story will end, but rest assured - The Best Is Yet To Come!