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History

Celebrating 40 years of service to Waynesville, Ft Leonard Wood, and the surrounding communities! 

Waynesville Nazarene Pastors
Established: October 1976

Nov. 1976 - Nov. 1981  -  Richard A. Bushey, Jr.
Jan. 1981 - Aug. 1985  -  Maxell L. Downs
Nov. 1985 - Nov. 1987  -  Dale B. Paulus
March 1988 - Oct. 1993  -  Howard Casteel
Nov. 1993 - Jun. 2005  -  Richard A. Bushey, Jr.
Nov. 2005 - July 2016  -  Jason A. Stevens

 

The Waynesville Story

     The Waynesville First Church of the Nazarene began in the hearts of Nazarenes in the Waynesville area, as well as families stationed at Ft. Leonard Wood who were attending the Rolla Church of the Nazarene.  District Superintendent, Arthur Mottram organized the church in October 1976 with 33 charter members. Rev. Richard A. Bushey, Jr. was appointed as pastor of the new congregation and held the first service in November 1976.

     While the congregation made plans to construct a building, they met in a local church on Sundays and in homes on Wednesday evenings. In spite of temporary facilities, the congregation grew because of the New Testament attitude. In the first organized board meeting, a charter member voiced the feeling of all of the military members when he said, "If this church is to survive and thrive, we must each be committed to reproducing ourselves before we are transferred."

     The Waynesville Nazarenes moved into the partially finished sanctuary building in November 1977 and dedicated the finished facility in May 1978 with General Superintendent, Dr. Charles Strickland, presiding.  That same week, about half of the congregation was transferred from Ft. Wood. The remnant had a beautiful building valued at $165,000, but now had only 40 people to pay the debt of $68,000.

     Violet Holten, a retired school teacher who had prayed for 20 years for God to send the Church of the Nazarene to Waynesville, encouraged the people with her paraphrase of Psalm 33:8-9: "Let everyone in all the world--men, women, and children--fear the Lord and stand in awe of Him. For when He but spoke, the Waynesville Church of the Nazarene began; it appeared at His command." The congregation prayed, fasted, and invited friends, and during the fall revival that year attendance grew to 110 and finally to a high average attendance of 135.

     Although the weekly average attendance has continued to fluctuate through the years, this church has never wavered from its mission to be a place of refuge for the hurting, a place of love for the lonely, and a place where the message of holiness is preached. This church has been a refuge for transient military families as well as a church home for the community.

     During the years since that miraculous beginning, the church has seen God bless over and over again. Through the difficult times, and through the joyous times, God has been faithful through the people who have called themselves Waynesville Nazarenes. Each member through the years has had a part in keeping these church doors open. "Thank you!"
     To God be the glory for all that has been accomplished for the Kingdom through Waynesville Nazarenes.

(The former was reprinted from our 25th anniversary church service bulletin insert, 2001).
     
     But the story doesn't stop there.  Each year God proves His faithfulness to His people.  Time and time again we have seen new families walk through the door just as another family had been transferred.  However, we haven't just "replaced" families, but have shown steady growth over this past year.  Thanks be to God.  

Come be a part of what the Lord's doing through the Waynesville Church of the Nazarene.  Although our past history has a special place in our hearts, with the Lord's help, the next chapter in our history will be even better!  Isaiah 43:19 says, "Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, [and] rivers in the desert." 

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