We are a Bible-based & Spirit-led Christian body that believes in the power of prayer.
Retired Pastor Bob Pelfrey and his wife Patty (piano extraordinaire) faithfully served the Lord for over 50 years before retiring in October 2023.
Men who jointly shepherd and oversee the church body.
From left to right: Matt Russo, Merl Mast, Ron Elliott, and Ron Looney
Serves the congregation and pastor by encouraging, resourcing and facilitating involvement in local, national and international missions
From left to right: Ron and Marylin Elliott, David and Lavina Hurd, and Merl and Laura Mast.
Building a sense of community within the church youth that provides an opportunity for both spiritual and social development.
From left to right: Merl and Laura Mast and Chris and Trisha Allen
Microphones, Music, Projector, Lights, and more.
We have no idea all that these guys do but we couldn't do it without them!
In midsummer of 1981, a group of 20 people met in the parking lot behind what was then Meadow Lane School (now Gambier Community Center) in Gambier, OH to discuss the possibility of renewing a dream that originated in 1971.
Most of those present had originally come from Grove Church of Christ with the vision of reopening the doors of what was then the Messiah Church, located on SR 229. These believers had become involved with the Charismatic Renewal that swept the nation in the late 1960’s with emphasis on the power and present day working of God’s Holy Spirit. A tiny band of seven families pursued the path which they felt was of the Lord and began conducting worship services at Messiah, circa 1972.
About a year went by before they contacted Claude Likins, who was then pastoring the Lexington Church of Christ. Claude didn’t feel the timing was right for him to engage in another ministry and suggested Messiah should contact me (Bob Pelfrey). I had been ministering in Paris, KY.
It only took one trip for me to realize this was, and remains, a very special family; a feeling strongly confirmed by my dad and Dan Workman (a beautifully spirited Christian) who had traveled with us to the first meeting.
What followed the next five years can only be described as a marriage made in Heaven. The fellowship grew rapidly to an attendance over 300, a Christian school with about 40 students was organized, and the building had to be expanded to accommodate the need.
No worthwhile work goes unchallenged and in 1979, I became exhausted by the strain and literally “ran away” from the Church … this even though every member warned me not to go. They were so right.
Six months away and God, Who had miraculously called me to Messiah (and that’s another story), showed me clearly what a mistake I had made. Not only did I wander, the sheep back in Ohio did as well. Messiah dwindled back to a handful for which it can only be said my disobedience was completely to blame.
God is merciful, however! Hallelujah! And so, at the Meadow Lane meeting in midsummer of 1981, we regathered and recommitted ourselves (me especially) to the work.
For the first few years we met in homes, at the Old Country Church close to Millwood, and at the Martinsburg Community building. Our 20 grew to 70 and we needed better facilities. After approaching the folks still meeting at Messiah about combining congregations, which we felt would be pleasing to God, it became clear this just wasn’t an option.
So it was, in 1984 we approached Gary & Jan Steinmetz about purchasing property at the intersection of SR 229 and Burnett Road. Due to their generosity, the project got underway and on Easter Sunday of 1985, what we now know as Community Christian Fellowship conducted its first service on its own property.
During the years that followed, CCF has grown. Astonishingly, in the 50 years I’ve pastored CCF, over 2000 people have been part of the ministry and over 400 have been immersed into Christ.
So why do we remain small? CCF isn’t a “mega-church,” nor is that its calling. We are a family of believers engaged in body ministry with a one-on-one, up-close-and-personal vision. Those who attend won’t need binoculars to see the pulpit, nor will they have to make an appointment two weeks in advance to talk with an associate. We are small, informal, family-oriented (we adore children), and committed to the concept of closeness Christ intends for His Church. Many will say CCF served as an “oasis” where they became renewed so they could move on. Others will say CCF was foundational in preparing them for ministry. There are no strangers at CCF. Visitors are just potential family members we haven’t met yet.
In closing, let me thank each member, past, present and future for allowing me to serve as pastor. I’m blessed beyond description. I’m humbled God would be so gracious to me. I agree completely with my dad, and Dan Workman.
This is a very special family!
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