Great Commission Baptist Church of Blair, Nebraska began as a mission work initiated by Pastor Andrew Schank and his wife, Shilo, along with their five precious children on Wednesday evening, January 19, 2011 at the Blair YMCA located at 1278 Wilbur Street. There were four adults and one child, in addition to the Schank family, present in that first Bible Study. GCBC met there faithfully each Wednesday evening for Bible Study until it moved to the Schank residence about six months later.
First Sunday Service…
As the group began to grow, it was evident that there was a need to start holding Sunday Services. After a search was made, GCBC began holding Sunday School and Morning Worship Services at Central Court located on the corner of 16th and Colfax Street on Mother’s Day 2011. The facility was adequate until First Baptist Church of Blair invited Great Commission to use its fellowship hall. When this took place in February of 2012, all of Great Commission’s activities, services, etc. were carried out through this venue until May 2014. Great Commission Baptist Church is extremely grateful for the hospitality shown towards them by First Baptist Church.
On Sunday evening, February 9, 2014, Great Commission Baptist Church was officially organized! Pastor Roger Luiken and Liberty Baptist Church of Fremont, Nebraska hosted the festivities. Highlights of the evening included:
- A phone call from Pastor Schank’s home church. Dr. Bobby Roberson, pastor of the Gospel Light Baptist Church of Walkertown, North Carolina spoke with the church family live from their service.
- Four baptisms.
- A challenging message from God’s Word by Dr. Dean Hamby. (Assistant Director of Macedonia World Baptist Missions, Inc.)
- Signing Of The Charter. (27 signed that night. 2 more by March 1, 2014)
- Special Presentation By Pastor Luiken.
- Fellowship Meal
God Still Answer’s Prayer…
When Great Commission began in 2011, one of the major hurdles encountered was in the realm of local zoning ordinances. Finding a place that both suited the town’s concerns as well as the needs of the church was quite impossible to satisfy unless you had a lot of money with which you could secure land and build to suit.
For a long time, GCBC patiently waited for clear direction in what to do. Searches were made and building to purchase was negotiated upon, but nothing worked out. In early April 2014, Great Commission voted to secured a lease with Hipnar Properties to utilize the 2,300 sq. ft. facility at 924 Grant Street. June 1, 2014 marked the first service in the new facility followed up by an Open House on Sunday morning, June 8, 2014.
Since the work began in 2011, approximately 25 souls have been saved by God’s grace as of June 2014! Many people who have been away from God have be drawn back and countless lives have been impacted through the various ministries of GCBC. As of April 2014 seven missionaries and one mission board are being supported monthly. God has been gracious to favor Great Commission Baptist Church with such an opportunity. Pray for GCBC as they endeavor to live up to their name!