Our History

 

In the summer of 2006, God brought together a group of six couples, each with a desire and calling from God to plant a church; a non-denominational church which would move beyond the typical boundaries of traditional, and often stifling religious rituals, in order to get back to the basics: loving God, loving others, and making disciples. Their desire was to begin a contemporary church which would model the love, kindness, and acceptance of the ultimate Life-Giver Himself, Jesus Christ.

 

Many hours were spent meeting together, praying, planning, setting goals, establishing core values, and meeting with others who might be interested in joining the adventure.  In August of 2006, after working through all the required legalities necessary to begin an incorporated, non-denominational church, and with 40-45 people who shared the same heart, WhiteRose Fellowship Church was born.  The church was not a building; it was the group of Christ-followers banding together to make a positive contribution to the Peoria area.


With only a dream and no location to regularly hold services, God provided.  Through a series of minor and major miracles, a church in the Bellevue area was merging with another church in downtown Peoria.  The merger left a very small, three-room office building open and available to use.  With the new, merged-church’s blessing, WhiteRose Fellowship Church began meeting at their former location.  We lovingly referred to it as “the mouse-house."   With no rental fees and only the utilities to pay, generous tithing allowed WhiteRose Fellowship Church to hire Pastor David Gruber as its full-time pastor.  Increasing congregational growth soon provided the necessary resources to hire Pastor Shane House as the part-time associate pastor.  Within eight months WhiteRose was conducting two services and attendance increased to 75-80 people.  This effectively maxed out the meeting location, especially for children’s ministry.

 

In March of 2007, Pastor Gruber was approached by leaders of the Bellevue Bible Church who indicated that they were planning to permanently close their doors and discontinue their ministry.  The leaders of Bellevue Bible Church asked if the Elders of WhiteRose Fellowship Church would accept a free gift of all the Bellevue Bible property so that God’s work could continue at their former location.  So, as one church reached the end of its era, WhiteRose was taking its first steps of life while this generous and amazing answer to prayer became reality.

 

In early October 2007, WhiteRose Fellowship Church began holding services at 505 S. Main in Bellevue (“The 505”).


In the summer of 2010, Pastor Shane and his family moved into the parsonage adjacent to the "505" as God blessed us with the financial resources to have him transition from part-time status to full-time status as our Associate Pastor.

In November 2010 we expanded our ministry to the community and central Illinois area by starting a new radio program called, "Next Step".  It's on the air every Sunday morning at 9 AM and 5:30 PM on Peoria broadcast station WPEO-1020 AM & simulcast on 97.7 FM & 103.9 FM. It is also available on Tunein.com, as well as our website podcast page.  We also extensively use social media such as our website (whiterosefellowship.org) and our Facebook page to give updates and information quickly and effectively.

 

Building renovations (a complete remodel of the sanctuary in 2009/10, and a complete revamp and remodel of our basement level children's classrooms & "Gathering Place" room in 2014 -pictures available at our Facebook photo gallery) and upgrades on our property are ongoing.  In the Spring of 2014, in conjunction with our facility remodel, we launched a new Sunday adult and children's education hour at 9:30 AM called, "Foundations", which offers electives for adults and expanded children's classes.  And in November of 2015, Mrs. Brandy House became our part-time Children's Ministry Director.  We continue to experience God’s amazing grace and growth, and all of this is being done debt-free as we steward the resources God continues to generously provide!  Today, approximately 105-110 adults, youth and children call WhiteRose their "home church"!

 

CONSTRUCTION NEWS:  In order to accomodate growth, in 2017 we have continued the remodeling process and torn out a half-wall and permanent partition between the sanctuary and overflow room to create one continuous room with a portable, rolling partition.  Also, selected exterior doors have been replaced and updated, PLUS the entire roofing and siding on both the 505 & the parsonage (house) is being replaced & updated, AND the back parking lot has been paved and striped!  Again, all being done debt-free!

 

We are humbled by God’s blessings and remain astonished by His loving-kindness!  May our goal always remain this simple:

Loving God, Loving Others, Making Disciples!