The History of Calvary Chapel Fellowship of Emporia
Brad and Melodi Bowen attended Calvary Chapel of Diamond Bar, California prior to their move to Kansas in 1993. After moving to Kansas, they attended Calvary Chapel of Elk Falls, pastored by Steve Bliss. The Lord moved them to the Calvary Chapel in Arkansas City in 1995, pastored by Mark Fry. While in Ark City, they participated in several different ministries including Ushers, Women’s Ministries, Men’s Ministries, single Ministry and Vacation Bible School.
Brad led the Men’s Monday Night Bible Study for 10 years. Brad felt called to full time ministry around 2005, but to what extent he didn’t know. He spoke with Pastor Mark Fry, and they all started to pray. Mark and other Kansas Calvary Chapel Pastors attended the annual Calvary Chapel Seniors Pastors Conference held in California in June of 2006. The pastors talked about Emporia, KS, and the Calvary Chapel that was previously there. They were concerned for the people that were disbursed at the time the Calvary Chapel closed. They called Brad and Melodi from the conference and asked them to pray about Emporia. They did.
Pastor Brad and Melodi came to Emporia in August of 2006, to pray for the city and to see if God was calling them here. God led them to start a Bible Study in October of 2006. The Study was held at a local coffee shop called Arizings, on Friday nights.
After 9 months the Bible study group decided to start up as a church on Sunday mornings. So on June 10, 2007, we started Calvary Chapel Fellowship of Emporia. For the next three years we met at the VFW building on S. Commercial St. In June of 2010 we started to pursue a property on 9th Ave. and Whittier in Emporia. It was the home of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Club, the club had been meeting there since 1962. We contacted a local bank and after 5 months was granted a loan. The property at 1130 E. Ninth Ave was purchased on December 17, 2010, where we currently meet for service. Our church is filled with a body of Loving Believers, and we are BLESSED!