In 1961, a small group of believers meeting for Bible study and prayer “became hungry for more depth, more sincerity, evidence of some fruit, and a vision for a ministry with real purpose.” In November of that year, this group of believers stepped out in faith and chartered the Berean Church of Lincoln, Nebraska.
In May 1962, Pastor Curt Lehman accepted the call from this body of believers to become the first pastor of Lincoln Berean Church.
First Official Service
The first official service of Lincoln Berean Church was held on June 3, 1962 in the original YMCA building at 13th and P Streets with 32 people attending.
In December of that year, Pastor Lehman stated that “we have a responsibility to…the people of Lincoln…the surrounding towns and the world…may God give us the courage to stand true and never waver.”
11th & M
In November, 1964 the church moved to a newly remodeled building at 11th & M Streets.
Average attendance: 135
17th & A
In June, 1968 the church moved to 17th and A Streets. Shortly after, the first staff member was hired.
Average attendance: 200
70th & Hwy 2, New Building (A-Wing)
In 1978, land was purchased at 70th & Hwy 2 to construct a new facility.
“When it was so obvious we had to do something about moving away from A Street… so many, many said “they will never follow you clear out there… they won’t drive out that far.”
– Claudine Lehman
“Faith demands change, and change produces insecurity, and insecurity produces fear– but at the same time, God provides faith.”
– Curt Lehman
In March 1981, the new church building was complete and ready for services.
Average attendance: 450
Offices and New Sanctuary (B-Wing & C-Wing)
In September 1981, the new 750-seat sanctuary was complete and ready for services.
Average attendance: 1,020
“We have not put an emphasis on attendance figures, but rather have sought to train as many faithful disciples as possible. If that causes numerical growth in this church, praise the Lord!”
– Curt Lehman
Senior Pastor Transition
In 1994, after 32 years of leading Lincoln Berean Church, Pastor Lehman announced his desire to retire as Senior Pastor.
In January 1995, Bryan Clark became the Senior Pastor.
Bryan grew up in Lincoln, attending Lincoln Berean Church. He was pastor of the Berean Church of Broken Bow, Nebraska for ten years before returning to Lincoln.
In the 1998 Annual Report, Pastor Clark stated: “Our mission is to glorify God by seeking to present every person complete in Christ. This is the fuel that drives the engine at Lincoln Berean. We give our time and talents to serve God by serving people. The church is about people because God is about people.”
Three-story Educational and Community Space (D-Wing)
In 2000 we expanded the building again due to growth – for additional classrooms and community space.
Average attendance: 2,100
Where there is no risk, there is no faith…
In 2003, we were facing
– Five weekend services
– No space for growth
– Debt: $2.8 million
– Stagnant giving
“One member shared he had worked for years to get a friend to attend church at Berean. Unknown to him, his friend decided to show up on his own one Sunday morning… he was greeted with the news that the auditorium was full, there was no room.”
– Bryan Clark, Senior Pastor
We chose to follow God’s lead and take big steps of faith to move forward with
1. New Auditorium
2. Youth Complex
3. North Pointe Church Plant (north Lincoln, NE)
4. Southeast Asia Church Plants
5. Leadership College
New Auditorium (E-Wing)
On Easter Sunday, we moved into the current auditorium with 2,500 seats (with an unfinished balcony for additional growth). This additional space allowed us to go from six weekend services to three services.
Average attendance: 2,780
Decade on Purpose
“Think about what will change for you in the next 10 years. Those are 10 years you will never get back. The sobering reality is that you only get one shot. You can choose to waste the next 10 years of your life, but we’re going to make it very hard to do so…” – Bryan Clark, Senior Pastor
Our people were challenged to live this next “Decade on Purpose” by understanding that “Every day Matters.” It continues to be our belief that every person is called to grow in Christ and be personally involved in the mission of the church. We seek to bless our community by demonstrating the love of Christ in tangible ways, opening doors so every person can truly hear, understand and experience new life in Christ.
We are going to do everything in our power to inspire every believer to live every day for the things that ultimately matter.
In 2012, we celebrated 50 years of God’s faithfulness to Lincoln Berean.
100% Debt Free
The last time Lincoln Berean was 100% debt free was in 1963. Today we sit here on fifty acres with these magnificent facilities, and our gift for the next generation is all of this completely debt free.
God has shown up in awesome ways. “I can’t imagine a greater return on investments than to know you actually have been a part of touching and changing hundreds and hundreds, possibly thousands, of lives…”
– Bryan Clark, 2007
What’s next? The purpose of being debt free is not so we can relax, but rather so we can move forward with new steps of faith.
November 1961June 3, 1962November 1964June 19681978-19811986-19911994-1995200020032004Easter Sunday, 200720102012November 2016