How We Began
In May of 1987, Rev. Elga Wells, (Black Church Consultant of the Southern Baptist Convention), approached Rev. Horacio S. Jones about being involved in a new church start. After much prayer and consultation with Pastor Willie T. Gaines (Emmanuel Baptist Church) and Pastor Willie J. Smith (former pastor of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, Rev. & Sis. Jones heard the call of God to embark on this endeavor.
Utilizing the Nine Steps of Church Planting recommended by the Southern Baptist Convention, a plan was initiated. The first step involved securing sponsorship of this new church. Under the leadership of the before mentioned pastors, Emmanuel and Pilgrim Rest agreed to become our sponsors.
The second step focused on choosing a name. Pastor Jones chose Fremont Bible Fellowship. This name was chosen to emphasize the priorities of the church. We believe that our ministry is within the FREMONT area, with the BIBLE as our foundation, and Christian FELLOWSHIP as our building blocks. The first official meeting was held October 26, 1987 at Emmanuel Baptist Church. There were approximately 25 people present. Emphasizing the need for workers who were not afraid of evangelism, Door to Door, the next meeting was reduced by 10 people.
On November 9, 1987 we officially enrolled 35 charter members into our church.
The third step focused on reaching out to our community. The month of Decembe,r 1987 was dedicated for reaching and informing our community of our planned arrival. The biblical basis for coming to Fremont is found in Acts 16:6-10. There was a need in Fremont and God sent us to meet that need. January 3, 1988 marked the date of our first worship celebration. Our first location was the Fremont Community Center located in Central Park.
Due to growth and Sunday School needs, we moved to Clark Hall at 4000 Bay Street, Fremont, on August 14, 1988. Due to continued growth we leased classroom space adjacent to our church offices on January 1, 1989. The dedication of workers and members has resulted in our focus and determination to MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN OUR COMMUNITY.?
We witnessed the Lord's mighty hand in 1989 and 1990. The church grew by over 250 souls each year. Our Bible Study ministries grew tremendously as well. To accommodate more growth the Lord blessed us to occupy our first permanent facility at 4251 Peralta Blvd in October of 1990. We instituted the following ministries in 1989 and 1990:
Children Ministry, Men's Bible Study, Outreach Ministry, Nursery Ministry, Women's Bible Study, Tri-City Homeless Ministry, Youth Ministry, Single's Ministry, and Elmwood Prison Ministry.
The year of 1991 marked new heights for the ministry of Fremont Bible Fellowship. The Lord added over 250 new members, our Bible Study ministries grew to an all time high and the most important factor was the 100+ new converts into the Kingdom of God. Emphasizing quality growth rather than quantitative growth, Pastor Jones implemented and eight session, CHURCH MINISTRY WORKSHOP CLASSES. This course was for individuals seeking church membership. Membership was secured as persons completed all eight sessions.
Focusing on leadership development and team building, our theme for 1992 was EVERY MEMBER IS A MINISTER. These Body-Building Seminars were held to build bridges of communication and teamwork. Through our teamwork and the move of the Holy Spirit we embarked on a million-dollar project to purchase and occupy 18,320 square foot building. The purchase was made in November of 1991 and we conducted our first worship celebration the first Sunday in April of 1992.
We worshiped in six different locations during our first 4 years. However, the Lord continued to bless our congregation. The following are statistical highlights of how God has shined upon F.B.F.:
Membership 35 1800+
Sunday School 55 690
Baptism 24 100+
New Work (churches) 0 6
Tri-City Community Development Center opened February 2001. Statistics are a mere indication of God's presence within a church. Actual lives, gifts, and sacrifices of His people are the manifestation of His anointing. Saints who have a commitment to Christ and His cause are essential for a Christ-centered future. The Vision of Fremont Bible Fellowship is to bring salvation, deliverance, healing and freedom in the name of Jesus Christ through the lives of His members and ministries that shall be housed in the ¦FREMONT BIBLE FELLOWSHIP MINISTRY COMPLEX.
Our Search for a New Land
Experiencing the pain of ministry growth, God began to direct Pastor Horacio Jones to search for new land or space to expand our ministry. Inspired by Duet.1:6,7a,8, "The LORD our God said to us at Horeb, "You have stayed long enough at this mountain. 7 Break camp and advance into the hill country. ¦8 See, I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the LORD swore he would give to your fathers. God used two men, George Dobbs and Stewart Michaels as our brokers to locate potential sites in Fremont and Newark that would adequately meet our need for growth and ministry expansion. Pastor Jones often referred to our campaign as a Ministry Expansion instead of Building Program. FBF understands that God has called us to build people and not buildings.
When it became evident that God was saying, "advance to the hill country...See I have given you this land. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore he would give to your fathers"(v7a, 8), without hesitation we began to, break camp. God revealed to us the availability of a 42,677 sq. ft. building available in Newark.
There were numerous obstacles to overcome. After a season of fervent prayer and fasting we made an offer on the new facility even though we did not have a buyer for our former facility. Meeting with our leadership team, Pastor Jones shared that the Holy Spirit placed it on his heart for us to not wait for an offer to sale our former facility before making an offer for the new one. God assured us that He would open the door for our sale once we stepped out in faith and made an offer for the purchase of the new property. The leadership team agreed and we made an offer that was accepted by the sellers. Within 2 weeks we were contacted by Chinese Independent Baptist Church expressing interest in our property. Agreement was reached in less than 2 months.
Through meeting with various city officials and attending planning commission and city council sessions an agreement was reached and a permit was granted in May 2002. A building permit was granted in December 2004.
At the beginning of 2005 after the Newark City Officials approved our permit, we began to ask the Lord for directions in changing our name from Fremont Bible Fellowship. Our desire was to keep our acronym FBF. One night, Pastor Jones was discussing with the First Lady regarding the change of the name, and the First Lady shared that we change it from Fremont to Family. Praise the Lord! We held our first Worship Celebration at our new ministry complex Sunday September 4, 2005.
God has continued to bless FBF and our commitment has been to be a church planter within the Southern Baptist Convention. We have been blessed to start, sponsor or support over 13 churches from California to Mississippi. Currently the following ministries are impacting their communities with vibrant and relevant ministries:
Grace Bible Fellowship Antioch, California | Pastor Kirkland A. Smith | January 2003
New Creation Bible Fellowship Tracy, California | Pastor Kevin James | January 2008
Transformed Through Hope Ministries, Manteca, California | Pastors Wayne & Cynthia Jackson | 2007
In His Hands Ministries, Fremont, California | Pastor Wilma Traylor |
Beginning January 2007, we here at FBF have been blessed to have Filipino Congregation Worship services in our facilities on Sunday mornings. Pastor Herman Valencia faithfully lead God's sheep at Light by the Mountain Church. In addition, Family Bible Fellowship has continued to grow in purpose as we have established a ministry in Sacramento, California.- Family Bible Fellowship of Sacramento is co-Pastored by Sr. Pastor Horacio S. Jones and Pastor David Gray.
In March 2009, FBF expanded our ministry complex services to include Spanish Worship Services and Bible Studies under the leadership of Pastor Joe Britrago. Our Spanish services were established with the help of Dr. Lyman Alexander of East Bay Baptist Association and Joe Robledo of the Spanish Language Ministry. Currently Pastor Ricardo Bravo Sr. leads this thriving arm of F.B.F.. We are one church worshiping in two languages.
Our future is clear. We have a mandate to impact our community through:
· Opening the Divine Angel Preschool & Day Care
· Opening the Youth After School Program
· Launching Educational Development and Mentoring of Youth
· Partnering with local and county government to impact the lives of our neighbors
· Expand and fully staff the Tri Cities Communities Development Center
· Expand the radio ministry of Living Word Ministries
· Launch television ministry to reach the world with the Gospel
· Open the Family Bible Fellowship Bible Institute
The best is yet to come. We are excited about what God is doing in and through the lives of the members of Family Bible Fellowship.