A nondenominational church founded in 1992 that meets under a highway bridge in Texas so as to reach out to the local homeless celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Jimmy Dorrell, lead pastor for Church Under the Bridge, described its anniversary service on Sunday as "very meaningful" and noted that it was preceded by their 12th annual "Walk for the Homeless."
"Almost half of our funds go to serve the poor, locally and globally. We have 13 small groups during the week," Dorrell told The Christian Post.
"We are a church 'with the poor and marginalized' (not 'for') that invites the ex-offender, mentally ill, homeless, addicts, and other marginalized. Our goal is to include them on mission trips, etc."
The service had an estimated 450 attendees and featured guest preacher Delvin Atchison, director of the Great Commission Team for Texas Baptists.
Church Under the Bridge, a Waco-based congregation that meets underneath the Interstate 35 underpass bridges, held its first service on Sept. 20, 1992, starting with five homeless men. Currently, they average out approximately 300 people for weekly worship from a variety of backgrounds.
"Church Under the Bridge attempts to avoid denominational, cultural, economic, or racial distinctions. We are a multi-cultural church committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and the unity of His Spirit," notes the church's website.
"We welcome folks from wide and diverse backgrounds to love God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with all their heart, soul, and mind, and to love their neighbors as themselves."
In 2000, the church adopted a set of "9 Core Values" — which include having a call to "be a church based on the revealed truth of God," to focus on the unchurched, the poor, and the marginalized, and to center on the themes of "Biblical justice" and "Life Together," stressing small group discipleship and interdenominational cooperation, avoiding elegant worship spaces, and having multiculturalism as "a foundational pillar of the church."
"Embracing all racial and economic backgrounds in membership and leadership must be highlighted in a culture that knows mostly prejudice. The church is committed to a racially and economically diverse pastoral and leadership team," states the church.
"Through special efforts, leadership skills and empowerment will begin to raise up leaders in the church from racial and economic minorities who are capable of preaching, teaching, pastoring, leading worship, and other responsibilities."