15-year-old evangelical church’s pastor notes growth in congregation’s volunteer spirit, “‘Christian maturity’
White Rock Community Church will celebrate its 15th anniversary on Sunday.
Rev. Linda Wilkerson, director of Parkland Hospital’s chaplaincy department, will be the guest speaker during the Sunday morning service. The evangelical church will host a celebration dinner Sunday night at the Atrium in downtown Garland.
Rev. James Walker, pastor of the church, said the church usually holds its anniversary celebration dinner on-site. Officials decided to move it to the conference center because a larger turnout is expected for the crystal anniversary.
About 225 people are expected to attend the event, he said.
Walker, who assumed leadership of the church four years ago on Easter Sunday, said he has seen the congregation’s involvement in activities grow substantially during his tenure.
“Our folks have grown in terms of being personally responsible in ministry and volunteering,” Walker said. “Our volunteer numbers are way up.”
The church has started a program of home Bible study groups, added another Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and a congregational care program administered by the deacons.
“I really believe that God calls and gives everyone who is a Christian for ministry,” Walker said. “We are really developing that in terms of our congregation.”
Walker said the membership totals about 700 people, with half of that number active in the church.
The membership roll has remained constant during his four years of service, but the number of active members has increased by about 40 percent, he said.
“The most important thing for me is an increase in Christian maturity, and I see that happening here,” Walker said.
The church began in May 1991 when nine people congregated for Bible studies in an East Dallas home led by the founding pastor, Rev. Jerry Cook. The church was officially established with 53 members in December 1991.
The church has helped form new churches in Fort Worth and in the Cedar Creek Lake area.
Walker said church officials plan to help start additional churches in the coming years.
“There sure is a need,” Walker said. “I get calls all of the time about folks wanting to have a church like White Rock in their city.”
The anniversary celebration will include a banquet, a silent auction of crystal pieces, recognition of four volunteers of the year and a drawing for a Carnival Cruise travel package.
The special music guest for the celebration will be Denise Lee.
Tickets to the banquet are free, but they must be obtained from the church office. Tickets for the cruise prize are $10. They are available from church members.
The drawing will be on Sunday. The member who sold the most tickets will also receive cruise tickets for two people.
Banquet dress is semi-formal.
Church service is Sunday at 10:45 a.m. The banquet will be at 300 N. Fifth St. in Garland at 6 p.m. For information call 214-320-0043.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, June 09, 2006.