Story of Growth Download
By dates and physical (approx.)
1934 Began with 30 people in store front. Carl Burnham, pioneer
1938 Moved to small building near university
Emphasis on evangelism – personal and end-of-service
1955 Built on Fir Hill, contingent to University of Akron
1962 Carl Burnham dies in surgery; son David becomes pastor
1960’s Emphasis on huge music ministry, pulpit, home studies
1973 Move into 1900-seat sanctuary
1970’s Grow to two duplicate services, strong evening service
1980 First branch church in Marlboro – 25 miles away
1981 People and staff start Hudson Chapel – 10 miles away
1983 Knute Larson becomes senior after 14-month period with no senior
1984 Big 60-second TV and radio spots on secular stations.
1985 Start branch church in North Canton – 14 miles away
Build gym, kids rooms, youth area ($13 M paid in three years)
Start “Super Monday” to help pastors
Tried three main senior associates for staff leadership
1986 Go to three worship services
Begin partnership with Arlington Church and racial reconciliation ministry
1987 Began using “business advisors” related to finances
1990 Go to four worship services, with ABFs all four hours
1991 Begin branch church in Kent – 7 miles away
Totally rewrote constitution
1994 Build more CE space ($3.5 M, paid for in three years)
1995 Craig Williford first executive pastor (director of ministries) since ‘84
1996 Go to five worship services – 4 in the morning, duplicate at 6:30
1997 Began Chapel Association of churches
1998 Begin stated journey to 50% of money to go “outside our walls”
2000 Begin urban ministries and a lot of city outreach
2001 Begin branch church at Wadsworth – 12 miles away
2002 Raise $25 M for new campus, camp, three buildings overseas (paid totally in five years)
2003 Second main campus begins with 3500, first day
2004 Emphasis on Home ABFs along with ABFs
2005 Start very contemporary worship at 6:40 p.m.
2006 Paul Sartarelli joins as associate senior (senior to be)
Clear plan announced.
Started “Imagine Unity,” coalition of six church organizations, four African-American
2007 Start extra venues on campus (live worship, screen sermon)
2009 Larson leaves; Sartarelli senior
- “Faith Promise” each October for missions budget only.
- All building programs: raised 3-5 year pledges ahead. All finished on exact date as planned.
- Monthly supply of offering envelopes sent.
- Budget based on actual of previous year.
- Trustee finance committee decides all salaries, perks.
- Total confidentiality as to giving.
- Salaries studied with other church surveys and local schools.