- Phone: (989) 723-2229
- Meeting Address:
1865 S M52 Owosso, MI 48867
- Mailing Address: PO Box 1020 Owosso, MI 48867
- Sunday: 8:30 & 10:45
Owosso First Church of the Nazarene was founded in order to reach those who are not yet in the family of God and to help those who are to become reproducing Christians. God bridged the unfathomable chasm between His holiness and our sin-stained humanity through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Luke 19:10 tells us, “The Son of Man [Jesus] came to seek and to save the lost.” We humbly recognize that we are among those Christ seeks and saves.
Jesus went beyond a mere rescue mission; He transformed lives. In Matthew 6:10, He taught His followers to pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus came to redeem this broken world, both for all eternity and in the here-and-now. This conviction drives our mission.
Simply stated: OFCN exists to go and make devoted followers of Jesus.
In order to make devoted followers of Jesus, we are committed to loving God, loving others, and serving the world.
Seven core values bring clarity to that which matters most at OFCN. They guide how we fulfill our mission, influencing major leadership decisions as well as everyday ministry plans. They even help us navigate staffing and budget issues. In short, they keep us on the path that leads to the fulfillment of our mission.
OFCN’s core beliefs describe our theological positions on key aspects of faith. John Wesley, a spiritual father for our denomination, taught:
In all things…charity
The core beliefs of the Church of the Nazarene are its 16 Articles of Faith which are abbreviated below:
1. We believe in one God, the Creator of all things. He makes Himself known to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:16-17, 28:19-20; 2 Corinthians 13:14)
2. We believe in Jesus Christ, who is both God and man. He became like us to show us what God is like and to teach us how we might have eternal life. (Matthew 1:20-25, 16:15 -16; John 1:1-18)
3. We believe in the Holy Spirit and that He is active in the world today. (John 14:15-18, 16:7 -15; Romans 8:1-17)
4. We believe the Bible is the Word of God and tells us all we need to know about how to have eternal life and how to live with integrity. (2 Timothy 3:15-17, 2 Peter 1:20-21)
5. We believe that we are all sinners by both nature and act and need God’s forgiveness and cleansing. (Genesis 3; Romans 3:23, 5:12-14, 6:15-23)
6. We believe Jesus Christ died on the cross and that by trusting in His death and resurrection we can be restored to a right relationship with God. (Isaiah 53:5-6; John 3:14-17)
7. We believe that God enables us to turn from sin, but that He does not force us to do so. (Genesis 2:16-17; John 1:12; Galatians 6:7-8)
8. We believe that each person must repent, turn away from their sins, and trust Christ to accept them. (Isaiah 55:6-7; Acts 17:30-31)
9. We believe that when we turn from our sin and trust in Christ, we are forgiven for the acts of sin and become part of the family of God. (Acts 13:39; Titus 3:4-7; Galatians 4:4-7)
10. We believe that God’s Spirit desires to cleanse His people from the nature of sin enabling them to live consistently above reproach. Our strength for living with integrity and love comes from His presence in us. (Matthew 3:11, 22:37-40; 1 John. 4:17-18)
11. We believe that God uses the Church to fulfill His plans for the world until Christ returns. (1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Ephesians 5:25-27)
12. We believe in baptism, and urge people to be baptized to publicly affirm their faith. (Matthew 26:16-29; Acts 2: 37-41)
13. We believe in the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion). (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-32)
14. We believe God can heal and we pray for healing. We also believe that God can work through medical science. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10; James 5:13-16)
15. We believe that Jesus is coming again. (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
16. We believe that everyone will face the judgment of God with its rewards and punishments. (Matthew 25:31-46; Revelation 20:11-15)
The work of the Church of the Nazarene in Owosso began at the District Assembly of 1932. General Superintendent J. W. Goodwin urged each church to organize another church. Rev. A.W. Eastman, pastoring in Durand at the time, urged some of his families residing in the Owosso area to begin prayer meetings in their homes.
From those prayer meetings came the First Church of the Nazarene in Owosso. The church was literally born in prayer. Their first meeting place was in a store building on Main Street. On March 13, 1933, District Superintendent, Rev. R.V. Starr organized the church. Rev. Clyde Flewelling became the first pastor.
Rev. R. C. Warland came to pastor the growing group of people in 1934, and in 1935 the church lot on the corner of Dewey and Williams was purchased. The church basement was built in 1936 and became the church's home for many years. Under the leadership of men like, Rev. J.E. VanAllen and Rev. Gordon Truesdell, the church continued to grow and develop. Rev. J.W. Burgess came to pastor the church in 1945 and was followed by Rev. E. W. Burk in 1946. It was during this time that the top part of the building was added to the basement.
Rev. Oliver Morgan led the church during the early fifties while Rev. John Smith closed out the latter portion of the decade. Growth and development required addition of a new wing in 1957.
Rev. Robert Waggoner brought the church into the turbulent sixties. Men like Rev. David Ehrlin and Rev. Ray Huffman followed his tenure. Under Rev. Huffman's ministry a new front and new offices were added to the church. Rev. Paul K. Moore helped the church celebrate its 35th anniversary in 1968.
In 1974 Rev. Jerry Ulrich came to lead the group of Owosso Nazarenes. Under his leadership, the church experienced growth in membership, ministry, and attendance. The increases brought pressure to expand or re-locate. It was during this time that an 11-acre plat was purchased on South M-52. High interest rates and the inability to sell the in-town property delayed the expansion and relocation. But the dream had been born. It was only a matter of time.
A new chapter in First Church's history began under the anointed ministry of Rev. Clifford Walton who came to Owosso with his wife, Dorothy, in 1980. The church continued to grow and in 1981, though they still could not see clear to relocate to South M-52, the church renovated their current building in every area. They increased foyer space, restructured offices, and redesigned classrooms. Under the leadership of two dedicated laymen — Paul Sharp, Jr. and David Johnson — a new fellowship hall was built and dedicated at the church's 50th anniversary on March 13, 1983.
Even with the great accomplishment and completion of present projects, the church continued to look to the future. The dream of expansion and relocation continued to grow and flourish. Finally, on June 16, 1991, the dream became a reality when pastor and people moved to and dedicated the present facility — a brand new complex dedicated to the task of reaching our community for Jesus Christ.
God's blessing can be seen in every corner of the building and property. His providence and leadership have been crucial in the building and developing of a people dedicated to share Christ with their community.
In September 1992, Pastor Walton and Dorothy closed the book on the happiest and greatest chapter of their pastoral ministry and retired. First church will forever be grateful for their God-anointed and timely leadership and ministry.
In January 1993, Pastor David Weitz moved to Owosso and began another chapter in the wonderful history of this great church. As he assumed the role of pastoral leadership, the fact that First Church had a great heritage was obvious. As the writer to the Hebrews said, "What more shall I say? I do not have time to tell" of all the committed people who, with great sacrifice and faith have worked in their day so Christ's church could continue to prosper and succeed for future generations.
In April of 1998, Rodger and Reta De Vore, became Pastor and Pastor's wife of Owosso First Church of the Nazarene and served for 14 years. Pastor & Mrs. De Vore taught our people by example how to love and that legacy continues. Pastor De Vore also led the way in helping our church become known as a giving and generous church to our community, resulting in our church having a good reputation in Owosso and beyond.
Pastor Brad and Bethany Stockton followed Pastor De Vore after his retirement in March of 2013. Pastor Brad was tasked with building a new pastoral ministry team and God in His sovereignty, in response to our praying and due diligence, has given us a great gift in the team that now serves our church and community.
As we move into the future we do so with great optimism and expectation of God's rich blessing of increase.
As great as our heritage is, our hope is even more exciting. Our job is not yet complete. God still calls us and leads us to reach a desperate and needy world for Him. Again, the writer of Hebrew sets the pace for our congregation. "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders...and let.us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." (Hebrew 12:1-2a) It has been said that the best predictor of the future is the past. If that statement is true as it applies to OFCN, great days are ahead!