Staff Pastor - Thom McKee Youth Leaders - Jeff and Dana Looper Children’s Ministry Coordinator - Krista Lee Business Manager - Diana Johnson
Elders Buck Buchanan, Steve King, John Morton, Steve Prigmore and Milo Waller
Deacons Beau and Joanne Broemmel, Byron and Kathi Conner, Bob and Kathi Eastburn, John and Karen King, Danny and Kristi Osborne and David and Rhonda Turner
Ministry Leaders- Missions - John and Karen King Men - Steve Prigmore Women - April Prigmore Tech Support - Mike Babajan
Some of the long-standing members of this congregation have been associated with the current site since the original building was constructed in 1949. There have been several fellowships in the building through the years since. From 1985 or so, a group of believers met in various places in the Fall RiverValley and finally met again here at Hwy 299 & Grove St. In 1995 this fellowship of 35 voted to associate with the Evangelical Free Church of America, and shortly after called their first pastor to Intermountain Free Church (IM Free).
As the congregation of IM Free Church filled up the original facilities they decided to engage a building project. The resulting multi-use building has been the site of many different kinds of Church and community events. During the building process IM Free began to find groups of believers from Burney, Cassel and BigValley joining the congregation and making it a truly regional outreach in the Intermountain area.
What We Believe
Our doctrinal statement is that held by the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA).
The idea behind the statement is to state those handful of essential core beliefs that the Bible teaches. The remaining important issues are studied hard, discussed, and general positions agreed to but not set as essentials. The Church Fathers recognized this distinction, "In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, charity. In all things, Jesus Christ." – Chrysostom. The doctrinal statement and the EFCA distinctives are detailed at the denomination website efca.org.
Basically, to be Evangelical is to be people of the Bible and its message, the Gospel.
To be Free is to be an autonomous congregation without control by government or denomination. Our association with the EFCA is a voluntary agreement and the church is congregational in structure. That is, we have hired staff, elected officials but everything is ultimately decided by the congregation.
Some Unique Things About Us
We have four main celebrations annually. They reflect the ancient biblical foundations beneath the New Testament texts, events, and practices. -Jesus’ Birth/ Hannukah -Long before the church holiday of Christmas came about, believers followed Jesus’ example at this time of year and celebrated the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22-3) in which God is praised for saving His people. This theme is picked up and amplified as we celebrate Jesus’ birth.
-Resurrection/ Passover -The biblical celebration of Unleavened Bread, Passover, and Firstfruits were fulfilled by the world-changing events of Jesus’ Death, Burial, and Resurrection. Paul assumes the gentile church in Corinth knows all about this when he describes Jesus as the Passover Lamb in 1 Cor 5:6-8.
- First Harvest/ Pentecost -The reason that the city of Jerusalem was full of pilgrims from all over the world in Acts 2 is that they were celebrating the Feast of Weeks which commemorates the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai. It is no coincidence that God poured out the Holy Spirit then on the Believers after the ascension of Jesus. The Joy of receiving the Holy Spirit was preceded by the Joy of receiving God’s Law.
- Great Harvest/ Trumpets, Atonement, Booths -Jesus’ great discourses in John 7-9 are firmly ensconced in the context of the biblical fall festivals. The concepts of “Light of the World” and “Living Water” come out of the celebration going on in the city. The biblical themes of harvest and trumpets are intimately tied to themes about God’s hand in the future. Jesus brought the final sacrificial atonement for all mankind in fulfillment of the Day of Atonement.
We seek an honest, full Bible Orientation- a preference for: teaching inner-, inter-, and intra-textuality, biblical theology, macro & micro exegesis, systematic public reading of Scripture in its whole canon: Reading with Strength- insistence on living out what we are certain about Reading with Humility- constant acknowledgement of: all we have yet to learn, all we will not likely understand in this life, biblical tensions we must live with (freewill & predestination, judgment & grace etc.) Jewish Orientation – moving beyond a head nod of the Jewish nature of the Bible and tuning in to the ongoing conversation in Jewish and Israeli culture, observing how the Hebrew Bible filters through into modern life – this can help us be aware where we are cheating with our own theology to serve ourselves.
We seek a Straightforwardness & Practicality- an ardent refusal to spiritualize the everyday in order to manipulate or explain (acknowledgement that spiritualizing is often simply taking God’s Name in vain). Inclusion of both faith & wisdom in all matters- recognizing that faith without wisdom is often foolishness, ignorance, or laziness AND that wisdom without faith is often hard-heartedness, provincialism, or selfishness.
We seek to Develop Gender Strengths – recognition that both genders are fully made in the image of God and, therefore, have much about God that can only be learned from one another. Men- a viable community of males of all ages within the congregation- teaching and defining biblical menchkeit as a value (getting beyond the machoism of the culture and moving toward a biblical responsibility). Women- a viable community of females of all ages within the congregation- teaching and defining biblical femininity as a value (getting beyond the feminism of the culture toward a biblical strength).
We Try to Match People’s Work in Ministry with the Gift(s) they have from God. We believe that the shape of the local congregation is determined by the gifts that each person brings rather than a predetermined set of programs. We are always excited to find out what each person and family brings to the mix. Each person creates a new shape for this congregation of Believers.
We Work to Biblical Model - Acknowledgement that all Believers are ‘works in progress’ but insistence on working toward a healthy model (personal development, family formation) rather than focusing only on weakness.
We acknowledge the Multiform nature of the Body of Christ- Christianity finds strong expression through all kinds of personalities, cultures, etc. The congregation is defined by the orchestra of those expressions.
Nature Orientation- Acknowledgement of our place in the matrix of Creation by: observing agricultural nature of biblical festival cycle, reestablishing connection with the Creation, reestablishing roles as stewards of Creation without politicizing that role.
Community Outreach- preference for outreach that starts at the practical level helping families and community organizations that congregation members are already involved & connected with.
We encourage people to read the Bible story through in a three-year cycle. Each week we post in our bulletin the verses that you need to read as a family that week so that the whole bible story can be read in three years. We want to know the ancient truths of God’s Word as a congregation, so we read a whole piece of it every week.