The History of New Castle Bible Church
New Castle Bible Church has a very rich history that had the simplest of beginnings: a boy praying for a church for his community. What God did with his prayers is truly amazing. Take a moment to step back in history and see what God has done at New Castle.
In 1861 the little community of New Castle was established on the land around where the church now sits. A school house was built and was used for many years to teach the boys and girls of the area. This school house, which is now the back part of our old sanctuary, is all that remains of the community of New Castle. One of the students in this school was Harold Oyer. Harold had a passion for Christ and a missionary heart for the people of his community. He would often be found with tracts in hand telling his classmates about God. He also had a heart of prayer and would meet with other students in the school yard to pray that God would bless New Castle with a church. This spot where Harold and the others prayed is now marked by a stone with the following inscription:
"On this spot more than 50 years ago
Godly men met often to pray
asking God to plant a thriving church
and God answered their prayer."
As Harold Oyer grew, so did his love for God. Upon adulthood he became the minister of a small Mennonite church in Goodfield, a nearby town. Though he was in Goodfield, his heart was still burdened for New Castle. In the summer of 1936, this Goodfield church where Harold preached would start Daily Vacation Bible School classes at the New Castle school. From this humblest of beginnings, God saw fit to continue to bless this group of believers. In 1940, Sunday School was added and by the next year regular church services could be found at the location.
In March of 1947, the first official church constitution was accepted, and Robert Zehr was chosen as the pastor. The next year the school house was no longer needed for education and was put up for sale. The building was purchased by the believers in Goodfield, remodeled and then dedicated for use by God. In 1953, the church broke ties with the Mennonite Church because of the desire to use the piano in worship. The church became an independent Bible church calling itself New Castle Bible Church for the first time.
Over the years since then, New Castle Bible Church has continued to grow, building on the faith of those original believers. As the congregation grew, the church building also grew with additions being added several times. The most recent of these is the new youth building in 2008. Over the years, the church has been led by only a few senior pastors, each one seeking God's will for the church.
In those times of prayer in the school yard many years ago, God heard the prayers of a child. God took the desires of his heart and built a church, New Castle Bible Church, for Himself. As new members continue to this day to be added, we all look to God and give Him thanks for His direction in our church. Thanks Lord!