A new church group in Manchester has a new home in the community as it continues its ministry to serve God and the community.

Berean Bible Church held its first service in July in the Manchester Monuments building. Since October, Sunday services have been held at Castle Theater.

Jake Hahnemann is the preaching elder at the church, which is connected with the Southern Baptist Convention.

“One thing we are very intentional about is basing everything on the scriptures as much as we can. We try to preach straight from the Bible. We just walk through books of the Bible right from the very beginning all the way through the end as a means of grounding our whole service in the word of God,” he explained.

Hahnemann returned to Manchester after a four-year absence. “I actually served at TheStone Church about four years ago. We were connected to some people in the area.”

He said from those connections came discussions about Berean Bible Church. “It kind of began to be a group of people that recognized the need for another Gospel presence, another church presence in the community. One conversation led to another and we felt that the Lord was really directing us to come back here and be part of a new church.”

He said the church is taking a deliberate approach to develop a presence in the community. “We are taking baby steps. Right now our primary focus is providing a place where people can come on Sunday mornings and worship and hear the word of God. We started by gathering like-minded people and created an opportunity for gathering. As we move forward, we are trying to think through what does it look like to send out our people to be a presence in the community?”

He admitted the pandemic has made some of the community outreach challenging. “We feel God has been very faithful to us in the middle of the pandemic. I think the biggest thing the pandemic has done is to make it difficult for us to be present in the community. We feel that is essential to ministry to meet people and to engage with them. The pandemic has hindered that more than anything else I think.”

Hahnemann said 2021 plans include beginning formal membership into Berean Bible Church and continuing community outreach. “We currently have about 40 people who come on Sunday mornings. This new year, we will be looking at what it means to be a member. We will also be looking into how we can expand the ministry. Specifically, how do we shape the people already connected to us to be more like Christ, but then also how do we find ways to engage with people who do not yet know Christ? So our big task is networking in the community and finding opportunities for those times of service and outreach.”

Services at Berean Bible Church are Sunday mornings at 9:30 at the Castle Theater. Hahnemann encourages anyone with questions or concerns to call him at 618-697-1491 or through the Facebook page Berean Bible Church of Manchester or the website www.bbcmanchester.org.