Assemblies of God
Essay title: Assemblies of God
The Field Working Site
A dream is a goal that is longed for. A vision is a dream that eventually becomes reality. Dreams only become reality through persistent, hard work. Concord First Assembly is an example of a dream that has became reality. Concord First Assembly, located 150 Warren C. Coleman Boulevard in Concord, has grown from 32 members to over 2000.
As Concord First Assembly has grown, more ministries have developed in order to reach out to the community and minister to as many people as possible. I want to study this site to learn more about the church’s development. I am motivated to investigate how one man’s dream, to reach out to Concord, has became a reality.
I started my research by attending a Sunday morning church service and taking notes throughout the service. During the service I realized that there were many people interested in what the Senior Pasto Rick Ross, had to say. Pastor Ross seemed to be a well educated man. He was interesting to listen to because he went into great detail on the things he said. I also noticed that the building is a very comforting and a relaxing place. After the service let out, I picked up several brochures in the lobby. I was hoping these brochures would help me to learn more about how the church has developed and goals it has for the future. Next, I researched Concord First Assembly on the Internet. Online I found several quality sites about the church.
Tom Whidden envisioned a place where people could come together for worship and minister to the needs of the community. Tom was only twenty-two years old when his dream started to grow into reality. On June 17, 1958, thirty-two people gathered into the old Pastime Theater in downtown Concord. The church grew quickly, and soon the theater was too small for service. Next, the congregation began constructing a 150-200 person auditorium on Rockland Circle in Concord. As the auditorium was being built, Pastor Tom realized funds were short, and Coca Cola and Moon Pies donated money to help finish construction. In 1960, Sunday school rooms were added to the auditorium and in 1962 a parsonage was completed. Later in 1962, Pastor Tom left to work for the Assemblies of God, as the District Secretary Treasurer. Pastor Tom’s father, Loye T. Whidden, Sr., pastured the church in Pastor Tom’s absence. Then in 1970, Pastor Loye Whidden decided to retire. Upon his retiring, the Concord First Assembly congregation invited Pastor Tom back to be Senior Pastor once again.
Then, in the mid-1970s, Concord First Assembly began looking for a new home because they had overgrown again. They found a piece of land across from the intersection of highway 601 and highway 29 in Concord. However, one-third of the parcel of land was owned by the city of Concord. The city of Concord refused to sell, so Concord First Assembly only bought two-thirds of the land they wanted. Once, the land was purchased, a new 1,500 seat auditorium was built. This larger auditorium is in current use today.
Next, in the late-1990s, Concord experienced a population boom. As a result, Concord First Assembly had many more people to accommodate. The church once again looked for a new home. Around the same time a 34-acre strip mall, directly across the street from the church, went
up for sell. Concord First Assembly purchased the $9 million shopping center on March 4, 2001. With the new strip mall, the church plans to build a new 3,000 seat auditorium. Construction plans are still in progress. The church wants to build a bigger high school and more baseball fields.
During the purchase of Concord Parkade Shopping Center, Founding Pastor Tom Whidden announced