Chippewa Valley Bible Church was founded in 1934 by a handful of dedicated Christians under the leadership of Pastor Lawrence E. Oman. The first meetings were held in the O.A. Bollom home at 21 East Spruce Street in Chippewa Falls under the name of “Christian Gospel Chapel”.
In the early part of 1935 a store building was rented at 31 West Spring Street for the church’s services. They continued to use this location until the autumn of 1939. At that time the church moved to the former “The Loop” theater building on North Bridge Street, which was used as a meeting place until 1942. Pastor Lawrence Oman, after faithfully serving from 1934 - 1942, turned the duties over to Arvid Nyquist, who served from 1942 - 1952. Pastoring duties were then fulfilled from 1952 – 1954 by L.A. Thompson, 1954 – 1958 by Bruce Hanks, 1958 – 1961 by Palmer Yngsdal, 1961 – 1964 by John S. Rahn, 1964 – 1967 by Arvid Nyquist, 1967 – 1969 by Leslie Gentry, 1969 – 1970 by interim pastors Clinton Jeffries and Ben Johnson, 1970 – 1990 by William“Bill” Pederson, 1990 – 2001 by Andy Majorins. From 2002 - 2018 Jim Woldhuis served with the Elder Team as Teaching Elder. Presently, Troy Solava is serving as Teaching Elder.
In 1942, a building at the corner of East Columbia and North Prairie Streets was purchased, and services continued at this location until 1964. Then in 1964-65 a new building was built at the corner of Irvine Street and Chapman Road with a total square footage of 6,000 feet. The annual budget during our humble beginnings grew to exceed $3,500 in the '30s and today we’ve been blessed as it’s grown to nearly $500,000.
Throughout the years, evangelism has been vital to the church with various methods used. Tent meetings, Bible conferences, revival meetings at the church and united efforts with other local churches have all aided in the Lord’s harvest of souls. Missions, as well, have always been an essential part of the church’s ministry with an annual budget of $25 at its inception to approximately $51,000 in recent years. Our Awana Club was established and charter granted in 1971, through the leadership efforts of Bill Pederson and Darrel Dodge. This charter continued through May 2018 under the leadership of countless volunteers dedicated to reaching boys & girls for Christ. In September 2018 we launched a new Children’s Program called BLAST (Bible Learning And Studying Together) using Gospel Project for Kids.
On our 40th Anniversary, November 10, 1974, the mortgage for the building located across the highway on the corner of Irvine Street and Chapman Road was burned and our name was changed to “Chippewa Valley Bible Church”. God continued to bless and provide for His Church here in the Chippewa Valley with steady growth, prompting the leadership to consider options for a possible new building site. In God’s perfect timing, the land where the present church building exists was found at 531 East South Avenue, just west of the Halmstad Elementary School. In July of 1984, ground breaking activities were held for a new 12,000 square foot facility (double previous location) and the old building was sold to Our Hope Lutheran Church for $225,000. In 1998, once again feeling the demands on our available space, a classroom addition on the south side provided us much needed rooms for Sunday school, Bible studies, BLAST & Youth Ministries.
The leadership, after much prayer and study, presented the Arise & Build Campaign to the congregation on our 70th Anniversary. This was a Kingdom Vision building plan that provided unique additions to all four sides of our facility. We were blessed by purchasing a 2-acre lot to our west which helped center our facility on our 6-acre lot and provided us a front and back door. Once enough money was raised we broke ground on the West Wing in July 2006. The addition, completed in 2007, included a much larger kitchen and dining hall, more restrooms, storage and a new west entry complete with carport and 40+ parking spaces.
Planning for the future is part of our daily prayer request. Through prayer we seek God's direction that only He can provide by sharing with us His wisdom and discernment for His growing church here and abroad. The Leadership has not taken this lightly as we plot our course in this community and continue in our nearly 80-year history of helping, ministering, leading, equipping and teaching those whom we are blessed in meeting along this journey. We continue to praise God for providing for His children time and time again through this local church with godly men and women willing to serve and lead. Our family continues on a path of steady growth and once again the current building is experiencing growing pains. The leadership continues to pray and investigate building options that would enhance or supplement the path laid out during the Arise & Build Campaign.
We faithfully believe that God will continue to bless us with growth and provide for every need and challenge that we will face. We trust in His Word and desire a personal relationship with His Son, Jesus. Our faith resides in God alone who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or can imagine.