25 years ago this week, I landed at DFW with Janis and our two kids. Katie, who was in 6th grade and Matt, who was in 4th grade. We were coming to Texas to begin a new ministry with Arlington Christian Church – now Crossroads.
Early on, I saw a bumper sticker that said: “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could.” It’s been an incredible experience for our family, the best decision we’ve ever made, and there is no way to put into words the gratitude in our hearts.
My first official task was leading the Wednesday night Bible study that first week. There were 12 people in attendance. I remember thinking, “What have I done?” There was no question God wanted us in Texas, but my heart was still in Florida.
Three days earlier, we had left a great ministry in Port Charlotte, FL with First Christian Church, where we had served for 12 1/2 years. We were averaging just short of 600 in weekend worship (in the summer!), had purchased 20 acres of property in an amazing, new location and were completely debt free. Every bill was paid, the church had close to $300,000.00 in the bank and we’d just hired a new associate and youth minister. Things were going great.
But one thing was unmistakable — God had called us to Texas.
“There is no way we can adequately say thank you for allowing us the privilege to serve here for the past 25 years.”
I had been praying for almost two years, telling God I wanted to reach more people for Christ. But moving to Texas didn’t make sense. Most pastors don’t leave large churches to move to smaller ones — at least not in their prime, especially if you want to reach more people for Christ. But that’s what we were doing, because that’s what God was telling us to do.
It wasn’t easy. In fact, the battle began the first week. Al Dillon, one of the original founders of our church (who’s now in Heaven), told me a few years back that four couples came to his house after my first Sunday night service and told him, “We’ve got to get rid of this new guy.” Al never wavered in his support of me and I never wondered where I stood with him. He told me he prayed for me every day, from the first day he spoke to me in January of 1992, until the last time I prayed with him just before he died.
It all began in August of 1992 with 188 people on 6+ acres on Bowen Road in Arlington. Today, we have over 8,000 people who call Crossroads their church home, on 150+ acres with a campus that is one of the most beautiful church campuses in America. We’re completely debt free and have right at $16 million earning interest at The Solomon Foundation. We have close to $3 million in our mission’s endowment funds and our goal is $10 million. That is being funded solely through interest.
We’re currently approaching $13 million for our new youth building. Our annual budget is also $13 million. For several years we’ve been able to give over $1 million to missions, and by the end of 2017, we will have given away close to $2 million in just two years through our Change For A Dollar program. Those aren’t just statistics – those are lives being touched with the Gospel and changed forever.
There’s no way to put on paper everything God has done or is currently doing, and there is no way we can adequately say thank you for allowing us the privilege to serve here for the past 25 years.
Sunday, August 2, 1992, our family of four flew from Ft. Myers, Florida to DFW to begin what would become the most rewarding experience of our lives: having the privilege of serving as your Pastor and Pastor’s family. We have been blessed beyond our wildest dreams. Our family has grown to include Kelli, Lindley, Will, Levi and an amazing church with thousands of the greatest people in the world.
When we got here 25 years ago, we had no idea what God was about to do. We still don’t. But we know whatever He does will be “immeasurably more than we can ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
I want you to know how grateful our family is for the privilege of serving here with you. We are thankful for every blessing and every battle, because it’s been worth it to see thousands of lives changed for all eternity and millions given for the cause of Christ both here and around the world.
I’d love for you to join us Sunday, at one of our six services, as we celebrate together, thanking God for what He has done and asking for His blessing and favor on what we’re about to do.
25 years goes by fast. But the memories will last forever! Thank you, God!
And thank you, Crossroads! We love you!
Let’s make our 26th year our best yet!
© 2017. Barry L. Cameron
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.