The idea of Springs of Life Bible Church started in 1994, as a number of believers in Durham began earnestly praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that would lead to revival in our churches and spiritual awakening in our city. The prayer movement grew, and we had a sense that God was about to do something new. Our desire was that this “something new” would be in our own church, but we were willing to make adjustments to join Him elsewhere. A small group Bible study called “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby had a tremendous impact on many of us. As Blackaby taught, we knew God was about to do something and wanted us to join Him, but we didn’t know what it was or when it would happen. So, we continued meeting for prayer on Saturday mornings for many months, seeking God’s face and listening for His voice.
In January, 1996, it started to become clear that God wanted us to join Him in creating a new church that would follow the pattern of Acts 2. A church whose standard for faith and practice would be the Scriptures alone. A church that would be driven by prayer and where God’s Word would be communicated truthfully and practically and without compromise. A church where every member would play a role in ministry, using their time, talents and treasures for the building up of the whole body. A church that would be used of the Lord to break down the walls of racism, classism, and denominationalism. A church not led by a single individual or by the majority, but by a plurality of elders, supported by deacons. A church where there was so much love and integrity that good rumors would begin to circulate among the lost, and when unchurched people would come to see what was going on, they would find Christ. A church where there would be a sense of the miraculous, where what was happening could not be explained in human terms.
Ten couples formed the leadership team that God would use to build the foundation of this new work. We asked God to give us His vision and mission, which would determine our direction and future. We asked Him to give us the name for His new fellowship. The answer came from Isaiah 43:18-21:
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert … for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.
From this verse came the name: “Springs of Life Fellowship”. We didn’t dream about how to be a big church; we dreamed about Acts 2. We dreamed about what it would be like to be part of a biblically functioning community. We dreamed about how to be “the church” instead of “a church”. And we believed that this dream was straight from the heart of Jesus. To say we caught the vision is inaccurate; the truth is that the vision caught us. It captured us, excited us, overwhelmed us. Suddenly, it was the only vision that made sense, the only vision that seemed worth committing our lives to. Within a matter of months, on Easter Sunday, April 7, 1996, a new church was born. To God be the glory!
Wanting to convey to others from Durham and around the world our deep commitment to the Bible and to the local church, we changed our name to “Springs of Life Bible Church” in 2000. The Bible is truly the spring from which we drink of God’s infallible Word as we grow to be the church He wants us to be. May our thirst for God and His Word ever grow!