A Brief History
Northwoods Community Church started in 1990 with a vision to reach the 150,000 people in the greater Peoria area who did not have a relationship with Jesus and needed a church home.
Now, more than 25 years later, Northwoods continues to flourish and impacts thousands of lives every week. Originating in Peoria, campuses now serve the communities surrounding Canton, Chillicothe, and Galesburg, with new campuses being established throughout central Illinois. The Online Campus reaches even more people, not only in Illinois but around the world.
For a detailed look at key highlights and milestones in Northwoods history, check out this timeline.
What We Believe
The mission of Northwoods is to invite broken-world people to experience complete freedom in Christ Jesus.
Our strategy is to attract the unchurched by modeling the life of Christ before them, building authentic relationships with them, and offering creative and culturally-sensitive ministries for them; to introduce the unchurched to Christ by personally and corporately engaging them in encounters with God’s truth in an environment of love, acceptance and forgiveness, giving special emphasis to the process rather than the event; and to mature those who come to Christ by training them in the Word of God, teaching them to worship God, empowering them to serve God, and folding them into the community of God.
God is the Creator and Ruler of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.
Genesis 1:1, 26, 27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; I Peter 1:2
Man is made in the spiritual image of God, to be like Him in character. He is the supreme object of God’s creation. Although man has tremendous potential for good, he is marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin.” This attitude separates man from God.
Genesis 1; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a; 59:1-2; Romans 3:23
Man was created to exist forever. He will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with Him is eternal life. Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence.
John 3:16; I John 2:25; 5:11-13; Romans 6; Revelation 20:15
About Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is co-equal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to heaven’s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 1:22-23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5; 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:1-15; I Corinthians 15:34; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; I Timothy 6:14-15; Titus 2:13
Salvation is a gift from God to man. Man can never make up for his sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can man be saved from sin’s penalty. Eternal life begins the moment one receives Jesus Christ into his life by faith.
Romans 5:1; 6:23; Ephesians 2:8-9; John14:6; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26
About Eternal Security
Because God gives man eternal life through Jesus Christ, the believer is secure in that salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives this security.
John 10:29; II Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25; 10:10-14; I Peter 1:3-5
About the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under His control daily.
II Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13; 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:12; 3:1
About the Bible
The Bible is God’s Word to all men. It was written by human authors under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Because it is inspired by God, it is truth without any mixture of error.
II Timothy 3:16; 1:13; II Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 119:105, 160; 12:6
We will continue to reach out to broken-world people in an effort to bring them to Christ! Luke 19:10
Word & Spirit Culture
We will uphold the authority of the Scriptures while pursuing the power of the Spirit! Matthew 22:29
Forgiveness & Freedom
We will expect those who are forgiven to walk in increasing freedom from bondage! Luke 4:18-19
We will equip our people and entrust them with opportunities to serve and lead. 1 Peter 4:10
We will lead people to live beyond themselves for greater kingdom impact! Matthew 28:19-20
We describe the life of a Christ-follower using E4: Encounter, Establish, Equip, and Engage. E4 is about transformation in the life of an individual, with the Church serving as a catalyst for such growth. It’s about being empowered to live a supernatural life.
Encountering Jesus in the fullness of His love and power
Supernatural encounter with Jesus Christ kindles life change in us.
Established in God’s Word and in loving relationships
The Bible grounds us in God’s truth. Relationships with God’s people ground us in love.
Equipped to share the words and do the works of Jesus
Proper training enables us to effectively share the words and do the works of Jesus.
Engaged to take God’s love and power to a needy world
The goal of God’s redemptive work in us is that we might be agents of redemption in our world, taking his love and power to the streets.
Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality
We believe that God wonderfully and immutably creates each person as male or female. These two distinct, complementary genders together reflect the image and nature of God. (Genesis 1:26–27) Rejection of one's biological sex is a rejection of the image of God within that person.
We believe that the term "marriage" has only one meaning: the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. (Genesis 2:18–25) We believe that God intends sexual intimacy to occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other. (1 Corinthians 6:18, 7:2–5; Hebrews 13:4) We believe that God has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of marriage between a man and a woman. We believe that marriage ceremonies are Christian worship services that celebrate the covenant made between a man and a woman before God.
We believe that any form of sexual immorality (including adultery, fornication, homosexual behavior, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, and use of pornography) is sinful and offensive to God. (Matthew 15:18–20; 1 Corinthians 6:9–10)
We believe that in order to preserve the function and integrity of Northwoods Community Church as the local Body of Christ, and to provide a biblical role model to the Northwoods Community Church members and the community, it is imperative that all persons employed by Northwoods Community Church in any capacity, or who serve as volunteers, agree to and abide by this Statement on Marriage, Gender, and Sexuality. (Matthew 5:16; Philippians 2:14–16; 1 Thessalonians 5:22)
We believe that God offers redemption and restoration to all who confess and forsake their sin, seeking His mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:19–21; Romans 10:9–10; 1 Corinthians 6:9–11)
We believe that every person must be afforded compassion, love, kindness, respect, and dignity. (Mark 12:28–31; Luke 6:31) Hateful and harassing behavior or attitudes directed toward any individual are to be repudiated and are not in accord with Scripture nor the doctrines of Northwoods Community Church.