Our church was formed by a small group of residents from Chesapeake. Most of the beginning congregation attended Tabernacle Church of Norfolk, a church started by John Dunlap. They had their first meeting during Tab's Sunday School hour on Easter, 1979. They continued meeting until Summer, and were joined by a few families from the Virginia Beach Community Chapel. In May 1979 the church met officially in Chesapeake, for the first time, at the home of Paul and Bobbie Hardesty. John Dunlap served as the original pastor and Pastor Garrick filled in when needed.
After five months the fellowship had outgrown the Hardesty home with 55 attending regularly. They met for a brief time at Tidewater Community College and then used the facilities at the Twiford Funeral Home in Great Bridge, free of charge. Tom and Mabel Kenny (Pastor at Peninsula Community Chapel) took time off from seminary during those early, crucial months. Tom and Mabel organized the children's ministry and developed a Sunday evening Small Group program. They started neighborhood visitation that resulted in 250 homes being contacted and supervised the neighborhood ACTION Clubs providing continuity to the whole venture.
Gene Garrick, of Tab Church sent an introductory letter to all the friends of Tabernacle Church and extended ministries which explained the philosophy of ministry for the beginning of this new church with three distinctives:
- Encouraging personal growth in individuals by teaching God's word and emphasizing those basic Scriptural truths that unite and strengthen all Christians
- Exhibiting a genuine caring community of people who are committed to the Lord and to one another.
- Extending the message of Christ's love and salvation locally and worldwide.
Former pastors include John Wenzel (1980-1996), and Scott Hill (1996-2015)