We exist to CONNECT people with God, GROW them closer to Him and SERVE God and others.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him,

strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness

Colossians 2:6-7

OUr values

  • Biblical teaching

    For the Word of God is active and alive. Sharper than an double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

    We value teaching the Bible so much we put it in our name, Oak Lawn Bible Church. We believe the Scripture ought to permeate and direct everything we do as a church. In his Word, God has revealed himself and his work in the world. Through knowing the Scriptures, we know God, who he has made us to be and what he has made us for. 

    As a church, we seek to demonstrate this value by teaching God's Word in our worship services, our Sunday school classes, our children's and student ministries, and our small groups. 

  • Worship

    All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Psalm 86:9-10

    We value biblical, Christ-centered worship. We believe worship flows from an understanding of who God is and what he has done in Jesus Christ. Worship is the response God wants from us. Among the ways we worship are: through our singing, through our engagement with the reading and preaching of God's Word, through prayer, and through celebration of baptism and the Lord's Supper. We seek to foster a habit of worship in our weekly worship services and prayer meetings.

  • Biblical Community

    And let us consider how we may spur one another on

    toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24

    We value the community of Christ-followers, the church. We believe that we best grow spiritually when we are regularly and intentionally engaged with other Christians (Hebrews 10:24-25). We want to grow together in our relationship with Jesus. We seek to accomplish this through our small groups, our fellowships, and our worship services. 

  • Spiritual Formation

    Go and make disciples of all nations! Matthew 28:19a

    We value the process of spiritual formation. We believe that we are called to make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). This involves introducing people to Jesus Christ, but continues with leading people to become fully devoted followers of Christ. We believe mature believers have the responsibility to invest in the growth of new or immature believers. We seek to do this in our small groups, Bible studies, and individual discipleship. 

  • Compassion

    Through love serve one another. Galatians 5:13b

    We value people and love them because God loves them. We believe we are called to show compassion to those around us who need our care, as well as share the good news of Jesus with those who have not heard it. We seek to serve in three spheres: (1) within our church body; (2) in our local community; and (3) by being involved in God's work around the world. 

What WE Believe

As members of Oak Lawn Bible Church, we ascribe to certain doctrinal essentials which serve as our foundation in seeking abundant life in Jesus Christ.

God and Truth We believe that God is the Creator of the heavens, earth, and man, and the source of absolute truth and justice. (Genesis1:1, 26-29; Psalm 139:13-16; Exodus 20:1-7; I John 4:8-9; Galatians 5:22-23; Romans 1:19-20; Proverbs 1:7; John 1:14, John 14:6)
The Inspiration of the Bible We believe that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”. The Bible is God’s Word to us, written by human authors under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (II Timothy 3:16-17; II Peter 1:21; I Corinthians 2:13; Mark 12:26, 36; 13:11: Acts 1:16; Acts 2:4; II Samuel 23:1-2)
The Trinity We believe that God eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Mark 12:29; John 1:1-4; Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 5:3-4; II Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 1:1-3; Revelation 1:4-6)
The Fall of Man We believe in the literal interpretation of the Genesis account concerning the fall of man. Although man was created in God’s image, that image was marred when man sinned against God in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 1:26; 2:17; 3:1-24; John 5:40; 6:53; Ephesians 2:1-3; I Timothy 5:6; I John 3:8)
The Total Depravity of Man The entire human race faces the consequence of sin - spiritual death - because of the sin that has passed down from generation to generation beginning with Adam’s first sin. (Genesis 6:5; Psalm 14:1-3; 51:5; Jeremiah 17:9; John 3:6; Romans 5:12-19, Romans 8:6-7)
The Necessity of the New Birth We believe that, because of sin and its consequence (spiritual death) one must be born again to enter into the forgiveness of God that brings forgiveness of sin and the new life that comes through salvation. (Isaiah 64:6; John 3:3-7, Galatians 6:15; Philippians 3:4-9; Titus 3:5; James 1:18; I Peter 1:23; II Peter 2:4)
The Provision for our Redemption We believe that our redemption (the purchase of our forgiveness by the blood of Jesus Christ) has been accomplished solely by the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. He was made to be sin, and made a curse for us, dying in our place as our substitute; thus paying the penalty for our guilt. (Leviticus 17:11; Matthew 26:28; Romans 5:6-9; II Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians1:7; I Peter 1:18, 19)
Salvation by Grace through Faith We believe that salvation is received by faith alone. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God's offer of forgiveness from sin's penalty can one be saved. Salvation is God's free gift of grace to us, but we must accept it. (John 5:24; 17:23; Acts 13:39; Romans 5:1; I Corinthians 15: 1-4; Ephesians 2: 4-6,13; I John 4:17; 5:11,12)
The Assurance of Salvation We believe that it is the privilege, not only of some, but of all who are born again by the Spirit through faith in Christ as revealed in the Scriptures, to be assured of their salvation from the very day they take Him to be their Savior until they appear before God in glory. (Luke 10:20, 12:32; John 6:47; 10:28-30; Romans 8:33-39; II Corinthians 5:1,6-8; II Timothy 1:12, I John 5:13)
Christ the Theme of the Bible We believe that all the Scriptures- from first to last- are about our Lord Jesus Christ; that the Scriptures describe His person and work, His first and second coming and that all the Scriptures, including every chapter of the Old and New Testaments, were designated for our practical instruction. (Luke 24:27,44; John 5:39; Acts 17:2,3; 18:28; 26:22,23; 28:23; Romans 15:4; I Corinthians 10:11)
The Person and Ministry of the Holy Spirit We believe that the Holy Spirit is present in the world to make men aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He lives in every Christian as the Comforter, from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. (John 7:38,39; 14:16,17; 15:26; 16:13, 14; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9, Philippians 3:3)
The Church, the Body of Christ We believe that the Church, the Body and Bride of Christ, is composed of all who are born again and united by the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:32-47; Romans 12:5; I Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 1:20-23; 4:3-10; Colossians 3:14, 15)
The Local Church We believe that the establishment and continuance of local churches is clearly taught and defined in the New Testament Scriptures; that such churches are to be autonomous and accountable to God. We believe that commitment to Christ in faith is to be accompanied by publicly identifying with Christ through baptism by immersion. (Acts 2:41,42; 13:1-4; 20:17; 28-32; I Timothy 3:1-3; Titus 1: 5-11, Romans 16: 1,4; I Peter 5:1-4; Matthew 28:19,20; I Corinthians 11:23-26)
The Importance of Living for God We believe that we are called with a holy calling to walk, not after the fleshly nature, but after the Spirit, and so live in the Spirit that we shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. (Romans 8:12,13; 13:14; Galatians 5;16-25; Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:1-10;I Peter 1:14-16; I John 3:5-9)
Marriage and Morals We believe that marriage is a divinely instituted unconditional covenant between one man and one woman. We oppose homosexuality, adultery, all fornication, and unscriptural divorce. (Genesis 2:18-24; Malachi 2: 14-16; Matthew 19: 6-9; Hebrews 13:4; I Corinthians 6:18; 7:2, 10-16,39; Romans 1:24-29; Exodus 20:14,17)
The Eternal State The Scriptures teach that Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence. We believe that the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation will exist eternally with God in Heaven, enjoying everlasting blessedness.   The 'unsaved' will exist eternally separated from God, experiencing conscious punishment in Hell. (Luke 16:19-26; 23:43; II Corinthians 5:8, Philippians 1:23; II Thessalonians 1: 7-9; Jude 6,7; Revelation 20:11-15)
The Second Coming of Christ We believe in the "blessed hope": the personal, pretribulation return of the Lord Jesus Christ. His return has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer. While we hold to a Pretribulational view of the rapture, we will not separate fellowship over the timing of Christ’s return. (Luke 12:35-40; 17:26-30; 18:8; Acts 15:14-17; II Thessalonians 2:3-8; II Timothy 3:1-5; Titus 2:11-15, I Thessalonians 4:13-18) 

Our History

In 1926 a Sunday School was started in the home of Max Conrad at 9414 S 54th Avenue, in Oak Lawn. The Sunday School continued to meet at the Conrad home until 1929 when it outgrew the home. In the fall of 1929, the Sunday School was moved to a store front at 5137 West 95th Street. Within a few months, this ministry adopted “The Mission” for its name. Attendance grew to 85 and the facility was no longer adequate. In the Spring of 1934, under the acting pastoral leadership of Mr. Walter Bach, the Mission became a branch of the Cicero Bible Church. One year later, on May 6, 1935, the Church organized and became Oak Lawn Bible Church with a charter membership of twenty-one persons. On May 13, 1935, the Church became a member of the Independent Fundamental Churches of America.  Later, on September 22, 1935, Mr. Bach was ordained to the ministry of our Lord and became the first Pastor called by Oak Lawn Bible Church. After much prayer, the Executive Board decided to take steps towards building a new church to accommodate its growing work.

As it was the time of the Great Depression and many men were unemployed, building a church seemed like a total impossibility. Mr. C. Peters, a California resident, upon hearing the need of the church, donated 75 feet of land, or three lots, on 54th Avenue. But there were back taxes and assessments due on the property amounting to $500. A building committee was appointed by Pastor Bach and the committee decided to pass out banks to the congregation as a reminder to pray for the need to pay the taxes and assessments and to give as they were enabled by God. The banks were passed out on May 22, 1935 and were to be returned on September 29th. When the banks were returned, prayer had been answered and the tax expenses and assessments were met with $40 to spare. The $40 became the seed for the building fund.

In the summer of 1936, the Church began its first building program. Ground for the new church building was broken on March 31, 1936. One brother offered to dig the foundation, then supplied all the sand and stone, while another friend supplied all the cement. On June 5, the foundation was finished and ready for brick. The brick and some of the lumber came from buildings that had been torn down. The flag stone and rocks that make up the designs in the brick work came from the creek that ran along the church property and the canal banks which are no longer visible. The steel beams which support the floor of the original building were donated by a junk man who happened to stop by to see what the men were constructing. The brick was laid by who ever could give of their time during the day. The volunteers worked diligently all summer.

On June 14, 1936, the cornerstone, with the words of John 3:16 carved into it, was laid in place. A metal box containing a Bible, the doctrinal statement of the church, pictures and other articles were sealed into the wall. At this time, Mr. Carl Krout and his family came from the Cicero Bible Church and put in many hours of labor in finishing the building.

On Sunday, November 8, 1936, the Sunday School members marched from the old meeting place at 5137 W. 95th Street, down 95th Street to the new building and the new church building was officially dedicated to the Lord’s service and the first service was held.

Continued outreach 1953-1976. As the work and ministries grew, so did the congregation. On September 9, 1953, the members approved the action of the Official Board to erect an educational addition to the building. Ground was broken for the addition on Sunday, May 9, 1954. The wing was constructed across the back of the church and was completed and dedicated on November 11, 1956. At this time, the sanctuary platform was also remodeled and the baptistry was installed.

At this time, local public schools were experiencing a "student boom" and kindergarten classes were being withheld to accommodate primary grade students. In 1957, the congregation gave approval to being a Christian Kindergarten under the direction of Mrs. Virginia Hovey who had been a public school teacher. Many area children attended and the kindergarten grew to four classes with four teachers. The school continued until 1977.

In 1976, the sanctuary was again remodeled and updated under the leadership of Pastor Curtis Loux and Mr. Royal Stephenson, chairman of the Building Committee. Shortly after these improvements, a ravaging flood of 7 feet of water completely destroyed the church basement. Walls, windows, classrooms, offices and the kitchen all had to be rebuilt. Many church records were also lost at this time. God supplied the necessary funds and labor to complete repairs and renovations with the year.

In 1980, due to new growth and with an average of 255 in attendance on Sunday mornings, a two service schedule was implemented. The Church Growth Services Organization was hired, under the direction of Pastor Daniel Lupton, to develop a plan for better use of the church facilities. Many changes were recommended, including the proposal of a new church site and building. A New Site Committee, led by Jacob Kats, Jr., began searching for a 4-5 acre piece of ground for a new church building. No progress was made, however, due to the high cost of property and interest rates at that time. After many meetings and much prayer, the decision was made to stay on the original church land and expand.

A New Construction Committee was appointed with Harry (Pete) Kats as Chairman. There had been a home purchased just north of the church a few years early which was used as the Youth Pastor's residence. It was decided that this home would be torn down to make room for a new addition.

Blueprints for a new sanctuary with a fellowship hall in the basement were drawn up by the Church Growth Services firm. The 'working out of God's plan' for this addition took six years. Finally, in March of 1986 ground was broken and construction began on the new 400 seat sanctuary. The cornerstone was laid on November 9, 1986 and the building was completed and dedicated on April 5, 1987. A mortgage had been secured in the amount of $625,000 in 1986. On February 1, 2001, the mortgage was paid in full, 17 months before it was due.

The Senior Pastors of the church have been- Rev. Bach, who served until 1961, Rev. Everett Hovey, who was installed as Youth Director in 1955 and called as Pastor in 1961, Rev. Curtis Loux, who served from March of 1964 to January 1978, Rev. Daniel Lupton, who served from March 1978 until August of 1989. In November of 1989, Rev. Chris Ranley was called and served until November of 1993. Pastor Robert Wheeler was called to Oak Lawn Bible Church in July of 1994 and currently still serves as Senior Pastor.

Faithful to God’s Word and the Great Commission, OLBC supports over half a dozen missionaries worldwide, even as it continues locally in worship, nurture and evangelism.

To watch a video about our 75th Anniversary, click on the photo at right.