ARLINGTON, TX?-How many churches have a swimming pool? Craig White, senior pastor of Fellowship of the Metroplex church, thought his church’s swimming pool would be perfect for the 33 baptisms scheduled for Sunday, June 1. As he witnessed 33 adults and children follow Jesus in baptism, he knew God was fulfilling the vision he had given to White years earlier.
Today, almost 1,000 attend Fellowship of the Metroplex weekly, meeting in what was once a teen rehabilitation center in Arlington. A few years ago, the church didn’t even exist. In 1996, White had a vision from God for evangelism and winning souls for Christ. The church started with a launch team of 20 people whom White knew personally.
The first church was housed in southeast Arlington in Bryant Elementary School and then moved on to Barrett Junior High after only two years because attendance was too high for the school. FOM finally outgrew this location as well, and during its fourth year as a church, it relocated once again to its current location?the former Willow Creek Hospital for teens.
FOM, a seeker-focused church in Arlington, is located on 31 acres of land and stands at 60,000 square feet with all-inclusive athletic fields, tennis court, gymnasium, swimming pool (used for family fun and a baptistry), and a fishing pond.
“We are going to continue being the church that meets the needs of people here in our community and in the Metroplex,” White said. FOM has sponsored many new church plants, with the pastor training and coaching church planters through a ministry he began. Known as the Metro Center for Church Planting with locations in Arlington, Austin, Galveston, Houston, and San Antonio, many of the planter candidates intern at Fellowship of the Metroplex. The majority of FOM’s 15 church plants are in Texas, with one in New York and another in Georgia.
This fellowship of believers is uniquely affiliated with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, faithfully giving to the Cooperative Program.
FOM’s motto is: “We’re the church that makes decisions based on what they (the lost people) need, not what we prefer.” White has built a strong church staff and raised leaders from the harvest, helping them become successful ministers of the Word. FOM uses marketing to effectively reach its target group and win souls for Christ.
As an important tool in ministering to the members of FOM, Life Groups (or home Bible studies) were formed and are currently required for members. “The life groups help disciple new believers and strengthen the spiritual walks of those who are long-time believers. Many people today are moving so fast in society that it is hard to slow down and make a commitment to grow spiritually,” said White.
Consistently growing, FOM is baptizing numerous people each month. The church recently began allowing fathers to baptize their own children as they rejoice in each child’s decision. We are following God’s Word specifically,” said White. “I tell the congregation here, ‘Do not join this church for what it can do for you, but what you can do for other people and for God.'”
FOM provides ministries that reach everyone from nursery to adult ages. Additional ministries include SAM (Single Adult Ministry), recreation and counseling services. The church also supports and houses Fellowship Academy, an academic venue for students from kindergarten through 7th grade.
“Fellowship of the Metroplex has experienced a revival in this area of the Metroplex,” said White. “This is the church meeting the needs of real people in a real world. We believe in a great commitment to the great commandment and the great commission will build a great church.”
The members and leaders of Fellowship of the Metroplex are amazed at what God is doing, and they are united and focused on each fresh experience they have to reach out to others. To sum it up, White said, “Reach out?this is what the church does?this is what we do.”