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church history

For more than 42 years, Bible Way Fellowship Baptist Church (BWFBC) has been under the faithful leadership of
Dr. Ivory L. Varner.  At BWFBC, the Body of Christ continuously is taught to live their lives according to the divine principles taught in the Word of God—the Holy Bible.

Our story began in December 1979, when a young and spirit-filled Reverend Ivory L. Varner set out to organize a bible teaching, bible believing church founded on love and fellowship.  The church was originally named
Bible Way Baptist Church with “Fellowship” subsequently included in its name.

On Sunday, December 2, 1979, the church held its first service in the modular home of Pastor Varner and his wife,
Mary Polk-Varner, in Dickinson, Texas.  In addition to Pastor Varner, Sister Varner and their two children,
Catina and Ivory Lemont, the following founding members also were in attendance:  The late Genevieve Turner; the late Jean Anderson; Mary Perryman; Mary Pitts; Helen Smith; Donna Smith; Melvin (Mann) Smith III; Eura Charles, and  Yolanda Stepney.  Gladys Moses was the first member to join our fellowship that month. 

Our membership grew, and on the first Sunday in January 1980, our church services moved from the living room of the Varner’s home to McWhirter Elementary School in Webster, Texas.  Henry Moses was the first male to join our church.  Melvin Smith became the second male to join BWFBC, and he became our first Deacon. 

For several years, BWFBC church services were held at schools, community centers, recreation centers, a Jr. Achievement Building, and hotels.  In 1994, we purchased our own property at 9000 Frey Road, Houston, Texas, which became the first church home for BWFBC.

BWFBC grew rapidly, and Pastor Varner was hired on a fulltime basis.  Reverend Alton Ivory was hired as Assistant Pastor to carry out the work of the ministry.  

In the years since the vision of BWFBC came into fruition, the Reverend Ivory L. Varner became Dr. Ivory L. Varner.  God has blessed BWFBC with the resources to plant several churches, to expand its role in conducting outreach within the community it serves, and to conduct mission work abroad in Kazakhstan, Costa Rica, Taiwan, Honduras, Ethiopia,
and Israel. 

In 2001, BWFBC acquired its current Worship and Ministry Center at 10120 Hartsook Road, Houston, Texas. 
The Ministry Center is dedicated in honor of the late Dr. Ronald E. McNair, NASA Astronaut. 

God has uniquely blessed our church with the awesome vision of “Oneness”.  We have coined the phrase “One Church, One Sound, One Powerful Movement.”  That is God’s desire for His Church. Philippians 2:2 says, “make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.”   We believe that when we become “One” with God, we will have “Power” from the Holy Spirit and experience “Movement” of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The charge to grow God’s people from “spiritual infancy” to “spiritual maturity” has been a priority for the Leadership of BWFBC.  We are committed to “making disciples of Christ” according to God’s plan.