A Brief History of CrossRoads

In July of 1998, founding Pastor Ron Bowell and his wife Kerry moved to Salina to start a new church named CrossRoads. The grand opening of this “Church with a Difference” was on Easter Sunday, 1999. In 2001, CrossRoads purchased the largest night club in Salina and remodeled it into a facility for worship and teaching. Pastor Ron faithfully led the church for 22 years, and in August 2020 he was called to the position of Bishop of the Midwest Regional Conference of the Brethren in Christ. Having a heart for raising leaders, Pastor Ron began mentoring current Pastor Jesse Smith in 2015.

After growing up “going to church”, Pastor Jesse and his wife Kimmi lived worldly lives through their mid-20s. Jesse had a serious motorcycle accident in the Spring of 2004, which led them to question the direction their lives were headed. They first attended CrossRoads Church in the Fall of 2004 after moving home to Salina. They have been faithful attendees since 2006 and became members of the church in 2012. They led the Youth Group for three years, and Jesse felt a call to formal ministry in 2014. He left his corporate job in the spring of 2017 to enter ministry and was called by CrossRoads Church to become the next Pastor in the Spring of 2020.

Since opening, CrossRoads has been nicknamed the “Rehab Church” by many in the city, since a high percentage of our people have been (or are currently) struggling with addiction issues. CrossRoads Church is dedicated to helping people at the crossroads of life to find and follow the Way, the Truth, and the Life. CrossRoads is open to anyone who is looking for the missing piece of the puzzle in life. We are not a church like you remember as a kid. Worship services at CrossRoads are laid back, informal, contemporary, and they rock. We are a “Church with a Difference”. Come visit us each Sunday at 10:00am.

When we arrived in Salina, there were already a bunch of good churches reaching out to Christians. Our thought was, “God didn′t send us to Salina to start a church like the others that are already here, so why not start a church for the un-churched and the de-churched? Why not start a church that makes it a priority to reach people who have never gone to church or people who went to church as kids, but dropped out when they left home?” One of the largest groups fitting this description are the Baby Boomers. Most of them started out going to church, but dropped out in droves as they graduated from high school and went to college. So we felt led to make baby boomers and their children our main target group.
The purpose of the CrossRoads Church is “helping those at the crossroads of life to find and follow the way, the truth, and the life.” Our chief goal is to find those people who are at a crossroads in their lives… people who know they have some choices to make. We want to encourage them to take the right road, the Jesus road, and to be changed by learning to follow Jesus. Everything we do as a church flows out of this purpose.
The gospel has never changed and never will change. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son and whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. But throughout history, the package that the gospel gift comes in has changed. The CrossRoads Radio Show, heard Sunday mornings on two secular rock stations in town, is a part of the package. Our informality is a part of the package. Our music style is a part of the package. Our building is a part of the package. Our service format is a part of the package. Packaging makes a difference and can be helpful as long as one does not sacrifice truth in the process of packaging.
A large percentage of the people God has called to be part of CrossRoads Church have a history of addiction, or are acquainted with someone who is addicted. So much so that some in the Salina religious community began to refer to CrossRoads as “The Rehab Church”. This makes sense when you remember that we targeted Baby Boomers, who were the generation of sex, drugs, and rock roll… and their children who have become addicted in even larger percentages.

What We Believe

The CrossRoads Church is a ministry of the Brethren in Christ Church. (http://bic-church.org)  Like all groups of churches, ours has some distinguishing characteristics.  We believe that God calls believers to a unique path in comparison with the rest of the world. Becoming and being a Christian involves a struggle over coming to terms with the claims of Jesus.  When we decide to let the Lord win, the Spirit can finally bring peace to our lives.  Jesus then helps us to redefine our lifestyle and our loyalties as we follow him.  We also, believe that God desires to touch our whole being with a felt love.  Jesus teaches us what this love is all about.  Becoming and being a Christian involves a relationship with Jesus in which we experience and express the presence of God′s Spirit in us.  Another of our beliefs is that God wants our whole life to be under His influence.  Jesus asks us to completely surrender our actions and our attitudes to Him.  Becoming and being a Christian includes answering God’s invitation to become as much like Jesus as possible as we are filled up with the Spirit of God.  And we believe God wants believers to be agents of change in our world through prayer, obedience, and service.  Jesus wants us to Celebrate life and affect our society through active involvement in our community.  Becoming and being a Christian brings with it a desire to see people, families, and society transformed by God′s spirit.

Basic Doctrine and Beliefs

  • There is one God, revealed in three distinct persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  These persons are uncreated, eternal, and equal in power and glory.
  • Jesus Christ, the Son, was fully God and fully human.  He was born of a virgin, lived, died as a sacrifice for our sin, and rose from the dead.
  • Humanity has been crippled by sin and can only be forgiven by grace through faith in Jesus Christ — his sacrificial death on the cross, and glorious resurrection.
  • The Bible is God’s authoritative word and is worthy of our trust.