On October 20, 1991, forty-two people met in the fire hall in Shenandoah, VA, being brought together by a common cause and a corporate burden. Thus, the Shenandoah Valley witnessed the birth of a new holiness church. By the following Sunday, a store front building had been rented on First Street and the new “Bible Holiness Church” had its first home. Although the building was small and extremely crowded, God began moving mightily in the services, souls were saved, and the congregation quickly outgrew the facilities.
As a result of God’s blessing and subsequent growth, the church began prayerfully searching for a new home. God led the congregation to purchase four acres on Summit Avenue in the neighboring town of Elkton with a building suitable for services after a few modifications. The first service at the new location was conducted on Sunday, May 2, 1993; and from the onset, the Spirit of God consecrated the new facility with an outpouring of His presence and power. Once again, BHC experienced revival. Souls were saved, and soon the congregation was pushing the limits of this new facility as well.
After a time of earnest prayer and sincere seeking, the congregation was led to a nearly nine acre plot across the street from the Summit Avenue location. The land was purchased and on Sunday, September 29, 1996, it was dedicated to God for the building of a new church. Ground was broken and construction soon began in earnest. After much blood, sweat, and tears the new facility was completed and ready for service on May 10, 1998.
In October of the same year, the church decided to commemorate the continued blessings of God upon it by hosting its first annual October Campmeeting. In the formative years of the meeting, the local VFW hall was rented for its food and fellowship aspects. Needless to say, this presented many logistical challenges, so BHC went back to God in prayer and in the spring of 2006, construction commenced on a new fellowship facility located on the church property. Once again, through the grace of the Almighty and the persistence of the faithful, the hall was completed and another chapter of BHC history brought to a close in time to use the facility at the October meeting of 2008.
On November 19, 2017, in response to the pastor’s “2020 Vision” of being debt free by the end of 2020, BHC celebrated Pastor Appreciation Day by taking pledges from the congregation to begin in January of 2018 with the goal of achieving the pastor’s vision. The congregation caught the vision to say the least. A visual presentation was arranged and with each resulting pledge the mortgage “pay off date” moved backward until it finally settled on July 22, 2019. By the grace of God and the giving of the congregation, BHC made the final mortgage payment on February 21, 2019, and has operated debt free ever since.
At the October meeting of 2018, God began dealing with the pastor and several others about starting a Christian school at the church which had been one of the top prayer requests of many parishioners for several years. In an amazing display of divine providence, the pieces began falling into place, and in November of the same year the church board authorized a planning committee to begin researching the possibility in earnest and by January 2019 Bible Holiness Christian Academy became an official goal of BHC. Throughout the next several months the planning committee transitioned into a steering committee and the plans were in place for an August startup. The school was met with stiff opposition from the enemy of our souls, but grace prevailed and once again God did “exceeding, abundantly above” all expectation. BHCA was blessed beyond measure with a home in the vacant Grove Hill elementary school building located in neighboring Page County where it continues to operate.
On January 25, 1975, Pastor Brent Gabbard was born to Rev. John & Ann Gabbard. An only child, he grew up as the pastor’s kid, serving wherever needed. Pastor Gabbard accepted the call to preach in 1992 at the age of 17. He preached his first sermon within two weeks, and his second sermon was during a Youth Service at a Campmeeting in Dayton, OH.
Pastor Gabbard married his sweetheart, Sis. Teresa Allen Gabbard, in 1994. The oldest of five children to Bro. Duane & Sis. Annie Allen, Sis. Gabbard is well acquainted with the ministry as her father is also a preacher. Pastor and Sis. Gabbard demonstrated an early concern for the future generation, serving as Youth Leaders and Adult Sunday School teacher in their home church in Bond, KY.
During this time, Pastor Gabbard started working as an electrician for Laurel Cookie Factory and worked his way up to Production Manager. After ten years of service, he accepted the call into full-time ministry in 2004. Since then he has evangelized and preached at multiple Youth Camps, Revivals, and Campmeetings all across the country. After 9 years of full-time ministry, 400,000+ miles, and nearly 2,700 church services to date, they graciously accepted the Pastorate of Bible Holiness Church (BHC). We are very grateful for their burden and desire to see our church flourish and win souls for the Kingdom.
In the years since, we have come to value the Gabbards’ commitment to the congregation at BHC. Pastor Gabbard continually demonstrates his passion for worship and his drive to reach each congregant with the power of the Gospel. Sis. Gabbard’s caring personality shines through in her concern for every member of the flock. The Gabbards have two daughters and are now experiencing the joys of grandparenthood, taking on the new titles of “Papa” and “Nana.”