A Brief History of Wayside
During the spring and summer of 1968 a group of people who had been concerned about some trends in evangelical churches decided to start seeking a new place of worship. At approximately the same time Rev. James Shaw felt the Lord calling him to start a new church in the Mercer/Grove City area. They acquired an empty building on the corner of Lee Road and Mercer Grove City Road which had previously been used by the Wayside Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church. The newly formed church was named the Wayside Church of the Bible Covenant and Rev. James Shaw became the pastor.
At the end of 1970 Rev. and Mrs. James Shaw felt God calling them to serve as missionaries in Honduras. The congregation extended a call to James’ brother, Rev. Kenton Shaw. After much prayer and fasting Rev. & Mrs. Kenton Shaw moved from Indiana where he was in Bible College in order to assume pastoral duties .
Within two years the building was no longer large enough to accommodate the congregation. Property was purchased from Mr. & Mrs. Bud Henry at the present location and the building project began in September of 1972. The church building was completed in May of 1973. They hired a general contractor with his helper, but the majority of the labor was volunteer labor by the members of the congregation. In 2008 the interior of the sanctuary was remodeled to its present design.
The facilities were expanded in 1989 with the addition of a separate fellowship hall and multi-purpose building. Then, in the mid-1990’s the parking lot was paved to provide comfortable parking for members and visitors.
In the spring of 1986 the church leaders and members voted to disassociate with the Church of the Bible Covenant denomination . After official procedures were completed for disassociation, the church continued for several years as Wayside Community Church. In the spring of 2009 the congregation voted to formally affiliate with the International Fellowship of Bible Churches. The structure of the IFBC allows the local churches to remain autonomous in governance, which suits the desires and purposes of Wayside Community Church.
Wayside Church pastors from 1968 – present include the following: James Shaw, Kenton Shaw, Allen Patterson, Gary Sansom (interim) and Lester Rowan. Pastor Les retired in 2021, and we are now seeking a pastor to lead us into the future.
To God be the glory for all that has been accomplished for the Kingdom of God through the ministry of Wayside Community Church.