At Comstock Church of Christ we exist to
- To BUILD relationships with people in the community
- To SHARE the life-changing truth of Jesus Christ
- To ENCOURAGE each other as we follow God
Meet our Lead Minister
My mission in life is to serve as Jesus’ disciple and fulfill God’s purpose for my life. After years of serving in my local church, I went on my first mission trip to South Africa in 2008. While on that trip, I wrote the following statement in my journal: “For the first time in my life, I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be…doing exactly what it is that He created me to do.” It was then that I realized the nudge to go into full-time ministry. So, I enrolled in classes at Cornerstone University and received a B.S. in Ministry. Since then, God has called me to serve in South Africa, Haiti, Jamaica, North Carolina, and eventually back home to SW Michigan.
I grew up a country kid in SW Michigan with a love for basketball, Michigan State, and the farm. I met my wife Courtney in college and we actually got engaged two months after we met. That was in 1989!
We have three children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, a granddaughter, and a host of foreign exchange students that we call our children as well. They are from the Netherlands, South Africa, Brazil, and the far away country of Martin, Michigan.
Now-a-days, Courtney and I enjoy kayaking, the great outdoors, and spoiling our four-legged son Bentley.
In the early 1970’s, several families from the Oakland Drive Church of Christ decided that they wanted to plant a new church in Kalamazoo. With the help of NCCE (New Churches of Christ Evangelism), this current piece of land was purchased in April of 1973.
During the planning/construction phases of the project, families continued to worship on Sundays at Oakland Drive (as well as meeting in homes on Wednesday nights for Bible Study).
In August of 1973, Gene Beavers was called to become the first Lead Minister at CCoC.
The first actual service in this building took place on October 7th, 1973 (just six months after the land was purchased). The following year, they added a parsonage next door (which was later sold) and began our very first Faith Promise campaign.
Faith Promise is a unique way that we raise funds for the many different missions/ministries that we support. Most churches just take a percentage (usually 10%) of their budget and set it aside for missions. During our Faith Promise campaign, we ask our people to make a commitment (above their normal offering) that will be designated solely for the purpose of collaborating with our mission partners. This past year, our Faith Promise commitments totaled $41,340. Below is a list of the missions we currently support through Faith Promise:
- New Churches of Christ Evangelism (NCCE)
- Casa por Cristo
- Christ Mission to the Yucatan
- His House Christian Fellowship
- Outreach Jamaica
- Michiana Christian Camp
- Great Lakes Christian College
We also use 10% of our Faith Promise donations for local benevolence and invest some general fund donations to support the local Youth for Christ mission on East Main Street.
In 1985, the rest of this facility was added to accommodate for future growth and outreach. The location (and this building) has served our community well over the years. Currently, we have no outstanding debt and are able to keep up with the maintenance in a responsible manner. When we are finished, I will show you around the building so you can see how we have chosen to utilize each space to fulfill our mission/vision.
Senior Minister and Full Time Associate Minister History
1973-1996 Gene Beavers
1997-1999 Scott Burdick and Andy Deuitch
2000-2003 Scott Burdick
2004-2005 Scott Burdick and Robert Reed
2006-2012 Scott Burdick
2014 Todd Jones
2015-2019 Todd Jones and Eric Wilber
2020-2021 Todd Meert
WHAT WE BELIEVE
One of the slogans we hope to live by here at CCoC is:
“In essentials, we have unity. In non-essentials, we have liberty. In all things, we have love.”
This principle should allow us to come together in unity while allowing us to hold differing opinions, while maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Not every church sees the salvation our God offers us quite the same way. We think it is a good idea to share with those considering membership in our church family how we see it here. At Comstock Church of Christ, we believe that the forgiveness of sins and the salvation offered by Jesus Christ is a gift. Salvation is the gift of God, offered graciously to us because He loved us and gave his only Son to pay the penalty for sin on our behalf (John 3:16, 2 Cor 5:21, Rom 6:23). The Scriptures are clear that we are saved by grace through faith. It is not earned by our good works. We are saved for good works.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Eph 2:8-10
A gift must be received. How and when we receive that gift of salvation is sometimes understood differently by different groups. We believe the Scriptures give us clear direction on how to receive that gift. The first gospel message, preached on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2, answered the question “Brethren, what shall we do?”
“Therefore, let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. Now when they heard this they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” And Peter said to them, “Repent and let each of you be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” Acts 2:36-38
We understand the Scriptures to say that one must receive the gift by believing that Jesus is both Lord (Master) and Christ (Savior), by repenting (turning towards God), and by being baptized. The gift of forgiveness and God’s own Holy Spirit is received at that time. Peter is very clear that this promise is for us even today. Look at very next verse.
“For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God shall call to Himself.” Acts 2:39
He makes it clear that this promise is for the Jews hearing him speak, future Jews, Gentiles (far off, those who were not Jews – see Eph 2:11-13), as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself. It sure sounds like the promise is meant for us today, doesn’t it? Baptism identifies us with the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Rom 6:3-4), clothes us with Christ as we become sons of God through faith (Gal 3:26-27), and saves us as our appeal to God for a good conscience (1 Pet 3:21).
Baptism completes us in Christ:
“and in Him you have been made complete…. having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.” Col 2:10-12
So, we teach that we receive the gift of salvation:
FOR Good Works
Another way that we can break down this salvation offered to us is as follows:
- The condition: We are all sinners. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
- The result: Death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23)
- The solution: Jesus’ death on the cross. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Jesus came to bridge the Gap between a fallen world and God. John 14:6 says: 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
- The response: Receive the gift. A gift must be received. We believe that scripture gives us clear direction on how to receive this gift.
37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:37-38
- The assurance: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
- What’s next? We must bear fruit and continue to grow in our faith.
Colossians 1:10 says: 10 Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.
Please feel free to discuss this matter with us. We would love to help you see how we understand receiving this wonderful gift of God.
Why should I be baptized?
- To follow the example set forth by Jesus.
Mark 1:9 says: At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
- Because Christ commanded it.
Matthew 28:19 says: Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[a] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
- It demonstrates that I really am a believer.
Acts 18:8 says: Crispus, the synagogue leader, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard Paul believed and were baptized.
What is the meaning of baptism?
- It illustrates Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. Therefore, identifying me with him.
Colossians 2:12 says: For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.
- It illustrates my new life as a Christian.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says: This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! Why should I be baptized by immersion?
- Because Jesus was baptized that way. Matthew 3:16 says: As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water.
- The word baptize means “to dip in water”. The Greek word means “to immerse under water”.
Who should be baptized?
- Every person who has believed in Christ.
Acts 2:41 says: Those who accepted his message were baptized.
- At CCoC, we wait until our children are old enough to believe and understand the true meaning of baptism.
- At CCoC, it is a membership requirement that every member must be baptized in the manner that Christ demonstrated.
What is the Lord’s Supper?
- We believe that it is a memorial reminder, a symbol, and a proclamation.
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 says: 23 For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you.[a] Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.” 26 For every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are announcing the Lord’s death until he comes again.
Since we partake in communion each week, how should I prepare myself for communion?
- By self-examination and reflection.
1 Corinthians 11:27-28 says: 27 So anyone who eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord unworthily is guilty of sinning against[a] the body and blood of the Lord. 28 That is why you should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking the cup.
God is the creator of the universe. He has eternally existed in three personalities: the father, the son, & the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equals.
Genesis 1:1,26,27; 3:22; Psalm 90:2; Matthew 28:19; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Corinthians 13:14
Jesus is the son of God. He lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people by dying on the cross. He arose from the dead after three days to demonstrate his power over sin and death. He ascended into heaven and will return again someday to earth to reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Matthew 1:22,23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5,14:10; Hebrews 4:14,15; 1 Corinthians 15:3,4; Romans 1:3-4; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with God and Jesus. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth, and guidance in doing what is right. He gives every believer a spiritual gift when they are saved. As Christians, we seek to live under the control of the Holy Spirit daily.
2 Corinthians 3:17, John 16:7-13, 14:16-17; Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:18
The Bible is God’s word to us. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is the supreme source of truth for Christian beliefs and living. Since it is inspired by God, it is the truth without any error.
2 Timothy 1:13, 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Psalm 119:105, 160, 12:6; Proverbs 30:5
People are made in the spiritual image of God, to be like him in character. People are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although every person has extreme potential for good, all of us are marred by an attitude of disobedience toward God called “sin”. This attitude separates people from God and causes many problems in life.
Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:34; Isaiah 3:6; Romans 3:23; Isaiah 9:1,2
People were created to exist forever. We will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or eternally exist with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is Hell. To be eternally in union with God is eternal life. Heaven and Hell are real places of eternal existence.
John 3:16, 14:17; Romans 6:23, 8:17-18; Revelation 20:15; 1 Corinthians 2:7-9
The structure of the church should not be determined by culture, business practices, or even denominational traditions. The nature of the church determines it structure.
- The church is fellowship.
- The church is family.
- The church is a body.
- The church is a flock.
At CCoC we recognize the need for formal membership for the following reasons:
- A biblical reason: Christ is committed to the church.
- A societal reason: It is an antidote to our culture.
- A practical reason: It defines who can be counted on.
- A personal reason: It produces spiritual growth.
No two churches are the same, just like no two families are the same. Church membership helps you to learn more about our church family. Church membership as outlined in our bylaws is intended to protect and unify our congregation. Our bylaws specify what is required to become a member of our congregation.
The bylaws membership requirements are:
- Have received forgiveness of sins – This is received by faith in Christ, repentance from sin, confession of Christ, and baptism. (Acts 2:38)
- Make a public confession of faith – This is stating our belief of Matthew 16:16 that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
- Make a statement of intent to serve – This is stating the intent to live by our membership covenant.
The membership covenant
Having received Christ as my Lord and Savior and been baptized, and being in agreement with Comstock’s statement, strategy, and structure, I now feel led by the Holy Spirit to unite with the Comstock church family. In doing so I commit myself to God and to the other members to do the following:
- I will protect the unity of my church.
*By acting in love toward other members.
*By refusing to gossip.
*By following the leaders.
- I will share the responsibility of my church.
*By praying for its growth.
*By inviting the unchurched to attend.
*By warmly welcoming those who visit.
- I will serve the ministry of my church.
*By discovering my gifts and talents.
*By being equipped to serve, by my teachers and pastors. *By developing a servant’s heart.
- I will support the testimony of my church.
*By attending faithfully.
*By living a godly life.
*By giving regularly.
Those who have made these commitments and are living out these principles faithfully are eligible to vote in congregational meetings.
If you are attending here, but have not yet become a member – we appreciate having you worship with us at Comstock. We love our church family and are glad you have chosen to be part of it. We hope that you would consider becoming a member of our congregation.