The Sherwood Shores Chapel began in 1961 when the Lord laid on the heart of Rev. Kyle Thurman, Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Gainesville, TX a desire to establish a community church in the new Sherwood Shores development. Members of Rev. Thurman’s church were buying land in the new development for their homes and weekend fishing cabins, as were many others. Rev. Thurman met with the developer and discussed his vision of a church in the new lake development. The developer recognized the value of a community church and agreed to fund a barbecue dinner to determine if the people of Sherwood Shores were interested in starting a church. They advertised the event and sent invitations for the August 26, 1961 barbecue dinner, an estimated 750 people came for the dinner and to hear Rev. Thurman preach and to contribute to the building fund.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Easter Sunday, April 22, 1962 with 200 in attendance on lots donated by the developer. Four months later, on Sunday August 19, 1962 the dedication was held in the open-sided, A-shaped, bare concrete floor structure. During the dedication ceremony Rev. Thurman said, “We will dedicate this building to the Lord and if He wants it to prosper, it will.”
Rev. Thurman also spoke these words of dedication:
- Here may the needy find salvation and the careless be awaken.
- Here may the doubting find faith and the anxious be encouraged.
- Here may the tempted find help and the sorrowful be comforted.
- Here may the weary find rest and the strong be renewed.
- Here may the Lord be exalted and glorified and all who come be made conscious of His presence.
The open-sided building was not suitable for winter time worship. In the summer of 1963 the men of the new church enclosed the building, installed windows, doors and a gas heater. An electric organ and piano were donated to the church. In the early years, Rev. Thurman came faithfully each Sunday morning at 8:30 am to preach God’s Word at the Chapel and then return to Westminster Presbyterian Church in Gainesville to preach his congregation.
On Saturday, September 2, 1967, a special service was
held for the “burning
of the mortgage”. The brass bell, prominently displayed and rang on Sunday mornings, was donated to the Chapel in the mid 1960’s. In February 1971, plans were drawn for the addition of a fellowship hall with a kitchen, bathroom and space enough for a conference room, office and Sunday school room. In June the Thurman Fellowship Hall was dedicated.
Sherwood Shores Chapel was a nondenominational community church from its dedication in 1962 until September 1980 when the congregation voted to become associated with the Reformed Presbyterian Church Evangelical Synod (RPCES). In 1982, RPCES joined with the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). In October 1982, additional space was needed and a library, conference room, office and storage space was added.
On July 20, 1988, Rev, Kyle Thurman passed from this life to be with his Savior. In January 1989, Rev, Don Darling was installed as pastor. In August of 1993, Rev. David Farbishel was installed as Pastor. In December 1996, a new addition consisting of two new bathrooms, classroom and a pastor’s study were completed. In February 2002, Rev. Randy Pemberton was installed as pastor. In September 2006, Rev, David Frierson was installed as Pastor. In January 2018, the Chapel’s congregation voted to leave the PCA and become a nondenominational community church once again. In January 2018, Rev Timothy Hammons was installed as pastor but resigned in June 2018.
During the 56 years the Chapel has been in existence, its primary purpose has been: a) to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the community and the world; b) promote and support Christian principles of spiritual life and, c) provide a place of worship, study the Scriptures and fellowship among Christians.
Following the Chapel’s departure from the PCA, we are committed to no particular church doctrine. The primary authority of the Chapel’s doctrine is that the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is verbally inspired by God; inerrant in the original manuscript and is the full authority in faith and life. As a congregational church, the local congregation rules itself by election of its own leaders, both clergy and laity.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY!