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Humble Beginnings

In July, 1978, at the home of Jim and Pat Vorhis, on Shady Oaks in Southlake, a Bible study was formed from people who had moved from the Irving area and who had attended Irving Bible Church. Under the direction and faith vision of Mr. Bob Kaumeyer, the church moved to a rented small frame church in Keller, Texas. The first services were held there on January 29, 1979. On May 7, 1979, Word of Life Bible Church was legally incorporated as a church dedicated to the purposes of “proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ in and around Dallas and Tarrant Counties, Texas, and to the very ends of the earth; and to encourage Christians in the living of their faith by example, teaching and exhortation.”

A Year of Many Firsts

On June 16-20, 1979, Word of Life held its first Vacation Bible School under the direction of Mrs. Jana Kaumeyer with forty children attending.

In the fall of 1979, the church called Mr. Tim Matsick, who served as pastor until March, 1981. On July 15, 1980, Mr. Bill Peck, Mr. Verney Sallee and Mr. Jim Vorhis were elected as the church’s first Board of Elders. Others who have served as elders are: Mr. Joe Stilwell and Mr. Bruce Boettcher. Deacons were Mr. Jerry Bone and Mr. Craig Kelly. Mr. Bone became the church treasurer and served in that capacity for decades.

Mr. Roger Williams, a student at Dallas Theological Seminary, acted as interim pastor until his graduation. Struggling without a full-time pastor, the church was faithfully ministered to by Mr. Mike Paulson, who, with his wife, Rachel, was later sent out by the church as a member of the Overseas Christian Servicemen’s Center in Panama.


In February, 1982, Mr. Burge Troxel, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, was called as pastor. With creativity and boldness, many programs were initiated. The second vacation Bible School, under the direction of Mrs. Evelyn Bone, was held with sixty children in attendance.

A Church Building and a New Name

After much prayer and thought, the Board of Elders requested Mr. David Lee to draw up the architectural design of a new church building. Under the chairmanships of Mr. Craig Kelly, Mr. Bud Wetzel, and Mr. Andy Sims, the new Countryside Bible Church was constructed on a three-acre site at 1325 North White Chapel Road, Southlake, Texas, two acres of which were donated by Mr. and Mrs. Bill Peck. The church building consisted of two older buildings and the men of the church did much of the physical labor of merging the two buildings as well as roofing, painting, etc. The church members “caravanned” to the new site with all its worldly possessions as a church body (e.g., hymnbooks, chairs, tables, pulpit, library books, Sunday school teaching materials, kitchen utensils, etc.). That was a happy day since there was now a building that was more efficient for holding worship services and having more space for classrooms. Pew furniture was purchased from a church in Fort Worth, which was an improvement from the folding chairs that were being used.

On April 1, 1984, the new facility was dedicated to the service and glory of Jesus Christ.

At the time of the move to the new location, the name of the church was officially changed to Countryside Bible Church. A poll was taken from the congregation at large to suggest names. Countryside Bible Church was voted as the new name, which seemed to be descriptive of the Southlake area. Approximately forty families comprised the body at this time. The elders were Mr. Dave Benware, Mr. Jim Reeves, and Mr. Verney Sallee.

Mr. Burge Troxel resigned as pastor in 1986 and Mr. Tom Watson, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary, who was serving at the time as an Associate Pastor became the next full-time pastor in October, 1986.

In 1987, an individual agreed to trade eight acres of land, upon which our present facilities were built, for the land and buildings at 1325 White Chapel. In addition, there was an anonymous donor who agreed to match all monies the congregation donated over the next two years. At that time, the congregation agreed to begin a building fund and build as the funds became available.

Leadership Additions & Transitions

In January, 1988, Mr. Ritch Boerckel became the first full-time Youth Pastor and in June, 1990, Mr. Mike Richhart became Pastor of Education and Administration and Mr. John Salvesen became Associate Pastor.


New Location and New Buildings

In December, 1990, the church moved from 1325 White Chapel to the present facilities, at 250 Countryside Court. During the next ten years, three other buildings were added; a youth building, a building in which adult and children’s classes were held, and a fellowship hall and kitchen.

Leadership Additions & Transitions

In 1994, Mr. Rocky Wyatt became the Youth Pastor and served in that position for 10 years. Mr. Mike Dunn, a member of Countryside, became full-time Administrator and served in that capacity until 2002.


Leadership Additions & Transitions

Mr. Seth Bigelow was called as the first full-time Choir Director in October, 2001 and serves until the present. In 2001, the church began a pastoral internship program. Multiple men have served in that capacity to date.

In August, 2002, Tom Watson resigned as pastor of Countryside Bible Church, along with elders Jim Dyer and Dan McGrew. During the following year the pulpit was filled by guest speakers, among them being Mr. Don Whitney, Mr. Neil Ashcraft, Dr. Stanley Toussaint, Dr. Richard Mayhue, Dr. Mark Bailey, and others.

A New Elder Board

During this time of transition the congregation affirmed the giftedness and qualifications of a new Elder board, many of whom continue to serve on the current board. The new board was comprised of Jackie Stanford, Bryan Chandler, Dwight Custis, and Rocky Wyatt. As the board expanded, Daryl Bennett, Tom Beswick, Gerry Amack and Charlie Yates were added.

A New Senior Pastor

In August, 2003, Tom Pennington, Executive Pastor of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA. became the full-time Senior Pastor of Countryside Bible Church and in 2004, Youth Pastor Rocky Wyatt became the Associate Pastor with Jonathan Anderson as his replacement. In October, 2004, Jeff Scarborough became the church’s Administrator. In June, 2006, a new position of Family Pastor was filled by Adam Bailie until the following year when he was called as a full-time senior pastor in California. Jonathan Anderson moved into the position of Family Pastor and Justin Turner replaced Jonathan as the Youth Director.

Growth and Building

The years 2006–2008 were marked by a greatly needed project—the establishment of a fund for a new building. Prior to having an architect draw up plans for a Children’s Building, the church moved in the direction of building a new Worship Center. As the fund grew and attendance increased, it became evident that classroom space was the more urgent need, thus a change was made to move toward building an education building. In July, 2008, plans were approved and permits obtained from the city to move ahead with groundbreaking in September of that year. The plans included a large gym/multi-purpose room as well as 12 classrooms on each floor of the 2-story building. The building was completed in March, 2010, and ministry began to take place in the building from ages preschool through High School.

The Sola Conference Series

In February, 2007, Countryside hosted the first in a series of five Sola Conferences which were held each year. 2007 – Sola Scriptura, 2008 – Solus Christus, 2009 - Sola Fide, 2010 - Sola Gratia and 2011 - Soli Deo Gloria. Keynote speakers included Steve Lawson, John MacArthur, Phil Johnson, Sinclair Ferguson, Bruce Ware, Don Whitney, Al Mohler, Mike Gendron, and James White.

On the Air!

July 20th, 2008, was another milestone in the life of the church with the beginning of the worship services being aired on a Dallas radio station, KVTT (91.7 FM), from 10:00-11:00 a.m. each Sunday morning. “The Word Unleashed” was the name chosen for the program. However, in 2010, KVTT was sold to public radio and The Word Unleashed of necessity went off the air. During 2010 live stream video was put into place which was a successful and widely received program.


Leadership Additions & Transitions

In 2010, Dusty Burris, a recent graduate of Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, was hired as Associate Pastor necessitating a change in titles for the pastoral staff. The following changes were put into place: Tom Pennington, Senior Pastor-Teacher; Rocky Wyatt, Senior Associate Pastor; Justin Turner, Youth Pastor. Jonathan Anderson retained the title of Family Pastor and Seth Bigelow of Music Director.

In January, 2011, elder Jackie Stanford resigned from the board as he relocated to Nashville, Tennessee. In the fall of 2012, the church mourned the loss of elder Charlie Yates, who went to be with Christ on September 22, 2012.

More Growth and a New Worship Center

The completion of the Children’s Building and moving into that building only highlighted the need of a new worship center as the congregation continued to grow.

In October, 2012, the six acres south of the Children’s Building was offered to Countryside and the congregation voted to purchase it. Most of the six acres have been paved as an additional parking lot with a partial plot reserved for additional space for a building.

In 2012, the elders approved going to three morning worship services and a new fund was begun for the new worship center with a target goal of $2 million in hand prior to breaking ground for the new building. The goal was met by January, 2015, and plans were finalized and submitted to the City of Southlake in May. The projected ground breaking was early fall with the hope of moving in by Fall 2016. The Worship Center was completed and dedicated July 23, 2017.

Leadership Additions & Transitions

In 2015 and early 2016, Chas Morse and Rich Dewey were added as elders in the church when the congregation affirmed their qualifications and giftedness for the office. In May, 2018, Brandon Ragsdale was hired as an Associate Pastor with the intention of taking on many of Dusty Burris’ responsibilities.

In the fall of 2018, the church mourned the loss of elder Daryl Bennett, who went to be with Christ on December 26, 2018.

In late 2018 and early 2019, Milt Powell and Terry Tyler were added as elders in the church when the congregation affirmed their qualifications and giftedness for the office. In May, 2019, Joshua Scarborough was hired as an Assistant Pastor. In June, 2019, Daniel Schubert joined the staff as the Counseling Pastor and Vikram Pimplekar as an Associate Pastor.

Church Plant

In January, 2019, the elders commissioned a church plant in Northlake (Northlake Bible Church) with Dusty Burris as the pastor. Approximately 35 families committed to go as the founding body of the church plant. The elders, with approval of the congregational vote, also purchased 11 ½ acres of land in Northlake with the intention of NBC building on it as soon as they have the funds. NBC began meeting as a church during the second service in the gym at Countryside in October, 2019.


Church Plant

In January, 2020, Northlake Bible Church began meeting in the newly constructed elementary school in Northlake, Lance Thompson Elementary.

Leadership Transitions

In May, 2020, after 26 fruitful years of ministry at Countryside, Rocky Wyatt resigned his position as Senior Associate Pastor to become the Executive Director of XL Ministries. At that time, Jonathan Anderson assumed the role of Senior Associate Pastor, and Steve Armstrong transitioned from the role of Facilities Director to the role of Director of Administration. In December, 2022, elder Rich Dewey resigned from the board as he relocated to Florida.

Expanding the Campus

In early 2021, the elders learned that Grace Community Church (251 Countryside Ct.) was interested in selling their property for a reasonable price. It was proposed to the congregation and approved to purchase the property for ~3.6 million dollars. The building was then partially renovated and renamed the “Student Center," as it primarily houses the college group and the middle school youth.