50 Years of the Gospel Lived Out and Still Going Strong

Posted February 12, 2015

50 Years is here! The Camelback Bible Church family is celebrating our jubilee anniversary this year. From a humble start, Bethany Bible Church planted Biltmore Bible Church in 1959, and the growth of Biltmore prompted the majority of the congregation, led by Dr. J. Grant Howard, to start Camelback Bible Church in 1965, locating at Phoenix Country Day School.

In 1967, CBC purchased the property on Stanford Drive and broke ground in 1970 for its new sanctuary which we know as Fellowship Hall. Dr. John Booth became the second Senior Pastor in 1971, and in 1978, Dr. Malcolm Cronk (who celebrated his 100th birthday last year) became the third Senior Pastor.

1988 was a big year with the finishing of the new sanctuary and opening its doors in December of that year to the first sermon of the fourth Senior Pastor, Dr. Tim Savage. Tim celebrated his 25th anniversary as Senior Pastor in 2013 and Ron Elwardt celebrated his 25 years as a pastor at Camelback in the fall of 2014.

In the intervening years, God used CBC to plant two churches: the first, Roosevelt Community Church in downtown Phoenix, and the second, Way of Grace in Buckeye. Both are pastored by men who were trained under the guidance of CBC’s leadership while serving as interns here at CBC. In addition, God called three other young men, whose service on staff at CBC prepared them, for senior/ lead pastorates of churches in Tempe, Chicago, and Denver.

It is a great blessing to be a part of the Camelback Bible family during this wonderful time of celebration and reflection. In the last few years the family has seen the first phase of the Upward and Outward campaign finish the remodel of classrooms, add the Welcome Center, and complete the west parking lot. And now the final monies of Upward and Outward will allow the final campus upgrades to be made such as the remodel of Fellowship Hall (including an updated kitchen), a wedding amphitheater, and the interior mall including a coffee bar, outdoor kitchen, and patio seating throughout.

This celebration is not just about the 50 years of Camelback Bible but the opportunity to view God’s sovereignty in us as the body of Christ and the part we play in the whole history of God’s church starting with Abraham, moving through Jesus Christ (the new covenant) and including the reformation and beyond. We will be celebrating all year with a church history timeline that will be displayed in the sanctuary, art and music events, and two family gatherings on campus. Stay tuned for details on these great events.

Come and be a part of the jubilee year that celebrates Jesus Christ, our central focus as a family on a mission for the glory of God.


Written by John Corpstein - Website

For much of his adult life, John was a businessman. A few years ago, God called John to walk away from business and enter full-time training for pastoral ministry at Phoenix Seminary. John came to CBC in the fall of 2013 to serve as Executive Pastor. He is married to Barbara, and they have two children, Elizabeth and Jeffrey, both currently away at college.


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