After meeting in rented space for almost two decades, the church family of Northstar Church of Blacksburg, Virginia, has a home of their own that goes beyond their wildest dreams. But when they bought the property, they didn’t even know that God was preparing for a field of dreams all around them.
Northstar Church was launched in 2003 by founding pastor Bob Jackson and three families, including his own. Pastor Jackson remembers, “Two things stood out at the time: Blacksburg was a growing community, and students were plentiful. We saw a great need to reach the campus of Virginia Tech but soon realized that the whole community was in need of a contemporary church to reach another generation.”
In the beginning, the church was largely composed of college students, and the Virginia Tech Baptist Campus Ministry supplied musicians, volunteers and people to reach. They began with small groups in homes with a focus on discipleship and mentoring. In God’s providence, the principal of Blacksburg Middle School was a strong believer (in fact, he’s been a local pastor since retirement).
Northstar was allowed to rent a section of the school, which included an auditorium and a few classrooms. This arrangement began on Easter 2003 and continued for 18 years.
God’s plans included the calling of pastor Jeff Noble in the fall of 2008. Pastor Noble has a background in campus ministry in Arkansas and is the author of “Super Center Savior: The Joy of Living Between Sundays.” He challenged the congregation with the compelling mission — “Don’t go to church, be the church” — and has seen dozens grow to be devoted followers of Jesus.
“Lift Him up and He draws all people to him,” Noble said. “We have seen that God is faithful to bless His people when they align themselves humbly before His word. We have tried to make Jesus central and lead people to make much of Jesus through His word.”
Over the years, the church’s meeting location has become the strongest growth corridor in the area. Several years ago, God provided land about a mile from their rented school, and in April 2021, the church completed its first stage buildings, surrounded by two new neighborhoods — a ready-made missions field. In fact, the church didn’t know when the property was purchased that it would be surrounded by new homes planned for construction — and not just a few homes — close to 1,000 new homes are planned in the next few years. The church has truly been planted in the field of its dreams.
Those dreams are of little boys, little girls and families making the short walk to church on the sidewalk leading to the church campus. Those dreams include families building not just a home, but a life founded on a relationship with Christ. Those dreams include restored marriages, transformed lives and a positive community impact.
This field of dreams is now Northstar’s home base.