OUR MISSION

Harris Creek exists to help everyone follow Jesus by engaging the lost, equipping the saints, and empowering members for service.

Our Mission

Harris Creek exists to help everyone follow Jesus by engaging the lost, equipping the saints, and empowering members for service.

We want to ensure that anything and everything we do as a church helps get us closer to the goal of everyone following Jesus. For a more full explanation of who we are as a church, check out this sermon series.
 

Engaging the lost means intentionally having conversations with people far from Jesus about who He is and what He has done for us. We believe that we are to take Jesus’ instructions to create disciples in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) seriously, so we want our lives to reflect the grace and hope of Jesus through all of our interactions with the people in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and communities. 

Equipping the saints means the church should be a training ground for believers in Jesus (Ephesians 4:12). As followers of Jesus, we should constantly look for ways to grow and strengthen our faith. Whether it is through Life Groups, Bible studies, workshops, or Sunday morning services, we are called to gather together and be equipped, and then go out into the world to make disciples. 

Empowering members for service means we believe every follower of Jesus has unique gifts, skills, and abilities that should be used to help the people around them follow Jesus (Romans 12:6-8). We want to help all of our members identify what their gifts are and find ways to use them. For some, it may be serving with our kids or youth. For others, it may be directing traffic or playing an instrument. For others, it may be serving outside of our walls advocating for the same things Jesus cared about (such as orphans or the poor). Whatever your gifts are, we want to deploy you to use them.

What We Value

Every business, organization, family, and individual has certain values that are important to them. How closely our actions align with the things we say we value is often an indicator of how well we are accomplishing our mission. Harris Creek is no different. We have eight Core Values that are vital to who we are as a church. We want these values to serve as a filter for what we say and do as a church. For a more detailed understanding of what we believe, you can read more about our doctrine here. As a church, we will always strive to be:

AUTHENTIC

We believe authenticity, integrity, transparency, and sincerity should mark those whose confidence is in Jesus. “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” – 1 Timothy 1:5

BIBLICAL

We believe God’s Word is our authority, conscience, and guide in everything. We stand firm where it stands firm and remain flexible where it is flexible. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” – 2 Timothy 3:16

COMMUNITY-CENTERED

We believe life change happens best in the context of relationships. Belonging to our larger community requires a commitment to being intentionally involved with others in accountable, encouraging Life Groups. Here, people can experience both the benefits of a larger church and enjoy the kind of relationships that only develop in smaller settings. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-25

DEVOTED

We believe success is measured by our ability to help everyone follow Jesus. Full devotion to Jesus is normal for every believer. As Christians, we are called to action in carrying out our faith. This action necessarily includes deployment of our unique spiritual gifts in serving others. In our service, as with every area of our ministry and in our lives, we strive for excellence without compromise. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:1-2

GRACE-FILLED

We believe we have benefited from the kind intention of God’s will in the form of grace; therefore, we eagerly extend it to others. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” – Ephesians 2:8-9

INNOVATIVE

We believe the Bible makes it clear that we are to find ways to effectively bring the message “into all the world” in order to make disciples. We believe this will require careful scrutiny of everything we do – new practices and old – and a willingness to change when necessary within biblical parameters. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” – 1 Corinthians 9:22

MISSIONAL

We believe that lost people matter to God; therefore, they matter to us. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, and He has left us here, in part, to do the same. Our individual lives and corporate efforts will reflect this conviction. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 19:10

PRAYERFUL

We believe prayer is essential to everything we do. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” – Colossians 4:2

Where We've Been: Our History

From the outside looking in, Harris Creek appears to be a church plant or a fairly new church. In reality, we are one of the oldest churches in Waco and have been a church for over 135 years. In 1872, Aquilla and Delila Jones gave a 1.6 acre site for the construction of a new church, schoolhouse, and cemetery in the McGregor area (just outside of Waco, Texas), which is now known as Harris Creek Baptist Church. The official date of the constitution for Harris Creek was 1879, but church services were held in the Jones’ home prior to this date. On Friday, August 8, 1879, the church was granted full membership into the Leon River Baptist Association.

The church experienced initial success after its formation but went through a period of decline and eventually ceased meeting from 1893–1904. However, under new leadership, the church was reconstituted and received full membership into the Waco Baptist Association in September of 1904. That year, the church reported 30 members, an offering of $70.05, and nine people were baptized. Obviously, many things have changed over the past century.

Among the many unique facts in Harris Creek’s history is the period of time between 1932 and 1960. This is when the church shared their facility with a Methodist congregation. The church alternated between a Methodist and Baptist preacher on Sundays, and the two congregations even held joint revival meetings each summer under the spread of an oak tree. In 1960, the Methodist congregation decided they had enough resources to sustain themselves, so they replanted their own church, once again. This forced the existing members of Harris Creek to make some decisions. At the time, there were only 13 members left that belonged to the congregation. This small group of people had to decide whether to close their doors or re-launch the church in a new direction. They ultimately decided to keep the doors open and kept Harris Creek alive during these lean years.

The next two decades brought stability and slow, but steady, growth to the church. Based on this growth, a new brick sanctuary was constructed in 1977 on the original site of the first church building. The 1990s brought on more growth with the average worship attendance growing from 65 to 150 people. The annual budget doubled in this time period, as well, and the church moved to two worship services. In 2004, the church felt led to, once again, imagine where God was calling them in the future. These discussions led to even larger changes that truly shaped what Harris Creek is today.

Through a number of conversations, the church adopted a new constitution and moved to an elder model of leadership. In 2007, Harris Creek made another big move by building a new facility and moving from its historic location to the current location of our Sunwest Campus on Highway 84. Over the past few years, the church has experienced rapid growth, which meant undergoing additional changes. In 2011, Harris Creek launched the Downtown Campus in the heart of Waco, marking the move to a multi-site approach to ministry.

Through all the changes, the current leadership, elders and staff, simply want to be good stewards of the storied history that has been entrusted to us. We are thrilled to add new chapters to Harris Creek’s story and desire to be faithful to our mission of helping everyone follow Jesus.