Berea Bible Church was founded over fifty-five years ago by Pastor R. Glenn Greenwood who served as pastor until his retirement in 2002. Subsequent pastors include Rev. Gary Day and Rev. Kevin Kinnett, with Dr. Brian D. Miller currently serving as Senior Pastor.
Pastor Greenwood’s early vision for Berea as an independent Bible church where members would grow spiritually, engage non-believers, serve the needs of others, and build strong family relationships stays our focus today. Many people have stayed for decades because we are a caring and family-like community helping one another as needs arise.
The current leadership has developed and is implementing a strategic plan strongly supported by the congregation which includes concrete objectives for spiritual growth, outreach to others, and church growth. We have been excited to see results of this plan on multiple levels while continually assessing and adjusting objectives in light of feedback, results, and discernment.
Berea has undergone several building construction phases and presently enjoys a 20-acre campus including a family life center auditorium with seating capacity for 300 individuals. There is also the Resurrection Garden with a replica of the Jerusalem tomb you see in the picture below, as well as a small walking park, lake, and a baseball diamond.
The tomb situated on the property of Berea Bible Church is in accordance with Jewish burial customs. Tombs were frequently hollowed out on a side of a hill with a doorway that was low and quite small, which required those entering to stoop. Frequently, a large stone called a GOLEL fitted into a groove or track that was rolled in front of or away from the doorway to seal the tomb (Matthew 27:60; Mark 15:46). The interior of the tomb was large enough for an individual(s) to sit or stand. (Approximately 16 ft. long, by 8 ft. wide, by 6 ft. tall) Usually, a chamber was cut out of the rock in which a body could be laid which measured 78x25x20 inches and some had a vaulted arch over that shelf. Depending upon the family and number of people expected to be placed there, the tomb varied in size and chambers.
The tomb located in Berea's Resurrection Garden was created as a result of a dream by former pastor Dr. Glenn Greenwood to bring to life an important truth from Scripture. Pastor Greenwood traveled to Israel many times and each time learned important facts and features about the culture and region. One of the truths that fascinated him and countless others was the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. After several trips to Israel, he desired to give a life-size example to the congregation and the Springfield community. While in Israel, the tomb was measured and diagrammed so it could be recreated here in Clark County.
Resurrection Garden is currently undergoing renovation. Below you can see an artist's rendition of some possibilities.
In addition, the tomb is empty! The empty tomb indicates that He is alive and there is no body there which is an essential point of the gospel message of Jesus' payment for our sins! The Gospel accounts of this are in the New Testament books of Matthew chapters 27 and 28; Mark 15 and 16; Luke 23 and 24 as well as John 19 and 20. The evidence attests that the Christian church serves a risen Savior.
So why an empty tomb in Springfield, Ohio? The resurrection of Jesus is one of the most important events in Christianity. This tomb brings an opportunity for Berea Bible Church to recall this event year around. A garden park has been established and people are invited to come sit, reflect and meditate for a few minutes in the serenity of the garden. Jesus told his disciple in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." May the tranquility of the tomb park cause all who stops by to consider the promises of Jesus Christ and find the peace that He offers.