Timberline Church is a Christ-centered, come as you are, what you see is what you get kind of a church packaged in a casual and contemporary atmosphere. The Church campus lies in the rural community of Strasburg, PA. What follows is an account of how this congregation emerged.
In January 2003, a group of people joined together to form a new congregation. This emerging Church, with roots and origin from the Bart Mennonite Church near Christiana, PA sensed a burden to reach seekers in the community that were disconnected from God and the Church with a message that would be relevant and inviting. A search was made for a facility in the area that would allow for room to grow and yet not carry with it the stigma of being "churchy." The Timberline Lodge, a local bar, restaurant and motel outside of Strasburg, PA, seemed to be a good fit. Taking a step of faith this newly planted church first adopted the name ‘The Church at Timberline’ with the intention of renting or purchasing the property.
The Church at Timberline first met in January 2003, gathering on Sunday evenings at Quarryville Community Fellowship (a church plant from Bart Mennonite). There were few classrooms, and some of them were housed in a trailer with only outside access. By the fall of 2003 it became apparent that Sunday morning services would be more advantageous to attract those without a church home. So a former furniture store in Gordonville was rented and became the second home of The Church at Timberline. Walls were constructed to provide more classroom space, and the long and narrow nature of the building provided plenty of space for chairs to be set up as a sanctuary.
In May 2004, the Timberline Lodge was finally purchased after a lengthy time of prayer, due diligence, tax default, bankruptcy and a roller coaster of events. The property, although possessing great potential was in a state of disrepair. After prayer and discernment it seemed best to renovate the cottages on the property for income, remodel the bar area for offices, use the sun room for youth ministry and a meeting room, and the motel rooms would be refurbished for emergency and transitional housing. It was determined that The Church at Timberline would plan to build a new facility for worship on the property and in the interim, pursue other options for Sunday morning worship.
In order to keep up with the educational and space needs for children, Linville Hill School was secured in December 2004 for Sunday morning use, providing a large gym/auditorium, stage, classrooms and plenty of parking. This became the third home for The Church at Timberline.
During this time work began on the Timberline property. Thousands of dollars and thousands of hours of volunteer labor were lovingly poured into this beautiful property. The motel rooms were renovated and used for transitional housing, the cabins were remodeled one by one and rented out, the former bar was renovated into church offices and the youth began to meet Wednesday evenings in the sun room.
In the fall of 2008, amidst weekly set up and tear down and restricted building use during the week at Linville Hill School, the decision was made to bring everything home to Timberline and consolidate our resources instead of dividing them between two properties. The motel rooms were once again updated, this time to accommodate educational space for our children. Instead of a new facility for worship, the restaurant was completely gutted and renovated to make room for two Sunday morning worship services, a café, lobby, and a Jr./Sr. high youth room.
From January to July 2009 the Timberline Campus was abuzz with preparation, prayer, construction and planning leading up to the move-in. On July 12, 2009 The Church At Timberline simplified its name to ‘Timberline Church’ and moved home to 30 Timber Lane, Strasburg, PA!
In January 2010 the Vision of Timberline Church was consolidated into a three word Clarion Call…Receiving, Rebuilding and Restoring…Receiving God’s love, Rebuilding Relationships and Restoring the World. Timberline Church believes that Receiving God’s love is expressed through personal and corporate worship; Rebuilding Relationships occurs through connecting with others through Connections Groups; and Restoring the World happens through serving others at home and abroad.
Isaiah 58 has become the foundation for Timberline’s Clarion Call.
Verses 6-7 identifies the ministry:
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter-- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
Verse 12 provides the summary:
“Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
This former Bar and Lodge, once dominated by alcohol, parties and darkness, now has the sound of wholesome music, the light of God’s Word, the aroma of coffee and the echo of children’s voices! Timberline Church is now moving beyond rebuilding facility to restoring lives!