From humble beginnings
In the year of 1979, the city of Bastrop had taken a turn…people from every walk of life had converged on Bastrop with one thing in common–a deep hunger to know God. A new wave of what was called the Charismatic movement was sweeping across the nation, and little Bastrop was destined for a work of divine grace. The hungry newcomers were gathering in Bible studies throughout the community. And others who were life-long residents of Bastrop also responded to God’s call and joined in these meetings. By 1983 these on-fire Christians had converged and were meeting on Sundays at a local residence to celebrate Jesus through fellowship, worship and study of the Word. There were no recruitments for ministry positions; everyone simply responded to the needs and to the unction of the Holy Spirit, Who directed what they were to do. Some responded with children’s ministry, some ministered in music, and the teaching of the Word of God was provided primarily by Mary Jackson and Joan Boethel.
Not long after we began to meet on Sundays at that residence, we looked out the door and discovered that people were standing in the yard–the house was full! We temporarily moved our meetings to the Bastrop State Park Refectory, but within weeks we had outgrown that facility, as well. Pastor Mary began to seek the Lord for another location to hold our services, and the Lord directed her to the Providence Association facilities off Highway 21 and FM 1209. We obtained a lease from the Association and continued to hold our church services at that location for nineteen years, until prompted by the Holy Spirit to build our new facilities.
In reflecting back to the early days of the church, the Jackson’s home on Hill Street served as the ministry hub of the city from 1981 until 1986. Countless people flowed through their home daily, receiving salvation, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, healing and deliverance. When children who were attending elementary school across the street from the Jackson’s residence became ill, they were often brought to the Jackson’s home for prayer, and they would be healed instantly by the power of God. A great move of God began in Bastrop High School, and the young people would congregate at the Jackson’s home for Bible studies after school. The church then leased a house that became known as “the counseling center,” where Bible studies, fellowship meetings, and 5:00 am prayer meetings were held. Miracles, gifts of healings, and other manifestations of the Holy Spirit became part of our daily life.
Pastors Mary and Joan had been praying for a man of God’s choosing to join our ministry team, and in March of 1989, that man arrived in Bastrop. Scott Stanek, whose home was in Pennsylvania, had met Maureen Fitzgerald while attending Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas. Through their friendship, Scott had become acquainted with our ministry and felt impressed of God to move to Bastrop. Upon his arrival in Bastrop, we knew God had sent Scott to join our ministry team. Within a few short months, Scott was ordained into full-time ministry. Shortly thereafter, he and Maureen Fitzgerald were married.
Through the years God began to expand the ministry team at BCOC. Tony Jackson became increasingly involved in the ministry through his work in missions, leading Men’s Morning Prayer, and preaching church services. Maureen Stanek became Director of the Children’s Ministry, leader in our School of Prayer, and an accomplished teacher of the Word of God. In 2001 BCOC ordained Tony Jackson and Maureen Stanek to serve on the pastoral team of BCOC.
Today, Pastors Scott and Maureen Stanek, Mary Jackson, and Joan Boethel serve the Body of Christ on the Pastoral Team of Bastrop Christian Outreach Center.