church history

The Twin Ports of Superior and Duluth are a scenic port community at the Head of Lake Superior that is recognized as a major port of call for ships from around the world and a vacation destination for visitors from all over the country. Built on turn of the century businesses of shipping, mining, and lumber, the twin ports community has a metro population of over 150,000 and a broadening economic base with growing educational, medical, recreational, and manufacturing opportunities. Despite all the potential in the community, for the past several decades it has become recognized as a spiritually dark place with churches that have struggled. In fact, the Evangelical Free Church, as of 1996, had one very small, aging congregation in Duluth and the next closest churches were both 15 to 20 miles outside of Duluth. For the EFCA this community was a strategic opportunity for church planting.

In September of 1996 North Bay called its first pastor and the Bible study, which met at a local retirement home, was growing in vision and purpose. After much prayer and planning, public services were launched as an extension of the Forest Lakes District in September of 1997. By then our congregation had grown so much that they no longer fit in the retirement home so our services, along with nursery care and children's ministry, were held at one of the local middle schools. North Bay used contemporary worship, drama, and solid teaching to bring a message of hope to the Twin Ports.

During the late fall of 1997 Pastor Jeff Sorvik was beginning work on a plan called "Duluth and Beyond" with the North Central District of the EFCA. The Duluth and Beyond plan included a pioneer church plant in Duluth and a vision to establish a base from which a number of church plants in Northeastern Minnesota could be started. During a time of pastoral transition, it was evident that the vision of Duluth and Beyond and North Bay Community Church were closely allied. After a period of several months of prayer, discussion, and study, the North Central District and the Forest Lakes District agreed that merging Duluth and Beyond and North Bay into a joint, cooperative effort was an exciting opportunity.

In July of 1998, Pastor Jeff Sorvik was called as the Pastor of North Bay Community Church, and the merged vision was underway. Like any new church planting effort, North Bay has had its share of challenges, but God has proven Himself to be stronger and bigger than anything that Satan throws in the way.
 
In September of 1998 God provided a lease on a older church building that was no longer in use. This small, older building built in the early 1920s had two unique distinctions; it included a small gymnasium and a walnut paneled library filled with character. God, in His sovereignty, provided a building uniquely suited to the Twin Ports community.


North Bay discovered that the language of music and athletics were keys to the unchurched community. And so, the library (which sits adjacent to a large Kitchen) was converted into North Bay Cafe where the church would host small acoustic coffee house concerts and the gym was used to host volleyball, floor hockey, basket ball and a variety of other athletic events designed to bring unchurched people to a place where they can find real relationships and real hope.

In May of 2000, North Bay established charter membership, adopted a constitution and bylaws, incorporated as an independent church, and voted to affiliate with the Forest Lakes District of the EFCA. Immediately the church began working closely with both the North Central District and the Forest Lakes District to plan the early stages of giving birth to a new church plant in Duluth.
 
As the young church plant grew and took form, the hope of Duluth and Beyond continued to grow in the minds and hearts of the leadership of North Bay. In 2004 Pastor Jeff Sorvik led a group of families in planting another contemporary ministry in Duluth. This ministry that was launched out of North Bay became known as Anchor Point Community Church.
 
From 2004 to 2005 Interim Pastor Paul Price led our congregation followed by Interim Pastor Scott Brown from 2005 to 2006. In 2007 Curt Vanderstelt was called as lead pastor at North Bay and served faithfully until 2012 when God called him to another church.
 
In 2012 Pastor Glenn Johnson came on as an interim pastor bringing with him years of experience, hope for a growing congregation, and spirit filled sermons. In 2013, after much prayer from the elders, Pastor Glenn and his family, and the congregation, Pastor Glenn accepted the call to be the lead pastor.

The church started their search for an Associate Pastor in 2016 and in 2017 was blessed to be able to call Pastor Adam Johnson to that possition.
 
Today the vision of the church continues to be a personal and corporate spiritual growth with a healthy, mission filled presence in the Superior community.