Bidwell Memorial Presbyterian Church, known in Chico as Bidwell or BPC, is marked by grace, gratitude and joy. Located in the heart of Chico next door to Chico State University, we have four Sunday services: an 8:30 traditional service, 9:45 and 11:11 contemporary services, and a service seeking to serve Chico’s young adult population at a downtown theater at 10:30.
Because we value our historical roots in Chico, which date back to 1868, we completed a five million dollar renovation project (2005-2007) on our beautiful 100-year-old building. We have experienced rapid growth since the arrival of our current pastor in 1998 and were recently designated one of the nation’s fastest growing PC(USA) congregations. However, we realize the importance of remaining innovative in our approach as we reach out to our community and the university next door. We have changed a lot over the past 12 years, and we expect that trend to continue.
The people of our congregation, of all generations and walks of life, are our greatest resource. We are teachers, Chico State and Butte College faculty and staff, farmers, small business owners, medical personnel, etc., who have together discovered God’s unrelenting grace and love for us. What results is a community of believers hungry to love one another and serve the community and world beyond our walls.
We love one another by celebrating the unique gifts of each member, by emphasizing small groups, which are very well attended, and by providing excellent programming for our children and youth. We love our community through various ministries of compassion. And we love our world through mission partners in Honduras, Albania and Swaziland, to name three.
Though multi-generational, we grow younger with each new members’ class as young families, young adults and college students hear of God’s love for them. New members describe us as a welcoming and exciting church marked by authenticity.
For the past 30 years, our pastors have done a fantastic job of grounding the congregation in Reformed Faith. We continue to send roots even deeper theologically, with growing adult education and small group ministry. Our congregation demonstrates a mature and growing faith.
We rely on the grace of Jesus Christ for salvation and freedom. Brokenness, hopelessness and loneliness plague our society, but God calls out of darkness and into an abundant life through a personal relationship with him. We are committed to Growing Deep in our faith to root ourselves in the understanding that He is our only hope, to Growing Up in community because we cannot do this life of faith alone, and to Growing Out in mission to fulfill the Great Commandment and Great Commission. Stewarding all of these ministries with time and resources pulls us from the emptiness of consumerism and individualism and puts the emphasis on God’s kingdom.