About Us

Our History

The history of the Faith Evangelical Bible Church has its beginning in the late 1800’s when about 18,000 Mennonites left Russia in search of religious freedom.1 Among these immigrants were those who settled in the York and Hamilton County area.  Elder Isaac Peters, founder of the Ebenezer Church arrived on January 6, 1875 after being expelled from Russia by the government for his activity in promoting the Mennonite migration.2 Under his leadership twenty‑eight families formed the Ebenezer Church which was organized November 5, 1882.  The name was changed to Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Church in 1940.  Because the congregation desired to also minister to families in the community that did not have Mennonite roots, the decision was made to remove the word ‘Mennonite’ from the church name. The name change from Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Church to Faith Evangelical Bible Church was approved on February 27, 1994.   Faith Evangelical Bible Church is a member of the Fellowship of Evangelical Bible Churches with churches in the United States and Canada.

Reaching out to the unsaved with the Gospel has always been a vital part of this body of believers. Week long evangelistic services with a guest evangelist‑pastor were held yearly. At times these services were extended to several weeks.  By 1901, this newly organized church established its first missions committee for the purpose of finding ways and means to do mission work. Special weekend mission conferences were held annually and offerings were taken to fund various mission projects.  The first foreign missionary sent out from this congregation was Bertha Neufeld Kliewer.  An Awana ministry that was begun in 1974 has been effective in teaching Biblical truths and encouraging Scripture memory to the children in our church and many in the community.

Throughout the history of this congregation, customs and methods of ministry have changed to keep up with the changing culture around it but the message of the Gospel and the basic doctrines of the faith have not changed.  We believe God’s inerrant Word teaches salvation is only by the grace of God through faith in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ.


1.  Henderson Mennonites from Holland to Henderson (Second Edition 1981), p. 39

2.  Ibid.  p. 35


Pastor Bob and Julie Stretch-Senior Pastor

Pastor Bob and Julie Stretch are seasoned ministry partners who have served as missionaries and as a pastor and wife for 40 years.  They served 10 years in Belgium where Pastor Bob was both Field Director for the Gospel Missionary Union [now AVANT], and worked to plant an Arabic language church in Brussels among the large Muslim immigrant population.

They returned to the U.S. in 1990, where they served a local church in rural Platte County, Missouri.  They moved to Nebraska in 1997, and have served churches in Grand Island, Wahoo, and Phillips, Nebraska for the past 21 years.

Pastor Bob and Julie are graduates of the Moody Bible Institute.  Pastor Bob holds a Bachelor’s degree from Calvary Bible College of Kansas City, Missouri.  He has done Graduate work in counseling through Liberty University’s Graduate department.

They were married in 1976 and have three grown, married children.  They are proud grandparents to 10-1/2 grandchildren [a future addition to arrive in March of 2019].  Their children and their spouses live in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, Omaha, Nebraska, and Cairo, Nebraska.

Pastor Bob and Julie love the local church, and are well acquainted with rural life and the rhythms of agriculture.  Pastor Bob is gifted in the areas of preaching, teaching, and building up God’s people. Julie is gifted in teaching children and women.  She is a true “partner” in the ministry. They love being involved in small groups, missions, and making relationships in the community where they live.

Pastor Crale and Rachel Swanson Pastor of Student Ministries

Crale is a native Nebraskan who grew up on an acreage near Ceresco, NE, which is about the same size as Henderson. After graduating from Parkview Christian High School in Lincoln, NE, he attended Grace University in Omaha, NE.  He met Rachel his senior year and they married in 2003.  Crale graduated with his B.A. in Pastoral Studies/Bible and M.A. in Biblical Studies, gaining experience in student as well as general pastoral ministries.  Following school, he worked for Northstar Financial for 10 years.  During those years he ministered at Community Bible Church in Omaha, NE, in numerous areas of Jr. High and High School student ministries as a volunteer.  The Lord has given him a deep passion to preach God’s Word clearly and communicate the irreplaceable value each individual has as an image bearer of God, while being loud and crazy of course.  In June 2015, Crale accepted the position of Pastor of Student Ministries at FEBC. Crale considers serving the Lord in this capacity as an incredible privilege.

Crale and Rachel have four amazing kids Cora, Liam, Iver and Iris.  They are relishing their opportunity to raise their family in this special small town. In his free time Crale enjoys motor sports, Nebraska football, reading and detailing vehicles.


Statement of Faith

The Holy Scriptures

We believe in the Holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testament, as the very Word of God, verbally inspired in all parts and therefore wholly without error as originally given of God. They are the final and supreme authority. (Matt. 5:18; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21).


We believe in the One Triune God, who is personal, spirit, and sovereign; perfect, infinite and eternal in His being, self-existence, holiness, love, wisdom and power; absolutely separate and above the world as its Creator and yet everywhere present in the world as the upholder of all things. (Gen. 1:1; Psa. 90:2; Psa. 139:1-16; John 4:24; Col. 1:15-17).

Jesus Christ

We believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is eternal and was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born a man by the virgin birth thus to continue forever as both true God and true man. He made full atonement for our sins through His vicarious suffering and death on the cross; He rose triumphantly from the grave the third day, ascended into heaven, and is now at the right hand of God interceding on our behalf. (Matt. 1:18-25; Isa. 53:4-6; Heb. 4:14-16).

The Holy Spirit

We believe that the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Godhead, is the Divine Agent in creation, revelation, and redemption. In this age of grace He convicts the world of sin, regenerates those who believe, and indwells, baptizes, seals, empowers, guides, teaches, and gives spiritual gifts to believers. (Gen. 1:2; Acts 5:3-4; John 16:8-11; I Cor 6:19, 12:13; Eph 4:30).


We believe that God eternally exists in three persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are of one essence and equal in power and glory, therefore, to be honored and worshiped equally as true God. (Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor 13:14).


We believe that Satan is a real, supernatural personality, a fallen angel of great power, cunning, and wickedness. He is the enemy of God and of all good, seeking the destruction of Christ and the eternal ruin of every person. However, Satan has been defeated by Christ’s death and is doomed to be cast into the lake of fire. (Mark 1:13; John 13:2; Col. 2:15; Rev. 20:10).

G. Angels

We believe in the existence of angels, a higher order of created spiritual beings superior to man. They were active in the earthly life and ministry of Jesus Christ, and presently minister to believers. (Matt. 4:11; Luke 1:28-35; Acts 1:10-11; Heb. 1:13-14).


  • His Creation

We believe that man was directly created by God in the divine image. (Gen. 1:26-27).

  • His Fall

We believe that man was originally sinless, but when tempted by Satan, disobeyed God’s command and became a sinful creature incurring both physical and spiritual death. As a result all members of the human race are born in sin and are sinners by nature and practice. (Gen. 2:15-17, 3:1-6; Rom. 1:19-32, 3:23, 5:12).

  • His Salvation

We believe that only faith in Jesus Christ and his work of atonement on the cross saves people from eternal condemnation. It is received by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ and is in no way obtained by human effort. This salvation results in eternal life, a new nature, right standing before God, sonship in the family of God, and provision for sanctification and victory over the power of sin. (John 1:12-13, 3:3-8; Rom. 3:24; Gal. 3:26, 5:22-23; Eph. 2:8-9).

  • His Resurrection

We believe that every person will be physically raised from the dead: the saved to life everlasting and the unsaved to eternal condemnation (John 5:28, 29).

The Church

We believe in the one true church, the body and bride of Christ, which He began to build on the day of Pentecost and will complete at His second coming, and into which all regenerated believers of this age are baptized by the Holy Spirit. We believe that the local visible church is composed of baptized believers in Christ, voluntarily joined together and meeting at stated times to worship, fellowship, observe ordinances, and when necessary, administer and accept discipline. (Matt. 16:18, 28:18-20; Acts 2:41-47; 1 Cor. 12:13; Heb. 10:25).

The End Times

  • Second Coming of Christ

We believe in the personal, visible, imminent, premillennial, pretribulational return of Christ; the great tribulation; the revelation of Christ at the end of the great tribulation period; the Millennial Age; and The Great White Throne judgment. (Matt. 24:21-31; John 14:3; Acts 1:11; 1 Thes. 4:13-17; Rev. 19:11-16, 20:1-15).

  • The Final State

We believe that believers will be judged according to their deeds at the judgment seat of Christ and that they will enjoy a future life in the presence of Christ; and that unbelievers will be judged according to their works at the Great White Throne and subsequently cast into the lake of fire where they will consciously suffer forever. (1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:11-15, 22:12).