Kevin D. Spears was born on July 3, 1979 in DeKalb, Illinois and was raised in the small country town of Big Rock, Illinois. Kevin believed on the Lord Jesus Christ on March 5, 1997 after reading the plan of salvation from a Gospel tract he picked up from the foyer table of the church his parents had been attending.
Several years after he got saved, he was going through his keepsake box and found an autographed collector's card of former National Football Player, Don Beebe. Upon looking at the card he realized it was more than just an autographed football card, it was a Gospel tract.
He received that Gospel tract when he was a child in grade school from his recess monitor. The recess monitor who gave him the Gospel tract was Don Beebe's sister in law. He never read the Gospel tract/card when he received it, but put it into a protective sleeve. It only was only after he got saved that he realized God was trying to get ahold of his heart when he was a child.
On September 2, 1998, he surrendered to God's call on his life to be a pastor. He believed the Lord wanted him to return back home and minister to those in northern Illinois. He pursued this calling by studying at Commonwealth Baptist College in Lexington, Kentucky. He graduated in 2003 with a B.A. in Theology.
At Commonwealth Baptist College, Kevin met Kimmie and they were married on April 18, 2003. The Lord has blessed them with three children, Isaac, Aaron, and Elias. From 2003 until the fall of 2008, he was on staff at Clays Mill Road Baptist Church in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Lord made it clearly known in 2008 that He wanted them to move to DeKalb area and begin a local church. So, in August of 2008, they packed up everything they had and by faith moved to DeKalb. Pastor Spears started Fellowship Baptist Church and they held their first church service on Sunday, November 2nd of 2008 in the Haish Gym.
Over the past 14 years, the Lord has allowed the church to reach many people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to continually grow in attendance, to support eight missionaries, along with adding many ministries to the Fellowship Baptist Church. His strong remaining desire is to, "Hold Forth the Word of Life."
FBC's Beginning - 2008
Pastor Spears started Fellowship Baptist Church in November of 2008. FBC had its first service on Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 in the Haish Gym in DeKalb. The church would be set up every Saturday evening and taken down every Sunday after the morning service. The church was set up and held at the Haish Gym for eight months. Pastor Spears, at the same time, also started a service for the residents at the DeKalb County Nursing & Rehabilitation Center on Sunday afternoons.
FBC's First Year 2009
In July of 2009, the Lord allowed them to secure their first building at 129 East Locust Street in DeKalb. At this new location, they were able to begin holding, in addition to the Sunday morning service at 11 am, a Sunday school service. Shortly thereafter, they began a Wednesday Prayer and Bible study service, and eventually a Sunday evening service. The church had the privilege of having over 150 visitors in their first year!
FBC's Second Year - 2010
FBC officially chartered on March with 31 individuals signing the charter document. Some of the highlights of the second year include holding their first Vacation Bible School (having 30 children in attendance), installing a brand new baptistry, starting two children's Sunday school classes, and financially supporting their first missionary, Bro. Bill Hensley, missionary to Macedonia. The church set an attendance record of 58 on their 2nd Anniversary. They also held their first Christmas play.
FBC's Third Year - 2011
FBC began 2011 by voting to support their second missionary, Bro. Jeremy Benbrooks, missionary to Togo, Africa. They also voted in their first 4 trustees. They held their second Vacation Bible School and two children were saved. The church's attendance record was again broken during their third annual Harvest Revival in September with 70 in attendance. As of September 2011, over 300 people have entered the doors of the church and heard the preaching of God's Word. Along with many visitors, over 25,000 Gospel tracts have been distributed to the surrounding areas. In October, the Sunday school classes were expanded, a new ministry designed to minister to those who are not physically able to attend church began, and a Gospel Box (an outside box containing Gospel tracts) was added. The Lord blessed their third anniversary with a record attendance of 65 with one trusting Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
FBC's Fourth Year - 2012
Just like last year, FBC began the year by voting to support another missionary. The church unanimously voted to financially support Bro. Barry Hoffman, missionary to South Korea. Throughout the year, the auditorium was filled. The theme for their Vacation Bible School was The Garden of Eden. Many boys and girls attended this time and learned the Word of God! There were several men and women who were saved and some of those who followed the Lord in Biblical baptism. The church prayed the Lord would open the door and guide them to another location which would allow them to continue to grow. The Lord miraculously provided a new location at 2425 Bethany Road. The building is 5,000 square feet and will feature a completely new renovation. The lease for this new building was signed on December 31, 2012.
FBC's Fifth Year - 2013
The new year began with hammer in hand - working to renovate the God-given building. After four months of the Lord's hand of blessing and over 800 hours of volunteer labor, the renovation was completed debt-free. The first service in the new building was held on Sunday, May 5th, 2013. They celebrated their fifth anniversary on Sunday, November 3rd. They set a goal to have 75 people in attendance and the Lord blessed them with a record-breaking attendance of 104!
FBC's Sixth Year - 2014
2014 began very, very cold. Despite the long and cold winter, the Lord provided for all the needs of the church. The church took up a, "Meet the Need" offering to help offset the expenses of the harsh winter weather. There were more people saved in this year than any other previous year of the church! The Children's Church ministry was expanded to meeting every single Sunday. They also added another ministry called the Meal Ministry. This is a ministry designed to meet the needs of those who become ill or are hospitalized because of sickness or because they are expecting. The church underwent some improvements such as new curtains, a fresh coat of paint in the Fellowship Hall, and new pews in the auditorium. The church was able to increase the Pastor's salary, taking one more step closer to him working only for the church.
FBC's Seventh Year - 2015
FBC set out in this year to learn the Word of God with even more fervor and dedication. Each month, the church family has memorized a verse of Scripture. The Spring brought many warmer days and a Sunday school program which emphasized church attendance, punctuality, take-home Bible work, and bringing their Bible to church. The Lord allowed more first-time visitors (60 visitors) in the first six months than any other year in the church's history. Along with the church's regular spiritual work, there was an extra, exerted effort given to spreading the Gospel during the Spring. Over 2,000 Gospel door hangers were placed on the homes in DeKalb and the surrounding area. Whereas at one time we worked hard and set a goal to have fifty in attendance for a single Sunday, we have had twenty Sundays where there were fifty or more people coming to church on Sunday morning.
FBC's Eighth Year - 2016
The seventh year proved to be blessed of the Lord and the church is anxiously looking forward to its eighth. This new year began with the church increasing the pastor's salary and caring for his health insurance. Despite cold weather, attendance was been great and the Gospel was still been spread. As of January, over 250 Gospel tracts had been distributed. That Spring, Pastor Spears challenged every member to invite one friend to a special Sunday called "Friend Day," on Sunday, April, 17th. They had 81 in attendance with a great spread of homemade food following the service. The summer VBS theme was, "The Lion's Den," and there were 31 kids that attended. The Lord also allowed the church to purchase 100 brand new hymnals for the auditorium in memory of Sara Jane Hlousek, a member of FBC who passed away after battling cancer.
FBC's Ninth Year - 2017
With a mild winter, only a few snowfalls, attendance was strong through the winter. The two areas which have sprouted and grown are the children's ministries and nursery. The church remodeled the nursery so as to provide enough area for the babies. Work was done to care for the many children who have been attending. On one Sunday, there were twenty one in children's church along with eight in the nursery. April included a Spring program called the Everywhere Program. The church ran 30 Gospel ads on the radio, four Gospel ads in the Daily Chronicle, placed two roadside banners in front of the church, handed out 1,500 Gospel tracts, took up a special missionary offering, and had two special Sundays (Easter and Friend Day). The church launched a new website on the first of August. Throughout each month of this year a different Scripture verse put to music has been memorized.
FBC's Tenth Year - 2018
Fellowship Baptist Church set some goals they seek to accomplish by the time they celebrate their tenth year anniversary in November. The three areas of their 10th Year Plan includes ministry, building, and finances. Praise the Lord, one of these goals was met at the beginning of 2018! This accomplished goal was to completely support the pastor financially. Through financial gifts given towards a memorial of the passing of a loved one last year, the church was able to purchase and dedicate a brand new sound system to the glory of God. In July, the church voted to take on Missionary Tim Lewis (Papua New Guinea) for financial support. On Saturday, August 4, a permit was issued to construct two new women's bathrooms. A special love offering was taken to give to Bro. Tim Lewis for the purchase of a printer and ink. The people of FBC sacrificially gave close to $1,000. In the Fall, they began a Wednesdays children's class that focuses on Bible memorization and music which they have called Kids For Christ. For Christmas, they presented a Christmas play, "A Christmas Window," along with a candlelight service on that same Sunday.
FBC's Eleventh Year - 2019
The church was invited to minister to the residents at Oak Crest Retirement Center in DeKalb on a regular monthly basis (3rd Sunday of every month). At the end of January, the new bathrooms were completed. The Lord allowed them to increase their current support of three missionaries as well as add two additional missionaries to their monthly support. They now support five missionaries. The ladies of FBC submitted their signature dish recipes and a cookbook has been printed. The Lord opened another door for them to hold a church service at Heritage Woods of DeKalb on each 4th Sunday at 3 pm. Over 20 volunteers gathered together on two days to assemble over 10,000 John/Romans for a church plant in Swaziland, South Africa. They dedicated them to the Lord on the second Sunday in September. This was done with the help of Bro. & Mrs. Dan Gill of the Seedline Ministries of Bearing Precious Seed of Milford, Ohio. On Sunday, September 22, the church held a H.U.H.A.H. (Help Us Have a Hundred) Sunday. The Lord blessed with 110 people in attendance - a new record attendance! At the end of October, they designed and printed a Spanish Gospel tract. The week following their celebration of 11 years, the church voted unanimously to add their sixth missionary. At the end of the year, as a church, they worked to memorize the 66 Books of the Bible.
FBC's Twelfth Year - 2020
The beginning of the year has been marked with several people battling sickness (flu). In spite of this attendance has been steady, one has been baptized, and three people have been added to the church. They had an I Love Missions Sunday in which they turned in their Faith Promise Giving Cards along with having a banquet which featured dishes from the various countries of the missionaries they support. On this year they faced an unprecedented time in which the State of Illinois mandated a shelter-in-place order which spanned four weeks. During that time the church held a Saturday meeting prior to the order beginning and continued during the mandate to record their services on YouTube. They also held a drive-in church service on May 10 with 46 in attendance! Pastor preached from a platform and the people listened to a FM station which the sermon and music was broadcast through. It was cold (43 degrees and rainy). They ended up holding four drive-in church services and began once again holding in person services on Sunday, June 7th. On their second in person service they had four visitors, one baptized, and four people join the church. On the following Friday, a gentleman trusted Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. On the 4th and 5th of September, 30 volunteers accomplished assembling 10,417 John & Romans in Spanish. These will be sent to a missionary in Mexico City. Each month they learned a new hymn from the hymnal. The church decided after celebrating their 12th anniversary in November to host a Drive Thru Nativity. With many hands pitching in and helping in preparation and in setting up they hosted this Drive Thru Nativity on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday before Christmas. Over 350 people drove through while receiving a Gospel tract. To God be the glory!
FBC's Thirteenth Year - 2021
The church began its 13th year by approving a new budget which included taking on a new missionary, Bro. Dan Gill of Bearing Precious Seed. Their former missionary to Martinique felt the Lord leading them to leave the mission field and begin pastoring in the states. Their continued and increased giving towards the work of worldwide missions they were also able to add their seventh missionary who is working to reach those in an undisclosed location. Continuing in their endeavor to reach the lost with the Gospel they began what they have called the Gospel to Every Door Campaign. Prayerfully they entered into this program designed to get the Gospel into every home in twelve surrounding cities (over 18,000 homes) by the end of December. All twelve cities were accomplished by August and they were able to add an additional two cities, totaling 14 cities collectively with close to 20,000 homes receiving the Gospel. In the first part of September, with over 30 volunteers, they were able to assemble 15,000 John and Romans in the Cebuano language. These, along with another 160,000 copies assembled by other local churches, will be shipped to a missionary in the southern part of the Philippines at the end of the year. They also held their 2nd annual Drive Thru Nativity and over 500 people drove through, viewed this year's Nativity, and received hot cocoa and a Gospel tract.
FBC's Fourteenth Year - 2022
With the approval of the new budget came the renovation of the church's Fellowship Hall. A new drop ceiling was added, new light fixtures were installed, and a fresh coat of paint made it much accomodating for the many times it is used throughout the year. The church's theme for the year (based on Matthew 5:14) is Ye Are the Light of the World. Throughout this year they are striving even more earnestly and diligently to spread the Gospel to the world. They worked in the month of May to distribute 1,500 Gospel door hangers to 1,500 homes in the city of Sycamore. They did not quite reach their goal, but accomplished 1,200 of them. The church voted to take on their eighth missionary, Bro. Josh Van Trump (Missionary Church Planter - Maine), for monthly financial support. The Lord allowed them to minister to 32 children at their yearly VBS that had the theme of, "The Great Commission." In the Fall time they again assembled 17,500 John and Romans in the Italian language which are scheduled to be delivered in the Spring of 2023. They also held their 3rd annual Drive Thru Nativity with some of the most inclement weather - cold temperatures, mixed with ice, and then snow. Nevertheless, each night they enjoyed many cars, trucks, individuals, and families once again being reminded of and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
FBC's Fifteenth Year - 2023
The church has adopted their yearly theme of, "That He Might Present It To Himself a Glorious Church," taken from Ephesians 5:27. They are anxiously looking forward to how the Lord will sanctify and cleanse them in this year. The church visited a number of Biblical sites in their series, "Journey to Calvary," and made numerous, unforgettable memories and decisions. In the Spring time they enjoyed many first time visitors and have had great weekly attendance at their services.