Our Story

Unleashed Sermon Series Intro from Sherwood Oaks Christian Church on Vimeo.

Today, Sherwood Oaks Christian Church is one of the largest churches in southern Indiana, but it hasn’t always been that way. In fact, Sherwood Oaks had a rather small beginning.

The last Sunday of December, 1962, minister Herb Lentz, his family and two others met in a union hall on Howe Street for worship. They called this new church "Second Christian Church."

April 1963, the church relocated to the corner of Walnut Street and Grimes Lane and became known as the Walnut Street Christian Church. Mr. Lentz made a down payment of $50 of his own money to secure the building.

1968, the church, under the leadership of minister George Sites began two worship services to accommodate the growing church family.

December 1973, the church relocated to Winslow Road and was renamed Sherwood Oaks Christian Church. Six different ministers served the church in its first nineteen years.

1981, when the seventh minister, Tom Ellsworth, began his ministry, attendance had declined to under one-hundred. With his guidance SOCC began to grow again. 

1987 a new building project is completed, including a larger worship area. God continued to bless and soon multiple services were held. It was apparent that God had big plans for the church. So, she faithfully responded by purchasing twenty acres on East Rogers Road with the intent of building a new facility.

September 17, 1991, fire broke out at the Winslow Road building. Part of the facility was completely destroyed, and what remained was badly damaged. Following the fire, SOCC met at Bloomington High School South for Sunday morning services. What remained of the Winslow Road building was restored and used for other programs on a limited basis until a new facility could be built.

March 1, 1992, ground was broken for a new facility on Rogers Road

July 25, 1993, services began in the new 38,000 square feet Worship Center (today’s Fellowship Hall). God was blessing and was working through the church to minister to people.

December 1994 Another ten acres of property was purchased

June 1998, a 21,900 square foot Educational Building was completed. This building consisted of a gymnasium and 16 much needed classrooms.

March 28, 1999, ground was broken for the 3rd and final phase of our building project: a 56,000 square foot Worship Center and office complex.

August 27, 2000, The first service is held in the new 1,500 seat Worship Center.

2003, God extends the vision of Sherwood Oaks with the purchase of 10 additional acres of land east of the property.

2004, the mission of the church is condensed into five easy and practical values.

2006, HoosiersCare, a ministry supporting and assisting patients at the IU Health Proton Therapy Center, is born.

2008, the Pourhouse Cafe is opened on Kirkwood Avenue.

December 2012, Celebrated our 50th Year Anniversary

March 2015, Became a debt-free congregation

May 2015, Opened our second location, Bloomington West

From a church of five, to a first relocation with $50 down, to a fire, to more than 2,800 individuals regularly worshiping together, it is clear that God is not through with the church yet! The tiny seed, planted in 1962, is growing into "oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified" (Isaiah 61:3).

Herb Lentz's dream was to see a vital church, growing and maturing from its humble beginnings into a place where God and His Word were honored. The new dream for the new millennium is a continuation of the same passion, entrepreneurship and all-out trust in God as we seek to live out the Yes2Love vision together.