About Us

“ For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.”

History

Brother Ike T. Sidebottom

Founding Pastor

Ike T. Sidebottom

1929 to 1965

Brother Ike T. Sidebottom was the founding pastor of The Church at 615 College Avenue, what is known today as Grace Bible Church. He served as pastor from 1929 to 1965, when he resigned because of ill health. Brother Ike, as he was affectionatly called, should be recognized as one of God's foremost preachers and teachers of the Word of God, but he will, no doubt, be best remembered for his true humility and love.

Brother Ike was a native of Mansfield, Texas. He became a Christian when he was only 8 years old. Though he was raised in a Christian family, he didn't come to understand the importance of "rightly dividing the Word of truth" and the revelation of the mystery comitted to the Apostle Paul until he was grown. He attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Then, he and his wife, Effie Mae, took their little family and went to the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. While studying there, Brother Sidebottom worked with Pastor J.C. O'Hair at the North Shore Church.

After completing his studies in Chicago, he returned to Fort Worth and began teaching a Bible class in a store building on Magnolia Street. Then, under his leadership, the group built the church building at 615 College Avenue, and Brother Sidebottom became the pastor, a position he held for 37 years.

Anyone who ever had the privilege of hearing him "preach the Word" will testify that the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ was always given, and that the person and work of our blessed Lord was magnified. Galatians 6:14 was one of his favorite verses and seemed to exemplify his life's calling and work.

"But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world."

Brother Ike was such an astute student of God's Word, that he was used to lead countless numbers of people to a deeper understanding of the Bible. His emphasis upon a "right division" of the Scriptures brought to the forefront the true Church of this age, the Body of Christ. Many people, confused by religion, were brought to stability by his firm stand for Christ and His Word, "rightly divided."

In addition to his work as a pastor, Brother Ike also had quite an outreach ministry as well. He was a pioneer in radio broadcasting and aired the Scriptures over many stations for most of the years of his ministry. He broadcast in person at stations here in Fort Worth, and then on tape on stations in other areas. This opened up opportunities to go out from place to place to preach and teach the Word. He continued an evangelistic ministry across the country which was used to win many precious souls to Christ.

Brother Ike also began a printing ministry which still continues today. He wrote and printed Bible tracts and booklets and was publisher and editor of a monthly Bible study paper called the Timely Messenger (View 1st issue, 1940). Throughout his ministry, Brother Ike never failed to stand for the truth of all the Scriptures and to emphasize the unique revelation of the mystery given to the Apostle Paul, God's message for us today.

Under Brother Ike's ministry several young men were trained and then went out to serve as pastors in other areas. These included: Brother Weldon Rightmer, pastor of the Liberty Heights Chapel in Lawton, Oklahoma, Brother Charles Wages, pastor of Denton Bible Church in Denton, Texas, Brother R. B. Shiflet, pastor of Eleventh Avenue Church in Mineral Wells, Texas, Brother James Roberts, pastor of Peace Congregational Church in Indiahoma, Oklahoma, and Brother Joy James, pastor of Johnson Station Church in south Arlington, Texas. In the latter years of his ministry, Brother Ike would often say that one of the big blessings of his ministry for the Lord was the young men who were saved under his ministry, grew spiritually through the study of the Word, and then gave their lives as servants and ministers for the Lord.

Sidebottom Family: Janie, Doris, Ike, Effie Mae, Sue

Throughout his ministry, Brother Ike's family labored with him in the ministry, his dear wife, Effie Mae, who quietly but faithfully served the Lord helping people, giving wise counsel, and setting a proper example, and his daughters, Doris, Sue, and Janie. Brother Ike and Mrs. Sidebottom are in the glory together now and reaping the rewards of labor well done.

Brother Ike would be the first to want us not to give him any praise or glory, but rather to say, "To God be the glory!"