CenterPoint Church was begun in 1945, and was originally named the Provo Bible Church. The church was started by a group of families who had come to Utah Valley to work at Geneva Steel. In 1965 the church moved to Orem and was named the Evangelical Free Church of Orem.
Because of the unique religious situation in Utah Valley growing a church was a daunting task. The church had times of sporadic growth that would bring attendance to almost 100 people only to have key people leave. Leading a church in this environment proved to be uniquely discouraging. Pastors would come and go, as the church seemed to be in a perpetual struggle to survive. In 1988, once again the survival of the church was very much in question as the church faced another pastoral transition.
It was at that time that Pastor Scott McKinney was called to lead the church. The church embraced a simple vision: Let’s reach the people of Utah Valley with the good news of Jesus Christ. Let’s move from a fortress mentality to an outreach mentality. There were some statements that defined this new vision. One was “We need to be known by what we are for rather than what we are against”. Another was that “God loves to do things in places where people say it cannot be done”. Utah Valley was such a place and against all odds the church grew. Initially growth came from people moving into Utah Valley to take jobs with the high tech industries. To accommodate the growth there were two building projects during the 90’s.
As the economy ebbed and flowed in the 90’s many of the high tech jobs disappeared. The good news was that the people moving out of the area were replaced with new people from Utah Valley that were coming to Christ. Today close to 2/3 of the people that attend CenterPoint have roots in our unique Utah religious culture.
By 2005 the church had grown to about 500 people in a place where there had never been a church like it with that kind of size and influence. Around that time the leadership of the church began to ask a question, “Is this all that God has for us?” It was at this point that a new chapter 2 vision was launched. Part of that vision was to relocate. The desire was “to go from a place where we were hard to find to a place where we would be impossible to miss”.
In 2006, the old church building across from Orem High School was put up for sale and the church purchased 5½ acres on the I15 freeway just south of University Parkway. At that time the church changed names once again to CenterPoint. This new name defined not only where we were - the center point of Utah Valley. It also spoke to our vision, which is to make Jesus known at the center point of our unique religious Utah culture.
Building this new home on the property would prove more difficult than anyone imagined. In 2008 just as plans for a new building were finalized the economy imploded and it was no longer possible to build. At this time the church was meeting at Orem High School. CenterPoint became a church on wheels. From 2006 to 2016 worship services were held in 4 different schools, and the offices were housed in 4 different locations.
Those were difficult times. Yet, those years included some of the best ministry in the history of the church. Hundreds of people came to Christ and were baptized. There were thriving ministries at both BYU and Utah Valley University. The next generation was encouraged to walk with Christ through children’s and student ministries.
During this time the church learned that even in times of great uncertainty Jesus is a solid foundation. The people of CenterPoint kept showing up and in time saw the faithfulness of God. God provided a way to build. After a decade of wandering, in February of 2016 the doors were opened to a new church home on the I15 freeway.
Immediately there was growth. So many people came with the same story, “I drove by and saw the building and decided to go and see what was happening in there”. Many of them stayed. They stayed because people were being pointed to Jesus. They stayed because the vision was never about a place. It was about people. It was about becoming a people who are making Jesus the CenterPoint of their lives and are committed to making Him known from the CenterPoint of Utah Valley.