After a series of prayer meetings conducted by Omaha First Church of the Nazarene, it was thought to be the Lord's will to hold a revival in the central part of Omaha, with the intent of organizing a central church in the city. It was to be called Central Church of the Nazarene.
The first Omaha Central church location was 24th & Dodge Streets, and truly was centrally located. Many of its first attendees and members used the many trolley car lines to come to church activities. it was a beautiful church, too, with red carpet on the floor and wooden chairs, also painted red, for the children. The building had a kitchen in the basement and when the Nebraska District Assembly convened at Omaha Central the following year, 1928, some of the women prepared meals for all who wanted to eat there. That first district assembly was momentous for Omaha Central for a number of reasons: although the church was just eight months old, it could already report a membership of 28 and an average Sunday School attendance of 90; Rev. Harmon Schmelzenbach, the great missionary to Africa, was one of the speakers that year (he stayed with the Larsons while in Omaha); lastly, Omaha Central's founding pastor, Rev. Marvin S. Cooper, was elected district superintendent!
Central's first building was a rented space. When the building's owner decided to sell it in 1932, we were forced to make a move to 43th and Hamilton Streets. The next building, though owned by the congregation, was actually a portable tabernacle rather than a permanent building, designed to be moved to go to various sites to hold revival meetings. It was very primitive, with dirt floors and straw covering. Side walls could be opened to let in air (also flies) and heating provided by two stoves. The building had no plumbing; fortunately, the Smiths lived across the street, and donated the use of their facilities during services. Despite primitive conditions, the church prospered. Central held its first Vacation Bible School, with an impressive enrollment of 45. Average Sunday School attendance had grown to 131 the church combined forces with a sister church in Benson to put on a special Christmas program. A revival held in the 1930s, drew over 200, which was a record attendance that stood for many years before being topped.
Sensing God's calling them back into a more permanent building, Central moved to 41st and Charles Streets around 1940. Central was given the great honor of playing host church to coast-to-coast convention sponsored by the Department of Foreign Missions in 1948. Speaking at the meeting were Dr. C. Warren Jones, Miss Fairy Chism of Africa, Rev. Lyle Prescott of Cuba, Rev. Everett Howard to Cape Verde Islands and Rev. Honoratio Reza of Mexico.
In 1950, Central Church experimented with radio by broadcasting its own program called "The Church Triumphant" over radio station KOWH (Omaha's first FM station). The program featured the pastor, which at this time was Rev. A.G. Parmenter, and an 18 voice choir.
Feeling the need to build another sanctuary, land was selected and purchased at 82nd and Blondo Streets in 1959. In 1960, Jack and Mary Margaret Nash were called to be Central's new pastoral family. From 1960 to 1963, Central was a homeless congregation; some have called these years our "wandering in the wilderness" time. Meetings were held all over the city, sometimes at the South Omaha YMCA, the Sidles Company auditorium or other locations. Wednesday prayer meetings were generally held in the basement of the parsonage, then located at 84th and Franklin Streets.
The current building at 8206 Blondo Street was completed and dedicated on March 8, 1964. In 1980-81 an an education wing was built. Around 1995 the three lots to the south of the main sanctuary along Blondo Street were purchased to allow for future expansion and protect it from undesirable development.
In 2013, under the leadership of Rev. Dan Cole, the congregation voted to put the property at 8206 Blondo Street on the market in preparation for moving to a new location. Rev. Cole became the full-time District Superintendent for the Nebraska District of the Church of the Nazarene in January, 2015.
In July 2015, Rev. Rod Amos, accepted the pastorate for the church. Under his leadership, the property was sold to the Omaha Chinese Culture Association in February 2016. The facility was renamed 'Nebraska Chinese Center (NCC)' by the new owners.
In July, 2016, as part of the move to a new location, the congregation decided on a new name: Faith Journey Church.
Faith Journey Church rented space in the Nebraska Chinese Center (formerly Central Church of the Nazarene) facility until a new location was secured.
In April 2017, Faith Journey church moved to a new site in northwest Omaha. The new address is 2920 North 118 St., Suite 104, still in Omaha, Nebraska. The location is just off a major northwest street, 120th, between Blondo and Maple streets. The congregation plans to worship at this location for a few years until a permanent location can be purchased.
Just as in the past, ministry methods and facility needs are changing. However, the Message has remained the same throughout the long history of Faith Journey Church of the Nazarene. It has truly been a journey of faith! (Last updated: May 2017.)