Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

February 17, 2013

Crossroads’ senior pastor Jeff Harlow stepping down after 37 years

Oakford Baptist Church was a small, white-washed country sanctuary when a 20-year-old Jeff Harlow first started preaching there in 1975. The worship consisted of hymn books, an organ and piano. About 50 people attended on Sunday, and around 15 kids participated in the church’s youth program.

Fast forward 37 years, and you’ll still find Harlow preaching from the pulpit. But the church — well, that looks a little different.

For starters, it changed it name to Crossroads Community Church in 2000. It’s changed locations, denominations, added a professional-sounding praise-and-worship band and expanded into a new 56,000 square foot worship center a decade ago.

Over all the time, it’s grown by more than 2,000 attendees to become the largest church in Kokomo.

“We have more kids in the bathroom now at any one given time than we used to have in the entire Sunday school,” Harlow said with a laugh.

The church has underwent a lot of transformations over the years, but one thing’s remained consistent: Jeff Harlow at the helm as senior pastor.

But even that’s changing soon.

After preaching thousands of sermons nearly every Sunday for the last 37 years, 58-year-old Harlow is stepping down and delivering his last message in March.

“Leading a church for nearly four decades is pretty much unheard of,” said Kevin Smith, administrative pastor at Crossroads Community Church and a life-long friend. “It’s huge in terms of not just pastoring the same church, but pastoring a church through such massive changes over the years. And Jeff’s been able to grow right along with it. It’s an incredible accomplishment.”

The church’s first big transformation came in 1977, just two years after Harlow agreed to start preaching at Oakford Baptist Church twice a week for $40. Because of structural problems, the congregation decided to build a 150-seat sanctuary just across the road on Ind. 26.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Bldg Wall Collapse 01 KipCor purchases partially collapsed downtown building A building that has long been a part of downtown Kokomo’s landscape will remain intact, but undergo extensive demolition, after being purchased by a company that has been active in the city’s redevelopment efforts. The Barko building, also known as t

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • mopeds Mo-ped law means some scooters now require license With more and more mo-peds hitting the streets, police are having a hard time enforcing new restrictions encompassed in the new scooter law. Mo-ped drivers can still cruise the streets and roads on their two-wheel machines, but the new state law, whi

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Supreme Court observers predict ‘wide open’ process of picking of next chief INDIANAPOLIS — State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure in the leadership post. Another surprise may be in store when his replacement is named. A seven-member panel

    July 29, 2014

  • Council committee to present dog ordinance draft Aug. 11 Kokomo Common Council committee members will provide a draft of proposed changes to its dog ordinance at its Aug. 11 meeting. The release date for the draft was pushed back following a committee meeting where 25 members of the public aired their conc

    July 29, 2014

  • Indiana BMV asks court to delay vanity plate sales INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles has asked the state Supreme Court for permission to continue its suspension on sales of vanity plates until a court case is settled. The Indiana attorney general's office announced Monday it ha

    July 29, 2014

  • Higher ed chief rolls out class load campaign INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's higher education commissioner wants college students to get the message that they should take at least 15 credit hours each semester if they expect to graduate on time. Commissioner Teresa Lubbers on Monday kicked off a

    July 29, 2014

  • Commission postpones rezoning vote for Functional Devices land TIPTON — Residents of Prairie Acres subdivision will have to wait at least two more weeks to learn the fate of a pair of zoning requests from Functional Devices. At Monday’s regularly-scheduled bi-weekly county commissioners meeting, city-county plan

    July 29, 2014

  • Illinois man leads police on high-speed chase PERU — An Illinois man driving at speeds of 120 mph led officers from three counties on a high-speed chase Sunday before crashing into a utility pole. Peru police say Isaac K. Hoefling, 31, Lamont, Illinois, was first pulled over by Howard County dep

    July 28, 2014

  • Permanent road closure has Miami Co. residents worried PERU — Residents who live near a safety-flare company that’s expanding north of Peru spoke out against a proposal to permanently close a section of county road that runs through the company’s facilities. Orion Safety Products, located at 3157 N. 500

    July 28, 2014

  • Gary Rhum bringing music lessons to Catholic school Rhum Academy of Music's owner is set to give all students at Sts. Joan of Arc & Patrick School music lessons next year as part of the school's curriculum. When Gary Rhum talks about why he loves to teach kids music, the long-time performer and instru

    July 28, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries