Our Story

How it all started...

Proving Ground Church is a church plant from the members and leadership of Bayside Chapel in Barnegat, New Jersey. What was initially a small group of 19 believers meeting in a private residence, Bayside Chapel has grown in the past two decades into a thriving evangelical home for worshipers to experience the Christ centered life promised to us by Our Lord.
In January, 2020, Bayside Chapel purchased the property where Proving Ground Church sits today. Previously the home of the Ocean County Evangelical Free Church who served the senior community for over 30 years, Proving Ground Church was planted to take the lessons of that Christ centered life to the Borough of Lakehurst and Manchester Township communities to test whether or not the Christian faith truly works in the lives of our community.
In March of 2020, our community suffered with the world as the COVID-19 pandemic changed daily life as we knew it. Through the weeks and months of stay-at-home directives from governmental leaders and quarantine regulations designed to keep our community safe, the leadership of Proving Ground Church prayerfully considered how to serve before its planned opening in the fall of 2020. With a facility still under renovation and in the midst of a global pandemic, the leadership of Proving Ground Church committed to serve the community immediately, before the doors of the building were open. Through outreach events, discussions with community leaders and organizations, Proving Ground Church came along side the community to serve – to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in our community.
Our story is not finished. Proving Ground Church will open in the fall of 2020 and will stand as a church that continually takes on the problems and questions of our age to test whether the Christian faith works; whether being a Jesus follower is the correct path for our lives. But before we open, before there is one worship service, before one person is able to declare in open service that they will dedicate their life to Christ, Proving Ground Church will serve the community through this difficult time in every way we are able. We love Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ loves you.
And we will prove it.