The History of Bible Way Church of  Waco

Joseph Dana was born June 11, 1903, in Moravia, Czechoslovakia, where he lived until immigrating to the United States in his youth. In July of 1943, he married his sweetheart, Gladys Kimbriel. They moved to Waco, Texas in September of that year and began pastoring the Sunshine Mission located between Third and Fourth Streets on Austin Avenue. While pastoring there, they were also holding tent revivals at a vacant lot on Third Street. Brother Joe felt God leading, and with $3.35 in his pocket, he bought lumber and nails on credit, built a platform on which to preach, and Third Street Mission was born.

In 1952, Third Street Mission joined World Bible Way Fellowship, of which Rev. Guy Shields was president at the time. Upon joining the fellowship the name was changed from Third Street Mission to Bible Way Church.

In 1974, the property on Third Street was sold to the City of Waco Urban Renewal, and Bible Way Church purchased the current property at 2800 Gurley Avenue in Waco, Texas. This property and larger building provided room for growth, and in 1984, while still under the pastorship of Brother Dana, a new sanctuary was built, which is still in use today.

Brother and Sister Dana were faithful and loving pastors up until their deaths. Brother Dana died August 21,1992 , followed a few years later by Sister Dana.


Barney Arnett was born May 10, 1932 in Hamilton County, Texas. His family moved to Waco in 1948. Brother Barney began dating Sis. Billie who was a founding member of Third Street Mission/ Bible Way Church. They were married on April 16,1951, and made Bible Way their home. He began preaching in 1952, and before long, became Brother Dana's Assistant Pastor. They worked together in this capacity until Brother Dana became too ill to to pastor anymore. In the latter part of 1988, Brother Barney assumed the role of Senior Pastor.


Pastor Barney, feeling the need for an Associate Pastor, asked Brother Lee Farmer to fill that position in 1990 . Brother Lee, who had married their daughter, Sharon, on June18,1977, accepted the invitation. he served in this capacity until his resignation in April of 2003.


In December of 2001,  we opened our newly built fellowship hall and Sunday school building. The new facility provided us with much needed Sunday school and kitchen space. It has been a great blessing to our ministry.

In 2002, the decision was made to incorporate Bible Way Church and a Statement of Faith, Church Constitution, and Bylaws were drafted. On April 14, 2002  they were presented in a scheduled meeting of the church and the decision to incorporate was unanimous. From that point we became recognized as Bible Way Church of Waco, Inc.  


In January of 2008, Pastor Barney asked his son, David, to assume the role of Associate Pastor. The board approved the decision and David accepted.

On January 18, 2009, Pastors Barney and Billie Arnett tendered their resignation to the board. The resignation was accepted, with tears and love. Pastor Barney had been diagnosed with dementia, and felt that the time had come to step down. We still appreciate their fifty plus years of service to Bible Way Church. We have been blessed.



On January 18, 2009, associate pastor, David Arnett was asked to assume responsibility as interim pastor, and on January 25, 2009, the church body elected him to be Senior Pastor.

Pastor David has been connected to BWC his entire life. He and Reba Shaw were married January 15, 1972, (they had the honor of being the last young couple Pastor Joe Dana married in the Third Street church before it was demolished),  and they have made Bible Way Church their home church all of these years, with the exception of  a five year absence when they lived in Houston, Texas from 1974 until 1979.

The Arnetts have four children who along with their spouses have provided them with sixteen grandchildren.  Their home is always lively and loud and often you will find the whole clan there for a meal.   They have been blessed to watch their children and grandchildren begin their own journey into ministry.

Many ministers now serving elsewhere, entered ministry and countless musicians and singers begun their journey in the music ministry at Bible Way Church, and have gone on to serve in preaching and praise and worship ministries all over the United States.


This history page is added so that future generations can look back to see where we began our journey at Bible Way Church of Waco, and be able to continue to track our onward blessed movement through the years, as we continue to strive to follow the will of God, for His honor and glory. We appreciate God's blessings upon this body of believers. We are thankful for a church that is founded upon Biblical truth, and for godly leadership. We pray that God will continue to bless us as the years go by, and that we always bring honor and glory to His name.
Copyright 2018 Bible Way Church of Waco, Texas