In the early 1930s, Arthur & Ceinwyn Stebbings were living in Pawtucket, RI and were in fellowship at Pawtucket Gospel Hall, an assembly with its background in the Open Plymouth Brethren movement. In 1935 they moved to nearby Attleboro, Massachusetts to launch a small printing business, and began meeting with two other couples, Walter & Florence Jacobsen and Eugene & Hilda Quarnstrom, to study the Scriptures in their homes.
As the small group grew, they rented space in the Oddfellows Building on Bank Street from 1938 to 1950 and took the name Christian Assembly of Attleboro. They moved to a converted garage at 32 Major Street from 1950 to 1954, and there took the name Good News Chapel. In 1954, the assembly purchased and renovated a historic schoolhouse building at 138 South Main Street and remained there until 1976.
Then in 1977, they purchased the current site at 235 West Street in Attleboro where they built the original chapel and classroom section of the building. In 1993 a fire gutted the interior of the structure. For the next year, Good News met in a nearby elementary school while the building was remodeled, and facilities were expanded to include a new kitchen and a large multi-purpose gym.
Good News Bible Chapel has always focused on sound Bible teaching and evangelism. In the ’70s, Good News established New England Center for Biblical Studies, an evening Bible school for adults that closed in 1980. And, from 1979 to 1993 they operated Attleboro Christian Academy, a Christian school for grades 1-12.
GNBC, a non-denominational church, enjoys close, supportive, and cooperative relationships with other evangelical churches in the greater Attleboro area.
From its beginning, Good News was led by a team of elders who shared the responsibility for shepherding and preaching/teaching. Good News has also placed a strong emphasis on the “gifts of the Holy Spirit,” the idea that all believers are to use their gifts to support, encourage and build up the Body of Christ. (GNBC is not charismatic.)
In 1993 Good News began a new chapter when they hired Rick, their first full-time Teaching Pastor, a recent Western Seminary graduate. God blessed in many ways and the body grew. To accommodate the steady growth, the elders moved the services from the lower Chapel into the large gym/multi-purpose room. Rick took a position at another church in 2003.
In 2004 the elders hired Ben, a Gordon College Youth Ministries grad and experienced youth pastor, to serve full time as the Director of Youth Ministries at Good News. In 2005, the elders asked one of their own, Steve DuPlessie, to leave his position in the marketplace and serve as Teaching Pastor. A member of Good News since the mid 1970s, Steve combined marketplace experience with his gifts in pulpit teaching and pastoral care. Since stepping into full-time ministry, Steve has earned his MA in Urban Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
In 2012 a group of Latino sisters and brothers began using our building with the expectation of buying their own building as their new church plant grew. God had other plans. In the summer of 2014, the Latino believers officially joined us as part of the GNBC family. “GNBC en Español” is currently led by Freddy Perez, ThD (non-paid).
Today the mission of Good News is still the same – “Leading people to faith and maturity in Christ.” The plan is two-fold: “Leading people to faith” through deliberate evangelism through personal relationships and community services – such as the weekly “City Supper” soup kitchen, rescue mission and nursing home outreaches, and the monthly free clothing distribution ministries – and “Leading people to maturity” through both targeted Sunday services that combine joyful praise and worship with preaching that aims at life change from God’s word to equip Christians for growth to spiritual maturity, and a church-wide culture of mid-week home small groups that we call Care Groups for Bible study, prayer and developing relationships for care and accountability.