Tarrant County’s First Church
Local 76262 resident: Pastor Jason Stover and family
Jason and Ginger Stover are very proud 76262 residents. Jason shares, “I know Texas doesn’t consider us Texans yet, but we are Texans through and through.” Originally from Chicago, the Stovers’ have 3 children. Their daughter, Aubrie, had a very severe lung event that the cold Chicago winters compounded. The family had two options, one was an invasive surgery for Aubrie with no promise of results or, move south. They ultimately chose to move to Texas. “The move south basically healed her [Aubrie] and she plays basketball for Byron Nelson”, Jason adds.
Their twin sons, Bradey and Caleb are now seniors at Byron Nelson High School and heavily involved there and at the church. Ginger leads the Women’s Ministries and is the director of Parent’s Day Out, while Jason is the lead pastor of North Texas’s oldest church, Lonesome Dove Baptist Church, also known as “The Dove”.
History of “The Dove”:
This year, The Dove celebrates its 175th birthday, which is very unique for this area. Why? Because this is the first and longest-standing church in North Texas. On the third Saturday of February 1846, a growing group of Christ followers who moved to the Republic of Texas from Missouri met at the log cabin home of Charles Throop. There they formed Lonesome Dove Baptist Church. At the time of its founding there were no other churches within many miles, and no other evangelical church between Grapevine-Southlake and the Pacific Ocean.
We asked Jason, how is it leading such a historic landmark in the community? Jason: “I love it, we always talk about how we love our past, embrace our history and look forward to the future”. We know we are standing on the shoulders of amazing men and women who’ve gone before us.”
The pandemic has forced us to reset in a lot of ways. Some of these resets are positive and some negative, but it also has required people consider the habits that they have or habits they need to start again. Perhaps, some people feel this is the first time in their life they need that spiritual connection.
Jason shares “If the pandemic has taught us anything, we have a pandemic of isolation and loneliness. We are made for friends; we are made for community and I think The Dove can offer this. This is a place where you are known, loved and missed when you are gone.
Our youth and children ministries continue to punch above their weight class. For a church our size what we are doing with our youth and our children is something that people should come check out. Our Children’s Director, Emily Higgins, and Youth Pastor, Joshua Holcombe, are very talented and good at what they do. I think one of the things that get overlooked during this pandemic is how hard it has been on our kids, at the Dove we are doing something about that.”
Photo curtsey of Jason Stover