The Lafayette Church of the Nazarene was a God-given vision in the heart and mind of Reverend C. E. McCracken while pastoring a home mission church in Memphis, TN. In a few short months, the Kentucky District Superintendent, Dr. L. T. Wells, called the McCracken family (Reverend C. E. & Naomi and their three sons: David, Edward, & Gary) to Lexington and provided a tent for an Evangelistic Crusade in South Lexington at the end of Southland Drive. At the conclusion of the meeting, on July 18, 1954, the church was organized with a charter of 50 members.
With no property or building, the new church began its worship under the tent. Other arrangements were sought out. Miraculously, God provided a place of worship at the Naval Reserve Center on Spring Hill Drive rent free for twelve months!
God was at work and the church grew! The present location of Lafayette Church of the Nazarene was made available by divine providence and sacrificial giving. A basement sanctuary was quickly built and the band of believers began to worship there in August of 1955. By 1961 all the debt had been paid, and in July 1962, the new ‘upstairs’ sanctuary was completed and dedicated to the Lord.
In July of 1968, the educational wing was finished and dedicated to the Lord and in honor of the founding pastors, Reverend C. E. & Naomi McCracken. In 1977, Reverend C. E. McCracken retired after 23 years of faithful service to the church. In March of that same year the church called his eldest son, Reverend David McCracken to become the new Senior Pastor. The Fellowship Hall was dedicated, debt free, to the Lord in July 1981.
Reverend C. E. McCracken was promoted to the Church Triumphant in 1982. The evangelistic zeal and passion for reaching the lost with the Gospel continued! Under the pastoral leadership of Reverend David McCracken the church moved forward seeking to fulfill the Great Commission.
There was an intentional focus on evangelism & mission work that continued to result in spiritual and numerical growth. Lafayette Church of the Nazarene sent buses, vans, and personal automobiles out to pick up people for church. The church planted and assisted in the planting of a number of churches. In 1992, the local church, in conjunction with the International Church of the Nazarene, established the “Lexington Compassionate Ministry Center” which continues to reach out to Fayette County and the surrounding areas with the love & hope of Christ! In 2000, a school bus was converted into a sanctuary on wheels that was used to minister to children in some of the housing and apartment complexes of Lexington. This ministry continued through 2010.
The church, along with the KY District Church of the Nazarene, launched “El Calvario Iglesia del Nazareno” in 2004. They continue to thrive and worship in the original sanctuary and share facilities with Lafayette at present.
In 2005, Reverend Naomi McCracken was promoted to the Church Triumphant. She was a mighty prayer warrior and woman of godly wisdom. The evangelistic zeal and passion for reaching the lost with the Gospel continued and never wavered.
Reverend Jared K. Henry came to be our third Senior pastor in March 2010. In May 2010, Lafayette celebrated the ministry of over 33 years of Reverend David McCracken as he retired. In his last sermon as the Senior Pastor, Brother Dave said: “The future of Lafayette [Church of the Nazarene] is as bright as the promises of God.” In November of that same year he was promoted to the Church Triumphant. As a mighty man of God and obedience, he kept the faith and ran the race into the arms of Jesus – “Welcome home my child!” In 2012, Sister Ruby McCracken, his loving and faithful wife, joined the Church Triumphant. Together they gave their lives in total obedience to the Lord and for the work of the Lord here at Lafayette. How great will their reward be and we are very thankful for their faithful service.
The Heritage of Holiness that we obtain as the family of God at Lafayette Church of the Nazarene is invaluable. We look back to give God thanks for His work among us like the spontaneous outpouring of the Holy Spirit that was a revival that began in November of 1969 and lasted for five weeks. In the summer of 1994 God moved in nightly revival services that lasted seven weeks and in 2004-05 God blessed with a four-week revival.
As Pastor Jared has often said, “Just as the church was born in revival, we must remain in revival.” We look forward with the holy hope that God will continue to use Lafayette Church of the Nazarene to proclaim freedom for captives and the blessing of full salvation!