175th Anniversary Celebration
The year was 1843. The first major wagon train with 1000 people was set to travel to the American Northwest via the
On June 9, 1838, sixteen individuals had met under an apple tree at the home of Oliver Harris – located two miles east of New Market – for the purpose of officially organizing what was first called Little Rocky Fork Baptist Church. In time, the congregation changed its name to
In the not too distant future, the fledgling congregation received permission to use the courthouse for services. Within a short time, though county officials closed the courthouse to such meetings. Never discouraged, the growing congregation met at the village school on
God’s blessing was upon them, and the membership had grown to the point where a permanent House of Worship was needed. In 1845, a city in-lot was purchased on the east side of
The turn of the century brought great blessings to membership growth so the present structure was built and dedicated in 1906. This time the structure was built on the northwest corner of South West and Walnut. Membership had grown to 149.
The community of
Being faithful to the God who had blessed them through triumphs and trials, and being called to be good stewards of the ministry and buildings, there was continual growth of membership which led to more renovations as needed.
A home was donated for the parsonage until a new one was built next to the church in 1952. Ten years later the basement of the Church was renovated for full use, including classrooms, and fellowship hall with a kitchen.
The church has always felt God’s blessing upon them, yet there were various trials which challenged them. In 1977, lightning struck causing a fire and great smoke damage at a cost of $80,000. Repairs were completed in 1978. Even today, updates continue to be made as a need arises.
First Baptist has been blessed over the years with strong spiritual teaching and preaching through the ministries of 39 pastors or interim pastors. Recent pastors since 1951 have been:
1951-1956 Albert Rodenhauser
1956-1959 Billy Lucas
1959-1988 J. Robert Gallagher
1989-1999 Larry W. Stewart
2001-2008 Todd Toole
2008-2010 Dave Hanson-Interim
2010-2012 Josh McFarland
2014-2016 Eric Swenson
2016-2018 Larry W. Stewart-Interim
Now in this 175th year, we are very excited about the calling of Pastor Clay Self who will begin his ministry at
The community is invited to an Open House on Sunday, September 30th from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. to welcome Pastor Self as well as to join the church in celebration of 175 years with God’s Blessings. We continue to believe that God is at work here at First Baptist, in