First Baptist Church

History

 
 

FBC History

The first official record of the First Baptist Church of Newton was organized on July 19, 1877.  A notice appeared in the Kansas (Newton) Republican Newspaper, formerly the Harvey County News: “Baptists Are Requested to Meet in the Presbyterian Church at 3 PM Sunday”.  On that date, enough interest was evident to call a meeting for organization, and at that time, 17 citizens became charter members.  These early pioneers were the beginning of the First Baptist Church.  There were four denominations in the area at the time. 

The location of the first permanent building was in the second block west of Main Street, on the north side of 5th Street.  The cost of the material required for its construction was approximately $250.00 exclusive of freight and labor.  The Santa Fe Railway Company made no charge for hauling the freight.  Practically all the labor required in erecting the building was donated by members and others.

As forecast by Rev. Merrifield, the church grew rapidly and the need for a larger place of worship became evident.  Shortly after the Merrifield’s left for another field of service, it was decided to build a new building.  The original building was sold and has been used by a total of eight congregations.  It is currently housing the People’s Bible Baptist Church on the southwest corner of 12th Street and Logan. 

Ground was purchased at the corner of Sixth and Poplar, and, in 1884, construction began on the new church building.  While the second building was under construction, the congregation maintained regular services.  They first met in the MethodistChurch, then located at Broadway and Poplar.  Later, they met in a skating rink on the corner of Sixth and Plum Streets.  The new building was finished and dedicated that same year.  It cost $12,000, exclusive of the bell.  The sermon of dedication was delivered by Rev. Connally, a representative of the State Convention. 

The church’s membership and influence continued to grow.  In July 1923 the church elected a building committee to begin a plan for a new church building.  It was decided that when the amount in the building fund totaled $15,000.00, the old building should be demolished and construction of the new building would be started. 

  Wrecking of the old building began in April 1925.  The cornerstone of the new building was laid on August 19, 1925.  The last Sunday in March 1925 was the last time they met in the old building. The first service in the new building was held the first Sunday in April, 1926.  

The new building was complete and ready dedication on June 19, 1927.

Over the next 85 years the congregation of First Baptist has been busy worshiping God by ministering to those around them as well as those far away.  We are active in specific missions in Newton such as the Harvey County Homeless Shelter, HeartlandPregnancy Care Center, Health Ministries, Weekday Bible School, Harvest of Love.  We also reach across the US as we give to specific missionaries Tony Brown, Randy & Nedra Sharp & Scott & Kristine Edgren.

Our youth group took their first mission trip in 1998 when they went to Cordova, Alaska.  They have been going annually since that time, this year to Philadelphia, PA.  

It is impossible to sum up FBC in a few words, because we are a congregation who loves the Lord and works to serve Him in all we do.  Each of us has ministries in our daily lives as well as our corporate life.  Unfortunately, we do not have the space to record that here.

Our church has been served by the following pastors, who, with their wives, have given the church a strong leadership and ministry through the years. 

 

Pastor Terms

Our church has been served by the following pastors, who, with their wives, have given the church a strong leadership and ministry through the years. 

  • Rev. A.S. Merrifield

August 1877 to August 1883

  • From August 1883 until March 1897 the records are not available, but the following ministers served:  Rev. Price, Rev. Baker, Rev. Rhoades, Rev. Sawin, Rev. Tuttle and Rev. Newell.

  • Rev. W.A. Elliott

March 1897 to December 1906

  • Rev. R.R. Fleming

December 1906 to June 1908

  • Rev. J.J. Griffin

June 1908 to August 1912

  • Rev. J.J. Runyan

September 1912 to August 1915

  • Rev. Samuel Bristow

November 1915 to July 1917

  • Rev. Alpha Ingle

August 1917 to September 1921

  • Rev. A.R.Hardy

      October 1921 to September 1929

  • Rev. J.W. Bays

       October 1929 to October 1937

  • Rev. U.V. White           

         November 1937 to June 1945

  • Rev. E.E. Macfarlane (Interim Pastor)

March 1941 to March 1946

  • Dr. Randle R. Mixon

  June 1946 to April 1951

  • Rev. Claud Mustain

September 1951 to December 1954

  • Rev. Stanley Anderson

 September 1951 to December 1954

  • Dr. Marcus O. Clemmons (Interim Pastor)

 September 1961 to January 1962

  • Rev. Fred Spinder

January 1962 to November 1985

  • Rev. Alden Dick

April 1987 to August 2000

  • Rev. Frank Burch (Interim Pastor)

October 2000 to April 2001