History

The Western Avenue Baptist Church congregation in 1955.

The history of Faith Baptist Church dates back to a revival meeting held in November of 1906.  There were 55 people who trusted Christ during these well attended meetings.  After this revival closed, there was a question of what to do with the converts.  L.S. Holman was chosen as pastor to preach until something permanent could be accomplished. He pastored from 1907 to 1916.

On April 29, 1907 a church was organized under the title of “The 2nd Union Mission Church.”  Soon after the organization, a church building was erected at 101 N. Western Avenue on a lot donated by Brother M.W. O’Neal. The church was served by three pastors before it became a Baptist Church.  On February 8, 1917 the name of the church was changed to “Western Avenue Baptist Church.”

The church then called George Woolsey who served as pastor until his death in February of 1924. There were ten pastors who filled the pulpit and served the church from 1924 to 1949.

During the ministry of Carl Townsend, (1950-1951), the building was remodeled and the basement was developed for Sunday School rooms. The church and Sunday School had good growth during his ministry.

Pastor William Rokosh, (1951-1955), led the church in expanding the mission program.  It was a time of growth, numerically and spiritually. Two other pastors, Albert McDonald, and R.H. Hutchinson followed.

Red Rooster Dedication Day, August 6, 1972.

Pastor Art Olsen was called to pastor the church in 1957.  Lightning struck and a fire destroyed the old building in May of 1962 leaving the church “half destroyed.”  A new building was erected on Warrington Avenue and was dedicated on September 29, 1963.  The name was then changed to “Faith Baptist Church.”

Pastor Maurice Gritton accepted the call to be the pastor in 1964 and served until 1977.  He led the church to expand the original Warrington Avenue building.  During Pastor Gritton’s ministry, a great victory was won as the tavern, “The Red Rooster,” next door to the church was purchased and used as the Church Annex for Sunday School space and church activities.

Pastor L.L. Mullinax came to pastor the church in 1978, and the church building was expanded and dedicated to God’s use in 1982.

Pastor John Davis became the next pastor of the church in January of 1988. These were years of encouragement and growth.  The church became debt-free with a mortgage burning in the mid-1990’s. The old Red Rooster building was demolished and this was immediately followed by the construction of a new building for the children’s ministries. Under Pastor Davis’ leadership Faith Baptist assumed the ministry of Midwest Baptist College as he accepted the presidency.  The much anticipated parking lot paving was one of Brother Davis’ final projects.

The 75th Anniversary Sunday on October 17, 1982.

Pastor Allan Rudie began his ministry as pastor of Faith Baptist in July 2002.  God has continued to bless the church numerically and spiritually with good growth.  Through the generous giving of God’s people the church redecorated and upgraded the church auditorium and raised $18,000 to purchase a concert Yamaha grand piano.  Midwest Baptist College continues to go forward under Pastor Rudie’s leadership as president, and he has led the church to establish a building fund for a fellowship hall/multi-purpose expansion project. Exciting times lie ahead for Faith as the master plan for church expansion has been voted on and approved. The church is now waiting on the raising of funds and God’s leading for the actual construction to begin as we seek His will in expanding the facility for His use and glory.

Our church is thankful to God for our heritage, and by His grace we desire to strive to press on, being led by the Spirit and standing on the truth of His Word.  We can look back as our church continues past a century of existence and say with the psalmist, “This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.”