History of First Baptist Church

This past weekend First Baptist Church of Bremen celebrated its 75th anniversary. Here is the article I wrote for the newspaper. Thank God for 75 years of ministry!

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Original Building on North and Jackson Streets

On September 23, 1939, a group of twenty-three believers gathered in the home of Frank and Arvilla Kiefer on Grant Street in Bremen, with the intention of giving birth to a new church. On October 18, this small group adopted a constitution and the First Fundamental Church of Bremen (renamed First Baptist Church in 1943) was founded with thirty-four charter members. Soon after, Reverend George Crane was called as the first pastor.

The growing congregation met in the American Legion room on North Center Street for several months. However, in 1940 the opportunity arose to purchase the old Congregational church at the corner of North and Jackson streets. The building has since been demolished.

George and Lizzie Crane - George was the first pastor

First Pastor George Crane

The need for further space prompted the church to purchase over two acres outside of town for a new construction, which was completed in 1960. The first service in the new building was held on a rainy and muddy Easter Sunday, and the building was dedicated on August 21.

Five years later, the congregation purchased four lots south of the church for a parsonage. However, a tornado later that year rendered many in the area homeless, so construction was put on hold until May 26, 1966.

In 1988, ground was broken to the west of the existing building for a new wing, which would provide two levels of additional offices, classrooms, bathrooms, and a nursery.

On June 8, 1997, the church celebrated the burning of its mortgage, and has enjoyed debt-free ministry ever since.

Church on East Lincoln as it appeared in 1960

Church on East Lincoln in 1960

The mission of First Baptist Church is to bring glory to God through the intentional making of trained, edifying, accountable, and reproducing disciples of Jesus Christ. This goal is fulfilled in several ways, including a growing international missions program that has allowed the church to support God’s work all around the globe. Locally, an annual Sportsman’s Banquet is held, which draws hundreds of sportsmen from the area, and the AWANA ministry for youth just completed its 44th year.

The past, present, and future of First Baptist Church are bright because of the faithful blessings of God. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endureth to all generations (Psalm 100:5).

Church on East Lincoln today

Church as it looks today

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