As is often the case, understanding the past greatly enhances one's understanding of the present and offers direction for the future. Such is definitely the case for First Baptist Church. We have a strong heritage of faith and ministry which provides strength for today and hope for tomorrow.
The origin of First Baptist Church dates back to July 3, 1904. On that date, just one year after the establishment of the community of Lloydminster itself, ten charter members assembled under the pastorate of Rev. W. P. Freeman. He was an interim student pastor who held services throughout the summer in the Immigration Hall until his departure in the fall. Services were suspended until the following summer when Rev. Elsey arrived to continue the work. Under his leadership a church building was constructed. Shortly after the dedication service, Rev. Elsey left to resume his studies in Manitoba.
A year later, on November 25, 1906, Rev. Pengelly came from Ponoka to pastor the assembly. He remained until June of 1909 during which time the first manse was built. Rev. Pinsent was the next pastor and he remained until 1915.
Church membership up to this point had increased steadily. However, by 1915 factors such as population fluctuation, a lack of available ministers, and the coming of the First World War combined to necessitate the closing of the church doors for the next twelve years. During this interlude, the church building was rented out as a school and the manse as a private dwelling. On August 7, 1927 First Baptist reopened with twenty members and still in association with the Baptist Union of Western Canada. Rev. Robert assumed the pastorate during this time and remained until 1937. In November of that same year, Rev. Secord took over as pastor and stayed until September of 1938. He was followed by Pastor Filer who arrived in December of 1938 and remained until 1941 when he left to join the Canadian Army Chaplain Service. Rev. Filer was followed by Reverend Tiessen (1941 -
Later that same year Rev. L. E. Jones assumed the pastoral position. During his ministry First Baptist undertook several new initiatives. First, a new church structure was built. This involved first building a new manse on 42 Street in the spring of 1953. Then in May 1954, the church purchased another lot on 40th Street onto which they moved the old manse and later sold. This made way for the excavation of the basement for the new church on the site of the original manse. The first phase of the new church called for a basement with a temporary roof that could be used until the next phases could be undertaken. The "Basement Church" as it became known, was opened on November 7, 1954.
Pastor Jones also initiated the Baptist Bible Hour radio broadcast which continued until 1973 when costs made it unfeasible. Undoubtedly, the most significant contribution to the development of First Baptist Church was the establishment of Pleasantview Bible Camp. From its origin, the camp ministry from Pleasantview has had the most effective outreach for the church. Facilities there have steadily improved over the years up to the present time. The yearly number of campers has increased from a few dozen to the almost 500. More importantly, youth who have made confessions of faith and recommitment now number well into the thousands.
In 1959 Rev. Dinnick assumed the work of Rev. Jones. He saw the new church building through to completion and led in the expansion of the facilities at camp. Pastor Dinnick left First Baptist in June of 1964 and was soon followed by Reverend Harold Johnson in December of that year. Church ministries continued to develop under his ministry with the establishment of Pioneer Girls shortly after his arrival. In May of 1970, the church celebrated with a mortgage-
Following Pastor Priebe's departure in June of 1977, Pastor Harvey Peters accepted the call to First Baptist and arrived in August of that same year. The congregation was continuing to grow and so plans were made to expand the pastoral staff to include an associate pastor. Pastor Jim Browning filled this new position in June of 1978. First Baptist became a priority for his energy and zeal. During Pastor Peters' term a further daughter ministry was established in Maidstone.
As the Lord continued to bless the church, the decision was made to undertake a new building program. Therefore, fundraising began and plans were drawn. Eventually, the facility on 50th Street was sold to the Church of God and our present church was erected on property provided by Norman and Dorothy Mountain. The first service in our new building was held on June 22, 1980. The Dedication Service was appropriately held on Thanksgiving Weekend.
Pastor Peters left First Baptist in July 1982 and Pastor Browning left in December of 1982. Following the departure of these two men Pastor Bruce Scott came from Ontario in August of 1984. Under his leadership the church continued to grow. Additional pastoral staff that were added during this time were:
Mr. John Barrie who became lay pastor to seniors. Pastor Chuck Fish as Pastor of Administration and later as Minister of Music, Pastor Clarence Hood as Pastor of Personal Ministries, and Dale Dirksen as Camp Administrator. In 1988 Pastor Hood left the ministry and returned to Eastern Canada, John Barrie passed away and Pastor Scott accepted a position with Ontario Bible College. Pastor Fish moved on to further ministry in Alex, Alberta and Dale Dirksen continued in ministry in Oregon, U.S.A.
Reverend Jack Bacher arrived from Alaska in September of 1989 on an interim basis. A gifted teacher, Pastor Bacher ministered until October of 1990 when Pastor Henry Friesen accepted the call to First Baptist as senior pastor. In 1990 Marvin Fege succeeded Dale Dirksen in the area of camp administration. After the Feges left in 1991 Darey Harsch accepted the position of Managing Camp Director in 1992. The camp ministry continued to grow and under his leadership reached a peak of around 500 campers during the eight-
In January of 1993, Pastor Bryan Summerhaves accepted a call to come to First Baptist and to assume administration responsibilities as the Ministries Co-
Pastor Summerhayes took on the role of Senior Pastor following Pastor Friesen’s departure and continued in this ministry until December of 1999 when he left to take up a pastorate in Ontario. During his ministry here at First Baptist Church, he was joined by Andrew Dow, who arrived in March of 1998 as Minister of Youth, and Greg Alderton, who followed him in August of 1998 as Minister of Music and Care Ministries. They worked well as a team.
In August 2000, Reverend Ta Tumu became the Interim Pastor. As of January 2001, he accepted the position of Senior Pastor. January 2001 also saw the addition of Merv Loewen on a part-
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First Baptist Church
Address: 3915 47 Avenue, Lloydminster, Saskatchewan S9V 2C7
Phone: (306) 825-