Baptist church celebrates 75th anniversary

Dan Bechtold/Winner Advocate Photo
This is the new Winner First Baptist Church on South Country Road. The church
will celebrate its 75th anniversary on Sept. 12.

The First Baptist Church of Winner will celebrate its 75th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 12.

There will be a 10 a.m. morning worship service and a 2 p.m. celebration service.

Rev. Curtis Wheadon is the current pastor of the church.

An early beginning to Winner First Baptist Church was in September 1945. At that time Rev. Curtis L. Gatson began a field pastorate. Arrangements were soon made with the Christian church to use their building for worship on Sunday evenings.

In late 1945, a group of young people began meeting twice a month. By spring of 1946 adults were meeting with them for Bible study.

At a meeting in the Edward Sorensen home on April 24, 1946, it was decided to organize a Winner Baptist Church. Meetings were held and Rev. Gatson appointed a committee to formulate a constitution. A meeting to organize the First Baptist Church of Winner was held at the Christian Church on May 5, 1946. The charter of incorporation was issued on Feb. 5, 1947. There were 19 charter members.

Ground for a new church building was broken at 4th and Lamro on April 26, 1947. The first service in the new basement of the building was held on July 13, 1947. Sunday school met in the Charles Burtz home.

A parsonage was  built next door to the church and was completed in 1950. Services were held for six years in the basement of the church. On Aug. 9, 1953, another milestone in the church history was passed when the cornerstone was set in place. One year later, eight years from the date of organization, the completed building was dedicated to the glory of God on Oct. 7, 1954.

In September of 1996, Winner First Baptist Church celebrated 50 years of serving God.

On Dec. 30, 2011, the church received an anonymous gift of $100,000. After many meetings and prayer it was decided that God was blessing the Awana ministry. This ministry was outgrowing the present church. Members felt God was providing for them to build and reach more children for his kingdom.

In September 2013, ground breaking on “holy ground” was held at 501 South County Road for a new church building. Most of the work and building was done by volunteers from the church and community.

Throughout the building God continued to bless the church with gifts and donations as they were needed.

On Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015, the first service was held in the new building. On Sept. 20, 2015, a dedication service was held. On that day God had so richly blessed the church that it was debt free.

Awana grew from five children in 2009 to 101 children in 2017.

Throughout the building process, the prayer of the church was for wisdom, unity and discernment. God answered those prayers.

Over the 75 years, there have been 14 pastors and seven interim pastors.

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