Celebrating 40 Years
Our journey began with a faithful group from First Baptist Church in George, Iowa, who heard God’s call to advance the Gospel of Christ in Rock Rapids. Responding to His call, the group began their outreach in a booth at the Lyon County Fair in 1974. The response of the community was positive, resulting in a regular Bible study.
The group quickly outgrew their meeting place in Rock Rapids State Bank, and moved to the Christian Reformed schoolhouse. October 5 th, 1975 saw the first church service of Faith Baptist.
Less than a year later, this young church was in need of a full-time pastor. Reverend Reuben Grueneich answered God’s call, and faithfully served the church for 17 years.
The church continued to grow, and the Lord provided a new location. In 1978, our current 5 acres of land was purchased for $30,000. The people of Faith Baptist took their role in building the church seriously, literally putting their shoulders to the plow. After less than a year, the church building was completed, and dedicated on June 22, 1980.
Among the most beautiful reminders of God’s faithfulness to Faith Baptist are the godly leaders He has provided. Dennis Kee led the original Bible study. After Reuben Grueneich’s 17 years, Dave Soldner and associate pastor Keith Vik led us for 5 years, followed by Bill Kramer for 3 years, with Burt Itterman filling interims between pastors. We have been blessed to have Pastor Jeff Poppinga serve us for over 11 years, and associate pastor Mike Kurrle for 4 years, and counting!
We give all the glory to God for how He has used Faith Baptist over the past 40 years to impact lives. Through obedience to the Great Commission, we have sent our brothers & sisters to the farthest stretches to bring the Gospel to the nations. We have also rejoiced in every baptism, every soul welcomed into the Kingdom, every opportunity we have had to advance the Gospel right here in our own neighborhood.
One of the areas we put our hearts into locally is ministering to the children and young people of Rock Rapids through AWANA and FRED. We have been mightily blessed and humbled to pour out the love of God to these young people, and to see many trust Jesus as their Savior and grow in their knowledge of His Word.
Through 40 years of witnessing the Lord faithfully grow our church, we have joyfully adjusted our facilities to accommodate. When we had asked all we could of our original building, plans were drawn up for an addition. With most of this work completed, we are excited to consider the possibilities for further ministry through this expansion.
Like every body of believers, we have had times of joy and times of sorrow, we have seen much change in the culture around us, and change right here at home. In the midst of it all, we join with those who came before us, trusting firmly in God’s Word and His promises. Faith Baptist Church continues to stand today, both in name and in purpose, as a reminder of the faithfulness of our God.
We look back with thankfulness and praise, and look forward with a sense of purpose. The fields are still white with harvest. Let us carry forward the mission given to us, and be found faithful by the One who gave it.