By God's Grace, on July 29, 2021, Warsaw Baptist Church reached the milestone of 178 years of serving God and the communities in and around Warsaw.
According to the records from the church's first business meeting, the family of believers was originally called The United Baptist Church of Christ at Warsaw and throughout the 1800's, the church is referred to by that name as well as, The Baptist Church of Jesus Christ at Warsaw, Warsaw Baptist Church (which appears to have been used for the first time around 1890) and The United Baptist Church of Warsaw.
In The Story of Gallatin County, Carl Bogardus writes:
“The Warsaw Baptist church was organized on July 29, 1843.
Its first pastor was Elder John Scott, with the congregation
consisting of 12 white and eight black members.
On September 26, 1846, the property located on the north
side of West High and Third Streets was purchased from
John T. and Ruth Robinson for the sum of $100. A brick
church building was erected in the same year at the cost of
In 1882, the building was razed and another brick
The church used that second building until it was destroyed by a fire in 1973. The current building was built on the same spot in 1976. During the construction, former member Gary Hughes, who now lives in North Carolina, recalls going to Sunday School and church services in the Gallatin County Courthouse.
“We used to look out the window each week to watch the progress of the new building,”
Over the course of time, children have been raised up through Sunday School classes, married, had children of their own and went on to be with the LORD after a long and fruitful life in the church. And the cycle continues with the generation today.
“I am grateful to get to be a part of this church family,”
said Pastor Ken Ritchie.
“We have seen a recent uptick in attendance, and more importantly, I have seen many of our members and long-time visitors grow in spiritual maturity and in dedication to Christian service. We give God the glory and credit for all of the good that He has done and continues to do here.”
Ritchie has served as the primary preaching elder
at WBC since September 2014. He leads the church
alongside his fellow elders, Joe Lowe and Todd Miller.
The elders are supported and encouraged
by the church's deacons Terry Hopperton, Brad
Hopperton and Danny Sullivan.
Ministry of The WORD
Church member Lucille Leek leads a large group of volunteers to operate a food pantry for the community each Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Members Doug and Lori Keyes spearhead a ministry to provide Thanksgiving meals to several families in need in the community.
Members Mary Beth Caldwell, LoraMae Sullivan and Lori Keyes lead the church's Samaritan's Purse — Operation Christmas Child program and operate a regional collection site for that international ministry each year.
Todd Miller and Boston Beach lead the music ministry at the church, with a cadre of volunteers running sound and sermon live-streams.
Members Chris and Shannon Olivigni help lead our youth.
The Children's Ministry, led by Jenny and Brad Hopperton, and assisted by a large team of volunteers, run the Children's Church on the second and fourth Sundays of the month, and Nursery services each Sunday. They also also run the WBC Vacation Bible School.
“We thank God for His merciful and sustaining grace that has brought us through more than 175 years,” said Ritchie. “And we are trusting God for every day of our future. And we also believe that we are just one small part of the work that God is doing. That is why our church believes so strongly in partnering wherever and whenever possible with other local churches and why we believe in the importance of church planting and revitalization. He does amazing things through the birth of new new churches and in the cooperation of existing churches.”
“If you don't have a local church home, we'd love for you to join us this week,” Ritchie said. “And if we don't turn out to be the right church for you, we will help you find the right one. We want to always be about building God's Kingdom, not ours.”