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About Us

our history


1903 - 1909

July 19, 1903: A tent was erected on the Noll lots, a block northeast of the first church building. A call was made for all Baptist people to assemble in the tent for the purpose of organizing a Baptist Church. Twenty-nine people desired to be members. The church became known as First Baptist Church of Bethany, Missouri. The I.O.O.F. Hall off the southeast corner of the square was the home of the church for five years.

1906: A campaign was launched to build a new church building.

April 12, 1908: The new church building was dedicated.

1909: Bro. H.P. Kelly of Stanberry was called as pastor.


April 12, 1908

The new church building, a block off the northeast corner of the square, was dedicated.


1910 - 1919

1913: After Bro. Kelly's resignation, and with the church in a weakened condition, it was decided to discontinue Sunday School, however Mrs. George Arney and Bertha Wagoner refused to give up. The next Sunday, four girls responded to the ringing bell, and attendance began to grow.

November, 1913: Bro. A.K. Williams was called as pastor.

1913 - 1919: The church had three other pastors. The church was having half-time preaching and membership dropped.


1920 - 1929

1920: Rev. W.O. Dotson was called as pastor.

1923: Feeling the church needed a full-time pastor on the field, Bro. Dotson resigned because of his wife's health and the impossibility of him moving to town.

December 2, 1923: Rev. Benton Attebery, a Bethany native and charter member of the church, was called as pastor.

1927: Mrs. Mary Selby, bequeathing $1,000 to the church to be invested and the interest to be used each year as her pledge for the pastor's salary.


1930 - 1939

1931: The church was growing and beginning to outgrow its building.

1932: Church membership was 191.

1933: The first Vacation Bible School was held.

1938: Church membership was 363 and Sunday School enrollment was 228.

September, 1938: Bro. Carl McIntire came on the field. Bro. Mac felt God had called him to Bethany for the purpose of relieving the housing problem. A structure of two floors and a basement were built in the alleyway south of the church.

January 8, 1939: The new addition to the church building was opened.

December 31, 1939: Bro. Mac, having a malignant throat problem, preached his last sermon and passed away six weeks later.


1940 - 1949

October, 1940: Revival meetings saw 35 additions (25 by baptisms) to the church. The following spring, revival brought 33 more new members.

1943: First Baptist Church purchased the first parsonage on S. 22nd Street.

1946: $1,500 was taken from the general fund and put into a building fund.

1948: A vote was taken to give a percentage of our offerings to missions.


1950 - 1959

1954: The Articles of Agreement of Incorporation were adopted.

1955: An apartment across the street from the church was rented to house the ever-growing Junior Sunday School Department. Sunday School attendance averaged 235.

1957: A 150' X 300' lot was purchased for $12,000, with money left to start

another building fund account.

1959: The Tenth Street Mission Church was started.


1960 - 1969

February, 1961: A contract was entered into with Sutton Construction to erecta new building.

June 4, 1961: The Cornerstone Laying Ceremony was held at the site

of our current building.

October 29, 1961: The first service was held in our new, and current, building.

November 26, 1961: The Dedication Service for our new building was held.

1963: Sunday School attendance averaged over 250.

1966: The first secretary was hired.

1968: Air conditioning was installed in the building.


1970 - 1979

1971: The first church directory was published.

October, 1971: A new parsonage on Vandivert Street was purchased.

October 31, 1971: A Note Burning Ceremony was held to celebrate the paying off of the church's debt.

1973: Two busses were purchased to begin a Bus Ministry and Children's Church.

August, 1974: The First Assistant to the Pastor was called.

1976: Average Sunday School attendance was 238, average Worship attendance was 273, and bus attendance was 62.

October 29, 1978: The first radio broadcast of services was heard on KAAN radio.


1980 - 1989

March, 1983: New lights were installed in the sanctuary.

November, 1983: $50 per month was given toward the salary of a pastor

ministering in the Southeast Iowa Southern Baptist Association.

1985: A new sound system was installed.

January, 1986: The sanctuary was remodeled, with the newly completed balcony, new windows and new carpet.

September 12-14, 1986: A Lay Renewal Weekend was held.


1990 - 1999

November, 1990: New hymnals were purchased.

April, 1991: A new roof was put on the sanctuary.

December, 1991: Paid $50 per month to First Baptist Church of Blythedale, Missouri for the pastor's support.

February, 1995: Participated in the MBC church link-up partnership with a church in Belarus, taking a love offering for them each November until 2002 when the partnership ended.

May, 1995: Established a Long Range Planning Committee.

August, 1995: Updated the membership roll.

August, 1996: Became a part of the Harrison Baptist Association.

October, 1996: Gave away the house on the property north of the church,

which we had purchased, and used the property to enlarge the parking lot.

1997: Average Sunday School attendance was 189, average Worship attendance was 213, and VBS enrollement was 192.


2000 - 2009

January, 2000: Voted to hire an architect for the new addition to the building.

July, 2000: Purchased a house on Oakland Ave. The house was used for Youth Sunday School and Wednesday night program. Later the house was the residence for the Associate Pastor.

November, 2000: Approved the proposed building plans.

June 3, 2001: Held a kick-off banquet and contribution commitment for the new addition. $338,585 was pledged for the building fund.

2001: Average Sunday School attendance was 182, average Worship attendance was 211 and VBS enrollment was 208.

March 17, 2002: A Ground Breaking Service was held on the site of the new addition.

June, 2002: Volunteer groups "Builders for Christ" and "Workers for Christ" spent a week working on framing-in and putting the roof on the new addition. The work was completed by members who worked one night every week until work was completed.

December, 2002: The new addition to the church was completed,

and the church remained debt-free.

January, 2003: The Centennial Edition of the Church Directory was underway.

July 19-20, 2003: The 100th Anniversary of First Baptist Church of Bethany, Missouri was held, along with the dedication of the new addition. The theme for the anniversary celebration was "Celebrating a Century of God's Faithfulness."

2004: The AWANA program was began for children on Wednesday evenings.

2005: After serving for 16 years, Rev. Randy Comer resigned to accept a position at Highview Baptist Church in Chillicothe, Missouri. Rev. Ben Bextermueller continued to serve as Associate Pastor.

2006: Rev. Ned Nugent was called as Pastor.

June, 2006: Over 30 youth from FBC attended THEE Camp at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri.

2007: Rev. Dan Yates was called as Associate Pastor.

2009: Lois Woodward was hired as the Church Secretary, replacing

Karen Parker, who served as Church Secretary for several years.


2010-Present

2010: AWANA attendance averaged more than 120.

2011: The 2011 Church Directory was published.

2011: Rev. Dan Yates resigned as Associate Pastor to move to Pattonsburg, Missouri, to serve as Pastor of First Baptist Church, Pattonsburg.

2011: Rev. Ned Nugent resigned as Pastor to accept the call as Pastor of First Baptist Church, Seminole, Texas. His last sermon at FBC, Bethany was delivered on Christmas Day. Three new members were baptized.

February 5, 2012: Dr. Tony Preston was called as Interim Pastor.

September 23, 2012: Ryan Kunce was called as Senior Pastor. His first Sunday of preaching was October 7, 2012.

July 28, 2013 Stephen Chichester was called as Associate Pastor and Director of Youth. His first starting date was on August 19, 2013.


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