HISTORY OF BAPTIST CHURCH
Photos by Anna Sawicki
A Very Brief History of Englehart Baptist Church
Baptist missionaries first came to Englehart in 1913. But then, in 1914, World War I came along and it made their work come to a halt.
It was not until 1936 that a Rev. Reed from North Bay came this way for a visit. He found several Baptist families living in Englehart, and when a meeting was held on November 1, at the Masonic Hall, 29 interested people showed up. This led to the starting of a Sunday School, a Ladies' Group, a Youth Program and Saturday night meetings for prayer and Bible Study.
On June 19, 1937, the Englehart Baptist Church was organized with eight chartered members. Mr. Frank B. Keyes had been the pastor since Nov. 1936. Then a building was erected at the site where it still stands today. It cost all of $3,500.- to build. The official opening took place on December 12, 1937, with a Dr. Schutt from the Home Mission Board as the guest speaker.
By 1939 membership had risen to 25 believers. Since that day until now, thirty-two pastors have served this church, some ordained, some not. Baptists readily allow a born-again believer to minister even when he has not gone through the ordination process. Evidence of a divine call and gifts appropriate to the ministry are what count.
Over the years that little group has had a positive influence on many lives in Englehart. But there have been ups and downs. Records for 1967 show 36 members, 27 in Sunday School, and 7 in the Women's Group. But in June 2005, Gloria Lawrence, the pastor at that time, saw herself forced to close the church. It remained closed throughout that summer until, in the Fall, Rev. Fred Goliath from Elliott Lake rallied a small remnant. It was decided to ask Rudy Kaufmann, a retired carpenter and itinerant preacher and missionary, and his wife Ruth, a music teacher, who were living in New Liskeard, to give it a try for a month.
We are still a small church. On a good Sunday morning there may be from 20 to 30 people in attendance. But this is better than six years ago, when there were only two or three ladies, and we thought we had a full house when there were four.