FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH of Williams Lake, BC
We exist to glorify and enjoy Him... forever!
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First Baptist Church of Williams Lake began in 1960 as a mission of Ridgecrest Baptist Church, of Kamloops, BC, associated with the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists. The Church began meeting in the Masonic Hall with Art Belyea conducting services until the arrival of the first pastor. (Art also served as interim pastor several times over the years when the Church was between pastors. He passed away in 2009.) Billy Heath was the first Pastor of First Baptist Church, arriving in October of 1960. Our present building was constructed in 1963 and First Baptist Church of Williams Lake was constituted on October 19th of 1963 and was also part of the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists. Rev. Heath stayed until 1968 and was followed by Lee Brock who stayed for four years.
Bill Goebel arrived later in 1972. During his time here the building underwent renovation, with an enlarged foyer and addition to the basement. Rev. Goebel remained as Pastor of First Baptist Church until 1985 when he left to pursue further education.
Don Miller came in early 1983 and stayed for two years. This was followed by a lengthy time without a pastor and our congregation was led by Art Belyea until the arrival of Randy Lowe in 1990. Rev. Lowe (now Dr. Lowe) brought the Church congregation through doctrinal reform and back to the Reformed truths which emphasize God's sovereignty in salvation. During his time, First Baptist Church celebrated twenty-five years of ministry in the building on Carson and Western on October 16th of 1988. Rev. Lowe also led the Church in an extensive renovation project. He remained as Pastor of First Baptist Church for ten years. He was followed by Fred Eaton who followed Rev. Lowe's teaching. However Fred stayed for only a short time.
After Fred left the pulpit was filled by various preachers, including present pastor, Darrin Lauder. Darrin came in February of 2002, first as an interim pastor, but he was voted in as permanent Pastor in June of the same year. He was ordained according to The Abstract of Principles in March of 2003 and has been with First Baptist Church since then. He continued and furthered Ecclesiastical reform in Church polity of elder rule. During this time revisions to our Church Constitution were begun, aligning us more to our practice and what Scripture teaches. With change often comes difficulty and this has been no different for our assembly. In the fall of 2005 the First Baptist Church voted unanimously to leave the Canadian Convention of Southern Baptists since they objected to our practice of elder rule and Church discipline, and we have been an independent Church since then.
Even though there have been difficulties, some of the fruit of this has been the two books: Spiritual Warfare and satans schemes, and Spiritual Warfare and devilish devices. Both of these are written in a devotional format, dealing with spiritual warfare and particularly with the fact that it is primarily relational. Their content was largely gleaned from what has been learned and attempted to be taught. A third book, The Heart of Spiritual Warfare, has also been published. This book deals with matters such as faith, apostasy and perseverance and gives practical teaching on these. A twelve-part Church series has been developed which contains teaching on all aspects of Church life.
God has taught us many things over the years and has been pleased to allow our congregation to accomplish many things as well. There have been times though when reaching the milestone of fifty years seemed to hang in the balance. Pastor Darrin has had to take outside work because the Church is unable to fully support him.
Our Church has had the opportunity to hold regular Free Stores, a ministry to help the poor of Williams Lake by providing free clothing, bedding and toys. The community of Williams Lake has been of invaluable help in this ministry.
Our website contains transcribed sermons, audio sermons, newsletters, the Gospel In series, as well as other information about the Church.
A monthly newsletter has been distributed through various businesses in Williams Lake since January of 2004, containing articles on Doctrine, the Gospel in various books of the Bible as well as other articles and quotes from great Christian saints. The businesses that display the newsletter are: Tim Hortons, Sams, KFC, Taylor Made Cakes, Husky, Eddys, Karens, Scrub ur Duds, Alley Katz, Cariboo Cleaners, and Hong Sheng. The support of these businesses is greatly appreciated.
Several conferences with Kimberley Morrison have been held, which were a blessing to many women both from First Baptist as well as other congregations. A women's retreat at Bowen Island in July of 2009 was a highlight for the women of our assembly. We have also had several retreats at 108 Mile which were also a great blessing for the women of our assembly.
The 50th Anniversary of First Baptist Church was celebrated in 2010. In our Tree Planting Ceremony we added three trees to the landscape of our Church building property. The trees represent: the City of Williams Lake, the Christian community of Williams Lake, and our assembly. A cross was added to the top The Little Church on the Hill to proclaim Christ to the entire city. We were thrilled to be able to celebrate with pastor/musician Glenn Kaiser in August of that year.
Over the past year we have seen God's marvelous provision for a new roof for our building as well as for many much needed updates inside the building. As we approach 60 years of serving Christ in the community of Williams Lake we are looking forward with anticipation to what the Lord intends for us. We would be delighted for you to join with us in that adventure.