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Church History - A History of Trinity Baptist Church Print E-mail
Church History

I.  Introduction:

 After looking at a brief history of the Baptists last week, I want to turn out attention this week to a history of our own Church.  I have tried to gather as much information as I could to give an accurate account of the history of Trinity.  Obviously, there are probably people here who could explain it better than me, but I do want to try and give a faithful overview.  As with the rest of Church History, we must begin with the realization that our history contains the good and the bad.  There are things that we should be thankful for as well as things that are hard to hear.  My goal is to be honest and faithful with both.  Also, I need to admit that if you have looked at the history section on our website then you will know most of what I am about to say.  I have leaned heavily on the facts there in my preparation for tonight’s discussion.  So, let’s begin with the first meetings of our Church in 1965.

II.  History of the Church 1

 Trinity Baptist Church, located in Sikeston, Missouri, is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention.  The church was formally admitted into the Charleston Baptist Association in September of 1966.  The founding of the church, however, took place almost a year before that, when its membership organized on Nov. 24, 1965 at the National Guard Armory in Sikeston.  There were 125 people in attendance that evening.  (The majority of this original group came over from First Baptist Church of Sikeston.  Among other reasons, the main reason for the split, as I have been told, was a difference in opinion over the style and details of the new Church that FBC was planning to build.)

 Four days later, on Nov. 28, the church's first worship services were held in the old Scott County Milling Company office building on Center Street.  Dr. Thomas Messer, Chair of Bible at SEMO University, served as the first interim pastor, beginning on December 12, 1965.  Various ministries, including Sunday School, Training Union, WMU, and Men of Trinity were soon organized.  Dr. E.D. Owen, a retired minister living in Cape Girardeau, became the church's second interim pastor on April 24, 1966.

 The congregation purchased a 20-acre plot of land on N. Main Street in February of 1966, and broke ground for a new building in September of that year.  (We have the original plans for the land, a few slides from that day, and even a brief video).  Then, on October 30, 1966, Dr. Robert Lively became the first full-time pastor of Trinity Baptist Church.  Dr. Lively was in charge of the Cornerstone Ceremony for the new building, held in June of 1967.  (We have slides of this event as well).  He and his wife are remembered fondly by long-time members of the church for their love and pastoral care during his pastorate.  In June 1969, the Rev. George Cummins was called and became the church's second full-time pastor.  One of our charter members recalls that one of the goals Rev. Cummins set for himself was to visit each man of the church at his workplace.  (Rev. Cummins was dismissed in September of 1973 according to business meeting minutes, the motion was to ‘declare the pulpit vacant.’  No reason is given for the dismissal). 

 Tom Geers became the third pastor of Trinity Baptist in 1974, and was here for 30 years, until his retirement in August of 2004.  The foundation of Brother Tom's ministry was his commitment to the authority of Scripture and to the centrality of Christ.  He taught the Bible faithfully throughout his tenure at Trinity, and was well-known and respected in the community.

 Upon retirement Tom and Loraine moved to Durham, NC, where they are, to their delight, much closer to their grandchildren.  After a prayerful search for a new church home Tom and Loraine decided to join First Baptist Church in Durham.  Tom is currently leading one of the church's Sunday evening home fellowship Bible studies.  Not long ago, Tom's son Kenneth carved out a little niche in cyberspace for Tom, located at TomGeers.com.  You can find Brother Tom's phone number there, and even listen to some of his old sermons.

 A few years before Brother Tom announced his retirement, the church had again made plans to build.  Several options were considered, but eventually a decision was made to build a new sanctuary (which we currently occupy).  That project was completed in January of 2003, and the old sanctuary reverted to it's originally intended function as a fellowship hall (see original plans).  The first services were held in the new building on February 2, 2003.

 One memorable event that took place during construction of the new sanctuary was a church dinner, which was followed by a time for members of the church to write out favorite passages of Scripture on the concrete floor of the building, before the walls were erected.  As a result, when we gather for corporate worship we are in a sense literally "standing on the promises of God."  For us, that's merely a metaphor for the way we want to conduct not only our worship services, but also our lives--standing firmly on the Word of God, fully trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross, and fully obeying His commands.

 (I was called to serve in May of 2005 and my first Sunday was July 10th, 2005.)

III.  Lessons:

 First, as we have said before, we must learn from our mistakes so that we will not repeat them in the future.  Some of our history is not positive.  Yet, we must be honest with that and learn from our mistakes and from the mistakes of those who have gone before us.

 Second, we must understand that we are currently writing the history of Trinity Baptist Church.  If the Lord tarries, this Church may gather in 50 years to talk about what we have done.  May we pray and beg Him to grant us mercy and grace to be faithful in following Him and quick to repent in areas of struggle, for His great glory and our (including the generations to follow) great good.  Amen.

1 The majority of this section is taken from our website page entitled ‘Our History,’ which can be found here.  I have put my additional comments in parenthesis.

~ William Marshall ~

Last Updated ( Thursday, 11 October 2007 )

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