OUR HISTORY

  

In August of 1949, A group of believers desired to establish a Biblical testimony and met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. John Hill, 28 Woods Lane, Lewistown. At this meeting on August 18, 1949 they voted to form a new church, with the Rev. Joseph MacMullen as pastor. Within days, the new body of believers selected the name “Evangel Baptist Church”.

The first prayer meeting was held in the Hill’s garage, and the first formal worship service of the new church was held September 2, 1949 in the Lewistown Y.M.C.A. Not much more than a month later, the church voted to join the Conservative Baptist Association of America, and purchased property for a church building soon after. By February 1, 1950 church services were moved to the T.W.U.A. hall.

Ground breaking for the red brick and glass-block church was held in October 1952. The first services were held in the basement on May 3, 1953, and the cornerstone of the new building was laid October 25th of that year. The first services were held in the new sanctuary upstairs on October 14, 1956.

The church continued to grow and the Lord blessed. Classrooms were added to the west side of the building in 1970-71, air conditioning was added in 1972, and a three-story addition was constructed in 1982. A gabled roof and other improvements followed in 1991.

Evangel voted to support its first missionaries – the Rev. Elvin Peters and family, missionaries to the Belgian Congo – in December 1949. Now, 56 years later, we support 9 missionaries as well as a variety of other mission endeavors. Evangel also supports individual congregation members involved in mission projects such as trips to Haiti, Kentucky, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Philippines, PSU, and Guatemala

An AWANA program was started in 1974, with a club for “Chums”, girls in grades 3-5. This was expanded to include all children of the church and many from the community in 1983, and is still going strong!

Over the years, the landlocked church struggled with the problem of limited off-street parking, but in 1994 the Lord saw fit to answer years of prayer with the purchase of the Kinsey property to the rear of the church. The mansion and surrounding acreage was sold in 1996. This left the church with adequate acreage to expand the parking lot and build a Family Life Center. Ground breaking for the FLC took place in 1999 at the kickoff event for Evangel’s Golden Anniversary celebration. The FLC, its interior not yet completed, was dedicated on October 17, 1999 with Dr. Gene Wood (former pastor) being the Keynote speaker. Thanks to the work of many dedicated individuals, much work was done to complete the interior of the FLC. Due to increasing attendance and lack of space in the main building’s sanctuary, the decision was made in 2004 to renovate the gymnasium and convert it to a multi-purpose worship center. Our first service was held in the new worship center on September 12, 2004 with Pam and Kayla Simonetti doing a “mini concert” for the church family.

The completion of the FLC opened up the door to increased ministry opportunities. We now have a vibrant youth group that is reaching this community in a variety of creative ways with the life-changing message of salvation offered through Jesus Christ. Over the years, Evangel has hosted Super bowl parties resulting in over 150 teens giving their lives to the Lord.

With the completion of the new worship center in 2013, we are now able to expand the use of the gym from volleyball, Awana, and basketball to numerous other uses such as vacation Bible school, Bible studies, local concert events, movie night, birthday parties, exercise classes, life groups, family reunions, retreats, and friendly tournament competitions.

In addition, the FLC has allowed us to free up the basement of our main building for use by the “Clothing Closet”. Having been started in November of 2002 in the garage of the church’s admin building, the ministry quickly grew and needed the additional space as they now welcome well over 200 people from the community on a bi-weekly basis, providing them with clothing, shoes, and a warm meal.

The Lord was very gracious to us again by opening the door for us to purchase 2 additional acres adjacent to the FLC in 2005. This allowed us to expand our parking considerably, and positioned us for the most recent project: the completion of a new worship center, complete with a 500+ seat sanctuary which was dedicated to the Lord’s use on May 19, 2013.

Our lead pastor is Pastor Bill Howe. Associate pastor is Pastor Steve Jeanes. Office manager is Dana Shank.

Our Worship service includes Bible based sermons, and contemporary and classic hymns. We are blessed with many talented musicians. Opportunities exist to become part of the music ministries. These opportunities include praise team; vocal and instrumental; adult choir; Soloist; and small groups.

Here at Evangel, we thank God for our heritage and are excited about our future.