The charter members had a vision for our community in 1949. Over the past 70+ years God has given direction, provided for needs, and proven faithful to generations of families.

We strive to follow their example and Christ’s leading to provide opportunities for spiritual growth, service to our community, and allow for new physical growth of the church body as we continue seeking to change lives and lead our community to Christ. 

Here at Evangel, we thank God for our past and are excited about building our future. Below, we share the story of God’s provision for our church and, through Evangel,

 for the community.


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, 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 body was held September 2, 1949 in the Lewistown Y.M.C.A. Approximately 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 on 3rd Street. 

Groundbreaking for the red brick and glass-block church, currently known as Old Main, was held in October 1952. The first services were held in the basement of the uncompleted building on May 3, 1953. The cornerstone of the new building was laid October 25th of that year, and the first services were held in the new sanctuary 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.

Over the years, Evangel struggled with church growth due to limited off-street parking. 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 were subdivided and sold in 1996, leaving the church with adequate space to expand the parking lot and build the Family Life Center (FLC) which included a fellowship hall, kitchen, and full gymnasium. Groundbreaking for the FLC took place on March 17, 1999 at the kickoff event for Evangel’s Golden Anniversary celebration. Despite being incomplete, the FLC was dedicated on October 17, 1999 with a service led by former pastor Dr. Gene Wood. The church body continued to grow and  the decision was made in 2004 to convert the gymnasium to a multi-purpose worship center. The first service was held in this facility on September 12, 2004, with a service led by Pastor Daryl Wireman and special music by Pam and Kayla Simonetti

The Lord was very gracious again by opening the door for Evangel to purchase the 2 greatly needed acres adjacent to the east of the FLC in 2005. This acreage was developed into a large paved parking lot and grass recreation area. This lot more than tripled the available parking and gave breathing room to build additional facilities. In 2020, the church received a generous donation of 12 wooded acres adjacent to the west side of the church to use as God desires and directs church leadership in the future.

As Evangel grew in the mid 2000’s, it soon became apparent that a dedicated worship center was needed. On July 22, 2012, ground was broken on the site of the upper parking lot. Attached to west of the FLC, this new Worship Center was completed in the spring of 2013 and was dedicated to the Lord’s use on May 19, 2013, in a service led by Pastor Dave Purdy. The facility includes a fellowship area known as the Coffee Café, 2 meeting rooms, an auditorium with seating for 500+ and multimedia equipment for projection. With the completion of the new worship facilities, Evangel was now able to host local and even national concert events. In 2014, Evangel was a stop on Aaron Shust’s The Morning Rises concert tour with Jonny Diaz and Lauren Daigle. 


Along with every expansion project came exciting new ministry opportunities.

Missions have been a focal point from the foundation of Evangel. In December 1949, the members voted to support its first missionaries, the Rev. Elvin Peters and family, missionaries to the Belgian Congo. Currently, in 2021, Evangel supports 11 missionaries both overseas and in the U.S., as well as supporting many individual members of the congregation who have been involved in mission projects such as Child Evangelism Fellowship and trips to Haiti, Kentucky, the Philippines and Guatemala.

An AWANA program was started in 1974, with a club for “Chums”, girls in grades 3-5. This was expanded in 1983 to include all children of the church and many from the community. It continued strong through 2020 when the AWANA program was paused due to the pandemic. Currently, Evangel’s children are continuing to build a firm foundation through worship, biblical instruction, and fellowship. We are looking forward, excited to see how and where God uses this next generation of young believers.

The completion of the FLC opened up the door to increased ministry opportunities. The church was financially able to hire both a full time worship pastor and youth pastor. Sean Moon, who grew up at Evangel, was the first paid worship pastor in 2009 and served for 8 years. Dave Purdy was the first paid youth minister, and served from 2003 to 2012. Over the years, Evangel has hosted youth Super Bowl parties resulting in over 150 teens confessing faith in Christ. Other youth events included weekend retreats, service projects, Bible studies, game nights and day trips. 

The original sanctuary in Old Main was designated as the youth center in 2007 and renovated to accommodate youth activities. In March of 2017, it was given a much needed facelift and updated. Though numbers have dwindled in 2021 due to the pandemic, volunteer youth leaders continue to provide activities and Biblical leadership for church youth from 6th to 12th grades and have a desire for the renewed growth of the program.

The gymnasium and FLC also provided a space for community outreach such as expanded AWANA activities, Vacation Bible School, Trunk or Treat when there was inclement weather, movie nights and volleyball and basketball nights. These facilities and the renovation of Old Main are intended for church members to use for personal events such as wedding receptions, birthday and graduation parties.

The Clothing Closet Ministry is another example of how Evangel has served the community. This ministry was started in November of 2002 in the garage of the church’s admin building. The ministry quickly grew and moving worship services out of Old Main to the gymnasium freed up the additional space needed in the basement. Well over 200 people from the community were welcomed twice a month, providing clothing, shoes, and a warm meal. Clothing Closet shifted focus to infants through teens in 2020 and has been rebranded as KidsKloset. It continues to provide these benefits and share the love of Jesus to families of children in our community.

After the construction of the Worship Center in 2013, with an identified need to restructure children’s ministries and invest deeper into the lives of the youngest of the church body, the Children’s Ministry Center, formerly the FLC, opened in the Fall of 2018. It was designed especially for the safety and spiritual development of children, from birth to 6th grade. Lori (Shoemaker) Saltzer, who also grew up at Evangel, was appointed Children’s Ministry Director in 2018, and tasked with the mission of developing programs to provide children with a strong Biblical foundation. Access is restricted to children and screened and qualified teachers and workers, as the safety of our children is a priority. 

Generations have grown up at Evangel. With God’s blessing and leading, generations more will benefit from the vision started in 1949.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, 

which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:10 

Pastors of Evangel Baptist Church

Rev. Joseph F. MacMullen (1949-1960)

Rev. Samuel K. Meads (1960-1961)

Rev. John H. Givens (1962-1963)

Rev. E. Parke Brown (1963-1966)

Rev. John H. Kulp (1966-1978)

Rev. Gene A. Woods (1980-1984)

Rev. H. James Seibel (1984-1986)

Rev. John A. Trerice (1987-1995)

Rev. Dr. Greg Tyree (1996-2000)

Rev. Dr. Daryl Wireman (2001-2012)

Rev. David Purdy (2012-2015)

Rev. William Howe (2016-2021)