Sermon for Sunday, October 14
“A GOD SIZE VOID “
The First Baptist Church of Stilwell Kansas has served in the Aubry / Stilwell community for over 155 years. The church was founded as the First Baptist Church of Aubry in April of 1860. The church was organized with eight members and continued to increase, and prosper for the next year until May of 1861 when worship services were suspended due to violence that had come to the area as a result of the Civil War. Regular services would not resume January of 1870.
In 1909 First Baptist Church of Aubry changed its name to First Baptist Church Stilwell and move to the location that it would occupy for the next 79 years. On Palm Sunday, March 27, 1988, the congregation of First Baptist Stilwell walked from the church on Park and Main to our current church location at 19950 Broadmoor Lane. Good Friday was the last worship service in the old building and on April 4, 1988, the first Easter serveries were held in the new building. Much of the work building our current church building was donated by church members.
In the fall of 1998, Connie Hernandez had a desire to start a program to feed hungry people within the community. That year by working in partnership with Overland Park church of Christ, Village Presbyterian Church, and other organizations First Baptist Stilwell was able to distribute 2350 pounds of food to 112 people. From those humble beginnings, our Caring Ministry began. Currently, the Caring Ministry partners with Harvesters, the Church of the Resurrection, Wal-Mart, Hy vees, Target, and other organizations to distribute food to over 1500 people a week.
In the spring of 2011, the church started a community garden. Dennis Broockerd volunteered to be the Master Gardener for the project. We received a Palmer Foundation grant that we used to purchase three small storage buildings, numerous other tools needed for the task of gardening. We also erected a fence around the garden to keep out deer. We have had several organizations within the community show an interest in the garden. We had a Brownie Troop come and ask if they could help. They learned how to plant peppers. Then a Boy Scouts asked if there was something they could do for us as his Eagle Scout project and the result were a series of compost bins. The Boy Scouts also use the fenced in area to sell Christmas trees in December. Currently, we are looking for a new Master Gardner so that we may continue this important ministry.
Currently, first Baptist Stilwell is partnering with other churches in the surrounding area to do ministry to the homeless. We work with organizations that assist children and youth in the Foster Care System. Every two years we support and send individuals on a mission trip to Haiti. God has worked through the people of First Baptist Church Stilwell for the past 157 years and as we look to the future we strive to be a community of faith with biblical teaching, God-centered worship, and that makes disciples who go out into the community to share the Good News and serve in Christ’s name.
Our Core Beliefs
No theological statement is all-encompassing but we strive to be consistent and intentional in communicating the things that we believe as a church body. Please review this statement of our beliefs and if you have any questions we would love to talk to you about them!
1. God is the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth and all things seen and unseen.
2. Jesus Christ is God’s only Son, our Lord, and Savior
3. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary
4. Jesus was crucified, dead and buried and on the third day God raised him from the dead
5. The Holy Spirit is the presence of God living within believers
6. The Bible is God’s Word, inerrant (without error) in its original languages and it is our authority for faith and life.
7. Every individual has the right to interpret the Bible for themselves and communicate with God personally.
8. In the interest of civil and religious liberty, the church and state should be separate, so that neither is under the control of the other.
9. The ordinance of “Believers Baptism” by immersion.
10. The ordinance of “The Lord’s Supper.”
11. The complete autonomy of the local church.
12. Because we are born with a sinful nature and choose to disobey God by living only for ourselves, we are in need of salvation.
13. Because we are born with a sinful nature and choose to disobey God by living only for ourselves, we are in need of salvation.
14. Faith is trusting in God’s provision for our lives now and for eternity.
15. Promote, support, and be active in missions and evangelism worldwide.
16. A person becomes a Christian by the confession of his/her sins, believing that Jesus died on the cross as a personal sacrifice for them, asking Jesus to take control of his/her heart (moral center) and repenting (promising with the help of the Holy Spirit) to go a different direction for the rest of their lives.
17. All believers are called to extend unconditional selfless love, unconditional grace, unconditional mercy (forgiveness) and unconditional generosity to each other and to the world.
Rev. Franklin M. Ruff
Rev. Jennifer Schneider
Director Caring Ministry
Director Family Ministry
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