Countryside Baptist Church - 819 W. 30th
Thursday, October 22, 2020
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In the early 1960's the Missions Committee of First Baptist Church of Hutchinson saw a need to extend the American Baptist Witness into a quickly developing area of the city. A steering committee was appointed and with the help of the American Baptist Convention and the American Baptist Home Mission Society, such an endeavor was made possible. Rev. Marvin Hall issued an invitation to members of First Baptist to consider helping with this project. In early February 1964, the site committee agreed upon a location and First Baptist Church purchased the land as a gift to the new church.
On February 23, 1964, twenty-two members accepted Rev. Hall's invitation, formed the Countryside Baptist fellowship, and soon began holding services in the chapel of First Baptist Church. In July 1964, Rev. Paul Sandin came to serve as the first pastor.
In a memorable service on December 27, 1964, Rev. Hall quoted the poem "Hold High the Torch" and passed a flaming torch to Rev. Sandin, signifying the beginning of Countryside Baptist Church. Pastor Sandin then lit candles held by seventy-nine people, representing thirty-four families who were "sent forth to serve" to be a torch for Jesus Christ. Rev. Sandin led these members out of First Baptist to their temporary place of Worship in the Masonic Hall at 14th and Adams.
A Lamplighter (seen above) soon became the logo for the church, as well as the name of the church newsletter. This symbol represents carrying out and holding high the torch (lamp) for Christ.
Additional space for a church school was soon needed and rooms were rented in Liberty Jr. High School across from the Masonic Hall. The Sandin's home was used for mid-week services and the pastor's office because the Masonic Hall was available only on Sundays.
In 1966 planning for a new facility began. The present site at 819 W. 30th was dedicated in November and footings were poured in December. The service to lay the date stone was held in the partially constructed building on April 30, 1967. Rev. Sandin worked zealously to see the completion of the first building phase of the sanctuary/fellowship hall, kitchen, restrooms and basement classrooms. On October 22, 1967, the church sign was moved "in convoy" to the new facility for the first worship service. The building was dedicated November 19, 1967. In early 2004 the sanctuary was remodeled and the foyer enlarged.
Since Rev. Sandin; Rev. Robert E. Kearney, Rev. Don Moor, Rev. Steven Anderson, Rev. Destry Cowell, Rev. Victor Halfmoon, and Rev. Ron Kyker have served as pastors for the Countryside family.
Countryside is a testimony of God's faithfulness when man lets God lead. The torch that was passed over 40 years ago continues to shine out into the community, the city and to the world.