Armstrong church celebrates 110 years

First Baptist Church in Armstrong marks a milestone

First Baptist Church, Armstrong, celebrates 110 years of ministry on July 2. Former pastor Bruce Christensen will be guest speaker at both the 9 a.m. and the 10:40 a.m. services.

In between services, attendees will enjoy a social time with refreshments and have an opportunity to look at the special scrapbooks that cover 100 years of the church’s history.

Soon after the turn of the 20th century, Mr. and Mrs. Colllicutt arrived in the little settlement that was to become Armstrong. Great-granddaughters of the Collicutts, Bev Crozier and Brenda Spode, are active in the church today.

Soon more families of the Baptist faith joined them and on July 7, 1907, the First Baptist Church was formed.

At first they met in houses but Mr. William Boss donated a lot on Becker Street and in 1908 carpenters Mr. Collicutt, Mr. Brown and Mr. Johnston built the original church.

Through the years many changes have taken place. A second church was built and the first was taken down (every shingle was saved). Later there were renovations and additions until the present structure was completed.

In the early half of the 20th century poverty stalked the members of the church. Records indicate that offerings were meagre despite the good intentions of the members.

One farmer thought he would provide meat for a meal instead of giving money. In gratitude Pastor Hardy opened the brown bag that the farmer handed him. Out popped a live chicken and the farmer and the pastor were seen running down the street in fast pursuit of dinner.

In the early days, the pastors traveled between Salmon Arm, Enderby and Armstrong as they ministered to all three churches. After awhile they reduced their services to Enderby and Armstrong and early in 1950 each of the churches hired their own pastors.

Currently, the church is in the process of hiring a new senior pastor but the church has been privileged to have a guest speaker, Pastor Roy Hubert, who has preached powerful sermons.

Though many changes have taken place through the years, much has remained the same. The church has always focused on children and youth.

Debbe Nelson has served with excellence since 2004 as Children’s Ministry director, and we have recently hired a youth minister, Evan Erickson, to oversee and guide a thriving group of youth.

The message and task of the church also remains the same. Although the early church members had no experience putting their vision and goals into a statement of intent, it remains the same as it is now: Discipling people into the image of Jesus…in our heart, in our home, in our church and in our world.

We extend an invitation to all who would like to join us for this time of celebration.