LIBERTY BAPTIST CHURCH
613 SOUTH MERIDIAN ROAD
NEWTON, KANSAS 67114
Liberty Baptist Church was founded in the month of October 1975. The first worship service was conducted on Wednesday evening, October 8 at the Richard Winsky residence, 1211 Anderson Ave. in Newton. A declaration of faith was one of the first objectives and affirmed the following: “To Worship and Fellowship with the Love of Jesus Christ.” Before dismissal plans were formulated to assemble the following Sunday, October 12 at the Wayne Partridge home.
On that first Sunday service, there were 15 adults in attendance and the total assembled numbered 22. The order of service included foremost a taped message by Jack Van Impe entitled “Hell without Hell.” Several hymns of faith were sung a cappella in conclusion.
The second Sunday service was scheduled for Sunday October 19, 1975. There were 31 present for this second Sunday Service which featured a message by Sam Hartzler, a former pastor of Newton Bible Church. A love offering was taken to compensate pastor Hartzler for his willing contribution to this early gathering.
In addition to brother Hartzler, early Sunday sermons were provided by Roger Clifford and Bill Cowell from Victory Village (with Heart Ministries), and Glen Thomi with the Wichita Union Rescue Mission. Early on, when a piano was available, accompanying music was provided by the magical fingers of Della Mae Harr who is providing the same enviable music to this day. For years, her husband Charles led the vocal music.
The earliest church leaders were charter members. They assumed the position of Church Elders (initial title for what were later called Deacons) and were responsible for decisions affecting the church early on. Charles Harr, Richard Winsky, James Allen and Richard Schroeder were among those burdened with the decisions necessary to the establishment of a viable body of believers.
.March the 25th was the date of the first Liberty Baptist Church Youth activity. It was sponsored by the Gene Miles family. Fun, Food and Games were enjoyed by 10 plus pizza hungry teens.
Two documents of legal importance also needing completion were the Articles of Incorporation officially sealed on September 19, 1976 and the Liberty Baptist Church Constitution including By Laws first drafted in November 1976.
The New Year witnessed a number of necessary augmentations to the existing calendar of activities requiring immediate attention. One of the most critical items to be dealt with was the calling of a “full-time” pastor to shepherd the flock. An offer to Pastor Hartzler was the first attempt at acquiring a clergyman, but the offer was rejected. The position was then offered to Pastor Anthony Slutz by a church delegation which included Charles Harr and Wayne Partridge. Pastor Slutz accepted the offer and began pastoring the church on January 1, 1977. At that time, services were conducted at the Methodist Youthville Chapel. Attendance was regularly in the neighborhood of 60 people total and there were encouraging signs of increasing numbers. An active visitation program was soon organized and calling was engaged in at least one night a week. Another ministry sprang up also as street corner preaching by the new pastor was conducted on several occasions.
It was with a sense of urgency that soon after Pastor Slutz arrival that the Christian Day School was inaugurated. A building was secured at 10th and Madison, which fulfilled the need, and for a year, an educational facility centered on Christian principles was in progress. Pastor Slutz was the pastor/principal, his wife Ellen taught Kindergarten, Della Mae Harr taught 2nd and 3rd Grade, substituted for when needed by Ellen Slutz. Other teachers included Marilyn Bence, and Mrs. Hughes, an experienced educator from Halstead. Seventh and eighth graders were tutored by an able male instructor. A weekly radio broadcast, “Liberty Baptist Lifeline” on KJRG a local Newton Christian Radio affiliate was also introduced at this time with Pastor Slutz providing a weekly 15 minute sermon.
To facilitate the effectiveness of his ministry at Liberty, Pastor Slutz made the decision to move his residence from Wichita to Newton. On April 2, 1977 several members of the church with pick-ups traveled to Wichita and loaded items that Pastor and his family wanted to move from Wichita to his residence at 711 West Broadway in Newton. The move was completed by his family, wife Ellen, two daughters Sandy and Marti and son Teddy.
Because of the interest of the church body to introduce a Christian Education for the youth of the church, a curriculum that had been tested and proved reputable was sought. For that reason, in early April 1977, Pastor Slutz was dispatched to visit the Pensacola Christian School, noted for its preparation of renowned 8-12 Christian curriculums. This was Easter week end April 10, and provided Liberty with the golden opportunity of securing as speaker for both the 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. services, Dr. George Dollar, dean of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
April witnessed the first Church picnic, and the first scheduled Union Rescue Mission service. Also, Sunday May 8 saw the church observe for the first time the Biblical injunction instituting the Lord’s Supper and the inclusion of regularly scheduled weekly calling nights. June featured the beginning of Vacation Bible School and for this initial effort, it was conducted in three homes and had 48 youth in attendance. Added to this activity was the participation by several of the church’s youth and Pastor Slutz to challenge Christian Camp from June 13-18, 1977. Charles Harr was frequently called upon to present the messages in the pastor’s absence.
The mid and late seventies were predominantly devoted to two issues. First, the matter of securing a permanent church property that would fulfill the church needs and second, the space in the church edifice to maintain a Christian School as well as room for a church sanctuary, Sunday school rooms, nursery, fellowship hall, etc. Many meetings were scheduled to resolve all the existing demands. Charles Harr was appointed to continue as church secretary. His good work must be commended.
To proceed with the vision to erect a church building the body of believers could call their own was a project high on the list of Liberty’s objectives. The purchase of a nine acre plot in 1978 on South Meridian Road was the shot in the arm that brought this dream to reality. However, the company which was contracted to build the shell proved to be dishonest and cheated the Liberty Baptist congregation out of a large sum of money thus slowing the construction process down substantially. This however, did not dampen the resolve by the people of getting a home church under construction.
Throughout its brief history, many notable evangelists and gospel musical groups presented their programs at the church. Some of the more distinguished contributors in addition to Dr. Jack Van Impe, were Dr. Bob Jones, Jr. and Dr. Bob Jones, III. Bob Jones University (BJU) film productions were also very popular and in much demand and included many outstanding performances, such as “Flame in the Wind”, “Sheffey”, and “The Printing”, to name a few.
A disconcerting event to the congregation in August 1979 was the announcement by Pastor Slutz that he had accepted the position of senior pastor of the Thompson Road Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Unfortunately the ministry of Pastor Slutz lasted only a brief two and one half years. Securing a full time pastor now became top priority. Fortunately, the church wasn’t required to proceed for a lengthy period of time without a full time pastor. In October 1979, the pulpit was filled with the capable leadership of F. Ron Vitosky. He and his wife Bonnie, daughters Jennifer and Heather, and Stephen and John, his sons were a welcome addition to the ministry.
On February 23, 1980, a business meeting was convened with Christian Education as the main topic. Questions posed at the meeting to be discussed included: 1.What is the definition for Christian Education? 2. What is a Christian School? 3. Who is responsible for Christian Education? 4. Who is Christian Education for?
Additional topics for discussion were: 1. Poor reasons for starting a Christian School. 2. Good reasons for starting a Christian School. 3. How to start a Christian School:
An outline included the following: a. Philosophy, b. Personnel – staff, c. Program – Curriculum, d. Facility, e. Finances.
In the summer of 1980 a church planting team came from BJU with Dr. Otis Holmes for a week of meetings at the request of Pastor Vitosky. A school was rented for the week of meetings as services were not yet scheduled in the newly constructed church building.
It was due to the ambitious directorship of Pastor Vitosky that work on the church building, which had set idle for six months, was resumed and ultimately completed. Although most of the concrete, exterior work was contracted, most of the interior was fabricated by able bodied church members. The male members took on the responsibility of the wood work and dry wall construction while interior fabric décor was thankfully provided by female volunteers. Many opportunities offered by the Newton Community to promote LBC were taken advantage of and included parades, sporting events and other activities. The church consistently entered floats, distributed tracts and handed out other gifts while on the march.
In August of 1981 the BJU planting team returned, and this time the new church building provided the necessary space. As a matter of fact the first service conducted in the new building took place on the Sunday morning the team arrived. On that day an anonymous charitable gift of sufficient value was given to provide carpet for the sanctuary. Pastor Vitosky went to Halstead the following day and bought the carpet, and it was installed before the week was over. Having carpet helped with the acoustics, but the glue smell was awful! In the same month of 1981 Mike and Kim Schoneweis moved to Newton and Liberty Baptist to get some practical ministry training for personal improvement and to help with the LBC ministry in general. For a time, housing was provided for them by Ron and Bonnie Vitosky in a basement apartment. Later they rented the Harr’s house at 201 E. 16th
The LBC membership financially supported the starting of a couple of new churches in the region. One was the Wheatland Baptist Church, pastored by Terry Post and wife Roberta in McPherson, started in March of 1982. Another was the Midland Baptist Church pastored by the Heffernan’s, Dale and Jody in Wichita, which started a few years later, in September 1986.
Dr. Carl Herbster came to LBC and held a two day conference on starting a Christian School. Following Dr. Herbster’s visit, a motion was made by Randy Behrends to start a Christian School, and after much discussion, it was determined that it would be wise to delay a decision for one week. However, it was also agreed that there were sufficient qualified personnel available within the existing congregation to meet the requirements for a teaching staff. Pastor Vitosky was singled out as the logical choice for the position of Administrator, with Kim Schoneweis teaching the younger students, and Teresa Coor teaching the older students, Jr. High and up. The current deacons were approved as the Board of Directors. On March the second, after one week of deliberations a meeting was conducted as earlier determined and by a unanimous vote the church approved starting a Christian School for the remainder of the 1981-82 school term. The church then called Tony and Ellen Barba as supporting classroom instructors for the 1982-83 school term.
June 1982 was the date of the first wedding ceremony held at Liberty Baptist Church. Janet Ruth Creitz of Newton and Dane Alan Krehbiel of Halstead were married during a 2:00 PM ceremony Saturday June 5, 1982. Officiating the double-ring ceremony was Pastor Ron Vitosky, of Newton.
Another monumental concern was securing adequate and comfortable seating for the church services and meetings. In order to satisfy this need, ads were placed in church circles and publications, resulting in the location of used pews that could, after reconstruction, suit the purposes of the church. A large truck was rented from U-Haul, and Pastor Vitosky accompanied by Brian Harr, made a trip to Kansas City to load on the used pews and returned them to the LBC parking lot for selection and reconditioning. Much restorative work was completed including the addition of cushions. Most of the early work was engineered by Charles Harr. Ultimately it became a project that involved the entire church body.
In November of 1983, a meeting was called to discuss the future of the Church supported ministry on KJRG radio. It was decided by an 18 to 4 vote to discontinue supporting the program.
In a rather somber note it was disclosed that Mike and Kim Schoneweis announced that they planned to leave in the fall on Deputation for a church planting in Salina, KS.
1985 was a year of new faces and new assignments on the church governing body. Arnold and Bernice Huigens assumed the positions of Treasurer and Bookkeeper and Arnold Huigens volunteered to fill the position of Church Librarian. Maurice Regier was accepted as a new member on December 8, 1985. In another order of important business, preparations for celebrating LBC’s 10th anniversary drew much attention. In addition, a new Treasurer candidate was sought out due to the resignation of Arnold Huigens, owing to poor health.
Plans continued for the 10th anniversary celebration of LBC. All former members were invited with a special invitation to former Pastor Tony Slutz to be the guest speaker. A special program was scheduled from 2:30 – 4:30 on Sunday afternoon following a regular morning service and a pot luck luncheon.
Gary and Anita Gray were accepted as new members on February 9, 1986. Evangelistic meetings were scheduled for February 9-14 with Dr. James Zaspels conducting. The year 1986 saw a lot of activity in church affairs. The purchase of a church van was a new and very useful adjunct to the church affairs as was the addition of a much needed air conditioning unit. A song book committee chaired by Charles Harr secured 60 new hymn books of old-fashioned hymns, which were put to use immediately, providing a music ministry patterned to conform with the worship and reverencing of God acceptable to the congregation.
April 9, 1986, the church moved to pour a concrete walkway fronting the church and also, to construct a wooden platform 8 inches in height at the front of the sanctuary. One distasteful item of note was the acceptance of transfer by request, of Wayne and Helen Partridge, Charter members, to Meridian Baptist Church. Of perhaps the most significant church business was the provision for continuation of a $50.00 monthly support for five missionaries. This provision was amended to add the same measure of support to the Schaefer family who were burdened to do mission work in Grenada, therefore, the number of missionaries being supported for $50.00 monthly came to six.
The 1987 election results for church officers follows: Deacon – Gary Gray; Treasurer – Harold Buller; Clerk – Billie Krehbiel; Bookkeeper – Anita Gray; Sunday School Superintendent – Dwight McClure
Nineteen Eighty Seven church business gave much attention to the supported missionaries and their needs both prayerfully and materially. Missionary families were taken on for support with the assurance that reciprocity in accordance with Luke 6:38 was practiced. Thanks to the volunteer charity of Maurice Regier, the church unused acreage continued to produce saleable crops. What was initially planted in wheat was later converted to brome which was in high demand by church members with livestock, or their acquaintances. Due to serious health problems, Gary Gray was forced to discontinue active administrative involvement after months of dedicated service.
In the 1988 election of officers, Charles Harr was placed into the position of Deacon. Phil Krehbiel was voted treasurer, Anita Gray, bookkeeper, Dwight McClure Sunday School Superintendent and Billie Krehbiel church clerk. Due to shortage of operating expenses, the church van was placed up for sale in February of 1988. It was sometime before LBC’s financial deficiency was resolved. However, with patient faith in the Lord, the outcome was never in doubt. In March the Jerry Lowther family was approved for membership. To the chagrin of the LBC members, several of the trusted brotherhood were removed from the church role due to inactive participation.
December 19, 1988 was a red letter day. This was the day of the congregation’s final mortgage payment. “PRAISE THE LORD,” the church was now free and clear of any indebtedness. A letter was addressed to John and Melinda Friesen expressing LBC’s gratitude for their generosity in providing the interest free finances which enabled LBC to erect a permanent church building. On December 15, 1988 a ceremony on the church grounds was held burning the note held by the church during its period of liability.
In a somber disclosure, the church received a written notice of resignation dated January 25, 1989 from Pastor Vitosky. His candidacy at the Bay City Baptist Church of Bay City, Texas was accepted and he advised that his last Sunday at LBC would be on February 19, 1989. The church wished him a happy and prosperous tenure at his new post.
Ads at several Christian Institutions, and in publications soon provided the Deacon Board, and/or the Pulpit committee with a list of applicants to replace pastor Vitosky. On February 26, Rick Fox was called to preach two services, both morning and evening. He gave his testimony and answered questions. On March 1, 1989 Rick Fox returned and was asked additional questions, one of which answered the question of when he could assume the reins of the LBC Pastoral Ministry. He stated that he could be available in one and one half weeks, and could move to Newton the end of March or 1st of April. Following the question and answer session a ballot was taken to determine the desires of the church congregation regarding Rick Fox’s future with LBC. The result was a unanimous decision to call Rick Fox as the new pastor.
In mid April ’89 several new projects were presented for consideration by the laity. Purchase of two file cabinets, installation of a telephone, preparation of a weekly church bulletin, planting bushes and trees to adorn the church grounds, mounting a steeple on the church roof, and installing central air conditioning to the entire facility. The addition of a communion table to compliment the pulpit was also of major interest and was soon in production by Bill Krehbiel.
Sunday, February 4 and Tuesday February 6 were evenings devoted to building maintenance concerns. New carpet needed to be laid and with it the purchase of a reliable vacuum sweeper. Interior painting was needed in most of the interior, gravel in the parking lot needed replenished, a church sign was a desirable appendix and required voluntary application as did the addition of a picnic table.
Donations to the Recker’s and Kenney’s ministries was approved on a motion by Lana Daharsh and Lyla McClure on April 18, 1990.
New business included replacing old plumbing fixtures with new stainless steel fixtures for the fellowship kitchenette. This was approved for immediate purchase and installation.
Approval for financial assistance for the Schaefers, Reckers and Horns was agreed to by the church body on the 16th of May ’90. The provision for a secure shed to store mowers and other necessary yard equipment was approved on June 27, 1990 as was approval for pastor and deacons to call an emergency meeting in four days if deemed necessary. A 6:00 pm starting time for Sunday evening services was also approved. An additional motion was made to approve a love gift of $50.00 to Tammy Dean in gratitude for her voluntary baby sitting of infants during regular church services. A word of gratitude on August 29, 1990 was accorded Dwight McClure for his tireless work in providing a steeple for the church and cabinets for the kitchenette.
March of 1991 saw the church invest in complete central air coverage and also to investigate the feasibility of increasing the funds essential to providing for a water filtering system which would guarantee a safe potable source of water for the church needs.
The period September to December ’91 witnessed the following business items on the agenda:
1. Farming interests on whether to continue with current crop of brome or to substitute to a wheat crop instead.
2. Whether to continue missionary support to Jean Jester or to seek another missionary to help fund.
3. Shades for windows in sanctuary, church sign design and construction, purchase of and installation of a large screen for projecting slides, movies etc.
4. Financial love offering to the Marlin Satterfield family to assist in enabling them to meet their rent payment obligation.
5. Results of vote for church officers; Deacons – Harold Buller and Dwight McClure; Treasurer – Phil Krehbiel; Bookkeeper – Lana Daharsh; Clerk – Billie Krehbiel; Sunday School Superintendent – Bill Krehbiel.
In continuance, February – December ‘92
1. A motion was passed for pastor Fox to be ordained.
2. Presentation of amendments to the Church Constitution:
a. Article 7 #4 concerning church giving
b. Article 9 #4 concerning standards for evangelistic meetings
c. Article 15 #3 concerning annual business meetings
3. Accepting Helen Berman for missionary support in place of the McDonalds.
4. Collecting resources particularly Bibles for Russia.
5. Discussion on financial support for Mike and Kim Schoneweis in their effort to plant a church in Wichita.
6. Posting a weekly cleaning and mowing schedule.
7. Budgeting for new lawn mower in 1993.
8. Missions support for Sam Nevins, Church Dinner, and Love offering scheduled for August 30, 1992.
9. Need for securing a small heater to warm pastor’s office.
10. Reminder to better control children in parking lot area. Their safety is the concern.
Important agenda items for 1993 in the January 6th business meeting included:
1. Securing a new lawn mower.
2. Exterior and interior painting.
3. Repair of leaky steeple.
A motion to increase the missionary support of the Schaefers and Kenneys by $15.00 per month was approved.
Items for consideration were the youth mission ministry during spring break and the desire by pastor to hold a men’s retreat.
Tom and Carol Crawford were accepted for membership on February 28.
December 2, 1993 the first funeral service was held at Liberty Baptist Church. Laid to rest was Ryan Dean Harr, the infant son of Bruce and Daina Harr.
The results of the 1994 church officer selections are as follows: Deacons – Charles Harr and Bill Krehbiel; Clerk/Secretary – Billie Krehbiel; Treasurer – Craig Daharsh; Bookkeeper – Lana Daharsh; Sunday School Superintendent –Larry Parish.
In general, much of the business addressed at this time had to do with funding for the pastor and church physical properties. Acceptance of Enoch and Imojean Duncan to membership was also approved dated to February 20, 1994. Approval for pastor Fox to take a one week vacation plus attend a class for two weeks at Bob Jones University to upgrade his degree, was voted on at the June 15, 1994 Bi-Monthly Business meeting.
Moving the storage shed to prevent vandalism was a topic of discussion in the August 1994 Bi-Monthly Business meeting. Craig Daharsh and Dwight McClure were tasked to undertake the project which they accepted and accomplished. A decision on 7 September to vote on what missionary family to support resulted in favor of the Mike and Becky Petersen family to give toward their work in Poland and providing funds for their travel to their Mission field. A $155.00 memorial for Mrs. Myrtle Schmidt was also approved and the memorial fund equally divided among our six supported missionaries to assist in their mission effort.
A very important ministry added in December was Patch the Pirate Club. Of significance also was planning for a church founding celebration, as the 20th anniversary of existence of LBC was rapidly approaching. In association with the anniversary plans, was a discussion on the need to start a building fund, and in general, because of the churches’ firm belief in the Biblical practice of baptism, a baptistery in a new facility would negate the requirement of scheduling baptisms at Harvey County Lake, West or East, the Partridge swimming pool, Meridian Baptist, Halstead Baptist or Camp Hawk, or any other body of water, not the property of LBC.
Balloting for church officers for the new term were disclosed and recorded: Deacons – Enoch Duncan, Charles Harr and Bill Krehbiel; Treasurer – Craig Daharsh; Clerk/Secretary – Susan Krehbiel; Bookkeeper – Lana Daharsh; Sunday School Superintendent – Larry Parish.
In May 1995 earnest preparations for Challenge Christian Camp were initiated. Food items and craft items were due. Also, items for the Geide family were due so that they could complete plans for their missionary work in Russia.
The main event for LBC in 1995 was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the churches’ founding. That special day October 29, 1995 had the following on its schedule:
10:00 a.m. Coffee Fellowship
11:00 a.m. Morning Worship Service
12:00 p.m. Group Picture
12:30 p.m. A Pot Luck Dinner
1:30 p.m. Stagecoach Rides, courtesy of Tom Shelton
2:30 p.m. A Testimony and Praise Service
New additions to the LBC membership announced in the September 3, 1995 Church Bulletin were Mr. and Mrs. Victor Klassen. Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Morrison were additions on December 3, 1995.
December 17, the Annual Christmas program was held. “Peanut Butter Christmas”, a children’s musical by Ron Hamilton was performed by a children’s choir from the church plus a cast of actors for the play.
Results of Church balloting for 1996 Church officers included: Deacon – Charles Harr; Treasurer – Craig Daharsh; Bookkeeper – Lana Daharsh; Secretary – Susan Krehbiel; Sunday School Superintendent – Larry Parish.
Two important scheduled events were the Ladies Fellowship on Thursday 14 March hosted by Lyla McClure and the Youth Rally scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Abilene, KS.
Other events on the Calendar were: Church Camp – June 3-7, Patch the Pirate Clubbers and Pee Wee Pirates performances during the Wednesday evening service. Brother Sambhu De missionary to his Indian homeland was scheduled to present his vision for his people on Wednesday night services while here in the States on deputation. Resumption of Church visitation was scheduled for Tuesday 25 June.
Preparation for the annual Christmas program was in full-swing. All those involved in the program needed to be present for the practice in addition, each adult was invited to the “Lights of Christmas” banquet on Saturday Dec 7 at 6 p.m. Pastor Terry Post of Wheatland Baptist, McPherson, KS was the special guest speaker. A sign-up sheet was placed in the hall for those interested in attending. Ladies were asked not to forget that they were invited to a Christmas Party, Monday December 16th, 6 p.m. at the home of Susan Krehbiel.
For your information: Church officers for the coming year: Deacons – Charles Harr and Bill Krehbiel; Treasurer – Craig Daharsh; Bookkeeper – Lana Daharsh; Secretary – Susan Krehbiel; Sunday School Superintendent – Mert Dean.
On Friday February 14, a Valentine Dinner was held at 6 p.m. at the Red Coach Regency Room. Every one was invited to attend. Those who planned to attend were asked to express their intentions to either Lyla or Carol.
Welcome new members: Virginia Wyss, and Matthew and Joanna Hadley from Burns, KS. March 2, 1997. On Palm Sunday the Lord’s supper was observed, and during the evening service a special film entitled “Wine of Morning” was shown. Congratulations are in order to Don and Brenda Stovall, for the birth of Joseph Bradley on April 4, 7:24 p.m. A church picnic was scheduled for Friday July 4, 6:30 on the church grounds.
Participation in the Newton parade at 6 pm August 2nd by our church family was very enjoyable and a big success. Brother Tom Rickard and family were participants for VBS August 5-8.
“No Excuse Sunday” was planned for Sunday September 14. To make it possible for everyone to attend Church, we will place cots in the foyer for those who say “Sunday is my only day to sleep in” steel helmets will be available for those who say “The roof would cave in if they ever came to Church.” Blankets will be available to those who think the church is too cold, and fans for those who say it is too hot. We will have hearing aids for those who say “The preacher speaks too softly, and cotton for those who say he preaches too loudly”. Score cards will be available for those who wish to list the hypocrites present. Some relatives will be in attendance for those who like to go visiting on Sundays. There will be TV dinners for those who can’t go to Church and cook dinner also. One section will be devoted to trees and grass for those who like to see God in nature. Finally the Sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who have never seen the Church without them.
October 26, Child Dedication Sunday. The fall outing was held November 8 at the Jay-Bar Ranch, half a mile east and one and a half mile north of Walton. November 23 Thanksgiving Dinner at the Church. December 12 – Ladies Christmas party, and December 19th Adult Christmas dinner. Christmas cantata “He Gave Everything” December 21st. The year ended with our New Year’s Eve fellowship and prayer time beginning Wednesday 6 pm with a chili/soup supper.
A Thank-you acknowledgement was given to those who ministered this past year in Sunday School, Children’s Church, Wednesday night classes, nursery, cleaning and upkeep on the building, equipment & grounds, activities, and music. Their labor for the Lord’s glory was much appreciated.
Sunday January 25, Brent Dean’s last Sunday with us for a while. He had taken a job with the Sword of the Lord publication, Murfreesboro, Tenn. February 8, Matt and Kim Herbster, representatives from the Wilds of the Rockies Christian camp were with us. February 22, - a warm welcome to LBC’s newest member, Traci Morgan.
Revival meetings with Rich Tozour – April 26 – May 1. Challenge Christian Camp scheduled June 1 – 5. Many good decisions were made for the Lord. Saturday June 19 – the wedding ceremony of Dawn Lowther and Stephen Heller at the Grace Baptist Church of Whitewater, Kansas, held at 2:00 in the afternoon.
Father’s Day, Dr. Wendell Heller was the guest speaker. After the evening service the church had a fellowship to honor the dads, with pie and homemade ice cream.
VBS was held at Midland Baptist July 13-16 A Baptismal service was held Sunday August 30 at East Lake following the morning service, with the North pavilion reserved for the picnic lunch.
The church Fall Outing was held Saturday, October 24 at East Gate Lanes for bowling and chili supper fellowship.
The Stephen Schaefer family ministered Sunday December 6, both a.m. and p.m. The Ladies Christmas Tea was held at Elaine Deans on December 12. The James Watkins Family Singers, presented Ron Hamilton’s cantata, TEN THOUSAND HALLELUJAHS, on Sunday December 13.
Sunday December 22, at 6 PM the children of Liberty Baptist Church presented, “A Time to Search” with a fellowship including finger food following the play.
Sunday, January 3, at 6 p.m. the church invited all to a soup and potato fellowship, followed by a film. Church officers for 1999 were as follows: Deacons – Craig Daharsh and Charles Harr; Sunday School Superintendent – Mert Dean; Treasurer - Dwight McClure; Bookkeeper – Della Mae Harr; Secretary – Susan Krehbiel
Sunday January 10, a Music Seminar with the Watkins Family in the morning service. The annual business meeting held Thursday, February 4. Brother Chris Coleman filled the pulpit while our Pastor and Joy traveled to the Holy Land.
Our missionaries to Poland, Mike and Becky Petersen and children presented their work, on Sunday February 21. The church had a potluck dinner and fellowship time after morning worship, and an early afternoon service after the meal.
The Spring Banquet was held April 10 at the Red Coach Inn Regency Room. Saturday May 15 was the date for the Men’s Prayer Breakfast followed by a Father and Son Outing. A week of camp for young people going into grades 4-12 held June 7-11 titled “Secret Summer Safari”
Evangelist Dean Meyer conducted a conference June 13-19 Bridal shower for Stephanie Parish Friday July 30, Red Coach Regency Room. Thursday August 5, a church dinner and our mid-week service was held that evening with the Kenney family, missionaries to Germany. VBS was preceded by the Saturday parade held at 6 pm August 7 in Newton. Brother Tom Rickard and family provided the program for the VBS week, August 9-13. The schedule as follows: 9 – 12 noon K5 through 6th grade, and 6:30 – 8:30 each evening for teens.
The LBC Christmas banquet was held at the Spear’s restaurant in Newton, Saturday December 11, at 6:30 pm. The Ladies Christmas party held December 17, 7 PM at Lana Daharsh’s home.
“Through the Eyes of a Child” presented Sunday evening 6 PM, December 19, with a reception that followed featuring favorite Christmas snacks.
Y2K – 2000
The Lord’s Day, January 16, 2000, the church welcomed Brother Dan Nelson, who came from Tri-City Baptist Seminary to be the guest speaker.
Ladies Fellowship met at Lyla McClure’s on January 17 at 7 PM and Secret Sisters were selected that evening.
February 6, Darrel and Terry Flaming presented the morning service. Mr. Flaming was the assistant Pastor at Wheatland Baptist Church in McPherson. Bill Krehbiel was in charge of the evening service.
For Valentine’s Day a Progressive Dinner “Love Story” was held on February 12.
Annual Business meeting rescheduled to Tuesday February 22, 7:00 pm
A big Thank You to Brother Tom Rickard for all the work he had accomplished during the past week for our LBC. Brother Rickard was to continue work through Thursday February 24 on the restroom remodeling.
Missionaries to Australia Kelly and Rebekah Gilliam ministered to the congregation on March 12.
Challenge Christian Camp dates June 5-9. Meetings with Evangelist Kent Prain, June 11-14.
The Father’s Day Picnic on Saturday June 17, was held at 6 PM in the Church Picnic area.
The Maranatha Messengers, from Maranatha Baptist Bible College, Watertown, Wisconsin presented a concert July 5 at 7 PM.
July 9, LBC “Welcomed” our new members Joe and Mary Donahue to the Church family.
October 8, 25th Anniversary Sunday – Video Presentation by Pastor Anthony Slutz, Special Speakers: Pastor Ron Vitosky, Pastor Terry Post, Pastor Mike Schoneweis, and Pastor Dale Heffernan. Welcome by Pastor Rick Fox, a note from Pastor Hartzler.
Special music by Amy and Matt Schoneweis and Abby and Ben Heffernan.
November 19, Church Thanksgiving Dinner after morning service. A Thanksgiving Praise Service held in the afternoon, with Christmas Choir and Play practice followed
December 17, 6:00 PM the Christmas Cantata was presented. The title “The Christmas Stranger”, followed by a finger food fellowship.
New Year’s Eve service at 6:00 PM with a time of food and fellowship, watched a film, “Left Behind” together, and closed with a time of prayer for 2001.
January 2, Tuesday evening, the Ladies Fellowship Christmas Party, 6:00 PM, 218 Spruce Street, Halstead, KS. Come for dinner.
Assistant Pastor Darrel Flaming ministered on January 14 as Pastor Fox spent two weeks taking a Ministry Management Class in South Carolina.
Annual Business meeting Thursday evening, 6:30 February 15.
The Valentine Banquet at Underhill Farms/Bed & Breakfast in Moundridge Friday evening Feb 16.
Revival Meetings March 11-16 with Evangelist John RVanGelderen. Song leader Dr. Jim Stoutenborough;, and Special Music by Mary Lynn Van Gelderen and Joan Stoutenborough.
April 29th missionary to Canada, Paul Janke and two of his children were guests on Sunday evening
Challenge Christian camp held June 4-8. Plans made for VBS to be August 5-9 this year. November 25 the Church held an International Church Missionary Dinner. International main dishes and side dishes were shared. Following the meal a 30 minute video was enjoyed featuring favorite Christmas carols and scenes from around the world and scripture.
The Church Christmas banquet was held at the Red Coach Restaurant on December 15th.
The Annual Christmas program was presented December 16, entitled “Peanut Butter Christmas.”
“Thanks be unto GOD for his Unspeakable Gift.” II Corinthians 9:15
Dec. 30, 6 pm met for sandwiches, snacks and pop. A video followed entitled “The Printing”
January 4, 2002, 6:30 pm – Ladies Christmas party held at the church.
January 6, Special meeting called to consider providing funds to Mike and Becky Petersen for their permanent visas to Poland. The motion suggested by Craig Daharsh, carried.
NOTE: Copy of the letter of resignation the church received from Pastor Fox:
“On this 13th day of January, 2002, I Rick Fox, do turn in my resignation as Pastor of Liberty Baptist Church. I will continue to pastor the church as needed through May 5, 2002. If at any time between now and then the church calls a new pastor I will no longer be the pastor, as soon as the new man arrives.
Rick Fox 1-13-02”
January 27, Missionaries Daniel and Amber Olson shared their vision for the people in Toronto, Canada.
February 16, Valentine Banquet held at the Carriage Crossing in Yoder. Following the meal, all returned to the church for fun and fellowship. Larry and Tonya Parish’s 25th Anniversary Celebration was held 4 pm at the church on February 23rd. Sunday evening Feb. 24, all were invited to a Cake and Ice Cream fellowship to celebrate Pastor Fox’s 45th birthday.
Saturday March 9 the ladies and girls had a Breakfast Out with missionary, Jennifer Pearson. The following Sunday Jennifer shared how God was directing her to the needy field of Papua New Guinea.
April 6, Business meeting, Old Business - a motion by Joe Donahue that we hire Evans Construction Co. to continue work on drawing until final blueprint can be submitted to the City. Seconded by Don Stovall. Motion carried. A pastoral search report was given by Craig Daharsh. He requested we pray about considering Peter Ostrander as a candidate for LBC’s new pastor. New Business – church sign needed repainted, and Daharsh’s volunteered to take care of that.
April 14, Special Business meeting - Old Business – A report by Pastor Fox concerning Missionary Paul Janke. It was determined the church would continue support to the Janke’s for two more years at $50.00 a month. A motion by Mary Donahue to support Daniel and Amber Olson, missionary to Canada, for $50.00 per month, seconded by Charles Harr. Motion carried.
Sunday, May 5 – A farewell dinner was held after the morning service to bid farewell to Pastor Rick Fox, Joy, Justin and Kara. Dessert was served following the evening service.
May 12 – Pastor Lynn and Mrs. Sparkman conducted the morning service. At a special meeting, called by Craig Daharsh, Lyla McClure made a motion that the church proceed with organ repairs at a cost of approximately $300. Merlin Dean seconded, and motion carried. New business – a motion made by Lyla McClure to pay Peter Ostrander mileage at .32 a mile and expenses, plus love offering to travel to LBC a distance of approximately 1,162 miles to Newton to candidate for pastor on the weekend of 26 May. Motion seconded by Brenda Stovall, and carried.
May 26, Peter Ostrander candidated for Pastorate. He taught Sunday School and preached the morning and evening services. Following the morning service a potluck dinner was held. A Memorial Day picnic was held on the church grounds, Monday May 27th. Wednesday, May 29, a special business meeting was called to order by Craig Daharsh. Meeting opened with the reading of I Timothy 3:1-7, and Titus 1:6-9, as a challenge to the membership. The time was also spent in prayer by families to ask again for the Lord’s leading regarding the vote to call Peter Ostrander as the new pastor. A call was extended to Peter Ostrander to be pastor of Liberty Baptist Church. Peter Ostrander agreed to give his answer on whether to accept by June 9, 2002.
Christian Challenge Camp was held June 3-7.
June 9, 2002 – Peter Ostrander accepted the call to become pastor of Liberty Baptist Church. The last day to pastor at his present church in Illinois, to take place September 13, 2002. His latest date to be pastor at LBC was October 6, 2002.
Brother Lynn Sparkman agreed to assume the position as Interim Pastor until Brother Ostrander’s move to Newton.
June 16, Father’s Day Pie, Ice cream and Finger Food Fellowship held after the evening service.
August 25, Congratulations to new parents, John and Stephanie Haviland on the arrival of little Austin Michael.
September 1 – Pastor Peter Ostrander and family safely arrived in Newton, and first sermon by new pastor. September 2, 4pm Labor Day Picnic, have meat for grilling and a side dish to share. On September 15, Pastor Sparkman filled the pulpit for Pastor Ostrander. The church held a potluck dinner following the morning service to show appreciation to Pastor and Mrs. Sparkman for their ministry here.
LBC welcomes new members, Doug and Debbie Bough of Sedgwick, KS.
October 20, a baptismal service was held at 4 pm. At the Meridian Baptist Church. A motion made by Lana Daharsh that we accept as members into Liberty Baptist Church upon recommendation by Pastor and Deacons and by baptism, Steve, Josh and Joey Barden, Jonathan and Justine Ostrander. Motion seconded by Dwight McClure, motion carried. Motion made by Charles Harr that by recommendation of Pastor and deacon and her statement of faith we accept Geraldine Barden into the membership of LBC. Motion seconded by Larry Parish, motion carried.
December 14 – Christmas program “The Birthday of a King” presented at 6PM with a finger food fellowship afterward. December 24, a special music program “The Light of the World is Jesus” featuring Della Mae Harr at the piano, and vocalist Laura Ostrander.
December 31 – The church family was invited to watch the New Year in at the Stovalll’s home beginning at 8 PM. Members brought finger food to share.
New officers for 2003 are: Secretary - Elaine Dean; Treasurer – Dwight McClure; Bookkeeper – Charles Harr; - Sunday School Superintendent – Larry Parish.
January 11 – Ladies Christmas Party was held at Susan Krehbiel’s home in Halstead, with supper served there. A baptismal service held at Meridian Baptist Church at 2 pm., January 19.
February 2, Motion made by Charles Harr to accept Durk King into the fellowship of Liberty Baptist Church. Motion seconded by Bill Krehbiel, motion carried.
Annual Business meeting held February 9, after Sunday evening service. A motion was made to discontinue the $25.00 support for Bob Shelton’s program on KJRG Radio Station, by Charles Harr, The amount to be added to the Daniel Olson support, was made in a motion by Larry Parish. Motions carried.
February 16, Sunday evening, a special “Journey of Faith” program presented by Della Mae Harr. This was a Musical Trip through the Christian Life.
March 30 LBC Youth had charge of the evening service, and was a blessing.
April 20, The Easter musical, “The Master of Miracles” was presented during the morning service.
May 4, 7:20 pm the Bi-Monthly business meeting was reconvened with Pastor Ostrander officiating. He asked if the congregation was ready to make a decision about design and size of building to erect. Voting by ballot was unanimous to erect a building 70 feet by 80 feet. A motion was made by Joe Donahue to authorize Craig Daharsh to be the representative of LBC in all legal matters regarding the building. Motion seconded by Don Stovall, motion carried.
May 16 &17 was the Ladies Outing to the Precious Moments Chapel Center in Carthage, MO. Memorial Day Picnic May 26, with the softball game against Midland Baptist Church at 4 pm. Picnic followed.
Christian Challenge Camp was held June 2-6. On Saturday June 14, an Old Fashioned Father’s Day Picnic was held with old fashioned games, old fashioned brats, and old fashioned home made ice cream.
June 15 – Bi Monthly Business meeting – Notification that LBC was hooked up to City water. New business – It was disclosed that there will be a 20 foot distance between the old and new buildings which will involve eliminating the trees, finishing the restrooms, with plumbing, heating and cooling, and electrical and water in place with interior ready to receive dry-wall. Building will be usable at that time. Breezeway to be added later.
June 18, missionary Helen Berman gave the church a Wednesday evening update on her work.
July 13 – Pitch-in dinner after morning service to welcome the Rickard family. July 14 – 18 Vacation Bible School in the a.m. and Teen Time each evening.
September 14 – Ground Breaking Service. Fellowship Dinner was held after the Sunday morning service, with the Ground Breaking at 1:30 pm.
October 5, Baptismal Service following the morning service, at LBC, a first. This was possible by using a large oval “stock-tank”. Participants were Bridgette Donahue, and Joseph and Matthew Stovall.
October 18, Men’s Prayer Breakfast – Prayer at the church 8 a.m. then to Braums for breakfast. October 26, Revival meetings with Torrey Jaspers began and a Fellowship meal was held following the morning service. The meetings were nightly Oct 26-31.
November 7-8 Ladies Conference in Kansas City. – Men’s Prayer Breakfast Saturday, Nov. 22. Prior to Thanksgiving a Pie and Praise Fellowship was held at 7 pm Tuesday Nov 25.
December 14 – 7:15 pm Balloting for church officers for the year 2004 was conducted with the following results: Deacons – Don Stovall, Craig Daharsh and Merlin Dean; Treasurer – Dwight McClure; Bookkeeper – Charles Harr; Sunday School Superintendent – Larry Parish; Secretary – Elaine Dean. Sunday, December 21 the Christmas Program was held at 6 pm with the choir and actors presenting “The Richest Family in Town.” A fingerfood fellowship time followed.
Theme for the New Year – “Let’s give Him more in 2004.” Sunday morning Services January 11 featured Rev. John Davis and Dr. Mike Duffy.
February 13 the Valentines Banquet was held Friday evening at the Red Coach Inn. The Annual Business meeting was held Feb. 15. New Business, Missionary Paul Janke requested that his financial support be dropped by the church. A motion to do so was made by Charles Harr and seconded by Craig Daharsh. Motion carried. Lana Daharsh made motion to increase Daniel Olson support to $100, and Mike Petersen support to $125. Motion seconded by Tonya Parish, motion carried.
March 13, the Tri-City School of Servants was held in K.C.
The first service in LBC’s New Building featured the Maranatha Baptist Academy Singers, from Watertown, Wisconsin. They presented their Repertoire for the Sunday Morning Service on March 21. The same evening at the Annual Business meeting, a recommendation was made by the Deacons to accept the Oller family into LBC fellowship. Motion made by Charles Harr, seconded by Dwight McClure. Motion carried. The right hand of fellowship was extended to them. Saturday March 27 was Spring cleaning day, (inside and out) starting at 9 a.m.
April 4 – Palm Sunday evening service presented by the Teens. Easter Sunday April 11 began with breakfast together at 9:00 a.m. April 18, Pastor and Mrs. Sparkman had a presentation of their time in Pakistan, in the evening, with refreshments following.
May 2 – a Mother and Daughter Banquet was held at 5 PM. Mrs. Wendell Heller presented “Poured out for Christ.” A lovely tea party. The Encouragement Conference with Dr. Wendell Heller was May 2-5. Memorial Day Picnic, Monday 31st at 4 pm
June 6, Pastor and Mrs. Ron Vitosky were here. Pastor Vitosky preaching in the morning service. Challenge Christian Camp was held June 7-11. June 18 the Yield team left for Mexico, to return on June26.
July 4 – a Special Patriotic Service was held, with fellowship meal and an afternoon service. The Maranatha Messengers presented a concert the evening of Sunday July 25.
The Ladies Bible Study began on September 14 with a new book for busy women. The Teen Harvest Rally was Sept. 25 in Kansas City.
October brought the Annual Soup and Chili Fellowship at the Stovalls, Saturday the 16th. The 31st was the Harvest Offering Fellowship meal.
November 5-6 the Heart of America Ladies Conference in Kansas City. Work Day Saturday, Nov 13, and Bonfire. November 23 the Thanksgiving midweek service on Tuesday and was the Pie and Praise Fellowship, 7 pm. November 28, was last service for faithful members Joe and Mary Donahue, as they moved to Marshall, MN.
December 12, “The Spirit of Christmas” was presented at 6:00 pm by the Choir along with the Liberty Kids actors. Sunday evening, December 19 beginning at 5:30 was the Soup and Sandwich Fellowship – an opportunity for the Church family to enjoy fellowship. Christmas Eve service was held at the Church at 7:00 pm. New Year’s Eve service at 7:00 pm at the church December 31.
January 9, Sunday Services were cancelled due to electric outage. The Outage was caused by the SEVERE Ice Storm in the area, January 4th. Many members were without electricity for over a week. Numerous trees were damaged and broken down.
January 16, during Sunday afternoon, the ladies held their annual Christmas Party! Secret Sisters were revealed, and new names drawn for year 2005. After the evening service the Bi-Monthly business meeting was held. The results of election of officers and Deacons were: Deacons: Dave Oller – 1st year of 3 year term; Mert Dean – 1st year of 2nd 3 year term; Don Stovall – 2nd year of 1st 3 year term. Treasurers – Craig and Lana Daharsh; Sunday School Superintendent – Larry Parish; Secretary – Elaine Dean; Bookkeeper – Charles Harr.
The Teens held the Sunday evening service February 6, with a skit titled “Choices.” Special Music “Just one Step at a Time” by France Penner, and a Session of Bible Trivia Questions.
The Valentine Banquet was held February 12, at Liberty Baptist Church. The Annual Business meeting was held Sunday evening February 13. A Review of 2004 was presented by Pastor Ostrander: “March 21 being first meeting in new building. Nine special speakers, various activities, two new families into membership, lost three families due to moving out of state. Goals for 2005 – 1. Finish building by October. 2. Work to see five new families added to the membership.”
A list of special events for year 2005 included the following: March 11 and 12 – SOS Conference; April 10-15 – Special meetings with Rich and Angela Tozour and Angela’s brother Michael Wessberg and wife Candace; May 22 – Missionaries Stephen and Ruth Schaefer and girls, here; May 30 – Memorial Day Picnic; June 6 – 10 -- Challenge Christian Camp; June 19 – YIELD Trip to Delta, Utah, (Youth In Evangelism and Leadership Development) a ministry of Challenge Christian Camp; July 17 – DVBS with youth from Faith Baptist Church of Danville IL ; July 31 – Missionary Mel Wingrove of EMU International; October 9 – Thirtieth Church Anniversary; November 13 - Missionary; Nov. 22 - Pie & Praise Fellowship; December 11 – Christmas Program.
February 26, Men’s Prayer Breakfast and Work Day at the church. May 7 – Work Day at the Church.
May 22 – Mother – Daughter Banquet, with Special Speaker Ruth Schaefer.
June 5, Former LBC pastor Rick Fox Conducted Morning and Evening Services, with a Fellowship meal following the morning service to greet the Fox family. June 12 – Former member Brian Harr brought the morning message. June 19 – Deacon David Oller brought the Morning and Evening Father’s Day messages.
June 26, following the morning service the First Baptism in the new Church Baptistry, officiated by Pastor Peter Ostrander. Those demonstrating their faith in following the Lord in baptism were: Alisa Oller, Ethan Oller, Megan Oller, Priscilla Oller, Hope Ostrander, Sarah Parish, Francie Penner, Frank McCain and Gloria Schroeder.
July 20 – A special musical concert with Pastor Peter Wright and the group from Faith Baptist Church in Danville, IL.
February 15, Annual Business Meeting was held after the evening service. The results of election of officers and Deacons were: Deacons: Dave Oller – 2nd year of 3 year term; Mert Dean – 2nd year of 2nd 3 year term; Don Stovall – 3rd year of 1st 3 year term. Treasurers – Don Stovall; Sunday School Superintendent – Steve Barden; Secretary –Leyanne Oller; Bookkeeper – Charles Harr.
April 02, Newton Christian High School Choir performed several songs during the morning service.
January 7, First Sunday with the new pews.
January 14, Morning and evening services were cancelled due to weather. We had about 1 1/4" of sleet which caused the roads to become very slick.
October 25, following the morning service a Baptism service was held, officiated by Pastor Peter Ostrander. Those demonstrating their faith in following the Lord in baptism were: Israel Sanchez, Austin Haviland, and Josh Goodall.
October 25, we had the annual soup and chili fellowship. Susan Krehbiel hosted a Sunday School party at the church for the 1st - 4th graders.
November 01, the teen class took charge of the evening service.
April 10, Baptismal Service (Everett & Evy Boese -- Curtis and Ziona Cornell) were baptized by Pastor Ostrander.