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First Baptist Church - Gladstone, Mich.

The First Baptist Church of Gladstone, Michigan, was organized August 21, 1905 under the leadership of Missionary Edward Fleming of Chicago, Ill. The six charter members were John Hult, Mrs. John Hult, Mrs. Anna Sigfrids, Charlie Sigfrids, John Johnson and John Anderson. Land was donated by Charlie Sigfrids and the present building constructed at once and dedicated one month after the organization of the church. The Sunday School was also organized this same year.

Rev. Andrew Bloomquist preached the first sermon in the new building and also conducted the first baptismal service and dedicated the Baptistry.

The present parsonage was built in 1910 and for many years was the special interest of the Ladies' Aid Society of the church for its care and upkeep.

Rev. Carl J. Worgren served the church from 1907-1908 and it was during his ministry that a young peoples group was organized which has been instrumental in molding many of the lives of our young people.

Rev. Axel Edwards next served the church as pastor.

In 1915, Rev. N. Werner Nelson became pastor and served for six years. During this time improvements were made on the church property.

A dentist came to Gladstone to set up practice, Dr. Herman Kasen, who also ministered to the church from 1921 to the fall of 1922, when John Hugo was called to become pastor. Shortly after, Pastor Hugo was ordained to the Gospel Ministry by the Church and served as pastor for two and a half years.

Rev. John Soderman began a two year ministry in 1925 and shortly after leaving Gladstone was called to be with the Lord.

Again, October 1, 1928, Rev. N. Werner Nelson was called to pastor our church and served us for five years. Our next pastor, Rev. Milton Satterberg, came to us from Canada in 1934 for a brief ministry.

The second longest pastorate was that of Rev. Nils Hedstrom, who beginning in 1937 served our church for six years. Through the ambitious efforts of Pastor Hedstrom and the cooperation of the congregation, a new furnace was installed in the church. This was a great improvement and an added comfort.

In 1943, Rev. J. A. Kallman, who served our church in the summer of 1910, became our pastor. Following his ministry here in 1910 he was used of the Lord as a fruitful evangelist. Many were won to Christ through his ministry. On August 21, 1945, we were saddened by the sudden home-going of our pastor.

Rev. Bertil A. Friberg began his ministry among us in 1946. He placed a strong emphasis upon the Sunday School and missions which resulted in our greatest Sunday School growth and largest missionary program we had experienced in our history. During this time also, the church property was improved.

Our Pastor beginning in 1952, was Rev. Kenneth Samuelson. We enjoyed a fruitful and profitable time under his ministry. An attractive and practical entrance was constructed over the front steps and an organ was purchased which have added much to the ministry of the church. In May, 1955, our present pastor, Dana M. Austin, began his ministry. The Lord has been pleased to let our ministry reach out with the result that we continue to have a strong Sunday School, a fine group of young people and a faithful congregation of cooperating believers.

Published in Sixty Years of Christian Stewardship 1901-1961. Prepared in commemoration of the Sixtieth anniversary of The Baptist Mission Union of America. 1961, p. 33-35.

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