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February 16, 1919, the Immanuel Baptist Church was organized with 7 charter members. In November 1920 the church became a member of the Baptist Mission Union. A year later a Ladies' Aid was formed.
The need for a church building became more and more apparent, at a Thanksgiving fellowship dinner 1924, discussion centered about erection of a meeting place. Mrs. Emma Martinson offered one acre of ground in memory of her husband, and the following year the building was erected in Gerrish County.
The membership grew to thirty members in 1931. 1940 an outstanding faithful member, Jonas Carlson was taken by death. A decline began which kept the door of the church closed most of the time until 1946, when Rev. Toivo Tervonen came through Roscommon and inspired a reorganization and a new life came to the church. Elaine Tikka, a missionary of the Baptist M. Union was sent to us and a Sunday School work began. Rev. Edward Midura came and spent some weeks preaching and after him Rev. Severin Bernas. The work was strengthened and in 1947 the church extended a call to Mr. Bernas to become its pastor.
After a year and a half, Bernas accepted a call to Detroit and God led Rev. James Fryar to be our pastor 1953-1955. Mr. Fryar, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute, accepted the call. The present site of the church was then purchased. After four successful years of ministry, Fryar accepted a call to Grace Baptist Church in Chicago.
Rev. John Loggeans accepted the call by the church and served until 1955. While he was pastor the present basement of the church was built. After he left Rev. Oscar Gunnerfeldt, then General Secretary of the BMU, served for some months until Rev. Robert W. Erickson was called in July 1955. He was a graduate of Bob Jones University. A fine spirit of unity prevailed and the church prospered. In 1959 Mr. Erickson felt the need for further study and resigned.
In December 1959 Rev. Leon Fuller, director of the Bambi Lake, Southern Baptist Camp at Roscommon was called as interim and God blessed his ministry until in August 1960.
In September, 1960 Rev. John Bell, a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and ordained to the gospel ministry in 1942 at Hawthorne, New Jersey, accepted a call by the Immanuel Church. He had served as pastor of several Methodist Churches until by conviction he left the denomination and organized the Community Bible Church of Davisburg, Mich., where he presided nearly seven years. He then became founder and pastor of a Baptist Church of Birch Run, Mich., and taught in the High School System of Saginaw, Mich., until he accepted the present pastorate. Plans have now been accepted and given out for bids to contractors. A fund drive is going on for the erection of an upper auditorium with a hope that it can be completed in 1961.
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. 47-48.
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