S: The Story of First Assembly Baldwin
BC: First Assembly Baldwin scrapbook was created by Esther Routh and Mildred Schomer in 1968 on the church's 10th Anniversary. The scrapbook was recreated in 2011 on its 53rd Anniversary by Kenna Routh
FC: The Story of First Assembly Baldwin
1: The Musings of an Assembly Maybe I am overcome with nostalgia but when I heard my people were going to celebrate my 10th anniversary I sit about reminiscing. My musing may sound a little trite to those who have not been intimately involved with my decade of existence. You see I am not just any Assembly. I am the "First Assembly of God" church in Baldwin, Kansas. Located on the corner of 5th and Baker streets. My structure is not of Gothic design but simply and plainly built more for service than beauty. Love and sacrifice are a part of my being as much as my wooden structure. My beginning was humble indeed but "the Lord giveth grace to the humble." About the time a small prayer group was meeting in a home, desiring a place to worship the Lord impressed Rev. and Mrs. Roy Eichelberger to come to Baldwin. They found a store building in West Baldwin, 1614 College Street, available. The first meeting was held May 4, 1958 in Tablock Hall with 20 present. An offering of $3.66 was received. Rev. A. J. Krimer, district presbyter of Kansas Assemblies of God set the church in order August 26, 1958. There were 10 charter members. Namely: Rev. and Mrs. Roy Eichelberger and son Gary Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Morgan Sr. Mrs. Mildred Schomer Alice Lyman Mrs. Zola Collins and daughter Sue Mrs Erma Fine
3: Now we were seeing action! Used lumber was purchased at Haskell University. The corner became a beehive of activity and the sound of hammers and joyous laughter rang out as young and old "rallied round." There was work for everyone. In those days my people pulled more nails than they drove preparing the used lumber for carpenters; C. O. Collins, Grady Layton, and Raymond Routh. I don't know how many times the used maple flooring was moved before it was finally cleaned, sorted and laid. Here was patience personified. It wasn't long until they were singing the doxology in the treasury department. A loan could not be had, my group was just too small. Undaunted, the people believed God would make a way. Baldwin Lumber Company gave us credit with no interest and only a pledge to pay $100.00 per month. The praise belongs to God, they never missed a payment. Fall rains began to set in and the roof must be on immediately. Brother Utley urged the ministers of Section 9 into action and a work day was set. The ladies prepared dinner and the long day ended with the job well on its way. The work progressed - sometimes at a snail's pace - and my people were destined to spend another winter in Tablock Hall. Furnaces must be purchased. Again the Lord went before and with a promise of $50.00 a month they were installed. Here again there was no interest charge. Sometimes there was only a few cents left in the treasury when the bills were paid but such is often the way of faith! | Carpenters and Contractors Left to right Raymond Routh, C. O. Collins, Grady Layton
4: BC. | Left to right C. O. Collins, Rev. Roy Eichelberger, Al Schomer, Sister Eichelberger. | Left to right David, Esther Routh, Joy, Robert (hidden), LaVeta, Rev. Raymond Routh, Dean | Congregation in 1960 1614 College Street Front Row: David Routh, Roger Randel, Gary Eichelberger, Joy Routh, Sharon Schomer, Dean Routh, Peggy Schomer, Raymond Routh Back Row: Larry Schomer, Esther Routh, Mildred Schomer, LaVeta Routh, Sister Eichelberger, Erma Fine, Jan Fine, Jack Fine, Rev. Roy Eichelberger, Orville Randel
5: The first baptismal service was at the First Assembly of God church in Lawrence, Kansas, August 31, 1958 with 6 candidates, Rev. Eichelberger officiating. The second one was at the Ross Quarry on East 15th St. Ottawa, Kansas. This was held in conjunction with Ottawa Assembly and pastor F. R. McAdams. Baldwin had 15 candidates. Rev. Eichelberger resigned the pastorate Nov. 1, 1959. Rev. and Sister Raymond Routh accepted the pastorate November 25, 1959. In those days my temperature went up and down in more ways than one. Even when my people had cold feet (literally) the fire of Pentecost burned in their souls. The number on the register went up and down too but pastor exhorted, "despise not the day of small things", and again "Let us not be weary in well doing for we shall reap if we faint not." A nest egg for a future home was started and little by little it grew. When it finally reached $2,000.00 our faith began to mount on wings of Eagles. The property at 5th and Baker Streets was purchases from Rev. and Sister Routh for $500.00 on June 8, 1960. Someone said, "It will take sweat, blood and tears to build in this place." Those words proved to be prophetical. With an approved plan and approximately $2500.00 in the treasury a building permit was purchased from Baldwin City, in April 1962. Baldwin City dug the foundation trench for us without charge.
6: The first service was held in the new building on Easter, Sunday April 14, 1963. The people brought a real sacrifice offering that day and the glory of the Lord filled the house. The labor was not nearly ended but a milestone had been reached. Another sacrifice offering was brought on Easter, 1964. The mountain really gave way when the last furnace and lumberyard payment was made. The 3rd baptismal service was held August 25, 1963 at Ross Quarry. Brother Raymond Routh officiating. There were 12 candidates. Twelve babies have been dedicated. Two by Brother Eichelberger and ten by Brother and Sister Routh. Three weddings have been performed. After 6 years Brother and Sister Routh resigned in October 1965. Rev. and Mrs. E.L. Weems became pastors in January 1966. The work of the Lord continues to progress and the finishing touches are still being added. Everyone was especially pleased when the front parking made it possible to use the front door. This and the foundation plantings were added in Brother Weems tenure. A 4th babptismal service was held April 7, 1968 at Clearfield Lake. Rev. E.L. Weems officiating. There were 3 candidates. Daily vacation Bible schools, W.M.C's and C.A groups were organized from the beginning.
7: The church and parsonage
8: 1963 Congregation 5th & Baker | Sunday School Superintendent C. O. Collins,
9: Sunday School Teachers Left to right C. O. Collins, Adele Layton, Mildred Schomer, Willa Sawyer, Zola Collins, Raymond Routh | Pastors Rev. Raymond and Esther Routh
11: Easter 1968 1 - Junior High Class - Teacher Jewel Gammill Denise Gammill, Sheree Weems, Kathy Jackson 2 - High School Class - Teacher Ralph Coltrane Curt Gammill, Sharon Schomer, Mary Coltrane 3 - Beginner Class - Teacher Zola Collins 4 - Junior Class - Teacher Gerald Mason 5 - Primary Class 6 - Adult Class - Teacher E. L. Weems 7 - 1968 Congregation
13: Water Baptism Ross Quarry August 25, 1963
14: Many Evangelists, Missionaries and friends have come by to help, evangelize and worship here. I appreciate all of you and your reward will be in heaven and maybe a little in me as you watch me grow. At no time has my lay membership been more than 8. My total cost to date is $10,190.48. Miracles are bound to happen when God's children believe and put their hand to the plow. I feel rather old at 10 years, but the end is not yet should Jesus tarry. The prayers of those who love me is that I will always be a beacon light to a dark world and that those who pass through my doors find joy and peace in the service of our heavenly father. And I wish to add, I shall only be happy as long as tears of repentance are shed at my altars and shouts of victory echo in my sanctuary. Written by, Sis Routh Many dates supplied by Sister Collins