In the late fall of 1969, the Lord put it into the hearts of two men to desire a New Testament Baptist church that was Calvinistic, evangelistic, and Baptistic. On December 20, these two men, Jerry Parks and Gary Long, went to Buffalo, Missouri to meet with Wayne Lemons. This meeting led to another meeting at Heritage Cafeteria in Springfield, December 28. After additional meetings, a worship service took place on January 11, 1970 at the YMCA in Springfield. Further meetings resulted in a service at the home of Bill and Celeste Hines in Galloway, Missouri on February 1, 1970. Three services were held in the Hines’ home and then a building was rented on South Campbell from Poindexter Tile, with the first service being held there on February 22. Regular services met at this location through May, and on May 31, 1970 an organizational meeting was held; there were 17 charter members. That afternoon a picnic and the baptisms of Gary and Paula Parks took place at James River.
The following Wednesday, June 3, the church elected its officers and appointed Brother Wayne Lemons as pastor. Our present piano that we continue to use (2008) was delivered new to us on October 6 of 1970.
Brother Charles Massey was our first supported missionary to the Navajo Indians in northern New Mexico.
In 1973, with a loan from the O’Bannon Bank in Buffalo, we purchased a church building from The Church of God, at 2784 E. Trafficway across the street from McBee Binders.
Brother Wayne Lemons resigned on the last Sunday of 1976 and the church called Gary Long as pastor in August of 1977. In 1980, Brother Lynn VanDeMark, a retired pastor from Burden, Kansas was asked to serve as co-pastor with Gary Long. Brother VanDeMark ministered with good results until September 1983, when he resigned and moved to Florida due to health problems.
In September of 1985, the church called Brother Wayne Walker to co-pastor. In 1986 we purchased our present building (2766 W. Farm Road 178) from Sunset Church of Christ for $107,000 and held our first service on August 17, 1986. On April 23, 1989, Brother Wayne Walker resigned.
In March of 1991, the church asked Gary Long to serve full time, effective May 1.
In 2003, the church approved a renovation which would turn the main sanctuary into a fellowship hall and build a new sanctuary. This was completed and on May 9, 2004, the first service was held in the new sanctuary.
The greatest blessing to Sovereign Grace Baptist Church has been the many conversions, baptisms, and steady growth in grace that has come about. The church has many ministries that are a continual blessing, including all of our present missionaries, our Victory Mission ministry, the Christian County jail ministry, teen camp, and various annual outings. The young people of this church have been a great blessing and an important part of all activities, including an annual musical concert.
Current Officers of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church are:
Gary W. Long – Pastor Jerry Parks – Deacon
Doug Holcomb – Deacon Bob Jacobs – Deacon
Jerry Reed – S. S. Supt. Patti Holcomb – Treasurer
Eric Binai – Secretary Eric Binai – Missions Chair.