Fortuna Baptist Church (1902- Present)

 

Following is a list of Pastors serving since the date of organization (through 1978):

 

E.T. Shelton 1902 D.E. Allen 1931 Eugene Troop 1958
Leslie Kenny 1905 G.L. Newkirk 1932 William Beard 1961
P.H. Taylor 1906 G. Elmo Purvis 1934 Charles Tyson 1965
R.T. White 1908 O.W. Goodnight 1936 W.D. Martensen 1966
H.W. Allee 1912 Rufus Crozier 1937 Merle McDonald 1973
G.E. Benson 1913 A.L. Browning 1940 Leroy Moon 1974
H.W. Allee 1914 Rev. Prewitt 1943 Clinton Taylor, Sr 1978
G.N. Neafus 1915 Ernest Waite 1944    
H.W. Allee 1916 Don Miller 1947    
T.C. Richards 1919 Leonard Sullivan 1949    
Ray Parker 1920 Beryl Gray 1950    
M.S. Humphrey 1921 Robert Streeter 1952    
C.E. Humphrey 1923 Walter Fuqua 1954    
H.W. Allee 1928 Richard Craig 1955    

 

 

From Ford's 1936 History of Moniteau County, Missouri:

 

This church was organized in 1902 dur­ing the mining boom. The congregation first held services in the Methodist church, afterwards in a business room, and built the present church in 1919. At its organization the church had thirteen charter members; in 1935 a hun­dred and twenty nine. The Concord Association will meet here in 1936.

 

From History of Concord Baptist Association (Cole, 1973):

The Fortuna Baptist Church was organized about the year 1902. The records of the church were destroyed by fire in 1930. There are no living charter members.

For a time the church had no building, but the desire for a place of their own, in which to worship led the members to purchase an old store building and move it to the site of the present building. Both men and women gave freely of their time to make it adequate for the needs of the people. The First Baptist Church of Fortuna was dedicated in 1908.

After a number of years, the membership felt the need for a new building. The old one was moved away by a friend of the church, Mr. John Hutchison, who promised to give half of the money, if the congregation would raise the balance needed for a new house of worship. The new building was completed and dedicated in 1919.

During the pastorate of Rev. Eugene Troop and under his leadership, we added an educational unit of twelve rooms, two assembly rooms, a kitchen, a nursery and gas furnaces. This improvement furnished much needed Sunday School class rooms. Because we were following God's leadership, the new educational unit was soon paid for. We dedicated the educational facilities in February, 1960. Rev. Troop and family left the pastorate shortly, to go to Brazil as foreign missionaries, where they are serving at the present time.

Throughout the years, we've had many good pastors. Several began their ministry in the Fortuna Church; they have now gone on to a greater service in which we feel we've had a part. Some have gone into the ti-aching field. We cherish the memory of all former pastors.
 

We continue to serve the community and village of Fortuna. Our present pastor (May 1972) is Rev. W. D. Martensen, and under his leadership we have grown both spiritually and in numbers. Our membership is 171. We have added to our building: a baptistery, carpeting, an organ and piano, paneling of the auditorium, and recently, we have bought a new home for use as a parsonage.
 

We carry on a full program as recommended for Southern Baptists. We ask for the prayers of the members of the Concord Baptist Association, that we will continue to fill our place in our community.
 

From the 1980 History of Moniteau County published by the Moniteau Co. Historical Society:

 

The Baptist Church at Fortuna was constituted in 1902 under the leadership of the Rev E. T Shelton, during the mining boom. The congregation at first held its services at the Methodist Church, having services once a month. This proved unsatisfactory after a few years and they began planning for a place of worship of their own. They bought an old store building on the corner across from the present church. Mr. John Hutchison gave the ground to put the building on and it was moved, it was nothing of beauty, but the men went to work in earnest and soon had the siding on and painted. They put in the required number of windows and built a belfry on the front. The women of the Church also played an important part in establishing and maintaining that first church. The inside walls were plain wide pine boards. The women bought material and tacked it closely over the entire wall. It took much tacking, then they papered it, which really made a nice smooth wall. Shortly, the ladles aid was organized. They met once a week and quilted or sewed. One spring they made and sold fifty sunbonnets.

The building was moved and dedicated in 1908. The church had the following charter members: Mr. and Mrs. J Fowler, Mr. and Mrs. P Bechtel, Mr and Mrs. R. L. Hays, Mrs. Smyra P. Hays, Mrs. Georgia Johnson Scott, Mr. and Mrs. W. Wendleton, Mrs. Sarah Carter, Mrs. Fannie Carter, Mrs. Cinda Drake, Mrs. Chloe Wilson. R. L. Hays and James Fowler were the first ordained deacons.

They had some good and wonderful revivals in that old church. After one revival about fifty were baptized.

After using the old building for some years they desired a new and better one. Rev. T, C. Richards of Syracuse was the pastor at the time and was very anxious that they build. Mr. Hutchison again came to the rescue and bought the old building and moved it away, which gave a start on the new one. Not only did he help in this manner; he said if the members would raise half the money for the new building, he would give the other half. Plans were soon completed and in due time the new church was completed and dedicated in 1919.”

All the original records were lost in a storm or fire in the 1930’s. However, due to the help of many dedicated members, friends, and neighbors, much has been retained of the early history

The congregation which had supported a Pastor for only one Sunday in each month soon voted for a full time ministry. Later a parsonage was purchased and a full time pastor came to live on the field of service. That program has continued to the present time.
Throughout the years the church has maintained the different organizations as Sunday School, the W. M.U. and Auxiliaries, Training Union, and an annual Bible School.

During the pastorage (1958 1960) of Rev. Eugene Troop (who is now a missionary in Brazil) the church recognized the need for an educational building. It was added to the present structure and dedicated in 1961, providing 10 more class rooms, 2 assembly rooms, rest rooms, and a nursery. A deep well and the modernization of the church kitchen followed. During 1964 and 65 two gas furnaces were installed and a new piano and electric organ were added and still grace the auditorium.

Then came the addition of a baptistry and the redecorating of the main auditorium with carpeting and paneling being installed during the ministry of Rev. W. D. Martensen between 1966-1972 Also during this time a gift was received from a former member, Mrs. J, M, Berkey, and chimes were installed, The chimes can be heard daily by many close residents.

In 1972 a new parsonage was purchased.

Early in 1978 carpeting was added to the fellowship hall in the basement. In 1980, thanks to a gift from Mrs. J. M. Berkey, the church pews were upholstered which greatly adds to the appearance and comfort.

Our members were greatly saddened in March, 1980 in the loss of our faithful pianist and dedicated servant of Our Lord, Mrs. Oma Lammert. She had served as pianist for over 50 years, as well as in many other capacities.

The church has continued to grow under the leadership of many good pastors and together with the Methodist congregation it endeavors to care for the spiritual needs of the people of Fortuna and the surrounding country side.

 

From the History of Moniteau County 2000:

 

The Baptist Church at Fortuna was constituted in 1902 under the leadership of the Rev. E. T. Shelton, during the mining boom. The congregation at first held its services at the Methodist Church, having services once a month. This proved unsatisfactory after a few years and they began playing for a place of worship of their own. They bought an old store building on the corner across from the present church. Mr. John Hutchinson gave the ground to put the building on and it was moved. It was nothing a beauty but the man went to work in earnest and soon had the siding on and painted. They put in the required number of windows and built a belfry on the front. The women of the church also play an important part in establishing and maintaining the first church. The inside walls were plain wide pine boards. The women bought material tacked closely over the entire wall. It took much tacking, then they prepared it, which really made a nice smooth wall. Shortly, the ladies aid was organized. They met once a week and quilted or sewed. One spring they made and sold 50 sun bonnets.

The building was moved and dedicated in 1908. R. L. Hays and James Fowler were the first ordained deacons. After one revival about 50 were baptized.

After using the old building for some years they desired a new and better one. Rev. T. C. Richards of Syracuse was the pastor at the time and was very anxious that they build. Mr. Hutchinson again came to the rescue them but the old building and moved it away, which gave a start on the new one. Not only did he help in this manner, he said if the members would raise half the money for the new building, he would give the other half. Plans were soon completed and in due time the new church was completed and dedicated in 1919.

All the original records were lost in a storm or fire in the 1930s. However, due to the help of many dedicated members, friends, and neighbors, much has been retained of the early history.

The congregation which had supported a pastor for only one Sunday each month soon voted for a full-time ministry. Later a parsonage was purchased and a full-time pastor came to live on the field service. The program has continued to the present time.

During the pastorate (1958-1960) of Eugene Troop, missionary to Brazil, the church recognized the need for any educational building. It was added to the present structure and dedicated in 1961.

Then came the addition of a baptistery and the redecorating of the main auditorium with carpeting and paneling being installed between 1966-1972. Also, chimes were installed, a new parsonage was purchased, stained-glass windows and storm windows were put in. There were 65 additions during his six years, 43 were saved here.

Under the leadership of pastor (July 1976) Rev. Leroy Moon, a bus ministry was formed to let more have the opportunity to meet Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Rev. W. D. Martensen returned in January 1997 to again pastor this church and so far we've had 42 additions. The young man, Dustin Fields, surrendered to the ministry.


 

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