History

In 1994, A group consisting of eight families, plus eight other men and women, felt a need to found a church. Those 24 adults formed a congregation, and called themselves, "Faith Baptist Church." The first congregational hymn sung was, "Victory in Jesus." Their first Sunday morning service was conducted on April 17, 1994 in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ira Walton.

A Church Constitution was written and of importance, declared, ARTICLE III - Membership: The Church shall be composed of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who have been baptized by immersion... ARTICLE VI - Governing Body: This church must always be a free and independent Baptist Church... It shall always be a local, free independent Church governed only be the local body.

On July 31, 1994, Brother John Leonard, a staff member of Heart to Heart Bible Church of Phoenix, Arizona, was called as the first pastor. For the next year and a half, the church met at several different locations, including a 7th Day Adventist church and then a vacant doctor's office.

On October 17, 1994, the church began to support its first missionary, Brother Vic LaBelle (Mexico).

In the fall of 1995, the church began to rent the former KVOY radio station building on 699 S. Ave B. The church the subsequently purchased in November of 2000 that building and the adjoining property having one triplex and two duplex structures, totaling 1.25 acres for $275,000. Under the leadership of Pastor Leonard, the church was strengthened and was very stable until his leaving on January 17, 2004.

On July 13, 2004, Brother Luke Andrews, a missionary evangelist from Modesto, California, supported by Central Valley Baptist Church of Manteca, California, began serving as pastor and until his leaving on January 17, 2006. For the next year and a half, the church continued without a pastor, filling the pulpit, both on Sunday and the midweek services, with guest preachers.

On July 29, 2007, Brother Eric M. Tharp, founding pastor of Mountain View Baptist Church of Holyoke, Massachusets and then more recent, a staff member with North Valley Baptist Church of Santa Clara, California, began serving as pastor. The Lord prospered his work and the church grew rapidly in number. Soon the congregation outgrew the buildings at 699 S. Ave B. Services were then conducted in a tent throught the winter and spring of 2007/08. Some affectionately referred to those days as the "Tent Days." The weather was a factor because of the frequent strong winds blowing sand around in the tent during service times. Rain is remembered at least on two occasions.

During the Tent Days, the church purchased a new property for $750,000, formerly known as the Yuma Jaycees Clubhouse, located at 1798 S. Arizona Ave. The location was roughly in the center of the City of Yuma. The new purchase included a large steel building structure built circa 1960 and was in need of remodeling. After several months, the remodeling was completed to accomodate occupancy of 225 at an additional cost of $169,000. The church held its first service on that location on November 2, 2008.

The church continued to grow under Pastor Tharp's leadership until his leaving on February 4, 2009, when he accepted the call to become pastor at Central Valley Baptist Church in Manteca, California. For the couple of preceeding months, the church continued without a pastor.

On April 19, 2009, on the church's 15th year anniversary, Brother John Goetsch Jr. accepted the call to be the pastor of Faith Baptist Church. The Lord has continued to bless his labor. The church continues to grow in number and is already beginning to outgrow the church building at 1798 S. Arizona Ave.

Jesus so mandated: Be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

As we labor together under the mandate of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ here at Faith Baptist Church in Yuma, Arizona, let us remember Scripture: The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than other people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the Lord loved you... But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

     

Faith Baptist Church │ Yuma, Arizona 85364 │ (928) 343-1418