Fleetwood Missionary Church Name Changed in the 1980s to Fleetwood Bible Church Expansion Built: 1968
Original church on right, expansion on left built in 1968. Today the church is the Community Baptist Church. The original church on the right has been razed. The Missionary Church (now called the Fleetwood Bible Church) moved to a new location in the 1990s. That church is next on our tour. Our final church on our tour will be the Community Baptist Church.
FLEETWOOD MISSIONARY CHURCH (as of 1973)
One of the earliest churches, the Fleetwood Missionary Church, formerly Independent Church of God, on North Richmond Street, was organized on September 2, 1870, for the express purpose of worshipping God according to the directions of the New Testament. Daniel Koch and his associates built the first structure. The first Board of Trustees included Daniel Koch, Jonas Ebert, and Jonathan Kutz.
Signers of the original charter were Daniel Koch; Jonathan Kutz; Jacob Gehret; George F. Sanders; Samuel Keiffer; Levi Shate; Jonas Ebert; William Reiff; Matthew Winsch; Nathan Clauser; and Hiram Kumler.
In 1929 the church affiliated with the Missionary Association which has its headquarters in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Becoming a full member of that association on April 16, 1942, the church has been served from that date by pastors from the Missionary Church Association.
A need for more adequate facilities resulted in the purchase of the dwelling at 116 North Richmond Street from Elmer Hoch for a parsonage; fifty feet of a vacant lot on the south side of the church from Miss Naomi Schaeffer in October, 1957; another dwelling, 120 North Richmond Street, from the Benneville Hoch estate. This became the parsonage and the 116 North Richmond Street house was used for Sunday School classrooms.
In 1967 the congregation approved plans for a new church building to be erected on the lot purchased in 1957. It was dedicated on August 18, 1968, with the Reverend Dr. Jared Gerig, President of the Fort Wayne Bible College, delivering the dedicatory message. Having a new sanctuary has served as a challenge to God’s people here.
During the winter of 1969, members of the Charles Burkert family, along with others, contributed toward the installation of a beautiful up-to-date kitchen facility which was dedicated March 9, 1970.