Lane Avenue Baptist Church History
The Church began with a prayer meeting in the Hershel Wray home, 3240 Paseo on December 27, 1950. Rev. Walter Wray was the leader. In March 1951, we rented a store building at 39th and Prospect. This became too small and larger one was secured at 5702 Prospect. Here, on June 3, 1951, the mission became a church.
Rev. Clifford Wray became pastor in July 1952. The church purchased lots at 49th and Montgall. A basement was begun and the church moved into it January 3, 1954. Rev. Wray then became a full time pastor.
Rev. Clifton Ford became pastor in 1957. The building was completed and the nave occupied in October. Membership grew to 85. The church united with a new association, Mission Point. The church was incorporated under the laws of Missouri and name changed to “Montgall General Baptist.”
Rev. Ollie Latch became pastor in 1960. The Sunday School outgrew space available. In November 1961, land was acquired at Cleveland & 73rd. In January 1962, an architect was employed. In May, ground was broken and in November the new building was occupied.
Membership grew to 155 with major emphasis upon Sunday School. Tithing became the financial method of the church and it had never fallen below 70% participation of its wage earners. July 1967, Rev. Wayne Foust began his pastorate and the church continued to grow.
January, 1971 Rev. W T Robison was called as pastor.
January 1973, Rev. Wayne Foust moved back as pastor. Membership had fallen to 98. In July, 1974 land was purchased at 9003 East 87th Street as a site of new church. Church at 73rd and Cleveland sold and construction began. At that time the church name changed to “First General Baptist Church of Kansas City.” While construction on the new facility was taking place, the church met in the Dobbs Elementary School.
July 1975, Rev. Foust left. Rev. Ray Hartbarger then became pastor. During Rev. Harbarger’s pastorate the current building was completed, occupied and dedicated on November 23, 1975. In February 1977 a bus ministry was begun which was expanded to include two routes which averaged picking up 44 riders every Sunday. On June 22, 1980 Rev. Franklin Dumond became pastor of the church. During Rev. Dumond’s pastorate, the church made some territorial adjustments. The 5 acre plot was purchased around the church. With the purchase of the acreage and parsonage, a constitutional change was made changing the name of the church from First General Baptist to Lane Avenue Baptist effective in April 1983.
On November 9, 1986 Rev. Steve Blacksher became pastor. He served for one year.
On October 1988 Rev. Walter Wray once again became pastor. He served until October 1990 when Rev. Wm. J. “Joe” Gaddy assumed role as pastor.
Rev. Gaddy served as pastor until February 10, 2002 when a joint service was held with Rev. Jerry Applegate. Rev. Applegate began his term as pastor on the following Sunday, February 17, 2002.
The years have witnessed a panorama of the miracles of God’s grace and blessings. There have been heartaches, heartbreaks, disappointments, tragedies, and some have turned away. But multitudes have followed Christ and many members are witnessing to others how Christ touched their life and the lives of family and friends.
We believe that God holds a bright future for our church family. Several young families with children are some of our finest resources. You may hear many reasons given for our churches existence. However, our major objective is to lead the nonbeliever to become a believer and faithfully follow Jesus Christ. The new member is offered assistance in the following key areas:
- Discovering ones Spiritual gifts,
- Connecting to a small group, and
- Equipping for service.