News

Wisconsin Fellowship of Baptist Churches celebrates 60 years of ministry

On September 20-21, 2010, members and friends of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Baptist Churches will meet at First Baptist Church of New Lisbon for their 60th Annual Meeting. Pastor and Mrs. Del Oatsvall and people are hoping that many pastors and members of WFBC churches will choose to join them for an encouraging look at the past, enjoyable fellowship with present co-laborers, and effective commitment for future generations.

George Cable - State Mission Director - 1963-1970

George Cable - State Mission Director - 1963-1970

Born from the hearts of a handful of Baptist pastors in 1950, the WFBC began with only 5 member churches who also met for their

Bob Dow - State Mission Director - 1970-1974

Bob Dow - State Mission Director - 1970-1974

annual meeting at First Baptist Church of New Lisbon. These pastors were concerned because so many Baptists had migrated west in the early decades of the twentieth century. Churches were closing their doors and the state of Wisconsin had gained a reputation among preachers as “the graveyard of evangelism.” From it’s inception, the WFBC had a two-fold purpose: to nurture fellowship among independent Baptists, and to work together to plant new churches.

Richard Carns - State Mission Director - 1975-1976

Richard Carns - State Mission Director - 1975-1976

From this humble beginning, the WFBC has grown to include over 100 churches, mostly the fruit of church planting efforts.

Jim Elkins - State Mission Director - 1977-1987

Jim Elkins - State Mission Director - 1977-1987

In addition to the supportive work of the WFBC, churches benefi t from Baptist camps such as Camp Chetek, Camp Joy, and Northland Camp. Three Bible colleges have also found Wisconsin to be a fertile garden for growing men and women whose goal is to prepare themselves or a life of Christian ministry. These include Baptist College of Ministry, Maranatha Baptist Bible College, and Northland International University. From an earned reputation as a “graveyard for evangelism,” Wisconsin has become a great home for Baptists!

Leon Leeds - State Mission Director - 1987-2001

Leon Leeds - State Mission Director - 1987-2001

The WFBC Mission Directors have included humble men whose simple desire is to help to plant churches, and to be an encouragement to pastors and their churches. Men who have served in this position are pastors Leslie Knee, George Cable, Robert Dow, Gus Carnes, James Elkins, Jr., Leon Leeds, and Wayne Vawter. Many of these faithful servants will be present at the 60th Annual Meeting, sharing memories and rekindling fellowship from days gone by. We trust every member of the WFBC church family will consider taking these two days to join the celebration.