Our History

As Europeon settlers populated what is now Michigan, an area marked by the convergence of two rivers, the Flat River and the Grand River, made an ideal location for French fur trading. In 1831, six years before Michigan was admitted as a state, Lowell became a town named after Lowell, Massachusetts. It grew slowly as Ottawa Indians mingled with those at the trading post. Gradually, the Native Americans sold the land and moved elsewhere. In 1854 there were no churches in Lowell but the church at Parnell, Saint Patrick's, did have a mission for the Indians as well as a school house.

On September 2, 1854, a group of pioneers met to discuss organizing a Baptist church. Formal action was taken September 18, 1854 by calling Rev. A. C. Howell to be the first pastor. There were 23 members including the first chosen deacons and trustees. The first convert to be baptized in the river on November 18, 1854 was Jane Peck. The new church joined the Grand River Baptist Asociation that same year.

There was need for a church building with 74 members by 1866; five other churches were started in Lowell by 1912. As the nation struggled in the 1930's so did the Baptist Church-so much so that it closed as the membership could no longer support a pastor. Even though officially closed, a faithful remnant tried to keep the church alive by inviting various men from the Grand Rapids area to fill the pulpit in the 1940's. Records indicate there were three pastors during the difficult war years: Rev. Mel Stadt, Rev. Guy Dillon and Rev. Brubaker.

1948 was a pivotal year as Rev. Keith McIver and his wife, Cora, became the new pastoral family and officially re-opened the church. Bill and Vivian Johnson joined the church in the early 1950's followed by those who joined in the 1960's including, Don and Donna Gerard, John and Dee Gabrion and David and Nicky Steenwyk. The bus ministry began.

With a growing membership, the need for a new building was fulfilled with a dedication at its present site on June 25, 1967. As the local economy improved with the influx of families as a result of the Amway Corporation creation and expansion, the housing areas of Eastgate, Vally Vista and Cumberland were built. By 1966-67, the structure was inadequate after only three years and was, therefore, enlarged. Choir began in 1969 and Awana in 1970. Another building project of a new auditorium and all-purpose room was completed in 1983.

The last two decades have been ones of significant change and growth. God continues to bless as ministries expand and missionaries are supported. We are a church body dedicated to having Christ-centered and Kingdom-focused homes in the Lowell community. We look forward to what God has in store as we follow the leadership of our elders.

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