FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
A Message from our Pastor
First, thank you for your interest in First Baptist Church. We do not boast that we are a perfect church. We are imperfect people, living in an imperfect world, but however, we have a perfect God. That's what our church is all about - the glory of our perfect God. God knows that as humans we are not perfect, yet He wants to be involved in each one of our lives in a personal way. He wants us to learn more about Him and love Him with all of our soul, mind, and body. In fact, He says in His Word that we love Him because He first loved us. God loved us enough to sacrifice His only Son so that we can have eternal life with Him in heaven! This message, or the gospel, is the central message which we unashamedly proclaim at First Baptist. Second, we as a church want to be a conduit of Christ's love to you and your family. We want to help you to grow in your walk with the Lord. We want to encourage you with God's Word and His unbreakable promises. All of us are imperfect people, but we can grow together, serve together, and love one another. We want to build each other up, strengthen each other through prayer, and encourage one another with the Bible. After all, Jesus commanded us too. If we can do anything to assist you or if you may simply have questions regarding the Bible, God, or our church, we would love to help you find the answers. Please reach out to us by giving us a call, sending us an email, or paying us a visit. May God bless you.
Sincerely, Pastor Ronnie Aulgur.
"And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." - Ephesians 1:22-23
First Baptist Church had its beginning early in 1934 when a group from the Englewood Baptist Church who were conducting a mission at 4412 S. Wentworth Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, decided to organize and became known as the Wentworth Avenue Baptist Church, affiliated with the Northern Baptist Convention. Shortly thereafter the congregation called the Rev. Glen Hoss, a student at Wheaton College, to be their pastor. During the next ten years the Reverends Franklin Morse, Willard Norton, and Eugene Daniels also served as pastor while the church remained at this location.
During this early period a plan to merge with the Stock Yards Baptist Church was unsuccessful, but a group of ladies from the discontinued Burr Mission at 23rd and Wentworth did unite with the Wentworthites to advance the cause of Christ.
In the summer of 1944, while the neighborhood was undergoing a radical shift in population resulting in a steady decline in attendance, the members decided to sell the property to a business establishment and build or locate in a more desirable area. While seeking a new site, the congregation met in the home of Pastor Daniels near 68th and Parnell for services until October, 1945, when some property was secured at 68th and Green Streets. This building consisted of an upper and lower auditorium (formerly used as a lodge hall) and ten apartments. Since the church was no longer located on Wentworth Avenue, its name was changed to Wentworth Baptist Church.
In April of 1946, Rev. John Raad was called as pastor and served until August, 1952, and was succeeded by Rev. Thomas Nosworth, who resigned in May, 1953.
Following the suggestion of charter member George Dinsbeer, the church agreed to call a man from the Baptist Bible Fellowship. Thus, in July of 1953, Rev. Carl Power, became the leader of the flock. After about a year under his leadership, the congregation severed connections with the Northern (American) Baptist Convention to become independent and associate with the Baptist Bible Fellowship, contributing to the support of its missionaries and the college in Springfield, Missouri.
In January, 1955, the church voted to purchase its present property here at 79th Place and South LeClaire Avenue, then in Oak Lawn, consisting of four lots, a house and garage. That year a large tent was set up on the new site and evangelistic meetings were held all summer with many well-known evangelists doing the speaking. A Vacation Bible School and census were conducted by Floyd and Millie Lyon, then students at Moody Bible Institute, resulting in the reaching of many prospects for the church. While the Gospel was being spread in this new area, regular services were still held in the old location.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held in June, 1956, and work was begun soon thereafter. The first service was held in the new building, which consisted of the rear wing of the basement, on September 30, 1956. At that time, the church name was officially changed to Temple Bible Baptist Church of Oak Lawn, Illinois.
The next years brought many difficulties and hardships. Work was stopped for a time due to contractor and financial troubles. Floods and heating problems tried the faith of the people, but failed to destroy it. Eventually, in 1958, the lower auditorium, which was sorely needed, was finished and quickly filled with new people.
In 1961, construction was begun for our present auditorium and a dedication service was held on December 17, 1961.
In a special meeting held April 19, 1961, the church voted to purchase the house and lot adjoining the church property on 80th Place, which increased the total land holdings to about a third of a block and allows for future growth. In 1961, we purchased the property at 5104 West 80th Place. In 1962, the house at 5106 West 80th Place was purchased. And then in March, 1964, we obtained the house just west of the church at 5111 West 79th Place. These properties furnish living quarters for the staff and workers of our church.
- In December of 1969, after seventeen years of faithful pastoring and labor and leading the church in building the then facilities, Rev. Carl C. Power resigned.
- In January of 1970, Rev. Jerald L. Manley, was called as pastor and served until December 1974. In June of 1970, Ronald W. Aulgur came to assist Pastor Manley and our church in its growing ministries.
- In October of 1970, the church’s name was changed from Temple Bible Baptist Church of Oak Lawn to First Baptist Church of Burbank. The church did not relocate but the unincorporated area in which the church was located incorporated into the City of Burbank.
- On January 5, 1975, Ronald W. Aulgur, who had served as an Assistant Pastor to Rev. Jerald L. Manley since June 1970, was called as our pastor and has served as our pastor for 40 years.
- In 1982, our church voted to build an addition, which included two levels, 85’x 30’, and to make some improvements to our basement area. This addition was completed in the fall of 1982.
- Since the completion of our building addition in 1982 to the present, we havefaithfully served the Lord by fulfilling His Great Commission for each local church while working together and watching together for our Saviour’s return in the air.
New Church Plant
In 2004, through the vision, burden, administration, and financial support of John Sam and his family, a mission church under the authority of First Baptist Church was started in Ajmer, Rajanstan, North India. Now the First Baptist Church mission church in Ajmer has property and buildings for its ministries of a church, orphanage, school, and housing for Pastor P.J. Agimas and his family and the other staff and workers. Until this ministry increases in number to become an independent Baptist church it continues to teach and preach the gospel, baptize those who become true believers, and teach and train believers to be workers for reaching the unsaved in India.