Plevna’s First Baptist Church celebrates 100th Anniversary

The First Baptist Church of Plevna began in 1917 because a group of people cared about their beliefs and faith. According to the church website, these early settlers were concerned about the future of their families and wanted them to be reared in the fellowship of a Baptist, Bible-believing church. They are a part of the greater North American Baptist Church.

By Angel Wyrwas

Brother H. P. Kayser came to the area as district missionary. Many settlers during this period stayed in communities comprised mainly of their nationality. Brother Kayser found that there was a large German population around Plevna.

In the history presented at First Baptist’s 50th Anniversary celebration, Brother Kayser recalled the moving prayer meetings held in Brother Follmer’s sod house. Repeated revivals on the field were encouragement to go ahead in the organizing of a church. Plans were made for the building of a chapel in the near future.

The first official building was erected in spring of 1919 and was enlarged and remodeled 1939. Brother Ludwig Bechtold was the first deacon and served until his death in 1934. The first trustees and building committee members were Ludwig Bechtold, Karl Hepperle and Fred Fuchs. These families’ have descendants that are still members of the church.

A new parsonage was built in 1953. After years of discussing whether or not to enlarge again or build a new church, ground was broken in 1958. While members worked constructing the assembly, one man lost his false teeth in the concrete. The teeth are still there today.

The new building was dedicated June 7, 1959.  Since that time, the church has continued to follow in the footsteps of their forefathers in proclaiming the gospel, supporting missions, and sharing in God’s work.

First Baptist Church celebrated their 100th Anniversary August 5-6. One hundred seventy five people came to the weekend gathering in Plevna. Families came from North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, California, Idaho, Oregon, Minnesota, Colorado and Canada.

Former pastors and current pastor (l-r) Bob James, Josh MacLachlan (current pastor), Steve May, Gregg O’Dell and Don Winters.

There was fellowship, special music, Sunday school, worship and more fellowship. “The people are the church,” said Sharon Buerkle, church clerk. “The building is just a building.” Many previous pastors were also in attendance.

Pastor Joshua McLachlan and his wife joined the ministry of Plevna First Baptist in November 2016.  They have two boys, Noah and Caleb. Today the church supports six missionaries, hosts an AWANA program for children and teens, provides nursing home services, has a youth group, conducts Sunday school classes, operates Vacation Bible School in the summer and holds adult Bible study in addition to worship services.

First Baptist Church looks to continue faithfully serving God until He comes back to take them home to live with Him for all eternity.