FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH KAHOKA
Written for the Sesquicentennial 150th Celebration held on March 26, 2023
First Baptist Church of Kahoka, Missouri was organized March 18, 1873 in the old Sansom building at the southwest corner of the downtown square. For the first thirteen years the church worshipped in the old Sansom building, the Cumberland Presbyterian building, in the open air when weather permitted, as well as in other places.
During the summer of 1886, a church building was erected at the cost of $3,500 at the present site. During a windstorm in August of that year, about 45 feet of the 80 foot steeple was blown to the ground, smashing it to bits. In its descent, the tower crushed the roof of the church with one section falling all the way through into the church itself. The total cost of repair was about $300. On a Sunday in November of 1887, just over one year later, the building burned to the ground and only the pulpit and a few chairs and benches were saved. The members of FBC Kahoka met the next day and resolved to rebuild and a contract was acquired on January 26, 1888 to rebuild upon the same foundation. The building was dedicated on September 15, 1889. This building was used for approximately thirty years and, in 1902, the church was lighted by electricity.
Through the following years, the church grew and the building space became inadequate. On March 15, 1921 the church voted to remodel the building with a full basement, eight Sunday School rooms, and a balcony. In 1940-41 the auditorium was redecorated, and water piped to the church with modern conveniences installed in the basement. The church voted in 1959 to build the Educational Wing because of the need for additional Sunday School rooms. In 1971 the church agreed to build a new sanctuary at the present site and it was completed and the first worship service held in the new sanctuary on December 19, 1971.On March 30, 2009 a groundbreaking ceremony for the Gym addition was held and construction was completed in 2010.
FBC Kahoka was admitted into the Wyaconda Baptist Association in 1873 and continued in the Association for many years. On July 13, 2014 FBC Kahoka requested to transfer to the Pleasant Grove Baptist Association and FBC Kahoka was welcomed into Pleasant Grove on October 12, 2014.
First Baptist Church Kahoka has strived to make an eternal impact in our local community as well as in our world. We as a church have made several mission trips to Wyoming, Colorado, Louisiana, Alabama, Dominican Republic, and Mexico as well as supporting missionaries around the globe as far as Papua New Guinea and as near as Wisconsin. In 2015 we began to partner with the Operation Christmas Child, a shoebox ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, and have packed 6,771 boxes in eight years. In recent years, the majority of the church basement has been converted into a true OCC workshop with items being collected, prepped, and made all year long.
Our local outreaches over the last 150 years have included: Sunbeam Band of young boys and girls, the Girls’ Auxiliary, YWA, Royal Ambassadors, Lightkeepers, Clowns for Christ mime group, Kings Kids Khoir, Awana Discipleship for children and youth which was later adapted to TruthSeekers and Impact midweek programs, block parties, a bus program to bring people to and from the church, Lay Renewal Weekends for adults, Harvest Banquets in November with a full Thanksgiving meal served, and Vacation Bible School during the summer. In 1973 two weeks of Vacation Bible School were held with a record enrollment of 214 children. In 1963 the church voted to sponsor a mission in Keokuk, Iowa which was to be named the Bel Air Baptist Chapel. The property was purchased and the first unit of the church building was started in 1965 and finished and dedicated on May 1, 1966. In more recent years, FBC Kahoka has fostered a ministry outreach to the local Nursing Home Ministry as well as in the Clark County Jail. We have had multiple Women’s Ministry events including weekly exegetical Bible studies, retreats to see Beth Moore and Priscilla Shrier, Men’s Ministry events including wild game meals, retreats at Camp Leeper, Airsoft Matches, and virtually streamed conferences.
The rich heritage of First Baptist Church Kahoka includes a great commitment to evangelism, missions and service to our community. At FBC Kahoka we believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God and the sole authority for faith and practice, and acknowledge our adherence to all the teachings of Jesus Christ, declare our purpose to be the church of Jesus Christ in this place. As such, we aim to reach all people by proclaiming the Gospel through the ministries of worship, teaching, fellowship, outreach, missions, prayer, and service. To that end we, at FBC Kahoka, exist to
1. Equip the saints.
2. Evangelize the lost.
3. Exalt the name of Christ.
In the 150 years of FBC Kahoka, thirty-eight pastors have been called to shepherd this flock in northeast Missouri. We have seen God’s faithfulness in providing for FBC Kahoka in the many building projects, in preserving FBC Kahoka in the last 150 years, and in blessing FBC Kahoka with the opportunity to glorify His Name both locally and globally over the past 150 years. We humbly and boldly ask the Lord to continue to protect FBC Kahoka for another 150 years and beyond and that this lampstand will never go out but forever burn brightly for Him.
You can watch the video from the 150th celebration here.