History

Date we Began: August 1956
Date Constituted: May 1982
Sponsoring  Church: FBC of Palmer

Located in beautiful Big Lake, Alaska, we are reminded every day of God's  amazing power and mercy. BLBC has been serving the Mat-Su Valley for over 50  years, and we praise the Lord for how he continues to bless us.

Big Lake Homesteaders - Interest in a Baptist mission in the Big lake  community was first shown by a homesteading couple, King and Erma White, in the  winter of 1955. The Whites were members of FBC Palmer. In the spring of 1956,  Sgt. and Mrs, Bill Hornsby, a military couple, homesteaded in the Big Lake  community. They too, were members of FBC Palmer. In June 1955, deacons from FBC  Palmer and there men from the Big Lake community met to study the possibility of  starting a Baptist Mission. During the meeting, Lynn Wright, a homesteader,  offered five acres of land for a mission site. the following week, Mr. Wright  cleared a spot and made it ready for a building. A Quonset hut was purchased by  the Alaska Baptist Convention and moved onto the site in November.

Vacation Bible School Thrives

In August 1956, John Dickerson (Alvilda), pastor of FBC Palmer, and summer  missionaries Norman Lytle, Edith Nunn, and Coy Long conducted a VBS in two tents  on the Hornsby homestead. Forty-two children were enrolled and five professions  of faith were reported. Many of the parents made rededications to Christ on  commencement night.

John Dickerson Goes Full Time

John Dickerson resigned the FBC Palmer to become full-time pastor of the Big  Lake Mission in the fall of 1957. Brother Dickerson secured logs and supervised  the construction of an attractive two-story log chapel. Gifts from the Home  Mission Board and the Holloway Street Baptist Church, Durham, North Carolina,  and the Poplar Springs Baptist Church, Tugaloo, Georgia, provided funds for the  building costs. Brother Dickerson resigned June 15, 1958, to go to Fairbanks to  start University Baptist Church. Clifford McConnell became pastor of Palmer  church and provided support for the mission.

Four young men pastored the mission in the next few years. Don Smith  1958-59, was followed by three military men, Bill Church, Ed Russell, and James  Simmons.

Grandview Baptist Reaches Out

The Big Lake Mission opened and closed over the years. In 1969, the Grandview  Baptist Church, Anchorage, sponsored the reopening of the mission by James Akin.  Three laymen from Grandview, Johnny Newton, Dyke Brandon, and Gene Bender, led  the Big Lake Mission for several years. When Grandview could no longer provide  leadership, the mission closed. Faith Baptist Church, Anchorage, resumed the  work in October 1976 with Charles Rose as pastor.

Jerry Pinkerton becan pastor in August 1977. Since that time the church  has become involved in two major building programs and has experienced continued  growth in this growing community.

BLBC is Constituted

Big Lake Baptist Church was constituted in May 1982. Big Lake celebrated its  35th anniversary in August 1991. A highlight of the celebration were testimonies  from long-time members who shared what the church had meant in their lives. Mrs.  Florra Hornsby, one of the founders, came from San Antonio, Texas, and shared  about the beginning of the Big Lake Mission.

During Pastor Pinkerton's ministry, six members have surrendered for the  preaching ministry. Two of those men were ordained by the church and two of  them, Dawson Lindblom and Matthew Friese, are currently serving as pastors of  churches in Alaska. Pastor Dawson Lindblom is no longer with us.  He passed away in 2014. The church has ordained three deacons during this same  period. 

Since Pastor Pinkerton's retirement, the Church has  called Brad Whitworth as Senior Pastor.  After 6 short months serving in a  bivocational capacity, he became the churches first 'full-time' staff minister.  From March of 2011 - 2014, Big Lake brought Pastor Doug Janneck on board as a bi-vocational Youth Pastor. The church continues to relentlessly forge ahead in ministering and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  In September 2013 Pastor Whitworth resigned as Senior Pastor. The church called Pastor Paul Folk as Senior Pastor in November 2015.

 

 

Taken from Celebrating our Alaska Baptist History ~  1996