On August 14, Chisholm Baptist Church celebrates its 110th anniversary. Our church has had the privilege of serving the Lord in this community since 1906 when a small group of Swedish speaking immigrants from Finland formed what was then known as Bethphage Baptist Church. Many view church anniversaries as simply a time for folks to come together, eat a nice meal, and share nostalgic memories. Anniversaries at Chisholm Baptist are more significant than that, however. We see these times as important opportunities to remind ourselves of the strong, deep roots which still contribute to our current ministry. Even though a large number of people in our congregation were not part of Chisholm Baptist even ten years ago (much less 110!), all of us are grateful for the solid spiritual foundation laid by previous generations. It is on that foundation which we have been able to build a church which makes a difference in our community — by God’s grace and for His glory.
The foundation of Chisholm Baptist Church includes the following:
A focus on the Bible. Baptists have always been “people of the book,” and this has characterized Chisholm Baptist throughout its history. Meeting together to study the Bible has always been an important part of church life. This includes Sunday school classes for all ages—no one ever graduates from Sunday school at Chisholm Baptist—small group Bible studies, and sermons on Sunday mornings which focus on explaining the meaning and significance of the Bible. Since God has spoken to us through His Word, we believe it is very important that we be willing to listen.
An emphasis on the gospel of grace. We believe the Bible presents a unified and coherent message. The focus of that message is the salvation God provides through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Chisholm Baptist has always emphasized that this salvation is experienced by grace through faith, which involves trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. John 3:16 is a wonderful summary of the message our church has sought to continually communicate: “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him, will not perish but have eternal life.”
Relationships built upon love. God’s love for us through Jesus becomes the fountain from which flows our love for God and each other. As Christians, we seek to follow Jesus’ command to not just love those who are “loveable,” but to love others simply because they are human beings created in God’s image. We especially strive to show patience, kindness, forgiveness, and genuine love toward others in the church, since Jesus told us, “This is how all people will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
These three qualities have characterized Chisholm Baptist Church for the past 110 years. It is our desire that by God’s grace, our church will be continue to exhibit them in the years ahead.
Rev. Dan Erickson
Senior Pastor, Chisholm Baptist Church