Greenwich Baptist Church
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
How does a church begin? In the case of Greenwich Baptist Church, it begins with a small group of believers who shared a heritage of steadfast commitment to the Gospel. They had a vision of the Lord’s will for His work in the Greenwich area. Despite what sometimes seemed like enormous odds, they were willing to give sacrificially of themselves to make the vision a reality. It begins with the first steps on a walk of faith.
A need for a local Baptist Fellowship...
For Southern Baptists transferred to the commuter communities of Greenwich and its surrounding towns in the early 1960’s, the religious culture shock was tremendous. There were no Southern Baptist churches in the area and the existing Protestant churches offered no Sunday morning Bible study for anyone other than school-age children, and these were discontinued completely during the summer months. Additionally, there were few other services or study opportunities during the week. The need for a more dynamic Christian witness in the area seemed imperative.
Founding a Baptist Mission...
With some prospecting (the first of much that would be done), two families grew to five, and began regular Sunday evening services in November of 1960. They first met in the home of the Boyer family, later at Eastern Junior High School, and early in 1960, at the Greenwich YMCA.
The fellowship was considered a mission of Manhattan Baptist Church. The group collected their offerings and tithes and mailed them to Manhattan Baptist each week. In return, Manhattan Baptist paid for speakers and the rental of meeting space.
Hurdles along the path...
1961 and much of 1962 proved to be a period of trial for the fellowship and its vision. The members were encouraged by the number of guests God was bringing to their services, and eagerly decided to start Sunday morning Bible Study and worship services in addition to the evening services. Discouragement came, though, when in rapid succession, a number of attending families, including the Boyers, were transferred out of the area.
During the summer of 1962, attendance and morale had dwindled to such a low, that the group reverted to Sunday evening services only. While away on vacation, the Skelton family, returned to see the few remaining attendees had decided to dissolve entirely. But Jack and Beverly Skelton were not about to let this happen. They believed wholeheartedly that in trying to start a church in Greenwich, they were doing the Lord’s work, and they did not believe that the Lord had changed His mind. They insisted to the others that they all work harder and continue to pray for guidance.
Progress in growth and leadership...
Sunday Morning Service Times
8:45 AM - Open Chapel Prayer
9:30 AM - Bible Study (all ages)
11:00 AM - Morning Worship Service