Northern Park Baptist Church (mp3)

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In July 1959, a few families in Greenwood and vicinity felt led to establish an independent fundamental Baptist church in the Greenwood neighborhood. The first meeting was held in the home of Mr. And Mrs. Richard Squire on Road 135. Reverend Greg Dixon and Reverend Henri Westrup met with us as we planned a Johnson County Crusade for Christ to be held in a tent meeting in the Greenwood City Park. Attention this first meeting: Mr. And Mrs. Richard Squire, Mr. and Mrs. Claude Middleton, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Porter, Mrs. Carson Vint, Mr. and Mrs. Henri Westrup and Greg Dixon.The next week, we held a prayer meeting at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Richeson in Stones Crossing. Reverent Westrup gave a devotional message and we had a season of prayer. Plans were completed for the tent meeting, including ordering song books, rental of tent and ground, securing piano and chairs from Center Grove School. Mrs. Alice Canter was invited to be the pianist. Hand bills were printed and distributed. Charles Richeson was appointed to take care of all financial transactions.At the last meeting of the Crusade in the tent, an invitation was given to all those interested in forming a church. The following signified their desire to establish the church: Mrs. Alice Canter, Mr. and Mrs. Claude Middleton, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Porter and sons Don and Glenn, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Richeson and children Ruth Ann, Linda, and Marty, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Bush and family, Lois, Dianne, Wilma, Craig, Larry and Make, Mrs. Carson Vint and daughters Janet and Martha. (Mr. and Mrs. Richard Squire felt led to work with his brother, Leonard Squire, who was starting a church in Mars Hill.) The K of P lodge hall was secured for the meeting place, the rent being $30 per month, except those months when heat would be needed, then the rent would be $50. The first worship service with Henri Westrup as pastor was held August 9, 1959. Charles Richeson gave the financial report of the Crusade meeting. A balance of $4.13 was needed to pay the tent rental. The Richesons announced they were moving to Nashville, Indiana. Mrs. Carson Vint was asked to act as treasurer beginning August 16.August 30, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Porter and sons Don and Glenn withdrew from the fellowship. Mr. and Mrs. Richard Rickels and daughter Robin began fellowshipping with us, and also Mr. and Mrs. Fred Medo. In November 1959, the Stan Flynn family, missionaries going to Japan, met with us. Brother Flynn brought the message. The church decided to send the Flynns $10 per month for the work in Japan. Beginning March 13, 1960, we had the following guest speakers while Brother Westrup was preaching in Fort Wayne: William Forrester and Clifford Vought from Berean (Indianapolis), Stewart Brown from Baptist Temple (Indianapolis) and Jim Coons (Danville). Then we had the following candidates for the pulpit: Nonnie Hancock, Leon Piatt and Herbert Johnson. The church called Nonnie Hancock to be pastor, beginning May 15. He was unable to be with us on that date because of a previous commitment. Reverend Gary Dunkins brought two messages for us on May 15. On May 22, 1960, Reverend Nonnie Hancock accepted the call to pastor the church. As the offerings were small from the church, the church could not offer Reverend Hancock a salary. But it was agreed that as the Lord supplied, the church would help with the parsonage rent. After the morning worship, plans were discussed and approved to organize a Sunday School. The following teachers were chosen: Mrs. Fred Medo, teenage group, Mrs. Carson Vint, juniors, and Miss Janet Vint, beginners, and Reverend Hancock, adult teacher. Bro. Nonnie Hancock served as pastor for 31 years. In June of 1991, Allen Pierce, accepted the call to pastor Northern Park Baptist Church. He and his wife, Susan, was blessed with a baby girl in August of 1998. Together, God has blessed not only this family but the church as well. Steady growth has been the characteristic of Northern Park Baptist Church. As growth continued came the need of a larger building. The church dedicated a new 400 seat auditorium plus Sunday school classes and offices in December 2003. In August 2010, the church celebrated its 50th anniversary.

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