Carter Gospel Fellowship

By: Betty Waters

"Holding forth Word of Life…" Philippians 2:16 is the purpose and goal of Carter Gospel Fellowship, a fundamental, nondenominational community Bible Church.

In January of 1956, with the help of the American Sunday School Missionary, Eugene Bushnell, the area families were contacted regarding the possibility of a Sunday School in the community. Interest was good, and on February 5, 1956, an organizational meeting was held with about thirty people in attendance, and officers were elected. The next Sunday, the Northeast Todd Sunday School joined the group.

The old Carter Congregational Church building served as the meeting place for the new group. A church work had been started by the Congregational Home Mission Society and in the summer of 1910 a church was organized and a meeting place was built. It was served by Rev. Alex Russell, a Scotchman from New York City. In 1911, his wife and family came from Scotland to join him and soon after, the parsonage was built. The Willing Worker Society was organized under the leadership of Mrs. Sophia Ingram.

The first members of the Carter Congregational Church included these families: J. C. Skibinski, Biggs Leigh, Charles Huddin, Joe Cole, Pete Heggestead, Erick Schlaikjer, F. T. Sinkler, Roscoe Goodsell, Gus Klang, DeVorss, George Klos, George Segrist, Ed Cole, I. T. Stone, O. B. Mills, W. H. Gilkerson, Robert R. Miller, Clarence Bowersox, Chris Tideman and Dr. Charles Swett.

The first buildings were a 16x20 ft. building and a 24x24 ft. parsonage. This church building was later sold to William Chauncey and moved to his farm southeast of Carter, now known as the Doug and Kristine Waters farm. Through the efforts of the congregation and Rev. Keepers, who had served the church since 1914, a new 28x44 ft. church was built in 1921. Until the late 1930's, this church was served by various pastors. As time passed, the attendance dropped off.

The newly organized Carter Sunday School did not remain a Sunday School only for very long. Mr. and Mrs. Ed Roskens, a retired couple, originally from Emery, South Dakota, who had pastured Calvary Chapel, a church south of Colome, South Dakota, came to lead the congregation. They chose the name Carter Gospel Fellowship.

Families attending those first years were: Lloyd Farnsworth's, Ed Nicolaisen's, Aaron Schlem's, Carl Tideman's, Dale Water's, William Chauncey's, LeRoy Chauncey's, Mrs. Vernie Farnsworth, Robert Lapsley's, Elvis Hansen's, Clair Hansen's, Otto Petersek's, Ernie Schuppan's, Mrs. Cordellia Chauncey, Mrs. Chet Weaver and Beverly, Charles Jiracek's, Mary Lou and Margaret Ann Hansen, Vernie Van Epps, Kenneth Rowe's, Mrs. Ruby Williams, Mrs. Anna Nicolaisen, and the Walter Waters.

The first Sunday, February 19, 1963, Rev. and Mrs. Elmer Reimer began their ministry at Carter with the Rosken's assisting. The Ed Roskins moved back to Emery, South Dakota, in September of 1972.

Carter Gospel Fellowship celebrated its' "Twenty-Fifth Anniversary" on Sunday, February 22nd, 1981. Soon after, groundbreaking for a new addition of the church building was begun. Dedication services of the expanded facility were held on May 30th, 1982.

In April of 1991, Pastor and Mrs. Reimer resigned to move closer to their son, David, and his family. They moved to Newton, Kansas later that year. Gary and Priscilla Archibald and little son, Philip, came from Texas to pastor the church. They served for three years. In 1996, Rev. Richard and Mary Buchanan, came from Pennsylvania to lead the church. They served the church for six years, the Buchanan's returned to their home. In July 2002, Pastor Les and Shareen Canfield, with their children, Danae, Darrell, Darci, and Deidra, moved from Nebraska to pastor the church.

On June 24th and 25th, 2006, Carter Gospel Fellowship, celebrated 50 years with approximately 300 in attendance. The work continues - ‘til Jesus comes - To God Be The Glory!

Picture and information courtesy of the
Tripp County Historical Society Archives

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