First Baptist Church of Winner

In late 1945, a group of young people began meeting twice a month. By the spring of 1946 adults were meeting with them for bible study. At a meeting in the Edward Sorensen home on April 24, 1946, it was decided to organize a Winner Baptist Church. So on May 5, 1946, a meeting to organize was held at the Christian Church.

The Charter of Incorporation was issued on February 5, 1947. The charter members were Mr. and Mrs. Charles Burtz, May Lefler, Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Reinoehl, Dorothy, Delores and Duane Reinoehl, Mrs. and Mrs. Fred Schaer, Mrs. and Mrs. Forrest Burket, Lena Sterling, Howard and Elsie Sterling, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Sorensen and Calvin and Joan Sorensen.

Rev. Curtis L. Gatson led the Sunday evening services until the student pastor, Howard Berglund, arrived on June 21, 1947. Howard preached his first sermon on Sunday evening, June 22, 1947. Howard married his bride, Edyth, in the fall of 1947 and they made their home in the May Lefler home until the parsonage was built in 1950. Mr. Bergland had one more year of seminary work and during his absence Rev. Daniel Wonderly took over.

Ground for the new church building was broken on it's present site on April 26, 1947. The first service in the new basement of the building was held on July 13, 1947. The newly organized Sunday School met the first two Sundays of it's organization in the Charles Burtz home.

Services were held for six years in the basement of the church. Then, August 9, 1953, another milestone in the history of Winner First Baptist Church was passed when the cornerstone was set in place. One year later, eight years from the date of organization, on October 17, 1954, the completed building was dedicated to the Glory of God.

Pastors who have served are:
Rev. Cutris Gatson - May 1946 - June 1947,
Rev. Howard Berglund - June 1947 - July 1949,
Rev. Daniel Wonderly - July 1949 - May 1950,
Rev. Howard Berglund - July 1950 - August 1955,
Leland Regier - September 1955 - December 1955,
Rev. Melvin Crane - January 1956 - June 1963,
Rev. William Nollmann - August 1963 - January 1976,
Duane Boice (Interim) May 1976 - August 1977,
Rev. Al Cole - September 1977 - May 1988,
Rev. David Stratton (Interim) August 1988 - September 1988,
Rev. Glen Emmert (Interim) October 1988 - November 1988,
Rev, Leonard Turek - December 1988 - December 1991,
Rev. Tom Harlan (Interim) January 1992 - January 1993,
Reb. Bill Steger - January 1993 - January 1996,
Rev. Tom Harlan (Interim) - February 1996 - April 1996,
Rev. Patrick McBride - April 1996 - December 1998,
Rev. William Shermer (Interim) December 1998 - April 1999,
Rev. Dennis Webber - May 1999 - December 2006,
Rev. Richard Sutterlin (Interim) - June 2006 - July 2007,
Rev. Steven Swanholm - August 2007 -.

Picture and information courtesy of the
Tripp County Historical Society Archives

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