Van Alstyne Public Library
GUNTER FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
In 1895, Brother J.M. Lawhom and a fellowship of Christians from the
Burke Baptist Church came to Gunter and organized a church on the old Gunter
Ranch. The school house, located on the ranch property, provided
a place for preaching and teaching. In 1914, the church, with 101
members, moved into Gunter to a location just a block north of where the
present building is located.
In 1918, a tornado did considerable
damage to this first structure and it was decided to buy property and build
a new sanctuary. This was accomplished in the fall of 1919. An annex
was added in 1951 to provide additional space for teaching, fellowship
and recreation. Five Sunday School rooms were added in 1971.
In 1973, the present brick sanctuary was built.
The church continued to grow. In 1987, plans for a major project
called Challenge 95 took shape; this endeavor would be a five phase building
program including remodeling of the existing sanctuary and annex, demolition
of the 1919 building and construction of a 5,000 square foot office complex
and fellowship hall. The goal was to complete and pay for the building
by our Centennial in 1991. With the Lord's blessings, the new facility
was dedicated debt-free in 1993.
The church has since grown in many ways. As we are outgrowing
the facilities, plans are being made to buy property and build a larger
facility in the next few years.
At the present time, the church has a total of 307 resident members
on the roll. The Sunday School averages 140 in attendance.
The history of the First Baptist is filled with testimonies of people
faithfully following Christ. The future is a challenge that can only
be met with the wisdom of the Lord and the Prayers and support of a loving
people of God.