UTAH — Salt Lake County

Transcription of the
Cornerstone Time Capsule of
Gilead Baptist Church

A Brief History of Rio Grande Baptist Church
transcription donated by John Hewes

A Brief History of Rio Grande Baptist Church
(Written Circa 1950)

In October of 1891, a Sunday School was started on the west side of Salt Lake City with an enrollment of 23 under the leadership of W. C. Orem as Superintendent.  This Mission was known as the Rio Grande Mission, it was started in a home on the north east corner of First South and Eighth West streets, to this day August 25, 1950 the house is still standing.

In 1894 a family in the eastern part of the United States gave some money to the Home Mission Society to be used to build a church out in the west as a Memorial to their daughter who had passed away, it was with this money that the Rio Grande Chapel was erected.  On April 22, 1894 the corner stone was laid with fitting ceremonies.  On September 27, 1896 the "M. Ella Preston Memorial Chapel" (Rio Grande Chapel) was dedicated, the chapel had cost $3,500.00.

The year 1908 the American Baptist Home Mission Society said it was possible for them to place a worker in the Rio Grande and Burlington Mission Fields, up until that time all of the leadership for the fields were lay workers from the First Church later the Immanuel Baptist Church.  Early in the year 1909 Rev. W. W. Des Autels arrived to take over the work in the two mission fields.

In October 1910 Rev. B. F. Bronson arrived to take over the two mission fields, it was through his efforts that on April 7, 1911 Rio Grande Mission was made a branch Church of the Immanuel Baptist Church.

Rio Grande first started as a mission Sunday School later a mission church.  Then as a branch church of Immanuel.  On March 25, 1912 it was organized as a independent church.

From the time Rio Grande became a independent church until it united with Burlington to form the Gilead Baptist church it was dependent on the Home Mission Society for aid in supporting a Pastor, even though it never became a self supporting church, the number of souls won to the Lord and the countless number who were influenced by the church, can never be measured.  It was great Light-house for the Lord Jesus Christ on the west side of Salt Lake City, and greater work for the Lord will be done in uniting these two Mission Churchs into one great Church, The Gilead Baptist Church.

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