Southbury Baptist Church began when Norwood Waterhouse, a Southern Baptist Home Mission Board Church Planter, and Bill Kunst, the Pastor of Candlewood Baptist Church in Danbury, began to pray and plan. They believed that one day God would raise up a Southern Baptist church in Southbury. In June 1978 a week night Bible study began and soon after Sunday morning services began a Gainsfield Elementary School.
As a result of a variety of outreach efforts and God's blessing, on December 10, 1979, the fellowship voted to constitute as a church on March 1, 1980. Twenty-one persons were charter members meeting at the Southbury Town Hall. Over the next few years, much time was given to prayer and God was moving in a very special way. During the summer of 1983, the church secured property on Route 67 for a building. Church membership had grown to 87 people with Bible study/fellowship groups meeting in homes during the week.
In May,1985 there was a division in the church with the loss of the pastor and several members. With the help of Malcolm Jones, Western Connecticut Baptist Association (WCBA) Director of Missions, Terry Crocker was called as pastor in December of that year. In the fall of l986, the church paid off the land indebtedness and planned for a building. With Pastor Crocker's leadership, the major portion of the present building was constructed in the summer of 1987 using entirely volunteer labor. In 1990 an addition was built to accommodate the growth.
With continued growth and a "Mission Mindedness," the maturing church was then led to plant a church themselves, and in 1991 Tim Leggett was called to plant a church in Naugatuck. This church today is known as Naugatuck Valley Community Church where Pastor Leggett continues to serve. In the spring 1992, Pastor Crocker resigned and in the fall of 1993 David Gilleland was called as pastor.
Under Pastor Gilleland's leadership, the church voted to convert its leadership structure to an Eldership in June 1998. Additionally, the church body began giving of their talent, time and financial support to several ministries such as Acts 4 Clothing Ministries, Waterbury Baptist Ministries, World Changers, Hopeline Pregnancy Center, Young Life, and AmeriCares. Following 14 years of biblically based leadership, Pastor Gilleland was called to serve in Hospice care in Atlanta, GA. In June 2008, Bryan Sims was called as the new pastor.
Today, Southbury Baptist continues as a prayerful, Bible teaching church. Growing together, we have a family focus and a heart for missions and outreach. The Elders provide godly leadership and the church represents one of the few evangelical ministries in the area. Most recently the church celebrated completely paying off the building mortgage. The Lord has greatly blessed Southbury Baptist and we look forward to serving the Lord together in the days ahead to advance his kingdom.
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