Our Story


THE BEGINNING

As God has done for centuries, when He needed a work to be done, He looked for a man who was willing to follow Him, such a man was Rev.
Samuel Newell Baldwin. Through a vision, God placed a call
on Rev. Baldwin to come to Lathrop. At the time of his call, he was living on a farm
with his wife and five sons.

In the spring of 1936, Rev. Baldwin came to Lathrop and rented the theater building on Main Street. At
that time, Rev. and Mrs. Henry Robertson
came to assist Rev. Baldwin and held several weeks of revival
services in the theater until warm weather arrived.

The owner of the theater wanted to use the building again, so it became necessary to relocate. They
were able to obtain some seats and an organ
and moved to the city park where they conducted open-air meetings until fall. During those open-air meetings, God moved and many were saved
and sick bodies
were healed.

That winter was a hard one for the Baldwin family. They used a small trailer in which to cook and eat
their meals. Their sleeping quarters consisted
of an old tent and to complicate the situation, they were
in the middle of the “great depression”. But through their faith in the great God they
served, they made
it through these hard times.

BUILDING OF THE FIRST CHURCH

As the church grew, the people began to make plans to build their first church. The corner lot of Clinton and Locust streets was purchased from
Clyde Slayton and work began. In the digging of the basement,
the pastor’s cow was used to drag out the dirt from the hole and move large rocks
that were to become
the basement walls. The rocks were thought to have come from an old quarry between Lathrop and Holt. During the
excavation, a well was discovered and walled up to be used as a water supply.

There were two houses at that time being sold to make room for the High School building. Rev. Baldwin
placed a bid of $50.00 for one of the
houses and since there were no other bids, he purchased it for that
price. The house was torn down and the lumber was used to build the new
church. One end of the
church was partitioned off and used as bedrooms for the pastor and his family while they continued to use the trailer for
cooking and eating their meals.

CHURCH SET IN ORDER

On April 23, 1938, the church was organized under the Constitution and Bylaws of the Assemblies of God by Rev. Roy E. Scott, West-Central
District Superintendent. While the Baldwins were still pastors,
Mrs. Baldwin passed away. Rev. Baldwin pastured in Lathrop about ten years.

When Rev. Baldwin felt led to leave, Rev. and Mrs. R.O. Jeffries came in 1943 to pastor. It was during
their pastorate that a parsonage was
purchased on Clinton and Russell streets. A banister was also put
up on the platform of the church.

Rev. and Mrs. Sam Marcum came as pastors in 1945 after a business meeting on May 26 th called by Rev.Jeffries for the purpose of choosing a
pastor. Rev. N.J. Foley, presbyter, came to conduct the business
meeting. Rev. Marcum was voted in by a two-thirds majority for an indefinite
period of time.

Much work was done in the basement of the church while Rev. Marcum pastured. Petitions were put in
for “Sunday School” rooms and baseboard
was put down. Also, two-by- fours were nailed on the
basement walls and plastering put over them. A stoop was built over the front door.

Feeling the call of the Lord to move on, Rev. Marcum resigned as pastor in March 1950, and Rev. and
Mrs. Sam Sowell were called as pastors. In
July of that same year, it was decided to use the money in
the bank from the sale of the lot to put water in the parsonage.

During Rev. Sowell’s pastorate, the
restrooms were put in the church. Feeling the need for more room as the congregation grew, an annex was
built onto the back of the church. Hardwood floors and a new
ceiling were put in the old part of the church.

When Rev. Sowell resigned as pastor in 1955, Rev. and Mrs. Sherman Jones were called. Rev. Jones was
voted in as pastor for one year. During
this time, a new furnace was installed in the church. Also, a new
piano was purchased.

In June, 1956, Rev. and Mrs. A.L. Schoonover were called. In October of the same year, a 500-gallon
propane gas tank was purchased for the
parsonage. During the next four years, the basement floor was
poured and the walls of the basement were repaired. Also, a trench was dug
around the church and soil
pipe was laid and attached to the sewer line to try to get rid of the water that ran in and kept the basement walls and
floors wet.

In July, 1957, at a business meeting, Rev. Schoonover brought before the people a plan for a building
program. It was suggested that each
member give one dollar a month toward a building fund. This was
voted on and carried.

Feeling that he had finished his work for the Lord in Lathrop, Rev. Schoonover resigned in March, 1960,
and Rev. and Mrs. T.W. Stark were
elected pastors.

During Rev. Stark’s pastorate, the church voted to put storm windows in the parsonage, fix the
foundation, and insulate it. A year later, the
basement walls of the church were plastered and painted.
The outside of the church was also painted.

The following summer, the parsonage and church were converted to natural gas, the restrooms in the
church were refinished, the parsonage was
repapered, and the roof was repaired.


The next year, the roof the parsonage and the church were repaired. The fence was removed from the south side of the church and trees were
planted.

The following year, the congregation began to realize the need for more room and talked of building
onto the front of the church, but decided not
to spend a lot of money on an old building, but plan
toward a new one. However, the stoop was repaired and new steps and walk were installed.
The
sidewalk and steps at the parsonage were put in new, the chimney was repaired, a new roof was put on, and a new door and a back door
were installed.


I
n March, 1966, Rev. and Mrs. Stark resigned as pastors because of too much responsibility. They had been elected as presbyters of Northern
Missouri District and overseers of the campgrounds at Lake
Maurer. It was then that Rev. and Mrs. Ralph McCaulley were called as pastors.

The downstairs bedroom was remodeled in the parsonage and new cabinets and a sink were installed in
the kitchen for the new pastors.

Two years later, the church voted to place some money in savings to draw interest. By May, 1968, the
total amount in savings was $1,098.87.

The following year at the annual business meeting, there was a discussion concerning the building of a
new church. It was voted that $1,200.00
more be put in savings from the treasury. At the meeting, a
motion was made and carried for the board and pastor to locate a suitable building lot
for a church and
parsonage.

The church called Rev. and Mrs. Vearl Mings as pastors in October, 1969. The Lord had spoken to Rev.
Mings to build a church but he didn’t
know where he as to build it until he came to Lathrop and met
with the board. At this meeting, he was told that whoever we called as pastor must
be willing to go
along with us in the building of a new church. It was then that Rev. Mings felt that this was the answer.

PURCHASED CHURCH SITE

In December, 1969, the present lot was bought. We then began to see our plans become a reality. We were able to purchase an organ in January,
1970. In July, Rev. and Mrs. Mings purchased a home and
the church voted to sell the parsonage and put the money in on a new church.

On April 12, 1970, we had our groundbreaking ceremony.

BUILDING IN PROGRESS

In April, 1971, the basement was dug and our church was begun. New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1971, we had our first service in our new church.
The Lord met us in a wonderful way and put His approval
upon the progress being made.

During Rev. Mings’ time, we had a radio program on KMRN out of Cameron every Sunday morning.

In June, 1977, Rev. Mings left to pursue other callings from God and in August, 1977, Rev.
and Mrs. Warren LaRose was voted in as the new
pastor. Since Bro. Mings had left, we needed to purchase a new
parsonage. It was decided to purchase a partially completed house from Gene
Schoonover on Sellers
Place for the new parsonage.

During Rev. LaRose’s time, the steeple was put on top of the church. Home missions’ pledge was set at
$100.00 for the year of 1978. The
fellowship hall in the basement was partitioned for a larger classroom
for the Junior High class. Material improvements included the carport,
widening the driveway for
parking, pouring a walk around the south side of the church, seeding the south lot and keeping it mowed, purchase of a
Plymouth maxi van and a dusk to dawn light on the south side.

In April, 1982, the radio program on KMRN was reaching families in Lathrop, Turney, Holt and part of
Plattsburg.

In May, 1988, Rev. LaRose left to follow God’s calling and Rev.
and Mrs. Reggie Ballard came and started on July 7, 1988. During Rev. Ballard’s
ministry, discussion was started on a multi-purpose building and money was set
aside in a savings account for this purpose. The church was
involved in several productions while Rev.
Ballard was here, including “Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames” and “The Living Lord’s Supper”.

Rev. Ballard felt God’s call to go elsewhere in late 1998.

Rev.
and Mrs. Bob Bettis came the last weekend in January, 1999. During his ministry a Study Center for ICI and Berean School of the Bible was
set up in the church.

In March, 2000, we started discussing blueprints and the design for the new multi-purpose building. In
November, 2003, we held the
groundbreaking for the multi-purpose addition. In April, 2004,
construction was started and we held the dedication of the multi-purpose addition on
April 24, 2005.

Rev. Bettis decided to leave the first Sunday of May, 2005 to follow God’s leading. Rev.
and Mrs. Rayl Robbins came in August, 2005 and stayed
until December, 2005.

Rev. Brian
and Mrs. Elliott accepted the pastorate of First Assembly in September, 2006.

During Rev. Elliott’s pastorate we have added a flag and flagpole, in memory of Maxine Eads, to the
front of the church in 2008 and celebrated the
75th anniversary of the church in June, 2012. In April
and May of 2015, extensive repairs were made to the basement and landscaping at the
parsonage. In
August, 2015, the bathroom in the church office was completely refinished. We poured a concrete driveway on the east side of the
church building during June
and September of 2016. Also, in 2016 the parsonage doors were replaced, the kitchen was redone and two more
bedrooms were added in the
basement. A new website for the church was created in November, 2016.

We believe that all of the pastors since First Assembly of God Church in Lathrop began were called for
“such a time as this”.

We appreciate the sacrifices that have been made down through the years: the prayers, the fasting and
all the efforts which have been put forth
by pastors and laymen to keep the church progressing.

“United we stand, divided we fall”. Only the Lord will know the seed that has been sown and the
harvest it will reap.

“If My People which are called by My Name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My Face, and
turn from their wicked ways; then will I
hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”. II Chronicles 7:14

May the Lord continue to move among us as He has been since the church began and may we see a
harvest of souls before our ‘Lord’s return’.

As we look upon our beautiful new structure, our hearts are made to rejoice and we cry, “Look what the
Lord hath wrought by faith”.

Praise His Holy Name!
FIRST ASSEMBLY OF GOD...LATHROP, MO
"A GOLDEN PAST WITH A BRILLIANT FUTURE"
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