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 pastored 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 26th 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 pastored. 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.

In 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"
Website designed and maintained by Donna Groskopf, 2018
Rev. and Mrs. Sam Baldwin
1936-1942
Rev. and Mrs. R.O. Jeffries
1943-1945
Rev. and Mrs. Sam Marcum
1945-1950
Rev. and Mrs. Sam Sowell
1950-1955
Rev. and Mrs. Sherman Jones
1955-1956
Rev. and Mrs. A.L. Schoonover
1956-1960
Rev. and Mrs. T.L. Stark
1960-1966
Rev. and Mrs. Ralph McCaulley
1966-1969
Rev. and Mrs. Vearl Mings
1969-1977
Rev. and Mrs. Warren LaRose
1977-1988
Rev. and Mrs. Reggie Ballard
1988-1998
Rev. and Mrs. Bob Bettis
1998-2005
Rev. and Mrs. Rayl Robbins
2005
Rev. and Mrs. Brian Elliott
2006-Present
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Lathrop, Missouri 64465