A Brief History of LaMarsh Baptist Church

 

-Since 1838-

   

On October 27, 1838, a group of fourteen people of the Baptist faith formed the first organized congregation in Hollis Township.  Elder A. M. Gardner served as the first pastor until August, 1848.  For years, services were held in barns and homes.  On August 28, 1849, one of the members, Abraham maple donated the property on which the church buildings now stand.  A house of worship 30 by 45 feet was constructed for the cost of about $1000.  The former auditorium was finished in October, 1849, which makes it the oldest building still in use in Peoria County.  By June of 1854, there were reported 40 baptisms, and 155 members.  Over the years, LaMarsh Baptist Church has seen many changes.  The Civil War, at least thirty pastors, and numerous additions are all part of its history.  In 1908, the basement of the former auditorium was completed, and in the 1960’s an addition was put on the side of the auditorium.


By 1997, the congregation had fully outgrown the little white auditorium, and preparations were made to build a new one.  “Ground Breaking Sunday” happened on June 15, 1997, and construction began on the massive building which would sit in the middle of the churchyard.  The current auditorium was finished in 1998.


In May 2011, David Sexton and his family answered the call to become the current pastor of LaMarsh Baptist Church.  LaMarsh is a church that has a desire to hold fast to the old time way.  But one thing remains the same.  The people at LaMarsh are still dedicated to the King James Bible and spreading the Gospel around the world!