The pioneers who started Big Springs Baptist Church arrived in the spring of 1869. One of the first, if not the first Sunday after their arrival, Peter A. Ring gathered about him the new settlers and conducted religious services in an old vacant log house on lower Union Creek. The Big Spring Baptist Church was organized early in July in 1869 on the Ring homestead. The name Big Springs came from the springs constituting the permanent source of the east branch of Union Creek that designated this settlement. Peter A. Ring formally became the first pastor in 1872. The first church building built in 1874 was set in open country chosen far enough from the towns to form a center of its own. This location has been part of the ministry of Big Springs Baptist Church to the area rural communities.
After a time of dissension regarding the Sunday or Saturday worship, members left the church to form a Seventh Day Adventist Church. The result of revival meetings the church membership expanded such that the church began a building project which remains as part of the current building in 1893. At the time of the 25th anniversary of the church Rev. Swartz concluded with this statement, “With regards to the future we wish and pray that the ‘candleholder’ will stand in its room and that the light will shine from the hills of Big Springs until ‘the Lord comes.’” Spiritual growth and mission work have been an important part of the life of Big Springs Baptist Church. This is shown in the opening of the mission at Alcester and organization of the Alcester Baptist Church through funding of the building and 31 charter members of the new church in 1907.
The spiritual growth and ministry of the church continued to the present day with many instrumental pastors and leaders providing guidance and inspiring the work in the rural communities of the area around Big Springs Baptist Church. Church building additions occurred in 1920, 1965 and most recently in 2001. The church was able to purchase the original church building back from the township and place it on the current grounds where it is used for Christmas services and activities in the summer. The church property includes a parsonage, built in 1915, the “Annex” used for youth activities which originally was the Big Spring store and post office and a ballfield. A recent addition of a playground for young ones indicates the desire to be a church where families gather to worship and share their lives in the Big Springs community.
Big Springs has sponsored youth and adult mission trips to the inner city of Chicago, Pine Ridge reservation, Samaritans Purse for hurricane relief in Houston, Belize, Peru, Philippines, Ukraine, Haiti and Costa Rica among others.
The Swedish roots of the pioneers that settled the area continue with the annual Swedish supper of the “over 55” group and the early Christmas morning celebration as a church family of “Julotta.” Except for a few members who are descendants of those original pioneers continuing on their family farm, the church now is a diverse group of members from primarily the Alcester, South Dakota, Beresford, South Dakota, Hawarden, Iowa, and Akron, Iowa, communities. Today, Big Springs Baptist Church continues to fulfill her mission of glorifying God through growing mature disciples of Jesus Christ in our community and around world.
OUR MISSION: We exist to glorify God through growing mature disciples of Jesus Christ in our community and around the world.
Adopted by the Baptist General Conference in 1951, reaffirmed in 1990 and amended in 1997.
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