I was driving by McDonalds in Park Rapids the other day and saw a crane parked out in front. I am not sure if they are planning on adding on or merely doing some work on something else, but it reminded me of a picture that I once saw. Here it is:


This is a picture presumably of the last time a crane was seen on this site. It was when the old First Baptist Church building was destroyed. First Baptist Church was established in 1890 at the corner of 35 and 71, where McDonalds now stands. Here is a picture of it in 1906, immediately after the old building was built.



Here is a picture of it in 1966:


I meet many people who say: “What a shame that that old church was torn down! It was beautiful!” I have seen pictures of it, and would have to agree, although I was never in the old building myself. We still have three of the stained glass windows at the front of our auditorium, and the bell is in our garage building. The reason that the old building was destroyed is that it was too much to maintain. It was sold and a new building was built on 8th street, where the church currently meets.

The church is not a building, but the people inside the building. The place that First Baptist Church used to meet was where McDonalds is now. It then met in the old senior center. Now it meets in a different building. The point is not where a church meets, but what a church is. The earliest Christians didn’t even have a church building to meet in. Sometimes the building itself becomes more important than the people inside the building, but having an empty church building is the same as having none at all.

The point is that the church is not for attending, but being involved. Get involved in your church. Yes, go to the building every Sunday; more importantly, meet with other believers that make up the church. If you don’t have a church you attend, then find a group of Bible-believers with which to meet every Sunday.

3 Responses

  1. Ed Pritchard

    Thanks for the pictures. It brings back memories of when I was a young boy and a gentleman I believe from Oak Hills Bible Institute spun tops and flipped them high into the air towards the ceiling of that church and spun them on the back of my neck as I leaned forward doing a practical demonstration from God’s Word. I believe the gentleman’s name was Tim Schreiber and the current pastor at that time was Lloyd Johnson.

  2. Dwight Carter

    The insensitive, thoughtless, hardhearted, money first, Phillistines in this case were not the church members who sold the building, rather the city leaders and owners of the MacDonald’s franchise. This case ipitimizes the loss of local identity, capitulation to coorporate uniformity, lack of imagination or integrity, and shortsightedness that has drained most small towns of flavor and taste.
    I agree with the article though: the Church is the people and the building(s), or institutions, or programs, or projects too often distract from the true life of the body of Christ.

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