Located just two blocks from the campus of Pittsburg State University on south Broadway, SBBC is the first and oldest church in the southern part of Pittsburg. Since 1934, South Broadway Baptist Church has existed to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to the university, to the city of Pittsburg, to the surrounding area, and to the world.
For 80 years, through good times and bad times, the simple truth of God's Love has been the message of hope at SBBC. Although we find ourselves in an ever-changing world, where "old" values are often abandoned, the ministry team at SBBC remains wholly committed to continue the unchanging work of teaching God's Word, sharing God's invitation of Grace and leading others in a process of maturity as Believers. In Sunday School lessons, sermons, Bible studies, or counseling, the Bible remains our source and strength.
Our mission is to: Magnify and celebrate God through Worship; Multiply Christ's church through Evangelism; Modify lives through Fellowship with believers, Ministry to others, Discipling all to maturity in Christ.
Since its founding on March 8, 1934, it has been the vision of South Broadway Baptist Church to follow Christ's words in Matt. 28:19-20:
"Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age".
Before this church was organized there was not a church or place for worship in the south part of Pittsburg. All other churches were
located near the center of town. After much prayer and deliberation, a group of Baptist families voted on January 20, 1934, to organize a church and the organization was completed with 52 charter members.
The first Sunday School and Worship service was held on Sunday Feb. 18, 1934.
On March 8, 1934, a charter was granted by the Secretary of State.
In the midst of the terrible depression and starting without a building or equipment, a large frame dwelling at 1106 South Broadway was rented and members and friends loaned chairs, tables, desks, piano, song books and all sorts of necessary equipment. All this group had to start with was faith in God and a desire to serve Him in this community.
In July of 1934 a call was extended to Rev. H. L. Gillenwaters to become the first Pastor. In this same month the church purchased the building which they had been renting.
In April of 1935 the church made application for membership in the South East Kansas Baptist Association and was accepted. The members worked faithfully and soon the building had been remodeled, equipped, new lighting system installed, redecorated inside and out with the total remaining indebtedness being $500.
February 19, 1939, the fifth anniversary was celebrated.
Just two days later, on Tuesday, Feb. 21 the building, together with all its contents, was totally destroyed by fire.
These were dark days but the members rallied and did not miss a single service. Prayer meetings were held in the homes and Mr. and Mrs. E.K. Smith offered the use of their Chapel at 510 South Broadway for Sunday services.
Worship services were held there there from Feb. 26,1939, through Jan. 7, 1940.
March 8, 1939, the church voted to rebuild. Finance, Building and Contract & Construction committees were appointed.
May 3, 1939, the present site at Broadway and Carlton was purchased.
Aug. 15, 1939, ground was broken for the new building.
October 7, 1939, a service for the laying of the Cornerstone was held.
January 14, 1940, the new building was dedicated, just five weeks less than a year from the day it burned.
The membership of the church grew from 52 charter members to over 200 resident members. There have been many members from all walks of life as well as college students that have been active during their stay in college and then have moved on into other fields of service. Because of this, the influence of this church is spread throughout the United States and foreign countries.