Connecting people with a life that counts for eternity by building disciples that go and change lives.
History

We thought you might be interested in a historical perspective of Central Baptist Church. As you will note, it’s a long story, but one which has great meaning.

A digital copy of Central's centennial book (published in 1983) is available online. Click here to download (46 MB, PDF).

1883

Swedish Baptist Church organized, with Rev. C. J. Johnson as pastor.  Early church meetings held in homes, rented halls, and the basement of First Baptist Church.

First official baptismal service held in the Big Sioux River.  Six youths were baptized and made members.

Two lots at 633 South Main purchased for $200.  Giving towards a new sanctuary was spurred on by the sale of one of the lots.

1884

New sanctuary with a seating capacity of 200 dedicated at 633 South Main at a cost of $2,000.  Expansion once again became necessary shortly thereafter due to substantial growth in membership.

Rev. A. B. Norberg called as the first permanent pastor.

1906

A property exchange was worked out trade the property at 633 South Main for what was called the Lyons Hall at 12th and Dakota.

1920

Name change from Swedish Baptist Church to Central Baptist Church.

1925

Services in English replaced all of the Swedish-language services.

1945

Voted to use $25,000 to refurbish the 12th and Dakota building with a large tower entrance and an enlarged auditorium and basement.

1947

Purchase of a new parsonage made necessary by the overflow use of the current parsonage by Sunday School classes and nursery.

1948

The first Sunday evening services broadcast by radio station KISD AM.

1950

Purchased the site at 8th and Spring for $65,000.  On the same date, the 12th and Dakota building was sold for $45,500.

1951

Dedication services held on completion of remodeling and redecorating.

1954

Radio broadcast changed to KELO for greater broadcasting range.

The first of three annexations to the new property was made.  Adjacent lots with houses were purchased and used to house Sunday School classes before being razed to make way for building and parking lot expansion.

1960

Calvary Baptist Church, a church plant in the Norton-Froelich area was organized.

1961

A new Christian education building, including an all-purpose fellowship Hall and two floors of classrooms, was completed and dedicated to outreach ministry.

1966

Because of growing membership, two morning services became necessary.

1968

Capital fund drive brought in pledges of $170,000 for building expansion, remodeling, and land and equipment purchases.

Radio ministry moved to KNWC.

1970

Third floor of Christian Education building was completed.  Remodeling work also done on the choir room, library, nursery, and sanctuary.

New construction completed and adopted after two years of study.

1973

Eighth Street entrance and upper hallway remodeled, and new carpet installed in sanctuary.

1979

Faith Baptist Church, a church plant led by Rev. Donald Reed, was incorporated into the Baptist General Conference.

1982

Purchased three additional lots of property on the corner of 9th and Spring for additional parking space.

1983

Commemorated 100 year anniversary with the year-long celebration In His Hand -- By His Hand.

1989

Began the Give Him Your Best Campaign, with pledges exceeding $750,000.

1990

Committed by church vote to plant a daughter church and to build a new church home at a new site.

1991

Grace Church, a new daughter church was planted in Sioux Falls.

Purchased 32.6 acres at I-229 and Louise Ave. for a new church home.

1992

Commitments of over $1,100,000 were received for our Forging the Future in Faith Campaign to raise money for our eventual relocation.

1994

By a two-thirds margin, the church body voted to sell the building at 8th and Spring and began actively planning the move to our new building.

1995

Our best Christmas present ever was to hold our first worship service in our new facilities at 3100 West Ralph Rogers Road on Christmas Eve.

1996 - 1999

Just when you think you’ve built the right size building, you find you’re outgrowing it.  In the past three years, Central has been growing significantly.  The Preschool now offers 1/2 day Kindergarten classes.  Three hours of Sunday School is now being offered -- Sunday School attendance has risen steadily ever since.  From 1998 - 1999, there was an 11% increase in attendance in the worship services. 

2002

November saw completion of bank loan payments. Increased membership and Future Facilities Fund for expansion continues.

2006

Central expanded its facility in a building project that included the creation of a new 1200 seat sanctuary and a wing known as the "Family Life Center" to hold community events and adult education courses, marking the completion of a 16-year vision to build a church campus.

2008

Central celebrated its 125th anniversary

2009

Central welcomes the group of Swahili believers that have been holding worship services at Central's facilities into the congregation. The pastor of the Swahili congregation was also licensed by Central Baptist Church. 

2010

2010 was a year of transition for Central. The church moved to a collaborative leadership style and adopted a new set of bylaws and a new constitution. Central also took on a new ministry strategy, known by the church as "Connect, Build, Go", to execute the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. From a financial perspective, Central met its revenue goal, funded 99.8% of commitments to missionaries and reduced its debt by more than $155,000. The congregation also welcomed 50 new members into the church, many of whom worship with Central's Swahili congregation.

2011

2011 was a year of new life for Central. The church welcomed a new lead pastor and sent out one of its youth pastors to serve at Children of the Promise Orphanage in Cap Haitian, Haiti. 30 individuals were baptized in 2011 and dozens more became new members. The church re-launched its small group ministry using the life group model and had more than 350 people participating in life groups at the end of 2011. Central was able to reduce its debt by more than $250,000 in 2011.

2016

Central Church plants Central Church Downtown in the Downtown Sioux Falls community to impact the Pettigrew Heights community and beyond.

Central Baptist Church became Central Church.