“…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
– Matthew 16:18
At South Side Baptist Church, we have an extremely rich heritage. A history that challenges us to continue to stand strong upon God’s truth today, and to pass the baton on for the church of tomorrow!
There was, in the decade of the thirties, throughout the Ozarks, a spirit of awakening. Revival spread through the land. It was a time when men’s hearts and minds turned toward God. With the Holy Spirit inspiring their labors and firing their zeal, great works were accomplished for the Lord.
The fundamental Baptist community, an offshoot of the Southern Baptist, adhered strictly to fundamentalism. The movement began in the early 1930’s with the dynamic J. Frank Norris, an influential pastor of one of Fort Worth, Texas’ prominent Southern Baptist churches.
Two young Baptist ministers in the area, Bill McTeer and Charlie Dyer, along with a few followers, organized a fundamental Baptist church in Springfield, Missouri. The group met in different homes for a time, but later erected a building on a piece of ground at Lynn and Marion, which was donated to them by a Southern Baptist Congregation. Springfield’s first fundamental Baptist church was established as Lynn Street Baptist Church. A few years later, Bro. Dyer and a small nucleus of believers began a work on the north side of the city. It was named High Street Baptist Church. After much prayer and meditation, and after following the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, a body of believers gathered at the home of Robert L. Dillon on S. Park Avenue for the purpose of seeking God’s will concerning the establishment of an independent, fundamental Baptist church on the south side of Springfield. On April 7th, 1941, Rev. Bill McTeer read the New Hampshire Confession of Faith and preached a short message on said document. Rev. McTeer then invited all who were in agreement with this confession of faith, and wishing to become charter members of a new, independent, fundamental church, to sign their name to the roll of new members of South Side Baptist Church.
The church has worked, developed, and become a beacon shining forth with God’s love into the Springfield community. Our church has been built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ and His Word. We are thankful for the precious saints of South Side’s history who have faithfully served our Lord under the leadership of Pastor Bill McTeer (1941-1957), Pastor Fred Neidy (1957-1988), Pastor Bud Everett (1988-2008), Pastor Wayne Barron (2008-2011), and Pastor James Adams (2011-2015). We continue to this day to share the love of Christ and to point people to Jesus under the leadership of Chadd Harkrider, who answered the call of God to become our 6th Pastor of SSBC on January 31, 2016.
The church must continue to build an even more knowledgeable and stronger congregation, always remembering that, “…unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required…” (Luke 12:48). The task for our church in the decades to come, will be to continue to work and love and pray for each other. The Word must be preached and those who hear must be led to a deeper knowledge and dedication to sharing the gospel of Jesus’ love and making disciples throughout the world.