Happy Anniversary, Kossuth!
It’s an exciting thought to recognize that we are coming up on 75 years as a church. It is an even more mind-blowing thought to know that our church family was in God’s mind before time began. Ephesians 1.3-4 says,
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
In a celebration of this kind, we are celebrating our Creator and Savior more than anything else. We exist because he wants us to exist. We exist for his purposes in this world. It is a privilege to serve him for as long as we have.
From our vantage point, though, where did it all begin? I pulled out our authoritative historical record, known more commonly as the church directory. It says,
“In 1944, Reverend and Mrs. Koven Smith, Mr. and Mrs. Garrett Dunnewold and Mrs. Tina Crozier had a burden to begin a church in Lafayette. The Lord led them to an empty building, which housed a grocery and tavern. Months were spent remodeling and redecorating. Benches were built and a piano and pulpit were purchased at an auction sale. After canvassing the neighborhood, the five met for the first service on May 12, 1944, with Reverend Koven Smith serving as pastor.”
And that’s not all. Some other fun facts include:
1. Our original name was Berean Baptist Church until March 5, 1945.
2. In April of 1964, we planted Faith Church.
3. What we now call the “old” building was constructed and dedicated in 1970.
4. Kossuth used to have a school called Highland Christian School.
5. What we call the “new” building was constructed in August of 1999.
6. Kossuth as a church approved a change in church polity to elder-led in 2009.
Much time has passed since her inception and yet Kossuth Street Baptist Church (what many call KSBC or just Kossuth) continues to thrive. Sure, we have had our ups and downs over the decades, but God has been good to us in so many ways. Acknowledging and celebrating 75 years as a church family is recognition of God’s faithfulness because, humanly speaking, there is no reason we should still be around.
Several men have served as a pastor of this church, but it never depended on any of them or on any church member. Reverend Koven Smith (1944), Reverend Baden Rowe (1952), Reverend William Cruver (1966), Dr. Bob Mundy (1973), Reverend David Boehning (1983), Reverend Don Whipple (1988), and the elders who have led since are not responsible for the fruit and perseverance over the last 75 years. God is responsible. His faithfulness is evident in that you personally, someone called and redeemed by him, will sit and worship as a part of this wonderful church family this coming weekend.
Therefore, it is time for us to throw a big party. We are in some very good days as a church, and we want to celebrate God’s work, past and present, even as we look to the future. Will you join us?
More details are forthcoming, but be sure to mark your calendars for both April 28 and May 5 of this year. We plan to use the evening of May 5 for a special event to include anyone who has ever considered Kossuth their church home. It will be a reunion of sorts of Kossuth past and present. Please help us spread the word to anyone who may be interested in this important celebration.
In the end, no matter how many more anniversaries God will see fit to give us, it is all “…to the praise of his glorious grace” (Ephesians 1:6). Please come and celebrate God’s glorious grace and faithfulness with us.