First Baptist Church hosts 140th anniversary On Sept. 12-14, the American Baptist Churches of North and South Dakota met at historic First Baptist Church in Vermillion. The theme of the biennial was â�?�?Steadfast In Coming To Know Him.â�? A ham dinner was served for the Friday evening Pastorss and Spousesâ�?�? Banquet. The special speaker was Rev. Harold Salem of Aberdeen. Rev. Daryl Dachtler from Viborg was our worship leader. Eight exhibitors had display tables. Saturday morning was the time of the business meeting and special presentations by church relations and our state camp director Rich Kallender. At noon, the church provided a turkey dinner. The menâ�?�?s group had a special speaker, Rev. Steve Bils, who spoke about the American Baptist outreach at the Sturgis Rally and how we could get more involved. The womenâ�?�?s group had Rev. Susan Omanson speak about world-wide sex trafficing and how we could help stop it. The Saturday evening banquet was held at Proâ�?�?s and the special speaker was Rev. Roger Fredrickson from Sioux Falls. On Sunday, the 140th anniversary of the church was celebrated with worship services, the baby-dedication of Samuel Lloyd Lee, organ music by Max Leget, piano selections by Wanda Jilderda and a church potluck in Centennial Hall. Tours of the church were given in the afternoon. First Baptist Church was organized Feb. 16, 1868. The first church was erected at the foot of ravine hill on S. Dakota Street. It was constructed of cottonwood logs and pine lumber brought in by the railroad and costs $2,200. Soon after the March, 1881 flood, the building was moved to the corner of Church and Main. In 1899, the second church, constructed of Sioux Falls quartzite at a cost of $13,000 is now the east half of the present church. The present or third building, which forms the west half of the church, was built in 1925. First Baptist Church continues to use a tracker organ built in 1888 and the oldest organ in continuous use since territorial days. Pastors Sandy and Shelley Aakre are starting their 25th year serving the church.
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