Brown-StreetALTON, Ill.—Brown Street Baptist Church celebrated its 90th anniversary. Founded in 1923, Brown Street Baptist has been a permanent fixture in Alton, touching the hearts and lives of many generations.

On Aug. 31–Sept. 1, past and present members enjoyed a reception featuring historical memorabilia, a reunion concert for both adult and teen choirs, and sermons from three of the church’s previous pastors, Pastor David Burman of New Castle, Del.; Pastor Ted Ertle of Sebring, Fla.; and Pastor Dave Conrad of Alton.

Established as Milton Heights Baptist Church on Mayfield Avenue, Brown Street Baptist Church began as a mission church with a charter membership of 30 people. It offered Sunday School classes and occasional church services. The church grew in the late 1930s and early 1940s, and seeing the need for an expansion, bought land on Brown Street for a new building and then broke ground in March 1948. The name of the church was changed to Brown Street Baptist Church the same year, and a dedication ceremony was given for the new building on April 3, 1949.

Robert Ketcham visits Brown Street Baptist in 1953.

Robert Ketcham (GARBC national representative, 1948–1960) visits Brown Street Baptist in 1953.

Since that time, Brown Street Baptist has striven to impact the people in its community and reach others with the gospel of Christ. The church is well-known for its varied youth program, including Awana, children’s choirs, and teen youth group, which have changed many young lives throughout the years. The church has also hosted and participated in several community events, such as Alton’s Citywide Spring Cleanup, free community car washes, and fall Treats in the Trunk events.

“BSBC continues to be a caring community ministering to the need of the whole person. Every generation is at the heart of BSBC,” says Interim Pastor Paul Mann.

Brown Street Baptist Church credits its past and present faithfulness to God’s grace and goodness. Members look forward to the church’s future and all that they hope to accomplish through the power of Jesus Christ.