LOWELL, Mich.—The day before the GARBC Conference in Grand Rapids, David Strope, interim national representative of the GARBC, preached at First Baptist Church, Lowell, Michigan. First Baptist had sent its pastor, Jon Pickens, on a summer sabbatical for rest, reading, and renewal. Assistant Pastor Andrew Bolkcom welcomed David to the pulpit June 26.
Two weeks after the conference, David traveled to Waverly, Iowa, to visit Horton Baptist Church.
“August 2022 brings the second iteration of the Field of Dreams game: the Chicago Cubs playing the Cincinnati Reds, a game played in rural Dyersville, Iowa,” David says. “However, the real field of dreams is located not far away from Dyersville, in tiny Waverly, Iowa. There God planted a church in 1858, its building erected in 1869.”
In 1936 Horton Baptist withdrew from the Northern Baptist Convention and joined the GARBC in 1939. Pastor Greg Gosnell notes that electricity came to Waverly in 1930, but indoor plumbing in the church building had to wait until the 1950s.
Waverly, Iowa, comprises a small collection of farmhouses surrounded by acres and acres of cornfields. The population of Horton proper is less than 100 people. Yet each Sunday God’s people gather in two worship services, the small auditorium being unable to hold the entire congregation.
Pastor Gosnell welcomed David to the church’s services July 17. He preached from 1 Corinthians 1 during the worship services and presented an overview of Regular Baptist Ministries to the adult Sunday School.