IT’S ALWAYS A REAL JOY FOR US TO MEET NEW MEMBERS.
Our mission is leading people in a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
We are pleased that Dr. David Sheppard has agreed to join us as interim pastor. His extensive experience will be a great benefit to the congregation as we transition to a new senior pastor. Please be in prayer for Pastor Sheppard, the church staff, the congregation and the pastor search committee as we seek the Lord’s will in search of a new pastor.
We want to welcome you to our community of believers here at Central Baptist Church. At CBC you will find a group of Christ followers who love the LORD and love others just as much.
This is evidenced by the warm welcome and greetings you receive before and after the service. Central is a place where you can come to find shelter from a world that makes us weary, a place where we desire to encourage your heart with Gospel of Jesus Christ. There’s no dress code here, we come together as a community, not for a fashion show or performance, but to glorify the LORD and bring Him praise.
A Good Starting Point
A good starting point would be to come and meet our church family. Be our guest for dinner on a Wednesday evening at 5:45 or for join us for service on a Sunday morning at 10:15.
During your visit you’ll have an opportunity to talk with church members, get to know them and their families. We would love to answer any questions you may have about who we are and what we believe. You’ll discover there are many ways for you to plug into the CBC community!
We look forward to your visit!
There are many ways to get involved. Here are four of them:
1) Come to a worship service on the weekend.
2) Look into joining a Small Group, and get to know some great people.
3) Come to Wednesday Night Together, and enjoy a meal with the church family.
4) Find a Serve opportunity, Here, Near or Far.
Establishing a church during the Great Depression here in America was no easy task. It took a strong vision from the Lord. God strengthened and allowed this small body of believers to grow and begin a mission Sunday School in Glencoe in 1933. Before long, there were members from Allenton, Pacific, Glencoe and Valley Park. As early as March 1st, 1934 there was discussion about finding a more centrally located spot for the church to meet. The vision of erecting a new building in Eureka would help combine these two groups. It was not until October 1937 that the Allenton congregation voted to move to Eureka and adopt the name Central Baptist Church since Eureka was more centrally located. The church met at several different locations in Eureka between 1931 and 1938. Rev. Cross left the congregation as pastor in April of 1935.
Rev. Max Payne began his pastorate here September 26th, 1935. Under his leadership, the congregation found a suitable site and was given the vision to build. On May 29th, 1938 construction of a basement church was begun on our current site. The first meeting in the new building was a prayer meeting held on September 7th, 1938. Today that part of the building houses our nursery. On March 14th, 1942 a sanctuary was completed above the basement. The white frame building served as the church’s sanctuary for over 30 years. At this time the congregation had a Ladies Aid group similar to the WMU as well as a music program and soon a bus ministry was started. Those programs along with the calling of God allowed the congregation to grow. On Nov. 17th, 1946 a basement education space was added to the existing building. More people were drawn to the church and in September of 1960, the second floor was added to this basement education space. In 1965 Rev. Payne retired from the ministry.
Rev. J. I. Jacobs of Shaw, Mississippi was called as pastor and remained until June of 1969. The foreign Mission Board commissioned Rev. and Mrs. Jacobs as missionaries to Guyana, South America. During Rev. Jacobs time at the church a program of debt retirement was adopted. The sanctuary was also remodeled and the education space was changed. A building fund was also established in order to build a new sanctuary that would seat 300 people. The vision of building such a facility would allow for more worship space. In July of 1969 a building committee was established. The new sanctuary was completed and the first services were held on Nov. 14, 1971. That building project was a financial challenge and commercial lending intuitions felt that the church was not strong enough to undertake a $100,000 loan. It was a trying period for the congregation and construction plans were postponed for a time. Through faith and encouragement in the vision the church had for this building, the church began selling bonds on Nov. 8th, 1970 and the $100,000 bond issue was sold in two weeks.
During that challenging time, the church called Rev. Alfred Cobb as pastor in Dec. 1970. The Cobb family moved into the parsonage on Jan. 1, 1971. Rev. Cobb served the church until 1983. During that time a parsonage was purchased, the parking lot was surfaced, the balcony was constructed and the stairway was completed connecting the two buildings. Many ministries developed thanks to devoted lay people and part time staffers. The Wee School program was started in the early 80’s as well as a children’s ministry lead by part time staff member Doug Bell. After Rev. Cobb left, Rev. Chuck Ostrander and Rev. Dean Catlett pastored here completing the decade of the 1980’s.
Rev. Jim Breeden became the pastor in 1991 and remained until 1999. The congregation grew in those years. The AWANA program began and our missions organizations continued to grow as well as the music ministry. The church began Reality House in 1992. The facilities needed updated and more space was needed. In 1995 the fellowship hall and classroom spaces were added with much of the work being done by members of the congregation between 1991-1995. A Strategic Facilities Planning Team began work on March 30, 1999. They were commissioned to plan and envision Central Baptist in the Future and what our facility needs would be at that time. Rev. Breeden resigned from CBC in Dec. 1999 to join the staff of the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association.
Rev. Jerry Cowin was called and became pastor in September of 2000. During Rev. Cowin’s pastorate, many families with young children were in the church. We completed the gymnasium and foyer in 2006. The church began Upward Basketball and through it, ministered to many children and families for several years. Rev. Cowin also sowed the seeds of Healing Grace, a medical clinic that would soon be ministering to the needs of the uninsured. Upon his retirement in 2008, Dr. Doug Elders was called to be our new pastor in September of that year.
Under Pastor Doug’s leadership, the church has been challenged to move beyond our buildings and reach out into our communities to be more evangelistic. We are challenged to be actively involved in ministry and missions. Many church members have since participated in local evangelism efforts such as pre-Easter outreach and hosting neighborhood block parties. Healing Grace became reality. CBC has a leadership role and many members trained in Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief through the St. Louis Metro Baptist Association. We have participated in annual mission trips with a church construction group called Missourians on Mission. Our youth participate in World Changers. We are in a partnership to help start a new church in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. Some of our members also have participated in another strategic partnership, sending missionaries to an unreached people group in South Asia.
The church’s facilities and the ministries provided from them have been an important part of CBC’s history. Many people sacrificed much to give our future generations a place to call their church home and we are appreciative. Today, the church enjoys a rich heritage of ministries. The following is a summary of major ministries and mission efforts that continue today:
Southern Baptists are a network of Protestant, evangelical, Christian churches bound together by likeminded beliefs about God and the Bible. The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), organized in 1845 in Augusta, Georgia, has grown into a national network of more than forty-five thousand churches and church-type missions with nearly sixteen million members who worship in more than two dozen languages each week across the United States and its territories. Southern Baptists provide direct support for almost ten thousand individuals who serve across the nation and around the world in direct ministry as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ, ministering to at least 377 people groups in 153 countries, many of whom have little access to the Gospel in their native language. Southern Baptists also provide ministerial training and education for more than sixteen thousand full-time and part-time students through their six theological seminaries. The common causes of missions and evangelism unify our efforts to spread the love of Jesus throughout the world. More locally, Southern Baptists are also organized into state Conventions and local Associations. This structure allows the local church ample opportunities to participate in ministries and missions at multiple levels so it can be personally involved in witnessing to the world as defined in Acts 1:8.
But the Southern Baptist Convention is not hierarchical. Individual Southern Baptist churches are autonomous. In other words, we govern ourselves and are responsible for our own ministries. Cooperation with the SBC is voluntary and covenantal. Because we, as a local church believe in the mission of Southern Baptists, we joyfully support and participate with our sister churches in faith. One becomes a Southern Baptist by uniting with a Southern Baptist church — one in friendly cooperation with the Southern Baptist enterprise of reaching the world for Christ. Typically church membership is a matter of receiving Jesus as your Savior and Lord and experiencing believer’s baptism by immersion.
We are a people of deep beliefs and cherished doctrines. Each generation of Christians bears the responsibility of guarding the treasury of truth that has been entrusted to us [2 Timothy 1:14]. Southern Baptists are often in the forefront of the cultural debate. New challenges to faith appear in every age. Throughout our history we have been a confessional people, adopting statements of faith as a witness to our beliefs and a pledge of our faithfulness to the doctrines revealed in Holy Scripture. Our confessions of faith are rooted in the Bible and church history, as the church in every age has been called upon to define and defend its beliefs. The Baptist Faith and Message is a concise statement of our beliefs. It was first published in 1925 and has since been amended once and revised twice, the latest revision was in June, 2000. CBC fully affirms The Baptist Faith and Message, supports the Southern Baptist Convention, and regularly participates in SBC missions and ministries.
Here at Central Baptist we believe that membership is important. We see membership very much like a marriage, when two people covenant with one another to remain faithful it increases accountability and calls for greater commitment to one another. The same is true with church membership. When we join a church we have increased accountability with those around us to walk and represent Christ in the community and our commitment becomes greater to serve in the church. The moment you commit to becoming a member of Central you tell those around you “I am committing to faithfully walking with you as we take the Gospel out together.”
Just as being a member is important so is serving in the church. In Thom Rainers book I am a church member he states “You should never ask yourself if you should be serving your church. If you are a member, you must be a functioning member.” (p. 16-17) Here at CBC we offer a variety of ways that you can plug in and use the gifts each of us have been given when we were redeemed. These gifts of the Holy Spirit remind us that we are one body that serves together, each with different but valuable gifts that complement one another as we do the work of the Kingdom together. (1 Cor 12) When we are saved, the Holy Spirit gifts each believer with a special gift to use among the body. If you do not know your gift, or would like to learn how and where you can serve, our staff would be happy to talk with you and help you.
We believe that healthy churches are not inwardly focused but are focused on reaching the communities around them with the Gospel in a variety of fashions. Healthy church members are serving, discipling others, sharing Christ, spending time in prayer and the word, worshiping together, as well as encouraging one another while we learn to do life together here in community here at CBC. Healthy church members create healthy churches because our focus in on Christ, His word, His work, His call, and His kingdom. Healthy churches don’t just happen, they happen as church members intentionally strive to bring Christ glory in all that they do, every moment of every day.