Immanuel Baptist Church (Beulah, ND)
Twenty four people came together for the purpose of starting a Baptist Church in the Beulah area. All were German immigrants who had come from Russia and Romania, and before they had even chartered the church, they built a structure at Evans which came to be named the Immanuels Church at Evans, also referred to as the German Baptist Church of Evans. Evans (15 miles south of Beulah) wasn't much more than a mail drop on the stage route, but it was a central location at the time.
The railroad arrived in Beulah, and shortly thereafter the church built a parsonage, and new worship facility at the corner of 2nd Ave. NW and 1st St. NW, and moved to Beulah. At that time the name was changed to the German Baptist Church of Beulah.
That building was torn down and what is now referred to as the old church was built in its place. That church was heated by coal and had no running water.
Services were originally held in German and switched to English in the 1940s. It was also during this period in the 1940s that the church changed its name to Immanuel Baptist Church.
Very modest modern facilities were added in the early 1950s, rendering the outhouse at the end of the lot obsolete. It wasn't till about 1956 that the adult Sunday School was taught in English.
By 1978, the church had outgrown its facility and a building program was begun at the present location. The first services were held August 3, with the formal dedication on Sunday, August 24, 1980.
The local boom in the energy industry at that time brought huge growth to the community in many ways, including a number of young families to IBC. It was obvious that a Sunday School addition was necessary, and by December 1984 the Sunday School wing and East Fellowship Hall were completed. The following year the Awana program was launched, with 120 children attending. IBC continued to grow throughout the 1980s, and by 1999 the church broke ground on the Family Life Center, which provided a bigger kitchen and serving area, gym, and dedicated youth room.
Christ's church is not a building, but His people
Surveying the different building and construction phases of IBC can serve as a valuable window into the lives of this particular people. We can look back and see the faithfulness of God. As IBC has continued to preach Christ and Him crucified, our fellowship has continued to grow. As there were needs for improved facilities, God provided. Likewise, we can see that the people of IBC have had a long history of commitment to providing for children and youth ministries.
Immanuel Baptist Church is who it is today because of those who have gone before us. Their faithfulness to proclaiming the gospel, their sacrifice and hard work, and their very lives are what have made IBC what it is today. We stand on their shoulders and owe them a huge debt of gratitude. By God's grace we hope to maintain their legacy of faithfulness and pass it on to our children.
IBC is affiliated with the North American Baptist Conference. You can read more about the history of the NAB here: https://nabconference.org/us/.