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First Baptist Church Of Edina Celebrates Its 100th Year
By Beth Hunolt
The First Baptist Church of Edina will be celebrating 100 years of worship. It was organized April 19th 1909, with 15 charter members. Today, the parish has about 40 members belonging their organization. In July of 1909 a request to join the Mt. Salem Baptist Association was made; which is the same association in which the church still belongs. The First Baptist Church of Edina is one of twenty-three churches in a four county division.
In November of 1909, Mr. Claude Smith gave the membership a lot for a church building, which was located on the corner of Sixth and East Bryant Streets, in Edina. The building was completed and then dedicated on July 30th, 1911. The church was constructed of hand made bricks and built by the members of the church.
A new church was erected in 1965, two blocks east of its former location, because of the deterioration of the former building and to better accommodate the parishioners. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on July 1965, with Mrs. Helen Sharp turning the first shovel. The new building was also built by the members of the First Baptist church and was funded by pledges of nearly $10,000 and many donations. A $20,000 lean from the Missouri Baptist Building Fund was also used to finance the building.
The first services were held in the new church on Sunday January 23rd, 1966, even though it was not quite finished. Dedication services were then held on September 25th, of the same year.
In the fall of 1968, a sign was erected in front of the church, and in March of 1975 the organ was bought. Other new additions acquired for the church building include a fiberglass baptistery purchased September 13, 1972, and the church steeple; both were purchased from Muscatine, Iowa
In April of 2008 the First Baptist Church of Edina received another new addition, Pastor Kevin McChesney. Born in Marrlow, Oklahoma, but was raised in Arkansas, where he meet his wife, Rachelle, they then moved to Dallas, Texas were he was a preacher for sixteen years. Pastor McChesney, with his family, lectured in many states, eventually making their way to Edina. The McChesneys moved to our quaint town to be closer to their extended families. Kevin and Rachelle are the parents of five children; Heather, Holly, Ashley, Matt, and Leiagh.
The First Baptist Church of Edina will be celebrating its anniversary June 10th through June 13th with fun events for the children, preaching, and music. The community is invited to join the celebration. Further details will be included in future issues of the Edina Sentinel. Regular services are held at 10:30 on Sunday mornings.