When the village of Harleton was formed with the naming of the post office in 1892, and the transferring and introduction of businesses to the townsite, Harleton became the “hub” of the area.
Immediately, the most acceptable date being 1893, a few Baptists joined together to form a church. The very earliest meeting place has been revealed only by oral history. We have been told that the first meeting place was Harle’s Mill Commissary. Evidently this was where they met for around seven years—until 1900. That year the associational missionary, S. M. Russell, reported to the association a church house “built or being built” at Harleton, costing $500.00. This was a one-room frame building and was used for many school and community activities. It was likely the largest auditorium in town for a number of years. The building faced south Twyman Street, where it intersected First Street.
The second church building was constructed on the west end of the present church block in 1916. It was a large square shaped wood structure with a centrally located sanctuary. Surrounding the sanctuary, were classrooms and choir space, which were also usable as part of the sanctuary. It had a seating capacity of 200.
The third building was also a frame building constructed during the pastorate of Rev. O. M. Smith. It was completed in 1951, and was built east of the previous building in the center of the church block. It was composed of a sanctuary, and a two-story educational wing. This wing provided 14 rooms.
In 1975 a gymnasium-family center was built adjacent to this building. It included a kitchen, restrooms, and five classrooms. By the 1980s it was apparent that the church was outgrowing its facilities. A brick structure was erected and the old facility was remodeled. The new plant includes a sanctuary seating 300 with offices, choir room, and conference room. The old structure was remodeled to provide a children’s chapel, nurseries and restrooms.
The newest building, constructed in 2011, is a metal structure named “The Loft”, which is an upstairs meeting space for the youth. The facility includes classrooms and restrooms downstairs. All of the interior work was provided by church members.
As we look to the future, it is important that we also remember our past.