How Memorial Baptist Church Began

“Baptist Group Organizes New Church in City: Site for Edifice Is Sought; 62 Members Sign Charter at Sabbath Meeting” reads the title and byline of the article from the Fond du Lac Reporter dated August 29, 1955.  In May of 1955, a group of members of the First Baptist Church of Fond du Lac, began a discussion to split off from First Baptist and start their own church due to disagreements with some of the church leadership.

During the summer of 1955, the group began exploring the process of how to start a new church. The New Baptist Church, as it was originally called, was officially incorporated on August 28, 1955, and the members signed the Charter for the new church.  A decision was later made to hold the Charter open until December for more members to sign.  In the end, approximately 124 people signed the Charter.  The name of the church was changed on September 22, 1955, to Memorial Baptist, which was to represent the memories of all those who went before in faith and so to encourage those in the future to continue in the faith.  Reverend C.C. Cunningham was hired as the new interim pastor.

On October 2, 1955, the ground-breaking for the new church building on the corner of Western and Peters Avenue took place. The church was designed to be an open-concept ranch style house.  Church members helped with the construction and provisions for the new church.  Founder’s Day, the official celebration of the beginning of Memorial Baptist Church, took place on December 11, 1955.  The church continued to grow and in May 1957, hired their first full-time pastor. Plans began for building a new, bigger church at our present location on the corner of Forest and Peters Avenue.

Thomas and Kathy Bonde, 60th Anniversary Planning Team