History of Rice Lake Baptist Church

Map of Grant Township Michigan from 1880 showing the area before Rice Lake was drained to make the muck fields we see today.
Map of Grant Township Michigan from 1880 showing the area before Rice Lake was drained to make the muck fields we see today.

Beginnings

Early in the 1940’s under the American Sunday School Union, later called the American Missionary Fellowship, a church had begun.

In the little white Rice Lake School house a group was meeting for Sunday School in the morning and young peoples at night as well as a Wednesday night meeting. The Rev. Gerald Rubingh organized the group into a Baptist Church and was our first pastor.

The group voted to build a church and Mr. John Leach donated the land the building sits on today. Work had started on the new building when Rev. Rubingh was called to another church. He was pastor from 1954-1956.

1909 Witness Trees, Rice Lake's Highest Spot
1909 Witness Trees, Rice Lake’s Highest Spot

The First Building

Ernest Thompson was the second pastor from 1956-1963. Under his ministry the church moved to the Island Community Center. The Church on the corner of Spruce & 108th was completed and we moved in. The steeple on the church was donated by Peter Brink, Sr. and the Church became a GARBC member.

Front of the Little White Church on the Corner of 108th and Spruce in Grant MI
Bulletin Clipping from 1956 showing the Ordination of Ernest Thompson
Bulletin Clipping from 1956 showing the Ordination of Ernest Thompson
Back of the Little White Church on the Corner of 108th and Spruce in Grant MI
Back of the Little White Church on the Corner of 108th and Spruce in Grant MI
Front of the Little White Church on the Corner of 108th and Spruce in Grant MI
Front of the Little White Church on the Corner of 108th and Spruce in Grant MI
James Carmichael became the third pastor from 1963-1966. Under his ministry the church built the basement for more classrooms and room for fellowship. Our next pastor was Rev. Orville Hitts and during his ministry the tile was put in and a nursery for the young children. Rev. Hitts was pastor from 1966 -1971.

Loyd Potter was our fifth pastor from 1972-1976. Clarence E. Roberts was our sixth pastor from Dec. 5, 1976 to Sept. 19, 1999. He was ordained in this church in Feb. 1982.

Under his ministry the fellowship room and bathrooms were put up over the basement. The interior bathrooms were put up over the basement. The interior of the church was remodeled and new pews were made. The present facilities were being worked on.

Dorthy & Clarence Roberts (seated), L-R. Doug Herens, Dan Hiler, Dennis Allerding and the Rev. George Taylor
Dorthy & Clarence Roberts (seated), L-R. Doug Herens, Dan Hiler, Dennis Allerding and the Rev. George Taylor
Church Sign showing Clarence Roberts as Pastor
Church Sign showing Clarence Roberts as Pastor
Rev. Daniel Fullmer (kneeling). L-R. Dave Berger, Phil Riemsma, Dan Hiler, Joe Murray, Pastor Fullmer Sr., Steve Boverhof, Pastor Pepe Morales, ?, and Pastor Clarence Roberts.
Rev. Daniel Fullmer (kneeling). L-R. Dave Berger, Phil Riemsma, Dan Hiler, Joe Murray, Pastor Fullmer Sr., Steve Boverhof, Pastor Pepe Morales, ?, and Pastor Clarence Roberts.

The New Building

Pastor Daniel R. Fullmer became an associate pastor as our youth group was growing. The work on our new Worship Center was now well on it’s way to being completed. The first Sunday in our new Worship Center was April 18, 1999.

Pastor Roberts retired on Sept. 19, 1999 AM, and Pastor Fullmer was called as senior pastor and stepped in on Sept. 19, 1999 PM.

In 2008 we moved into a wing that was added onto the Worship Center to accommodate our children’s ministries. The steeple was taken off the old building and it has now become our Teen Center. The old building is also being used by Iglesia Hispana until their building is complete.

The new building nearing completion. Shown here before the steeple was built.
The new building nearing completion. Shown here before the steeple was built.
Current worship center
Current worship center with Kid’s Wing
Old building with steeple removed, now used for office space and as the teen center.
Old building with steeple removed, now used for office space and as the teen center.