Lancaster Baptist Church, Lancaster – Origin:
In 1986, the Lancaster Baptist Church consisted of a handful of families that were meeting weekly in a small upstairs classroom of an old downtown building. The church was deeply in debt and getting closer to closing its doors. The building was in foreclosure, and the grounds were in disrepair; yet the spirit of the few remaining families was hopeful. They wanted to see God work in their church and in their valley!
In June of that summer, a young preacher, Paul Chappell, passed through Lancaster as a guest speaker at Lancaster Baptist. He was on a family vacation and looking forward to getting back home to northern California. But God had other plans.
After his message on that hot June evening, the twelve people in attendance voted unanimously to call Paul Chappell to be their pastor. Though the Chappells had no intention of coming to the high desert, they soon began to sense that God was leading them to Lancaster Baptist Church. Within just a few days, they surrendered to that call with no doubt that it was God’s will for their future. They left a comfortable ministry position, packed up their belongings, and invested all of their personal savings into coming to Lancaster even though the church could offer no salary.
During his first week in the Antelope Valley, Pastor Chappell began laboring diligently to get the church back on its feet. He knocked on hundreds of doors every week, repaired the church building, and preached God’s Word with conviction. In a short time, it was clear to see that God was beginning to bless the Chappells’ faith and sacrifice.
Within a year, the church was averaging over 150 in attendance and was growing rapidly. By the third anniversary, there were more than 500 people coming to Lancaster Baptist Church each week, most of them being led to Christ personally by Pastor Chappell or another member of Lancaster Baptist Church.
By 1993, the church family had grown to over 1,500 in attendance and had long since outgrown the downtown property. Souls were coming to Christ and families were added to the church on a weekly basis, and God had provided fifty acres on the east side of Lancaster where Lancaster Baptist Church, Lancaster could grow and develop a spacious new campus.
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