In its June 25, 1936 issue The Planters’ Press reported that funds were to be raised for a new building for the Baptist Church.

“The Baptist[s] of Bossier City will make an offering next Sunday for a new church building.  This is to be an initial offering, and it is hoped that it will be large enough to enable the church to get started on construction within a very short time.  The member ship has talked about a new building for a long time.  Many of them have been yearning for a suitable and comfortable house for worship for years.  The need for it has been becoming more and more apparent as the church has grown to such proportions that it cannot be thought of as a small church any longer.”

“The pastor has been preaching a series of sermons on Bible Buildings and principles of such a movement for several Sundays.  The deacons of the church have been at work and in prayer for the Lord’s guidance in the matter.  Sunday, June 28th, was designated as Initial Offering Day, to give every member a chance to express himself on the question in the only way that counts, namely, a financial expression.”

“Borrowing money for personal use is a firmly fixed habit with people, but there are some who say they will be at Ardis Memorial Church at 11 a. m. next Sunday with an offering, because they are borrowing it for the Lord’s House.  Quite a number of $100 gifts will be made, and many smaller ones, even to the quarters, half dollars, and dollars of children.  Apparently, several thousands of dollars will be raised Sunday.”

W. L. Stagg, Pastor of Ardis Memorial Baptist Church, announced in the next issue of The Planters’ Press that the members of the church raised nearly $3000 cash money at the June 28th church service.

“At the close of the pastor’s sermon when the invitation was given to bring the gifts to the basket prepared to receive it, there was a surge as almost everyone present came forward with a gift, both  adult and children.  It was an inspiring sight and it sent a thrill through the entire congregation.”

Ardis Memorial Baptist Church was organized in 1903 and had 22 charter members.  In 1939 a new brick building was constructed on the original site and the church was renamed First Baptist Church of Bossier City.  Membership had grown to over 1,000 members.  In 1961 12 acres of land was purchased by the church at 2810 East Texas Street.  1965 saw the dedication of a new church building at that site, with many subsequent additions.  In 2007 the church had over 7,000 members.

The Bossier Parish Library Historical Center offers many local church histories.  Visit soon to determine if we have a history of your church.

Ann Middleton is Director of the Bossier Parish Library Historical Center. She can be reached at (318) 746-7717 or amiddlet@state.lib.la.us.

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