On September 4, 1977, eighty-seven people gathered at the home of Katie Salls for our first service. We moved into our first building on Christmas morning, 1977, with 102 people in attendance. Rev. Charles Burchett answered the call as our first pastor in January, 1978. He was succeeded by Rev. Vince Gaugler who served from 1979 until 1989.
Under Brother Vince’s leadership we were constituted as a church in June, 1980, and we completed our present auditorium in November of ’81.
Our third pastor, Bruce Crawford, was called in December, 1989. He presided over the addition of our Education Building. This two- story, 23,000 square foot facility also houses the fellowship hall and kitchen. This expansion allowed us to remodel the former fellowship hall into a pre-school / nursery facility adjacent to the auditorium. Brother Bruce was called to lead the First Baptist Church of Myrtle Beach, SC, and we bid a sad farewell on December 19th, 2004.
On December 11, 2005 the fourth pastor of Countryside, Dr. Timothy Brown, began his ministry. Brother Tim’s time was marked with ever increasing zeal on the part of his flock. After almost seven years, he was called to pastor the East Heights Baptist Church in Tupelo, Mississippi and brought his last message to us on August 5, 2012.
The fifth pastor at Countryside, Dr. John Connell, began his ministry with us on January 4, 2015.
Our true history, however, is not written in brick and mortar and the dry recitation of pastoral assignments. It is written across Glory in the thousands of lives Christ has touched through His local church in Countryside. It is written in the stories of sinners gloriously converted, of God’s children strengthened with fellowship and teaching, and in lives touched through missionary outreach, locally and around the world. It is our prayer that our Lord will continue to use this congregation for His glory until He comes. To God be the Glory – Amen.