In 1932, Memorial Baptist Church of Jackson began a branch Sunday school work in Vandercook Lake under its pastor, Reverand Roy Frook. The first meetings were held in the B. M. Barnette Building on Francis St. in Vandercook Lake. The services were held on Sunday afternoon. After five years of steady labor and growth, First Baptist Church of Vandercook Lake was born on July 21, 1937. On January 10, 1939, the then superintendent Mr. Ira Touse was elected the acting pastor of the church. Raymond Tillson was elected as the pastor of the church on November 15, 1940.


In 1944, the Lord presented the church with the opportunity to purchase the Burch Grocery Store (above) on McDevitt Ave. In only eight years, the Lord had given the church a full-time pastor! In 1945, the church changed its name from First Baptist Church to Vandercook Baptist Church.


In 1958, the original building was torn down and a new church building (above) was built. Much of the work on the new building was done by the members of the congregation and the building was finished only one month after the project was started! The church saw several pastors before Pastor Donald Herweyer was called to become the pastor in 1961. 


An expansion to the church building (above) was sought after in late 1962, and the Lord help see the project through. The church began construction on the new sanctuary in 1963, and completed the work a little over a year later.

The Lord truly was blessing. After seeing through the construction of the new sanctuary, Pastor Herweyer resigned after 8 years of ministry to pastor a church in Clare, MI. The church then extended the call to Pastor Don Peterson and family in the fall of 1969. Pastor Peterson’s ministry, focused on equipping the churches own for work on the mission field, found strength in his longevity with his term here as pastor extending to almost 20 years.

Pastor Gene Gephart followed Peterson just shortly the before the church celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1987. Pastor Gephart’s ministry here extended another lengthy period of 18 years in which the church completed renovations and added the activity center to the existing structure. Following the Gephart’s retirement, the church spent the next eighteen months searching for a replacement under the guidance of interim Pastor, Don Johnson.

The church parsonage purchased in 1959 to provide spacious accommodations for the Pastor’s family has experienced numerous renovations over the years, the most extensive remodeling taking place just recently in preparation for the new pastor. In November 2006, the church called Pastor Kyle Vegter and family to begin their ministry here at Vandercook Baptist in February 2007.

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