Rustic Hills Baptist Church History

For almost four years, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Wertz had longed for the rich fellowship of a separatist General Association of Regular Baptist (GARB) Church they had belonged to in Hempstead, New York. In the providence of God, F. Wesley Clem, Baptist Mid-Missions appointee to the Mormon people, learned of their desire and visited them at their home in Colorado Springs on January 28, 1964, and offered to aid them in starting a GARB church.

Very shortly, a group was gathered together and a Baptist Fellowship was organized February 11, 1964. This Fellowship immediately entered into agreement with Regular Baptist Church Builders. Land was bought and plans for a building were drawn. The church was organized in March and duly recognized April 28, 1964. It was received into the GARBC fellowship in June 1964.

At first, the little church met in homes, but on February 16, 1964, public services were started in the YMCA. Shortly after this time, over half the group, chafing at the strong New Testament position required, left the church. God saw them through this trial, and they grew a little beyond their original number.

Wesley Clem resigned to prepare to take up his calling to Utah, and a call was issued to Fellowship of Baptists for Home Mission missionaries D. Vernon and Gladys Harrah, who came upon the field September 15, 1965. The construction of the building had just begun, and the “little flock” began services in their new building in April, 1966. Growth was slow and workers were scarce; but God blessed, and they finished the year with a fully staffed Sunday School, running around 100, with church attendance about the same.

Dedication of Rustic Hills Baptist Church was Memorial Day, May 30, 1967. Cornerstone laying was conducted by Floyd A. Davis, former president of Regular Baptist Church builders, and the message was by Rustic Hills first pastor, F. Wesley Clem.

Pastor Vernon Harrah resigned January 13, 1968, due to a heart attack. Pastor Harvey Seidel was called to be interim pastor.

In the business meeting of the Pulpit Committee on March 7, 1968, recommendation was made to extend a call to Pastor Herbert Farrar, who served until
December 21, 1969.

Pasto Kenneth Mitchell was called from semi-retirement to be interim pastor, beginning April 26, 1970, until July of 1970.

Pastor Leslie Newell accepted the call from Rustic Hills Baptist Church, and arrived for service August 30, 1970.

Pastor J. Ronald Burnet was called to be pastor and accepted the call on July 8, 1973. He served the church faithfully until August 23, 1992, a period of nineteen years. On October 4, 1992, Rustic Hills Baptist Church extended a call to Pastor Stan Lightfoot to become the 6th pastor of the church. Pastor Lightfoot assumed the pastorate on January 1, 1993.