It all began with one faithful woman that had a love for the Lord. In the late 1800's, Grandma Healy, recognizing the need for Christian training for her large family and for other families in the area, began holding Sunday School in Lott's log schoolhouse.
In those days the little town of Lott consisted of the school, a butcher/meat packer and a few homes. Today, there are more homes, but the only remnants of the town are the marina and Lott Baptist Church!
By 1903 the little congregation had grown. John Healy generously deeded property to the Michigan Baptist Convention. The small congregation now had a place to build a church. That new building was 26 feet wide by 40 feet long and 26 feet high at the peak. A few years later a belfry was added, housing a bell that rang on Sundays, reminding everyone that there were services that day.
That building is the same building we worshiped in until we outgrew it in 2012! There have been some changes over the years with a basement added in 1946. That housed classrooms, a kitchen and new bathroom. In 1979, an 18 feet by 26 feet Entry/Bathroom/Pastor's Study was added to the front of the church with a full basement under it and a bathroom upstairs.
In 1982, a school "relocatable classroom unit" was purchased and added to the back of the church. It was then the Pastor's Study was move to that unit and the area in the front of the church, which had served as Pastor's Study was converted into a nursery. The "relocatable" now houses a class/meeting room, Pastor's study, the Church Office and the Library.
One of the first pastors remembered was Rev. William Byler, a circuit pastor who would preach at the Lott Church as well as many other area churches. Later, in 1939, Rev. Earl Redman was called to a full-time pastorate at the Lott Baptist Church. Through God's rich blessings, the church continued to see much growth during those early years.
By 1946, with the war over and men back home with their families and loved ones, the church was able to set in motion plans for expansion that had been put on hold due to the war. A basement was put under the church using an old Ford tractor and a lot of manpower. This doubled the available space for classes and activities. The church was able to purchase the Lott School property and in 1953 built a small parsonage.
Through God's grace the church abounded. At one time the belfry housed a color wheel that continually changed colors giving testimony of a church that loved the Lord and the community it served. In 1972, with the purchase of a bus, the church was able to begin an outreach ministry. A library was added to aid in spiritual growth, of the people, which is now located in the "relocatable." With the dedication of God-led pastors and faithful Christian brothers and sisters, Lott Baptist Church continued to minister to a world-weary and needful community.
God's faithfulness to His church is ever seen. In the 80's, LBC began an outreach to community children called Adventure Club. Faith Promises are kept, supporting missionaries.
In the late 90's plans to build a Fellowship Hall with basketball court, kitchen and multipurpose furnishings began to percolate. That building was built with the help of several grants, started in 2005 and dedicated at an "open house" in June of 2007.
The "Fellowship Hall," as it is now known, is 60 feet by 105 feet and houses a full basket ball court, nice large kitchen, two class/meeting rooms, large bathrooms and several large storage areas used for the food pantry. That is the building currently being used for roller skating evenings; and for the months since we out grew the Worship Auditorium, and for Morning Services. It also houses the LBC Food Pantry.
In 2009 plans were firmed up to get a new parsonage and a prebuilt (or Modular) home was purchased. A basement was put in and the home set atop it in 2009. This allowed us to tear the old parsonage and garage down and turn that spot into much needed parking area. In 2010 a new, two story garage was built with lots of storage area on the second floor under the 12/12 pitched roof. In 2012 we got terraces built behind the parsonage and a reasonable start at a lawn.
The congregation has become consistently too large for the auditorium in the old church building! Many prefer to meet in the old church and it holds a certain nostalgia for all, but we are praising the Lord, services as so well attended as to require the basketball court to hold the services! Even though the group is growing we retain the small church, friendly, family feel.
Over the years God has placed men, according to His heart, to lead His church in knowledge and understanding. Such names as Pastors Wanner, Johnson, Fehler, Herriman, Anderson, Van Zee, Manning, and now Ash, have blessed the congregation with strong Bible teaching and preaching.
In 2004, LBC celebrated its 105th birthday with a homecoming celebration featuring evangelistic services and a dinner. It was a joyous occasion and everyone had a great time.
Dr. Elmer Ash and Melanie were led here of the Lord in November of
2011. Under Pastor Ash's Spirit led, servant leadership the congregation has experienced good gains in numbers and
spiritual growth. We are looking forward to even greater things as the Lord continues to lead.
In faithfulness and love, guided by His Light and anchored in His Word, the work continues, reaching out to a world in need of the message of a Savior who answers all of life's worst problems. We know that He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords; and no matter what life may throw at us, He has the answers and the peace for us to thrive in a world of chaos, sin and wrong. Come join us as we share that message! A church alive, is worth the drive!
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