RPPC Bowers 6536 First Baptist Church
Image by Thiophene_Guy
Bowers 6536 First Babtist (Baptist) Church, Atchison, KS.
Real photo postcard. Read the reverse.
List of landmarks found at the Atchison History project.
Sheffield Ingalls 1916 book History of Atchison County, Kansas (public domain) has this entry about the church (p 251):
The First Baptist Church of Atchison was organized in 1858, in Allen’s
Hall, on the northwest corner of Second and Commercial streets. At the
time of the organization there were but nine members, of whom three are
still living and members of the church, though non-resident: Mrs. L. A.
Alderson, Mrs. Aaron Stephenson and Mrs. Mary A. Challiss. Dr. W. L.
Challiss was soon added to the membership. The lots on the corner of Ninth
street and Kansas avenue were donated by Luther C. Challiss, and a house
of worship was erected upon it, and this location has been the home of the
church ever since.
Rev. L. A. Alderson was the first pastor of the church, and he served
faithfully three years without salary. Then followed Rev. Dr. Perkins from
New Jersey, and Rev. Frank Remington.
Just at this time the troubles of the war came on and very little could
be accomplished. Rev. J. W. Warder became pastor in 1866 and the church
grew strong under his ministry. Rev. H. A. Guild successfully sened the
church for a time in 1868. Rev. J. Sawyer accepted the pastorate, and then
Rev. E. Gunn.
Rev. J. W. Luke was pastor directly before Rev. Mulford. He bap-
tized some of our best workers and did excellent and permanent work for
The twenty-fifth anniversary was fittingly celebrated at the home of
Mrs. John M. Price, and a silver offering was received toward a new build-
ing which came soon after, under the pastorate of Rev. J. B. Mulford, who
was called to his reward from here.
Rev. D. D. Proper followed and Rev. E. P. Brand and Rev. G. W.
Rogers, all of whom served the church under great difficulties. There was
a heavy debt left upon the new building, which was drawing a high rate of
interest, and the constant calls for money which was paid with apparently no
returns, discouraged the membership. Still, the pastors resolutely worked
at the great task. Rev. G. W. Rogers undertook to raise ,000 of the
mortgage, and B. P. Waggener, who had always been a generous contribu-
tor, gave ,000, and made a liberal loan besides. Not long after Rev. Rog-
ers was called to another field, and again the church had a pastorless period,
but greatly enjoyed the ministrations of the late Dr. Murphy. Rev. J. R.
Comer was called to the pastorate June i, 1895, and faithfully served the
church twelve years. Much of the money pledged during Dr. Rogers’ pas-
torate was paid in or collected while Rev. J. R. Comer was pastor. Then
the remaining ,500 mortgage and all other debts were bravely taken up
and paid, and the church celebrated its victoiy in burning the mortgage and
a general rejoicing, and also a firm determination never to g’o deeply in debt
During the present pastorate of more than eight years the church has
strictly followed this rule, but this has not prevented some large purchases.
In 1909 the church purchased and placed a new pipe organ at a cost of ,500,
and two years later purchased the property adjoining the church on the
west for the accommodation of the growing Sunday school. This was done
at a cost of ,500 for property and furniture, and the money was raised at
a Sunday moraing service. It is in the minds of many of the members of
the church that in the near future there must be a new church building, and
to that end over ,000 has lieen accumulated and is being held for the time
when the membership of the chiuxh shall be ready to erect a structure that
shall be worthy of the city and an honor to God.
The work of the church has grown and developed and every depart-
ment has accepted a larger share in work, local and world-wide. Last year
the church contributed over ,200 for missionary and benevolent work, be-
sides some gifts which did not pass through the church treasury.
The church stands for a strong and helpful and constructive religious
work, and a faithful adherence to the teachings of the Bible, and a loyalty
to the Lordship of Christ. The present pastor is Rev. A. J. Haggett, who
has served his congregation long and well.