Burlington Baptist Church is a historic church in the heart of Burlington. It has become an icon of the town with its rich history and service to the community. It began on November 4, 1842, when 16 people gathered in Squire Scott’s home for prayer and praise to God and plan to organize a Baptist church. Reverend Robert Kirtley served as moderator, and Squire Scott served as clerk. They asked and received the approval of Bullittsburg and Middle Creek Baptist churches. These were the only established Baptist churches in the area and several members from these churches would be coming into the new church. On Tuesday, December 13, 1842, the Baptist Church of Christ at Burlington, Kentucky was formally constituted with 20 members present. The Articles of Faith and the Church Covenant from the Philadelphia Confession of Faith were adopted.
Things were not easy for these faithful Christians. As we read the minutes of the early days, we find there were many problems. They met and conquered these problems one by one so that the church grew steadily until it has become the organization we have today with about 850 members and two main services. God’s promise: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) God has kept His promise to the faithful members and pastors that have served Him in this church.
Charter members: Randall Latimer, Squire G. Scott, G.H. Scott, Perryander C. Scott, Benjamin Cave, Willis Wilkes, Lucy Wilkes, Sarah Ann Webb, Nancy Latimer, Felicia Garnett, Harriet Scott, Margaret Scott, Mary E. Scott, Agnes Scott, Clarissa Hamilton, Catherine Karrick, Elizabeth A. Randall, Maria Armstrong, Lucinda Bershire, and John M. Garnett.
In January 1843, member donations purchased land, and construction of a substantial brick house was built to be used as a place of worship.
In May 1844, the new building was dedicated and the total cost for construction was $1,939.84. In October 1879, Sunday school was organized and began for the first time. In September 1880, the church reported for the year one baptism, one death, and 61 members.
In September 1883, the church reported for the year 36 baptisms, 12 new members by letter, and 100 members. Sunday school records show 9 teachers with 60 people enrolled and an average attendance of 40. The original building was destroyed by fire and on December 21, 1892, a new church building was dedicated.
In September 1922, committees were formed to solicit funds and submit a plan to dig and equip a basement for Sunday school rooms under the church building.
In June 1925, prayer meetings is officially changed from Saturday night to Wednesday night. In August 1928, a revival is held and there are 16 professions of faith, those new members were baptized in Woolper Creek.
In 1932, Sunday school enrollment grew significantly from 150 enrolled to 255 enrolled because of the church’s new bus project. In December 1942, the church held its 100th-anniversary service.
In 1951, the church undergoes a remodel and addition, during this time all evening services are held at the neighboring Methodist church, and all other services are held at Burlington Elementary. In 1959, the new education building is dedicated. This building has 31 Sunday school rooms, a kitchen, a dining room, and a recreation area.
On March 11, 1979, the congregation enters the new sanctuary for morning worship. 469 people are present for Sunday school and 550+ are on hand for worship service. In December 1991, the dedication of the new children’s building for nursery through grade 6 was held.
October 24, 1994, the dedication of the activities center was held. During this service, a time capsule of the 150th anniversary of the church was placed on the wall of the new building. The time capsule is planned to be opened in 2017.
In April 1999, a second-morning service is added to accommodate the growth of the church.
In March 2000, Saving Grace Food Pantry was opened to serve the community.
In the spring of 2004, the main sanctuary undergoes remodeling with new carpet, pew coverings, and new lights.
In 2012, the new atrium including the starting point and the connections café was constructed and members began using it as a comfortable place to socialize and enjoy breakfast items.
In January of 2018, the main sanctuary was remodeled with new paint, carpet, lights, and blinds. The stage was extended. The pews were removed and replaced with chairs.
In March of 2020, the church was shut down for in-person services due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. From Mid-March to August of 2020 the church worked hard to provide online services and bible studies so people could stay connected. During this time the church expanded its technology to begin live-streaming services on Sunday mornings. In September of 2020 in-person services resumed with 25% capacity, wearing of face masks and social distance seating. With the passing of each month, the allowed capacity increased and by February of 2021, a vaccine made it possible to be at 50% capacity with continued social distancing.
Presently, the church has two-weekend services (Sunday 8:30 am & 10:45 am) with many bible study groups available at 9:30 am. The Children’s (Kidz Rock 7-8 pm) and Youth programs (6:30 pm) occur on Wednesday evenings along with many Connection Groups throughout the week on and off campus.