The History of Woodcrest Baptist Church

“Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” Psalms 127:1

With the encouragement and support of Pastor R.V. Clearwaters and the Fourth Baptist Church, on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1956, four families met at the Woodcrest School House in the Village of Fridley, Minnesota, to organize the Woodcrest Baptist Fellowship. The first meetings of the Woodcrest Baptist Fellowship were held under the leadership of Arnold Kohler.

On January 27, 1957, it was decided to organize as a Baptist Church. Principle officers were elected and a Constitution was drawn up on February 10, 1957. On March 17, 1957, Pastor Sylvan Lange accepted the call to become the pastor of Woodcrest Baptist Church.

On April 12, 1957, the first Annual Business Meeting took place and the main order of business was the discussion of purchasing property on Osborne Road in Fridley. A building was constructed on this property and the first service was held on March 2, 1958. Pastor Lange resigned on January 14, 1959 and subsequently, a call was extended to Dr. Ernest Pickering and he accepted the call, effective June 1, 1959. The Osborne property was sold to the Fridley Assembly of God Church on August 21, 1963, and the congregation met temporarily at the Riverwood Elementary School.

Property at University Avenue and 69th became available and was purchased. On October 25, 1964, the new building was occupied for services, and a Dedication Service was held on November 29, 1964.

On August 4, 1965 Dr. Pickering tendered his resignation for the second time as pastor, and on February 6, 1966, John Bellshaw became the pastor, resigning on January 17, 1970.

On May 10, 1970, Clarke Poorman was called to the pastorate, and his first service as pastor was July 22, 1970. In 1973, Woodcrest Christian School began with 31 students. The name was later changed to Woodcrest Baptist Academy, and it continues today with grades K4 through 12th.

The following years saw two building programs accomplished. November 23, 1975 saw the Dedication of the Educational wing. The 1984 construction saw the completion of the Gymnasium and multi-purpose building. This building has a Prophets Chamber and many missionaries and evangelists have been housed there.

Over one million dollars for missions has been given through the Faith Promise method of missionary monies since the program began in November, 1976.

On January 16, 2002, after 32 years, Pastor Clarke Poorman announced his resignation to be effective July 14, 2002.

Mark Poorman, who had served as Assistant Pastor for 17 years at Woodcrest Baptist, was called to be pastor and he accepted the call on March 20, 2002, effective July, 2002.

A Jubilee year for the existence of WBC was celebrated in 2007, and 2014 saw the 50th year of the construction and use of the present building.

Woodcrest Baptist Church is an independent, premillenial, fundamental church where Christ is King!