Gallup Hill Baptist Church
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Together We can Know Christ, Grow in Christ and Show Christ
In 1966, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Groton, Connecticut, felt that it was God's will to sponsor a new Southern Baptist Church project in Ledyard, CT. They were deeply concerned for the spiritual needs of the "Highlands" community in Ledyard. An initial written request by Pleasant Valley to rent the Cider Hill School (now the Gallup Hill Elementary School) for the purpose of establishing a mission was turned down by the Ledyard Board of Education. A short time later, Pastor Jim Schneider personally appeared before the Board and permission was granted. He conducted the organizational service of the Ledyard Baptist Chapel on November 13, 1966, in the Cider Hill School.
Mr. Warren Brewer, a layman in the Navy, became the first pastor of the Ledyard Baptist Chapel. He conducted the first Sunday service on November 20, 1966, with 21 people attending. He served as pastor until he was transferred to a new Navy assignment. Pastor Schneider then conducted the services during the normal Sunday School time and continued to lead worship at Pleasant Valley as well.
In September, 1968, Dan Sheffield, was sent to the Ledyard area by the Home Mission Board to serve as pastor. His ministry was divided between Ledyard and the inner city of New London. When Dan Sheffield's two years of service were completed, the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church voted to call Pastor George E. Head, of Smithville, Arkansas, to serve as the first full-time pastor of the Chapel in September 1970.
The church was officially constituted as the Gallup Hill Baptist Church in January 1972 with 45 charter members. Nine acres of land were purchased and a parsonage was built. The basement of the parsonage was used for several years as the primary meeting place for smaller worship services, Bible study, prayer meetings, and social events. The Gallup Hill School continued to be used for morning worship.
In May,1980, a ground-breaking service was conducted and construction began on a church building. Through the help of volunteer construction teams, mostly from the Southern Baptist Home Mission Board, the present building was occupied March 1, 1981, after a total of 15 years of meeting in the Gallup Hill School.
It is amazing how our Lord continues to bestow blessings on His house and His people and we can only imagine what lies ahead in His master plan.
On August 26, 2001, we celebrated a very special day for our church as we broke ground on the next chapter of the history of GHBC. A new addition to the building, a multi-purpose center was completed at the end of April. We held a Building Dedication Ceremony on May 4, 2003, with the Rev. Jack Schneider as the guest speaker. In July of 2003, we sponsored a new program, the Upward Basketball Sports Camp then went on to run the Upward Basketball Winter leagues for children in grades 1st-12th grades.