“I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all Your works and consider what Your hands have done.” (Ps. 143:5)
History is the accounting of what has happened in the life of a people; the recording of the past events that contributed to the making of that people. When reflecting on the 35-year history of Keystone Baptist Church, we can see how God has gathered people, permitted events, instilled visions, all to create a church for His glory.
So where does the history of Keystone Baptist Church begin? It began in the fall of 1959 when a 27-year-ole minister, Rev. Lloyd C. Lindo and his young wife, Millicent, came to Chicago with a charge and a vision. Representing the then Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society, they had been charged with establishing an evangelical church in the East Garfield Park area. Their vision was to bring spiritual freedom and healing through the ministry of the Word to those living in the community.
Through much work, planning, and prayer, the Monroe Baptist Church was organized on June 30, 1960 with 13 members. The course of God’s plan for this small flock would, however, be filled with much journeying and trials before they reached their final destination. In October of 1960 the church building where the small congregation met was sold. The growing fellowship had no place to meet; but God used the difficulty. During November of 1960, the congregation met in the homes of two of the members, Mrs. Mary Hunt, and Mrs. Velma Mays. During this month, Mr. Hunt professed a faith in Jesus Christ.
In December of 1960 the church rented and renovated a small warehouse at 316 S. Spaulding. After eighteen months, in the summer of 1962 the warehouse was sold. The flock was forced to move again. God used the difficulty and drew them closer to one another. For a time, the congregation met in the five room apartment of Pastor and Mrs. Lindo at 3310 W. Monroe. When a basement apartment at this address became available, it was rented and became the church’s home for the next two years.
In August of 1964, with funds from the Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society, the facility at 4035 W. Maypole was purchased. The first worship services were held Sunday September 6, 1964. The Monroe Baptist Church became the Keystone Baptist Church. Here the flock would flourish and minister to the glory of God.
The history of Keystone Baptist Church has been filled with change and periods of growth. People have come and gone; God has been the only constant. In October of 1997, after thirty-three years of tending God’s flock, Pastor and Mrs. Lindo retired from ministry at Keystone Baptist Church. We thank God for their many years of faithful, loving service. We thank God also for continuing to meet our every need. He has once again sent to us a young optimistic minister and his wife to tend His sheep. Accepting the call of God upon their lives, Rev. Evan C. Hines, along with his lovely wife Erica and their two children moved from New York to Chicago to join with us in ministry at Keystone. On September 12, 1999, Rev. Hines was installed as the new pastor of Keystone Baptist Church. We praise God for Pastor Hines and the vision that God has entrusted unto Him. After serving seven years, Rev. & Mrs. Hines resigned from Keystone to return to his former church in February, 2006.
In December 4, 2006, Rev. Tommy L. Moore Sr. and his lovely wife, Darlene joined with us to minister to God’s flock. We praise God for His divine care of his sheep. God is still working in and around us. Because of this, we will remember and look to the future with joy as God continues to write the history of Keystone Baptist Church.
In 2009 Rev. Moore left us and our church was left without a pastor and so our pulpit search committee was formed and the members met consistently in prayer and fasting until the Lord saw it fit to bring a pastor. From 2009 to 2014 the Lord sent us Interim Pastors by the names of Reverends Darwin Rodgers and Ernest Gray. Throughout these years both of our interim pastors rightly divided the word, broke it and delivered it faithfully to the congregation. We stayed afloat through these years by the grace of God.
In October 2014 after 5 years of waiting on the Lord and searching, God reassured us of his faithful to “give us a pastor according to His heart, which shall feed His people with knowledge and understanding in the permanent installation of Rev. Ernest Gray as our Senior Pastor. Two years on and the church still experiencing the goodness of God as Rev. Gray faithfully preaches the word of God, leads the deacons and deaconesses, cares greatly for the needs of God’s people as we seek to live in harmony, rooted and built up, and grow in Christ.
We thank God for those faithful, steadfast few who in 1964 with the Lord’s guidance and grace laid the groundwork for what we now enjoy.
|Betty Alexander-Lofton||Mary Hunt|
|Bertha Bell||Lloyd C. Lindo|
|Grace Belton||Millicent Lindo|
|Lula Carter||Velma Mays|
|Montrovell Ellis||Emma Martin|
|Mabel Holloway||Ernest McShan Sr.|
|Johnny Holloway||Maxine McShan|
|Charles Houston||Dan Page|
|Mabel Houston||Mildred Page|