Our History

The present property at the corner of North Avenue and Taylor Drive was purchased by the Arizona Baptist Convention from Mrs. Margaret Carmichael for $10.00 on August 9, 1957, anticipating the beginning of a Conservative Baptist church in Sierra Vista.

     In June 1958, a group of believers met in a private home for Bible study and prayer. They began holding church services in the home and meeting at Carmichael Elementary School on Sunday evenings.  In September 1958, a meeting was held to organize a Conservative Baptist Church in SV. The church was to be a mission church of the Conservative Baptist churches in Benson, Bisbee, and Douglas. The new church agreed to associate with the Coronado Association, Arizona Baptist Convention, Conservative Baptist Association of America, Conservative Baptist Foreign Missionary Society, and the Conservative Baptist Home Mission Society.

The official name of the local church would be Sierra Vista Conservative Baptist Church.

      The County Recorder recorded the Articles of Incorporation on October 20, 1958, and the local church was now an official Conservative Baptist Church in Arizona. There were 14 charter members.

     A trustee board of 5 was selected, and Rev. Earl Peden was selected as the first pastor, but the Army transferred him, and Chaplain Ross Wright agreed to be the interim pastor until a full-time pastor was hired. 

     By 1960 the first deaconesses were elected, a vacation Bible school was held, a Women’s Missionary Society was formed, there was a White Cross chairman, and a Christian Education Committee was chosen.

     Mr. John Shaver became the first pastor in December 1958. He was ordained by the local church in March 1959.  Because of failing health, he resigned as pastor in September 1961. In April 1959, the Church was notified that the Carmichael School would not be available to hold religious services after September.  Plans were soon made to construct a build on the North Avenue property. A large tent was erected on the property for services until the building was completed. The church obtained a loan from the Arizona Baptist Convention to fund the building. The local congregation had to sell $12,000 worth of bonds.  A parsonage was purchased on Sherbundy Street.  It was later decided to sell that parsonage, and in 1962 a home was purchased on the corner of Langan Avenue and Tacoma Street. In the first year (1958-59), the congregation had 28 new members.

    From the very beginning, the congregation desired to be a mission-minded church. In June 1959, 6 missionaries were selected to begin receiving monthly contributions. The church honored a missionary family at Christmas through the years and held annual Missionary Conferences.

A new building was erected with a full basement and kitchen during 1965-66.

     In 1966, the church became one of the four local Conservative Baptist Churches (Bisbee, Douglas, Safford, and Sierra Vista) to organize Huachuca Oaks Baptist Camp on South Highway 92.

Since the church was incorporated in 1958, many building improvements, changes, and ministries have happened.

Among them:

A lighted steeple and cross were added

A concrete slab was installed for outside activities/Awana

A bus/van ministry

A ministry to two deaf families

The first Korean congregation in Sierra Vista, with its own pastor(s), was begun and continued for several years.

Vacation Bible schools were held for many years.

An AWANA program was begun in 1984 and has continued since (with a few years off). One year, Awana entered a float in the city Christmas parade in cooperation with First Baptist, Bisbee.

There was a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) program for several years.

A plurality of elders was established in 1999 to replace the deacon-led governance and continues to the present.

An Evangelism Explosion training program was practiced for several years.

Home Care Groups were held at various times.

In 2000, Veritas Christian School began using our facilities and continued for 21 years.

We have had 12 full-time pastors, two interim pastors, two youth pastors, two outreach pastors, and one paid worship leader.