First schoolhouse and organization of FBCS, 1896 to 1912 (continued)
Scott, the inspirational founder of First Baptist Church
On October 17, 1910, Scott's doctors at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, removed a strangulated hernia during emergency surgery. After the surgery, Chaplain Scott knew he was dying and wrote a special testament to the people of Scottsdale, which ended with this call to Christian service:
"I leave to you my work in Scottsdale. I had planned to do much this winter with you, but God has called me. If you take this work and do it, and enlarge it as God gives you the strength, you will receive my blessings and His."
1912 - Organization of First Baptist Church
It was in this red brick school building on June 12, 1912, that the 14 charter members of First Baptist Church held the organizational meeting.
In 1912, Baptists of the community, recalling Scott's dying charge, felt the need of a church organization. On June 8 of that year, fourteen of them met in the Vanderhoof home to consider what could be done about it. Vanderhoof was at that time a Methodist. Present on this occasion were T. F. McCourtney, State Executive Secretary of the Arizona Baptist Convention, J. Harvey Deere, pastor of the Phoenix Baptist church, with his wife, W. B. Getsinger, a deacon of the Phoenix church, Mr. and Mrs. William Wilbur, Mr. and Mrs. Limon Trumbull, and Mr. and Mrs. Hans Weaver. The meeting having been called to order, a motion was made by Mr. Wilbur and seconded by Mr. Weaver that they arrange a program for the organization of a Baptist church in Scottsdale, the procedure to be completed at the school house on the following Sunday.
On June 12, which was the following Sunday, a group made up of Baptists from Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Tempe met, according to plan, and perfected the organization. Hans Weaver was made treasurer and Hattie Weaver church clerk. R. L. Creel, pastor of the Tempe church and W. B. Getsinger volunteered to supply the pulpit each Sunday afternoon till a pastor could be provided. The following signed as charter members:
Mr. and Mrs. William Wilbur
Mr. and Mrs. Limon Trumbull
Mr. and Mrs. Hans Weaver
Mrs. Hattie Weaver Peterson
Mrs. E. O. (Mary Jane) Brown
Mrs. Ruth Brown Zimmerman
Mrs. Sarah Thomas
Mrs. Grace Thomas Crews
First Baptist Church services continued to be held in the school house, later known as the Coronado school, on East Main Street in Scottsdale. Before long, Limon T. Trumbell was chosen pastor, but he died shortly thereafter. William Wilbur succeeded him.
Rev. Liman T. Trumbull, first pastor of FBCS in a photo taken in 1911. In the writing below the photo, his name is misspelled "Trumble."
Rev. William J. Gordon, who became the 11th Pastor of FBCS. This photo was taken in 1950.
Before Trumbell's death, however, William J. Gordon,
a Colporteur missionary who had been transferred from New Mexico to Arizona conducted the first evangelistic meeting for the Scottsdale group. He was entertained in the Vanderhoof home, and on the last night of the meetings, V. A. Vanderhoof presented himself as a candidate for membership. The following Easter Sunday the first baptismal services for the new church group were held. Those baptized were Verner A. Vanderhoof, his wife Jane, their daughter May, and a man named Whitney.
The baptism took place in an irrigation ditch located at the corner of Scottsdale and Indian School Roads, near the 2003 site of Bank One. This location continued to be used for baptismal purposes for many years. The gate could be raised to let in water and closed at the corner and thus regulated to suit the purpose of baptism.
From its beginning the church was a member of the Arizona Baptist Convention. It was served by pastors Bridges and Sweat, then by R. P. Pope, Colporteur missionary under the auspices of the American Baptist Publication Society. When Rev. Pope accepted the call to the pastorate, he was instrumental in getting V. A. Vanderhoof appointed Colporteur missionary in his place, a position Mr. Vanderhoof held for many years.
This 1920 photo of the original irrigation baptismal shows Rev. V.A. Vanderhoof, 9th Pastor, baptizing Fred Mathis, who became the 13th Pastor of FBCS.
Mr. Pope was succeeded as pastor by Mr. Holland, another Colporteur missionary, and he by Mr. Smith. Then Mr. Pope was recalled and again served, for a short time, as pastor.