Yelm First Baptist Church Celebrating 50 Years in September

Congregation Offers Food Pantry to Serve Community

By Jacob Dimond / jake@yelmonline.com
Posted 8/11/22

The First Baptist Church of Yelm is set to celebrate 50 years of service in the Yelm Community with a Sunday service on Sept. 11, which is open to the public.

Following the service, there will be …

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Yelm First Baptist Church Celebrating 50 Years in September

Congregation Offers Food Pantry to Serve Community

Posted

The First Baptist Church of Yelm is set to celebrate 50 years of service in the Yelm Community with a Sunday service on Sept. 11, which is open to the public.

Following the service, there will be a potluck gathering for members of the church past or present to join.

Nisqually Valley News had the chance to interview First Baptist Church of Yelm Pastor Mike Wolfe on Monday, Aug. 8, leading up to the event. During the interview, Pastor Wolfe spoke on the history of the church.

In May 1970, the First Baptist Church of Yelm opened its doors to the public. The congregation met in the Seventh Day Adventist Building in Yelm with Omer Hyde serving as pastor. Then, in 1971, Peris G. Woodruff became pastor, before C.O. Creel took over in March 1972.

Under Creel, the church completed the sanctuary building and began to help create more churches in the area. In August 1979, the church helped start the West Olympia Baptist Chapel, which later became McKenzie Road Baptist Church.

In October 1981, Don Kimbrough became the pastor of the church and saw several historic events under his leadership. In May 1988, arson destroyed the church and four other buildings in Yelm. Eventually, the church was rebuilt better than before.

In December 1989, Norman Berry became the pastor of the church. Construction of the fellowship hall was completed in August 1991. Berry’s tenure as pastor concluded in 1996 when Robert Lowe took over as pastor.

Lowe and the congregation helped create several more churches throughout the area in the early 2000s, including the Sound Life Church in DuPont and the High Pointe Church in Puyallup. In 2012, the First Baptist Church of Yelm also launched the Ignite Church, which shared workspace with the first Baptist until 2014.



From 2012 to 2016, members and pastors of the First Baptist Church of Yelm made four “short term” mission trips to northern Thailand. On the trips, members of the church helped “evangelize” the Mien people of northern Thailand.

Wolfe became the pastor in 2018. He was a part of the leadership that sparked the idea of a “food pantry ministry.” Eventually, this idea came to fruition in 2021. The First Baptist Church of Yelm offers its food pantry each Monday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Guests enter and give their name and family size to a volunteer who will assign them a number. They wait in a seating area until their number is called, then they head to the back and pick what they want to eat. After they’ve received their first round of groceries, they’ll have the chance to shop for items that require refrigeration. Eventually, customers will be helped to their car where they conclude their trip in the food pantry.

The church accepts donations and someone is typically available at the church to receive them  Monday through Thursday.

“We’re Christians and we just want to share the light and the love of Jesus Christ with the community,” Wolfe said. “We want to be that church that pours their support into the community. My thoughts are if the church were to close tomorrow and you weren’t missed, then we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing.”

Wolfe added that it is a privilege to be able to serve the community in this capacity.

Yelm First Baptist Church is located at 602 103rd Ave. S.E. in Yelm. The phone number is 360-458-5767.

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