First Baptist Springfield has a long history here in the Willamette Valley. Started just as the American Civil War was ending in 1865, the church first began meeting in the Bogart School House. Elder JC Richardson preached to five persons (three women and two men), and they formed the first congregation known as “The First Baptist Church of McKenzie’s Ford.”
In 1871 a new church house was built — the first in Springfield. Located at Second and “C” Streets, the building was completed for $1,623.00. The church name was changed to First Baptist Church, Springfield at this time.
As the congregation continued to grow, a new location was sought to allow for expansion. Property was purchased at 12th and “G”, and the church building (our current fellowship center) was completed in 1958. The first service was held on Easter Sunday. The current Sanctuary building was built in 1968. Offices, Sunday School classrooms and a parking lot were all added at that time.
The original church bell, which was founded in 1882, has announced the hour of Sunday morning worship at both the “C” Street and “G” Street sites. Formerly located in a bell tower on the “G” Street campus, the bell was relocated to its present sight above the worship center in January 2013.
A new era in church life began with the calling of Jeff Savage as pastor in 1988. Under Jeff’s leadership, the congregation has been growing from the inside out. Centered around spiritual growth, First Baptist calls people to mature in faith and reach out in Christ. The summary words of our mission statement describe the heart and passion of this community of faith: “Growing Together, Reaching Out, Training Leaders.”
The FBCS logo represents our vision of life together. This “signature” of the First Baptist Church of Springfield speaks of who we are, gives shape to our shared life, and answers the question: How do we love God wholly and love our neighbor?
In the center circle, the cross of Christ is prominently displayed. This arrangement, which echoes the motif of the American Baptist Churches USA symbol, emphasizes the Christ-centered nature of this community of disciples. As friends and followers of Jesus Christ, we proclaim that it is Christ who calls us into being and Christ who holds us together. Our life together – all that we are and everything we do – revolves around Jesus, our Savior and Lord.
The outer ring portrays the way we carry out the loving, life-giving, disciple-making mission of First Baptist Church.
Growing Together underscores our commitment to love each other by nurturing spiritual growth through the mutual practice of such lifestyle choices as worship, prayer, study, service and partnership.
Reaching Out highlights our dedication to sharing the love of God, the light of Christ, and the life of the Spirit with our neighbors; serving them and loving them into full participation in The Way of Christ and His Church.
Training Leaders draws our attention to the fact that our mission does not end with growing and reaching. Ultimately, the love we share is about training spiritual leaders who are devoted to a life of growing together, reaching out and training leaders who in turn grow, reach and train… and so it goes as the outer ring revolves around the center.
We have in this logo an excellent portrayal of our mission and an effective tool for conveying to others who we are, how we love, AND how Christ would have all people live life together. This said and understood… let’s let folks see how we love and welcome all people into The Way of Christ’s abundant life!
PASTOR JEFF SAVAGE
Jeff Savage has been the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Springfield since 1988. The focus of his ministry throughout has been growing the church into a community of healthy, committed, Christ-following spiritual leaders.
Prior to being called to Springfield, Jeff served on the ministry teams of the First Baptist Churches of Santa Barbara, CA; Coatesville, PA; Phoenix, AZ; and San Diego, CA. Jeff was ordained in 1983 and has been an American Baptist since his teens.
A graduate of Westmont College and the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Jeff completed his Doctor of Ministry degree through Fuller Seminary in 2001. In June of 2016, Jeff received certification in spiritual direction following the completion of two years of training through the Franciscan Spiritual Center in Milwaukie, Oregon.
Jeff is blessed to share life with his wife, Janet, who is a Certified Music Practitioner, gifted leader, and partner in the founding and development of their Riverview Retreat at Vida (sacredspacevida.com). He is also a proud Dad and Pop Pop — just ask him about his four grandchildren! Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, tending garden, photography, reading, fishing, camping, and watching the sunrise.