Goodrich church celebrates 107th anniversary
Goodrich Community Church celebrated 107 years of ministry on August 16 with nearly 50 people attendingthe celebration. Former member Jon Macik of Medford completed repainting of the 83-year-old building just before the celebration.
Following a catered dinner, a service highlighting the church’s history was reviewed with many of the attendees sharing events and blessings from times past.
For the first 24 years, church services were held in homes comprised primarily of Czech descent immigrants with most services held in that language. For many years the church sponsored radio broadcasts on WIGM in the Czech language. Mrs. David Ellernan, wife of a former pastor, recalled listening to some of the elder Czech ladies on their knees on the hardwood floor of the church praying in the Czech language. She felt a real kinship in the experience, although she did know what they were saying. The church eventually adopted the English language of their new homeland.
It was especially noted that Goodrich Baptist Church was previously involved back in the 1940s and 1950s with many outlying mission services in Medford, Arnold, Westboro and Phillips. Several lay pastors held meetings in all those communities with Goodrich being the center. While some of those mission stations later faltered, First Baptist Church in Medford came into existence and remains due to Goodrich church’s planting that church in years past.
One 98-year-old former member, Mary Buch, shared her story via video recording. She told of her public baptism in Rib River when she was a teenager, along with several others. Several cars stopped to witness the river baptism. Mary’s younger sister, Rose Mikulencak, had told Buch of earlier days when Mikulencak used her feet to mix the cement during the church building project which was completed in 1937. In her young adulthood, Mikulencak was the first one to be married in that building.
In recent years, the church has been particularly mission- minded in increasing their support for missions/ missionaries around the world, including some 20 outreach ministries. Well over 50 percent of the church’s budget goes toward supporting these varied missions/ missionaries, both locally and world-wide.
With several new families with children recently attending services, the church again has a Sunday school class for children 4 years old and up. Others are certainly welcome. Many of the newer families who attended the anniversary celebration were amazed and rejoiced with older members over all that God had done in the 107-year history of the church. All indicated their enthusiasm for the renewed bright future of the Goodrich Community Church in the years to come.