By LIZ VERLEY
The Swanville Bible Church is 120 years old this year and invites the community and surrounding area, former members, pastors and friends to an open house Sunday, Nov. 20, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The church still stands at the corner of Third Street and Berkey in Swanville. Organized with 10 members, the church building was erected in 1892. The original church still remains as a portion of the existing building.
In the beginning, the Church was called the Congregational Church of Swanville. In 1963, the name was changed to Swanville Bible Church.
According to the church history, “Dr. Frank Locke, a physician as well as a minister, was an early pioneer missionary. He traveled around the country visiting the sick, delivering babies and evangelizing. He organized and pastored both the Swanville and Burtrum churches and also started a Congregational church in Pillsbury. Swanville and Burtrum continued to share pastors until the 1950s.”
The Swanville Bible Church is now served by Pastor David Packo.
While there is room for growth in any church, the Swanville Bible Church has been able to maintain its membership. It still offers religion release time to elementary students Wednesdays.
Looking forward to the upcoming open house, long- time church member Mary Swisher said, “We celebrated our centennial 20 years ago. We had a good turnout then and hope we do with this open house. We want to thank the Lord for allowing us to serve the community for 120 years. This is a small way in which we can do that.”
Pastor Packo said, “I also thank the Lord. I am grateful for the community and their support of their churches. That is one of the reasons we are holding our open house.”