Our Story

In the fall of 1969, four committed families met in homes with State Missionary, Rev. Earl Umbaugh, to pray about starting a church on the southside of Springfield, OH.  On April 5, 1970, Southgate Baptist Church held its first Sunday school and church service in the Perrin Woods elementary school cafeteria with 59 in attendance.  The pulpit was filled by speakers from Cedarville College until May 31st when Joe Stowell III, who just graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary, became Southgate’s first pastor.

In 1971, Pastor Stowell, along with 110 charter members adopted the Church Constitution, Articles of Faith, and Church Covenant.  The church officially became Southgate Baptist Church of Springfield, OH.  The group now moved to the gymnasium of the Perrin Woods school.  In less than a year, attendance had reached 200 and plans were made to break ground for their own building.

Through the sacrificial giving of many, funds were provided to buy a 3-acre building site at 2111 South Center Blvd. for $27,000.  In 1973, groundbreaking took place for Phase 1 of a 400 seat sanctuary, ten classrooms, nurseries, library, fellowship hall, and offices.

The first Sunday in the new building on February 3, 1974, was attended by 468 people crammed into the pews. Pastor Stowell served for almost six years, leaving in 1976 when he accepted a call to pastor in Kokomo, IN.  He went on to become president of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL and Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, MI.

Cedarville professor, Murray Murdoch was interim pastor until John R. Greening was called to be the church’s second pastor in 1978.
As the rapid growth continued, the need for a Christian Education wing became apparent.  Phase 2 of the building program was proposed in 1983 and included a new entrance and foyer on the southwest side of the church, 7 classrooms, nurseries, with a fellowship hall and kitchen on the second floor.  Risers were built to make the existing fellowship hall into a balcony, adding 150-180 seats to the auditorium.

Due to increased growth, two Sunday school services and two Sunday morning services were implemented in 1984.  Average attendance at worship services was about 900, so in 1990, a decision was made for Phase 3 expansion to include a 1200 seat sanctuary, a new entrance, an office complex, and more education space.

In 1991, Pastor Greening made the decision to accept a pastorate in Richland, WA.  He would go on to become the GARBC’s national representative.  Cedarville professor David Drullinger became the interim pastor until Rev. James Vogel was called in 1992 to be the church’s third pastor.  Pastor Vogel guided the church through the construction of the Phase 3 expansion. Dr. Joe Stowell III, returned to speak at the dedication ceremony on April 18, 1993.  1263 people attended the first service in the new auditorium.

In 1995, Pastor Jim Vogel accepted a call to South Baptist Church in Flint, MI.  Pastor Eric Mounts was then called as the fourth pastor
of Southgate Baptist Church where he served faithfully from 1995 to 2011.   Bobby Hile became the fifth senior pastor at Southgate.  He served from 2012 to 2020.

April 5, 2020, marked “50 Years of God’s Faithfulness” to Southgate Baptist Church where the people continue to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the southside of Springfield, OH.

As a church family, the believers of Southgate prayed for and anticipated the day when God would call the sixth Pastor to Southgate.

On February 5, 2023, God showed Himself faithful when the Installation Service was held for Senior Pastor Jeremy Willetts.

God’s gift to Southgate in 2023 was Pastor Jeremy Willetts and Kelly, Jackson, Bria, Piper & Ruby

Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory because of your love and faithfulness.
Psalm 115:1
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