History of Martensville Baptist Church
Walter Boymook was the pastor for the first year or two. He was followed by Henry Gossen who had a fruitful ministry and remained as pastor until illness forced his resignation in December of 1992. In April of 1993, Denis Brooks (Leona) was hired as an interim pastor for a one-year term, however, he remained in that position until June of 1999. The church was small and struggling to stay alive. Then for a few years, several interim or short term pastors filled in, making the transition to a health church difficult.
In August of 2002, Harv Sawatzky (Sharon) was called to pastor the small congregation of about 40 at Martensville Baptist Church. His mandate was to help the church head in a new direction, become healthy and strong so they could focus on winning the people of Martensville for Christ. Pastor Harv’s gifting is his relational style of leadership and in a loving, humorous way he challenged the church to change. With godly character and hands-on ministry, he led them through a transition to a healthy, vibrant church. Sharon Sawatzky (Harv’s wife) became the Administrative Assistant working part-time hours beginning in April 2005 changing to a full-time position in 2006.
Pastor Tim Braun was hired in Fall 2006 to oversee Music and Small Groups. At that time, Pastor Harv accepted the half-time position of District Coach while remaining Lead Pastor at Martensville Baptist, half-time. He held both these positions for 4 years, returning to only the Lead Pastor role in August of 2010. Because of the high demands of both positions, the leaders of the conference and the church recognized the need for a break for Harv. He and Sharon were granted a Sabbatical leave in February 2010 for 3 months.
Pastor Aaron Dalman was hired in summer of 2010 as Pastor of Student Ministries overseeing Youth and Children’s ministries.
Forging a New Trail, Leadership Structure 2002…
In the first year of Pastor Harv’s ministry at MBC, together with the Board, a new Vision and Mission was forged. Then, a new leadership structure was developed and the MBC Leadership Team began functioning in Sept. of 2003 comprised of a leader from each of the following areas: Christian Education, Discipleship, Ministry, Facilities, Fellowship, Missions & Outreach, Finance & Sunday Service. As the church grew, new strategies were implemented and direction became clear. This Leadership Team functioned well for several years and the church became healthy and strong, steadily growing in numbers every year. As staff were added, it because evident that staff would soon out-number volunteers on the board. This would not be wise as church leadership nor is it legal, so research began on a new model that would work for the growing needs of MBC. After a 2 -3 year process of study, discussion, working and re-working ideas, a new model was adopted by the congregation in September 2010. The Leadership Team became the Elders Board and took on a brand new role of overseeing direction and vision of the church working closely with the Lead Pastor. A new working team was formed, led by the Lead Pastor called the Ministry Staff Team. This team currently functions with leaders in the following areas: Sunday Worship, Small Groups, Youth, Finance, Children’s Ministries, First Impressions, Care & Compassion, Food Services, Facility, Missions.
Life Changes at Martensville Baptist
The Sunday Morning services were the first to receive a face lift as new vision and direction was set. The atmosphere on Sundays changed becoming a warm and welcoming place to be. Music was a challenge with no musicians and for 2 years, we invited guests to help us in this area. Slowly, we acquired some musicians and through this, a change in style of music brought us to a place where in 4 years we had a full band and worship team playing and leading some of the most current worship songs. With the arrival of Pastor Tim Braun, this area has grown strong and continues to grow as he trains young musicians and integrates them into the music teams.
A Small Groups ministry started in the Fall of 2002 with the Leadership Team forming the first Small Group. As our Small Groups ministry grew, it became one of the key growth ministries. With Pastor Tim on board, more groups formed each year, fulfilling our mission by building relationships with people, meeting them where they are on their journey and encouraging development of fully devoted followers of Jesus.
Fulfilling this mission has also occurred through many other forms of unique and creative ministries like fellowship & outreach events and VBS. Many Sermon Focus Themes such as 40 Days of Purpose and Just Walk Across the Room have challenged people to step up to a closer walk with God. MBC folks have become accustomed to a regular revisiting of the Vision and Mission and it is reflected in every event or ministry. Phrases like, “It’s not about ME”, “Step it up”, “What’s your purpose” became common conversation to help people remember their focus and mission.
Through these years, finances were a challenge that, for many, would seem insurmountable. However, the Leadership Team remained focused on trusting God He provided in amazing, unexpected and unique ways and each year the budget has been met and increased for the following year.
Our Facility has gone through a few changes since 2002. Outdoor workdays refreshed the curb appeal and several reconstruction projects indoors allowed us to facilitate a growing church and staff. In Fall 2007, MBC held a Giving Campaign called “Building for Eternity.” The congregation was challenged through inspiring messages on Building a Life of Faith, Service, Purpose, Commitment, Sacrifice & Thankfulness. In October 2007, they met at the Community center to collect gifts and pledges and celebrate God’s Provision. The total pledged and given that day by the small congregation of around 145 people was $370,000. The building process was a challenge and a joy. God provided all along the way blessing us with a fantastic facility that will be used to bring honor and glory to His name for years to come.
The history of this church is not complete. God is at work and continues to call us to lead people to becoming fully devoted followers of Jesus.
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6