Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




    Indianola First Assembly of God Church

    Indianola First Assembly of God Church, 1700 W. 2nd Ave, Indianola, IA. 50125, (515) 961-8488, http://www.indianolafirst.com first records date 1948


    History of the First Assembly of God Church in Indianola, Iowa is copied from their website at http://www.indianolafirst.com/new/history/

    In the fall of 1948 pastor M.C. FISHEL and family felt called to Indianola to begin an Assembly of God church. With the support of the Iowa District Council, they began the endeavor. A neighboring pastor told Rev. FISHEL of a family who was interested in helping to start a new church. On Nov. 7, 1948 they met to form the first Sunday School class at the home of Lawrence ZIMMERMAN. With a grand total of 10 (6 from the ZIMMERMAN family and 4 from the FISHEL family) they met for the next three Sundays in each others homes. On Dec. 7 1948, just one month after the first meeting, they moved into an upstairs hall in the downtown of Indianola.

    In January of 1949, revival meetings were held and attendance reached 32. In that same year, a lot was purchased and plans were made for a new church building at 610 East First Ave. Rev. FISHEL put in many long hours to see this building from a dream to completion. Using used lumber and volunteer help to cut cost, the building was completed in July of 1950. In the fall of 1950, two young ladies came alongside of Rev. FISHEL to assist with Sunday School and church finances. In October of the same year the church was officially organized with 19 charter members. On Nov. 19, 1950 a record attendance of 56 was reached in Sunday School.

    Pastor FISHEL stayed on until 1953, after which, Pastor Cecil HARDY became pastor until 1955. Pastor Harry HODGE served as pastor from 1955 – 1958, during this time, due to lack of space, a full basement was added to the church. Pastor Robert WENIG followed the Hodges, and remained pastor until May of 1962. In 1962, Pastor Sam REAVES took over as pastor. He oversaw the creation of a radio show titled, "Christ is the Answer", and a remodel of the sanctuary in 1964.

    In 1967 Rev. Leroy BUTTS was called to serve as pastor. During this time the attendance increased and it became necessary to build a new building. Land was purchased in 1968 off of HWY 92 for the new church, and in August of 1971, the congregation moved by motorcade to the new building. In 1972 Pastor J. Albert CALAWAY took over as senior pastor. The church continued to grow during this time and both a youth pastor position and music director staff position were added.

    After Pastor CALAWAY, came Pastor Richard BUCK who implemented two services on Sunday morning and oversaw two building programs that added two extensions to the wings of the existing building, and a new sanctuary in 1982. In 1984 Richard DUBE and family were called to serve as pastors until 1986, after which Rev. Duane RATCLIFFE came to serve from 1986-1989. In June of 1989, Pastor Paul SANDGREN was called to be pastor until 2002.

    In 2002, Rev. J. Albert CALAWAY accepted the call to return as lead pastor of First Assembly. Building on the foundation laid by pastor SANDGREN, under pastor CALAWAY’S leadership the church saw growth numerically, financially, and added two staff positions. Pastor CALAWAY left the church in 2011 after which Executive Pastor Barry HILL was elected to serve the congregation. Pastor Barry HILL presently serves as lead pastor of First Assembly of God.