Warren County Iowa Genealogical Society




    Norwalk Redeemer Baptist Church

    Norwalk Redeemer Baptist Church, 607 Mafred Drive, Norwalk, IA

      Redeemer Baptist

    Updated information for Redeemer Baptist Church of Norwalk (Formerly First Baptist Church) was submitted by Pastor Trey Perrot, November 2016.

    First Baptist Church had its first worship service in Norwalk, Iowa in 1963. In 1964 they built their brick building on the corner of Highway 28 and Mafred Drive. The church has many stories  from 1964 to 2014. Many lives were touched with the gospel of Christ.

    However, we began to recognize in the latter years that we were not as impactful to our community as we wanted to be.

    Recognizing and valuing the church’s history, but wanting to increase our impact, we began to change our identity and refocus our mission. We focused more on Jesus Christ and his gospel, invested large portions of our budget into helping and impacting our community, updated our building to improve its appearance and usefulness, changed our ministry times to coincide with Norwalk families’ schedule, updated our music, added helpful ministries, and much more.

    These changes culminated in October of 2016, when First Baptist Church renamed themselves to reflect a distinct rebirth in the identity and mission of the church. We selected the name “Redeemer” because it reflects who we are about (Jesus), and what we are about (his mission of redemption).

    Redeemer continues to invest large portions of our time, energy, and money into helping the community of Norwalk by introducing them to the hope of the gospel.

    Information about the church can also be found in The History of Warren County, Iowa, compiled by the Warren County Genealogical Society, Curtis Media Corp., Dallas, Texas, 1987. (Written by Pastor Dennis D. HAKES)

    The First Baptist Church of Norwalk was a beginning reality on June 8, 1961. Members of the Grace Baptist Church in Winterset and the Saylorville Baptist Church in Saylorville canvassed the town of Norwalk to gain helpful information in establishing a Baptist Church. In the following month of July, a meeting was called for pastors and deacons of fellowshipping Baptist Churches of the Des Moines area to meet in Norwalk. Pastor William KOLTOVICH of Saylorville Baptist Church was moderator with nine churches and sixteen men represented. Saylorville Baptist Church was voted to become the mother-church. Each church was to send the name of a delegate to Saylorville to be on the Advisory Board.

    On July 19, Saylorville voted to officially approve Earl and Eleanor SWIGART as their missionaries to Norwalk. That fall, Pastor and Mrs. SWIGART moved to 504 Knoll Drive to begin their ministry. The first mid-week Bible Study was held in their livingroom on September 7th. Two women, Helen STIFFLER and Vera CASADY, were the first to attend. The first Sunday services were held in the American Legion Building that fall on October 15th. In August of 1962 the church held its first Vacation Bible School with an average attendance of 73. Lots were purchased during the month of August 1962 from Mrs. Maude STIFFLER for the future church building site. In February of 1963, the church was incorporated with 15 members. In March of that same year a recognition council and service was held. In June of 1963 the church unanimously accepted the building plans which had previously been drawn. In March of 1964 the building was completed and the first Sunday Services were held in the new church. There were 39 in Sunday School that morning. The Church purchased the house at 618 Mafred Avenue in February of 1967 to serve as the Parsonage. In November of 1982, Pastor SWIGART resigned to become the Pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Mount Pleasant. In March of 1983, Pastor Dennis HAKES was called and is currently serving as pastor.