Founded in the Fall of 1907!
"I surveyed for the Trustees of the Baptist Church of Toluca, on the 29th day of June, 1908, from the real Est. of Thos. Wilson, a certain lot of land..."
In 1907, a handful of men had a vision. Where some heard only the squawking of crows, they heard the call of God. Where some saw an empty field, they saw a church, a church which would call people to faith in Jesus Christ, a church which would reach out in love to meet the needs of the people living in Stafford County.
Faithfully following their vision, these men banded together, and launched the Baptist Church of Toluca, later renamed Mount Ararat Baptist Church. One of them donated land, and together they built a small building and established a cemetery. At first, Mount Ararat had only part-time pastors. Transportation was by foot, horseback, or buggy. Because the roads were not good, the Sunday School could meet only from April to Christmas. But the persistent faith of the original members overcame these limitations, and Mount Ararat grew. The vision of the original seven men resulted in a congregation of 50 by 1920.
During the 1920's and 1930's, Mount Ararat continued its faithful witness for Christ. In 1942, the U.S. Government bought land to enlarge the Quantico Marine Corps Base, and a new cycle of growth began for Mount Ararat. Along with new members came the need for more space, and the original building was enlarged by adding a vestibule and Sunday School classrooms.
The first full-time pastor was called in 1953. Soon, a full schedule of Sunday morning, and evening, and Wednesday evening services were held, and a choir was established. Later, the first parsonage was constructed, and the sanctuary was enlarged.
In the 1970's, the community served by Mount Ararat changed again. As long distance commuting became popular, housing development sprang up all around the church. Mount Ararat rose to the challenge, purchasing more land for recreation and parking, and adding a new Sunday School wing and a new parsonage. Likewise, in the 1980's, the sanctuary was expanded, and the education wing was built. In 1987, Pastor Dee Whitten accepted a call to the church.
The church's 80-year history of reaching out to the community continued as members invited friends and neighbors to come and experience the fellowship at Mount Ararat. Soon, the facilities were again taxed. In 1990, modular units were purchased to increase space for Sunday School. A new parking lot was added, and then a second Sunday School hour. Before long, there were enough people to require three worship services on Sunday morning.
Excited by the effective ministry of the church, and inspired by the vision God had given them, the congregation began focusing forward on a new plan for ministering to North Stafford: the construction of a multi-purpose facility, a large building which would serve for both worship and fellowship. The Family Life Center (FLC) we worship in today is the realization of that dream. It was made possible by faithful, consistent stewardship and a positive vision of what God could do through Mount Ararat.
For over 90 years, Mount Ararat Baptist Church has been a beacon of light in the North Stafford community. From the early members who "subscribed liberally" so that the pastor could be paid an annual salary of $20.50, to the recent members, who sacrificially gave so that the Family Life Center could be built, people have given their time, their talents, and their money, and God has blessed their faithfulness.
These are just a few of the highlights we can look back on and celebrate! However, there is another aspect we need to think about too. What exciting ministry opportunities will God give us in the years to come? We have had a positive past and God has a fantastic future in store for Mount Ararat.
Let's take a look ahead. Currently, our Strategic Task Force is working on future building plans. We are not sure what phases we will build in, however, a top priority is more worship and educational space. We are seeking functional spaces that can be used by many people. Building new facilities is definitely in our future.
Now that sounds like a fantastic future! But we realize our future is not in building buildings, but in reaching people for Jesus Christ. This is our true mission. Our facilities will help us carry out this mission. May we be found faithful as we reach out in love to our community in the name of Jesus Christ.
MINISTERS/PASTORS • PAST AND PRESENT
Rev. A.T. Lynn September 1907 - August 1909
Rev. James E. Jett September 1909 - May 1933
Rev. Lloyd B. Boutchyard June 1933 - July 1948
Rev. Herbert Reamy August 1948 - August 1953 (interim)
Rev. Allen Gaines September 1953 - August 1954
Rev. Don Lytal September 1954 - May 1955
Rev. William Engles May 1955 - January 1957
Rev. Tommy Toms June 1957 - May 1962
Jack A. Marcom, Jr. Several Months (interim)
Rev. James B. Grimes July 1963 - March 1966
Rev. Charles T. Fulbright August 1966 - Jaunary 1969
Rev. Walter Dodd May 1969 - June 1970
Rev. William L. Lively December 1970 - December 1976
Rev. Charles Leonard January 1977 - September 1977
Rev. Lester Curtis, Jr. September 1977 - May 1986
Rev. Aubrey D. Whitten, Jr. February 1987 - August 2003
Rev. Todd Gaston, February 2005 - present
ASSOCIATE PASTORS OF MUSIC/CREATIVE ARTS
Rev. David T. Hottel, Sr. September 1980 - October 1989
Rev. Bruce Pafford August 1990 - May 1993
Karen Hall May 1993 - January 1994 & June 1999 - March 2000 (Interim)
Rev. Ken Nuss January 1994 - June 1999
Rev. Bill Simpson April 2000 - November 2007
Rev. Micah Watson November 2008 - present
ASSOCIATE PASTORS OF YOUTH/STUDENTS
Rev. Arthur DeCourcey 1980 - 1985
Rev. Matthew Sickling May 1989 - April 1990
Rev. Darryl Mosley June 1991 - February 2002
Rev. Todd Gaston August 2002 - January 2005
Rev. Zac Ashley June 2005 - present
ASSOCIATE PASTOR OF EDUCATION & CHURCH GROWTH/ADULT MINISTRIES
Rev. Juan M. Rivera July 1996 - 2005
Rev. Matthew McDonald June 2006 - present
ASSOCIATE PASTOR OF CONNECTIONS/MINISTRY & MISSIONS
Rev. Juan M. Rivera August 2005 - present
ASSOCIATE PASTOR OF PASTORAL CARE
Rev. Dick Harmon July 1997 - April 2005
ASSOCIATE PASTOR OF CHILDREN'S & PRESCHOOL MINISTRY
Rev. Al Lawson April 1999 - September 2005
MINISTER TO CHILDREN
Susan Harvey Wanderer June 2006 - present
Rev. Greg Poss June 2000 - present