On Sunday afternoon, June 30, 1963, the former Berean Baptist Church of Lead (1956-1991) officially dedicated their new building located in Lead’s Washington district. Here is an account of that dedication as written by Dr. Felix Runquist, field director of the Inter-Mountain Conservative Baptist Fellowship [now the Inter-Mountain Baptist Fellowship], in the fellowship’s monthly bulletin for July of 1963.
New Church Dedicated
Sunday, June 30, was a great day for the Berean Baptist Church of Lead, South Dakota, as they dedicated their new church edifice to God’s glory.
Dr. Arthur Allen of Laurel brought the Sunday morning message. Dr. Allen had been instrumental in establishing a Bible class in Lead which later was organized into the Berean Baptist Church on April 4, 1956.
The dedicatory service Sunday afternoon was led by Pastor George Turk. Dr. Allen gave the invocation; Rev. Bob Smoot, a former pastor, brought words of greeting followed by the reading of 2 Chronicles 7 by Rev. Herbert Fry of Newcastle.
Mrs. Morthland and Mrs. Turk presented a message in song, and your Field Director delivered the dedicatory message.
Rev. R.H. Hunt of Rapid City led the congregation in the prayer of dedication.
The Berean Baptist Church was pastored by Rev. Glen Auer at the time of its organization, but he resigned a few months later because of ill health. Rev. Bob Smoot of Moorcroft was then called as pastor and served through January of 1958.
The following April Rev. George Turk of Superior, Wisconsin, was called as pastor, and under his leadership the church went forward to build the present beautiful edifice.
The new building has a seating capacity of 120, plus a full basement for educational purposes. The total cost thus far of $17,500 includes everything but pews which will be purchased at a later date.
A $13,000 -bond issue was sold in a few weeks providing the funds needed for the construction.
The complete shell for the building was done by a contractor, but the finishing was done by volunteer labor under the capable leadership of Pastor Turk.
The same type of building erected near Chicago cost $45,000; it is a miracle what Pastor Turk was able to do with $17,000.
Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Humphries of Detroit, Michigan, childhood playmates of Pastor Turk, came all the way to Lead to be with the Turks for the happy occasion.
Other visitors besides the aforementioned pastors were several carloads of lay folk from Rapid City as well as a number of folk from Deadwood and Lead.
The dedication was also covered by the local paper The Lead Daily Call under the headline “Lead Church Is Dedicated.” An excerpt reads:
Dr. Felix Runquist, Billings, Mont. field director of the Inter-Mountain Conservative Baptist Fellowship, gave the sermon at the dedication service Sunday Afternoon. Rev. R. H. Hunt, pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church, Rapid City, offered the dedication prayer; Rev. Herbert Fry, First Baptist Church, Newcastle, Wyo., read the Scripture lesson and Rev. Robert Fulton Calvary Baptist Church, Hot Springs, gave the benediction. Special music was arranged by Mrs. George Morthland, Mrs. George E. Turk and the youth group of the church. . . .
. . . Mrs. Ray Marrs, Whitewood, was in charge of the reception with Mrs. Felix Runquist and Mrs. George Turk presiding at the refreshment table.
At the morning worship service, Dr. Arthur Allen, pastor of the First Conservative Baptist Church, Laurel, Mont., gave the sermon and Mrs. Felix Runquist was the guest soloist.
Dr. Runquist also spoke at the post dedicatory service Sunday evening which included special music by the youth group of the church.
Golden Hills Baptist Church which received Berean’s building as its own last year is planning to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that dedication during its Sunday services on June 30, 2013. Sunday services are at 10:30 AM and 6:00 PM.