27 people organized Southwest Baptist Church in July 6,1921. Three Sunday Schools that were meeting in private homes decided to purchase the lot on the northwest corner of Scanlan and Tamm Avenue. A small frame building was erected on this site and the first services were held on November 21, 1921. In the first five years, the church grew to such a extent that a new brick sanctuary seating 400 was erected on the adjacent corner of Scanlan and Tamm Avenue and was dedicated September 26, 1926. Our congregation continued to grow so two more educational buildings were built in 1954 and 1959.
A tragic fire on February 1, 1957, destroyed the original brick sanctuary. While the reconstruction was taking place on the building, the congregation met in the nearby Ivanhoe Theater for 6 months. In 1968, a new sanctuary was built and dedicated on November 30, 1969. About five years later, Memorial Hall was completed.
Rev. Lee Massey was our first pastor and he served from 1923-34. Rev. J.P. Heaton was our next pastor from 1934-41. On January 23, 1944, Rev. J. Edwin Hewlett began a 33-year ministry. He guided the congregation through many transitions and building projects. When Rev. Hewlett retired in August 1978, Rev. Rudy Pulido was called to be our next pastor. He began his ministry at SWB July 1, 1979. When Rev. Pulido retired, Rev. James Hill was called and served a few years with us. George Colbert began his ministry with us in September 2015.
We are now led by Rev. George Fulgham who has been serving as serving Interim Pastor at Southwest Baptist since Spring, 2021