Early in 1969 Feeling the need to unite as a church fellowship, approximately 250 people began a meeting in private homes for prayer, praise, fellowship, and to seek the Lord’s guidance for their future. In March, the Friends School was rented for Sunday worship, and a committee of 12 men were appointed to serve as a Steering Committee for “The Baptist Fellowship.” They began with committees to oversee missionary interests, visitation, speakers, Bible School, and a special committee to search for an interim pastor.
1969, June 8 A Steering Committee recommended that “…the Baptist Fellowship establish an organization with objectives and a program defined by a constitution and bylaws structured to establish membership and to accomplish the stated objectives.” Rev. Richard H. Reed began as interim pastor on July 1, 1969 and remained until July 31, 1970.
1970, January 1 The Baptist Fellowship Church was incorporated under the laws of the State of Delaware. There were 248 people on the charter membership roles.
1970 Rev. Donald Linsz served as interim pastor.
1971-1974 Rev. Daniel Meyer served as our first pastor from September 1971 to October 1, 1974. During that time property was purchased for a church building on Mt. Lebanon Road at a price of $30,000 per acre. A parsonage was also purchased at a cost of $37,200.
1975 The congregation voted to change its name to Brandywine Valley Baptist Church. Rev. S. Bowen (Bo) Matthews became pastor in May and ground breaking for a sanctuary and educational building took place in September. One year later the first service on Mt. Lebanon Rd was held on September 5, 1976, with 261 members.
1979 It was necessary to build additional education space. In 1982, double services (Christian Education and worship) were initiated. Additional pastoral staff was added during that period.
1985 Pastor Bo accepted a call to become Senior Pastor at Hinson Memorial Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon. October 1986 brought Dr. Harry Kilbride of Hampshire, England as Senior Pastor. In October 1990, Dr. Kilbride resigned.
1991 In August 1991, Pastor Bo Matthews returned to serve as Senior Pastor.
1999 The church completed an expansion program to add an additional wing for children’s ministries and new office space. A third worship service was added.
2001 A second wing was added for Student Ministries (grades 6-12). This wing was shared by the congregation for multiple uses.
2006, September A capitol campaign was initiated, Following the Pillar of Fire, for a new sanctuary, gathering space and fellowship hall. Construction began in June 2008 and was completed 2009.
2009, October Construction was completed on the new sanctuary, gathering space and fellowship hall.
2014 Pastoral leadership shifted to a ministry team concept.
2015, April Pastor Bo Matthews retired after a total of 34 years of service at Brandywine Valley Baptist Church.
2015, September Pastor Nate Keeler accepted the call to be the Lead Pastor.
2018, March Retired Pastor Bo Matthews presented with the honorary title of Pastor Emeritus for his years of service to Brandywine Valley Baptist Church.
The Early Years
Charter members – Lester and Janet Burge; Art and Peg Hill; and Ed Jones – tell us about the beginning years of Brandywine Valley Baptist Chuch.
Official Life of the Church
The church is governed by the congregation. The congregation approves major decisions such as budget and calling of pastors. Spiritual and overall administrative leadership is provided by the Ministry Leadership Team, currently consisting of pastors and directors, in conjunction with a 12-man Board of Deacons. Fiscal responsibility rests with the Finance Committee. The congregation elects the deacons and all major committee members.