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Our Story

The Edgewater Baptist Church was organized on March 21, 1909, with 34 people constituting the charter membership. Meetings were first held in a rented church on Rosehill Drive.

On December 11, 1910, the Edgewater Swedish Baptist Church was dedicated on Hollywood and Glenwood, its current location. The first full time pastor was Reverend Petrus Swarz. In 1915, church membership stood at 151. By 1936, it was 384.

Services were conducted in Swedish until 1939. In 1940, “Swedish” was dropped from the name of the church. The membership first budgeted support for Baptist General Conference missionaries in 1944, support which has continued through the present. In 1952, the church added a new wing to the building containing classrooms, offices, and a gym.

The 1960s and 70s saw big demographic changes in the Edgewater community. The large Swedish population diminished allowing for a new multi-ethnic community to flourish. Spanish and Korean language congregations began holding services in the church building, reflecting the diversity of the neighborhood. During these years Edgewater was led by a young pastor named Erwin Lutzer, who served here from 1970-1977, before becoming the pastor of The Moody Church for the next three decades.

As the last decade of the 20th century rolled through, the neighborhood went through yet another major demographic transition, bringing a new set of ministry opportunities. In 1999, the SAFEPLACE After-school program was born with the goal of reaching elementary school-age children and their families with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Today, we continue to be a multi-ethnic, multi-generational church with a strong passion to glorify God by treasuring His Son, proclaiming His Word, and clinging to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as our only hope for salvation.