WHo We are

What do You Need To Know About Harvey Baptist?

Where We Come From: Our History 

Harvey Baptist Church began as a result of revival services in a brush arbor in the Johnson Community in Erath County in July of 1904. Dozens responded to the Gospel as preached by Missionary W. M. “Billy” Green, and they were temporarily received into the membership of Valley Grove Baptist Church.

Harvey Baptist Missionary Church was organized as an autonomous Baptist church on September 4, 1904 (the first Sunday of the month). This church family first met in the Johnson Community School house. The name “Harvey Baptist Church” was derived from the name of a beloved founder of the Johnson community, the late “Uncle” Harvey Keith. His descendants were among the members in the early days of this church. Within a year, the church consisted of several dozen baptized believers, and had called their first pastor, J.M. Earls. The church’s first recorded deacon was T.J. Burleson.

In the earliest days of HBC, the church met regularly on Saturday and Sunday; observed the Lord’s Supper twice a year; exercised Church Discipline; voted for their pastor on an annual basis; its members considered “un-Christian conduct” to include missing three consecutive Sundays at church without reason; and enjoined its members to avoid “dealing in futures of all kinds”. Because of the church’s growth, however, a building committee was appointed and a church building was erected on two acres in the Johnson Community in 1908.

From the beginning Harvey Baptist Church was actively involved in ministry outside of its community, making regular contributions to Texas Baptist causes and missions. A Women’s Missionary Aid Society also formed early. By the 25th Anniversary of the church in 1932, the church was a respected part of the community and the association. In later years, HBC showed its vision for evangelism through participation in the association, State Baptist Conventions (earlier the BGCT, and more recently the SBTC); and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program. The church members have done mission work the world over, including sustained projects in New Mexico among Native Americans; in Stephenville through “Victory in the Ville”; and a long-term commitment to giving and going overseas through Gateway East Africa.
Throughout the First and Second World Wars and the Great Depression, the church family struggled financially but grew spiritually and as a family. Combined with the family mobility seen in times of war and economic disturbance, the trend at that time was for those in the rural areas to move into towns and cities. Erath County was no exception. To respond to the needs of people, in 1951, the congregation voted to move into Stephenville. The wooden structure of that time was brought to the corner of Cage and Third Streets.  
The church trusted God, took advantage of its larger community to reach more people, and growth resulted. Also, the pastoral tenures began to grow longer, providing more stability. As a result the congregation has invested in growth and ministry by completing the first brick structure for the church (now the Youth Suite) which was completed and dedicated in 1960.
As the church continued to grow, a larger Auditorium and fellowship Hall was built(1970); the Children’s wing (1982); a refurbished Auditorium and more classrooms (1995) and most recently the Family Life Center (2011-2013) just East of the main building.
Throughout the history of this congregation, God’s Word and the spread of its message have been a driving factor. God has blessed with a sweet fellowship and family who reflects His Love to this community, this area, this nation, and this world.

Who We Partner With: Our Affiliations

The second way you can better know who we are as a church pertains to our affiliations. It is important to note that we are a self-governing, autonomous local church. There are no other institutional structures that have authority over us. But we do choose to affiliate with other ministries and organizations to help us pursue the mission of making disciples.
  • The Southern Baptist Convention. The SBC is a family of churches that have committed to partner together for the sake of mission. It is a partnership, whereby missionaries can be sent and supported, churches can be planted, ministers can be equipped (in Seminaries), and the gospel can be advanced.
  • The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. The SBTC is a state convention that partners with churches in Texas to help plant and strengthen churches in Texas.

What We Do: Our Mission

The third way you can better know who we are as a church pertains to what we do, that is, what our mission is.

To answer this question, let's look at Matthew 28:18-20:
“And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Consider some important observations in these verses that pertain to the mission Jesus has given us:
  • Jesus, the one who has all authority, is giving us this mission.
  • The primary goal of the mission Jesus gives is to MAKE DISCIPLES, which means that we must tell people about Jesus and help people follow Jesus.
  • Making disciples includes going, baptizing, and teaching.
  • Baptizing implies evangelism and then incorporation into churches.
  • Teaching includes not just teaching truth, but teaching obedience. We are called to teach people to obey all that Jesus has called us to obey.
  • We can fulfill this mission because Jesus will be with us to help us, He has the authority, and His authority both compels and gives us confidence to go!
With those observations in mind, here's how we summarize the mission Jesus has given us:

Harvey Baptist is a family on mission to make disciples.

This means that each of us has the responsibility to disciple someone else. It is our responsibility to always be involved in telling others about Jesus and making disciples. It is ALL of our responsibility corporately.