The Story of First Los Lunas Baptist Church
First Baptist Los Lunas has a long history of warmth and welcoming, serving the community even when there was not much to go around.
Though there were many ups and downs, the congregation had faith and was convicted to serve the Lord and the community. First Baptist Los Lunas has been shining the light of Christ to the community for 85 years.
In 1937, eighty-five years ago, First Baptist Los Lunas began as a Sunday school class. In a few short months, the decision was made to organize into a church of five members with Reverend Paul Elmore as the pastor. In their first winter, the congregation of 25 met in one of the members’ yards using pieces of lumber as pews.
The first church building was built on donations of labor and resources from members of the church and community. The result was a small building with dirt floors, donated chairs, a piano on loan, a pulpit made from donated lumber, and burlap bags as curtains, and baptisms took place in the nearby drainage ditch.
In July of 1940, Reverend Woolery became the full-time pastor, and the church began purchasing music books for $10.00. When break-ins became a problem, deacons would take turns sleeping at the church.
But in February 1946, the church almost disbanded. That’s when the congregation asked guest preacher, Reverend Kenneth Chafin, to minister full-time. He was a bit unconventional, but under his leadership, the church membership grew, averaging 50-60 people on Sundays.
The growth allowed the congregation to add a clothesline inside the building, which along with burlap sacs, was used to section off classrooms.
In 1948, a building was added to accommodate Sunday school classes, and in 1955, the congregation purchased two lots to help the church grow. J. Court Shepherd became pastor of First Los Lunas in 1958. The church held a Mission Vacation Bible School for Spanish-speaking children, and Rev. Shepherd could be seen driving them to school in his Volkswagen.
This soon turned into a Spanish Sunday School that met on Friday nights.
In 1959, the church purchased the property with a house on it that served as the first parsonage, with more land to expand the church, and a year later, they built the first sanctuary and dedicated it. And the needs of the growing congregation required more deacons to meet its needs.
An offer to buy the church property on Coronado Street came in 1961 from a Catholic church, and First Baptist Los Lunas relocated to Los Lentes Road. Services began after completing a church and parsonage in 1962, and a few months later they started a mission in Los Chaves in a former feed store. In 1974, the church added a fellowship hall, pantry, and small storage room while expanding the existing kitchen.
By 1978 the church boasted 288 members. The pastor at the time added children’s sermons to services as well as the church’s first youth and music director.
The year 1985 brought a new mission in Meadow Lake, and Reverend Jimmy Duncan donated a small church building and an acre of land. The State Mission Board gave funds to purchase and renovate five additional acres. In 1988, the first ministry for women, called Spring Day, began.
1993 saw the construction of an education building, as the church was bursting at the seams, after which the congregation held a note-burning ceremony to dedicate the building to be used for the Lord’s work. Over the next several years, the church also created a Vacation Bible School and a “Church in the Park” outreach ministry for inmates of the prison.
1998 saw the purchase of a nine-and-a-half acre property south of the church.
2004 was an exciting year for the church. They began new ministries, and small groups, and the church saw a great deal of spiritual growth in what they called the “40 Days of Purpose.” First Los Lunas began participation in the Samaritan Purse shoe box ministry in 2009, and 2010 saw the creation of Trunk or Treat and participation in the Baptist Student Union lunch program at UNM, as well as the Lottie Moon missionary offering around Christmas time. The food pantry began in 2011, as did the first church-wide Easter Egg hunt.
And during the church’s 75th anniversary, we received a van, which was donated by a church in Texas.
First Baptist Los Lunas has accomplished much in the 85 years it has been in existence. Today we’ve expanded to include a coffee shop and music store, home school coop, a large worship band and music lessons, women’s and men’s Bible study, AWANA, mission trips, youth group, VBS, children’s choir, addiction recovery, and much much more!
Through outreach, perseverance, faith, and family, God has made our church a source of light in Valencia County, and we hope to do so for the next 85 years.
Our Logo: Symbol with a Purpose.
Cross surrounded by a circle.
The cross is bright white – reminding us that Christ’s sacrifice is at the center of all things we do here at FBC Los Lunas. Because of His work on the cross, we know God and His love.
The right side of the cross is a blue arc representing the moon (notice the craters?). Los Lunas means “The Moon” in Spanish.
On the left side is an orange arc signifying the sun. When we see the moon it’s really the light of the sun reflecting off its surface. First Los Lunas longs to do just that – reflect the light of the Son.
Lifting that center circle high is a triangle filled with color. This geometric shape represents the Monzano mountains surrounding the city of Los Lunas. And the colors remind us of this: Just as light refracts into many colors through a prism, we – as a Church Family – are many kinds of people working together in beautiful harmony.
Also, the lines breaking in many directions remind us of the multitude of ways we can influence the world around us. Everything we do – through Christ and His Church – is meant to encourage and lift up other people who then pass it on.
The Stained Glass
Finally, churches have used stained glass for centuries to elevate imaginations and thoughts to things of heavenly beauty. So too, God inspires us to think higher, greater, and more beautiful thoughts toward Him and one another each moment of our lives.
Use this inspiring logo to tell others about the beautiful thing Christ did for you. Encourage one another to work as a reflection of Christ’s light – refracting in as many different ways as there are colors of the rainbow. I pray you take these symbolic concepts and apply them to your lives.