“This Here’s where we have been:
Over 100 Years of History
“If walls could talk” these would have 112 years of stories to tell.
When Swede August Lovegren moved to the area back in 1892, he and his brother-in-law founded Preston and Preston Mill Company. A community grew around the saw mill.
For eight years, people attended Sunday School in a schoolhouse half a mile away, which was led by Mr. Rudick, who was a Quaker.
Soon, a small building was put up on the mill site for Sunday School right in Preston. Initially, the people were uncertain about the long term prospects for the town. But in 1900, the group made a decision that would impact its community for the next 117 years (and counting…). According to their meeting records from February 3, 1900, they “met for the formation of a Swedish Baptist Church.” One month later, 20 people signed that original charter.
For around 30 years, services were held in Swedish and English. We have a treasured member who remembers those days well. In 1929, they switched to using only English.
The name of our church has had some changes, too. The initial members called this church Swedish Baptist. In the 30s, it became Preston Baptist. Then in 2009, it became Raging River Community Church (with reference to the river the runs alongside).
Although the building, which was constructed five years after that first meeting in 1900, knows many stories of the people who have come and stayed, and come and gone, the principles of faith and mission hold steady.
We continue today in the way the first church members outlined in the church constitution:
“This church exists as a community of Christians dedicated to the glorification of God through:
- Worship and the administration of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
- Proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the entire world.
- Instruction of believers in matters pertaining to the Christian life.
- Ministering to the needs of people.
All of which shall be consistent with the will of God as revealed in the Scriptures.”