Halsted Road Baptist Church
History and Major Events.

Spring 2021 Church Plant
Iglesia Betel Church Plant Launched
Iglesia Betel - Church Plant 2021

Spring 2021 three families led by Rafael Castro to plant a Spanish church Iglesia Betel to reach the people of Rockford, Illinois.   Looking forward to see what God does with another outreach into the community.

July 2019 Church Plant
Pastor Dang Ordained
Launch of Grace Baptist Church Vietnamese

In July 2019 we had the privilege to ordain and commission Pastor Dung Dang as the first pastor of Grace Baptist Vietnamese Church launched in July 2018 from the Halsted Road Baptist church building.  

2019 Building Paid Off
Church NOTE paid off

The church building was finally paid off.  The note that had long held the church to interest payments to the bank was completely paid off.  A celebration was held at the monthly "pot-luck" at the church and a note was "deleted" since we only had electronic versions of the "debt."

The future of the church is in building up the next generation.  Emphasis on youth and Christian education leadership of the church.  This season is marked by higher than average attendance to men's and women's Bible study as well as an active Youth Group once again connecting through the church.

2016 New Pastor
Pastor Jeremiah & Tancy Griffin
Pastor Jeremiah Griffin and Family

In 2016 God brought Pastor Jeremiah and his wife Tancy Griffin to our church by way of the Church plant Living Stones.  After Pastor Newland left, the church called Pastor Griffin to pastor both churches.

Pastor Jeremiah accepted the interim position and began to preach regularly in the church.   In January 2017, Pastor Jeremiah accepted the call to be Pastor of Halsted Road Baptist church and continues to be it's pastor to this day.

Pastor Jeremiah and his wife Tancy have nine children.  Four that are natural born and five that are adopted from the local community.  Pastor Griffin has a heart for the people of the Coty of Rockford and continues to lead the church to personal discipleship and evengelism/outreach.

2014 New Pastor
Pastor Keith Ross Newland
Pastor K Ross Newland

Pastor Keith Ross Newland was an itinerant minister residing with the church.  Upon the quick exit of Pastor DeMond, Pastor Ross stepped into the gap to lead the church.  Pastor Ross took great care of the hearts of the people, the church building and planted the flowers in the front beds of the church.  Pastor Ross was a flamboyant well dressed bachelor and loved to pray, preach and fellowship.  Pastor Ross resigned the church in July of 2016 and took a missions pastorate in Atlanta Georgia.

2002 New Pastor
Pastor Jerry and Pat DeMond
Pastor Jerry Demond and Patricia

Pastor Jerry and Pat DeMond were called to be pastor in October 2002.  Splitting from a Church of God background, Pastor Jerry held the Baptist belief of Eternal Security of the Believer.   Pastor Jerry's exodus from the Church of God brought other members to be baptized and receive membership at the church.

Pastor Jerry left in 2014 after....

1999 New Pastor
Pastor Elmer and Bonnie Woodruff

Pastor "Woody" was a tri-vocational pastor working at the Church, the Rockford Rescue Mission and teaching at the Lutheran School in downtown Rockford.  Pastor Woody had a stroke in 2001 and ended up having to resign the church in December of 2002 because his speech had deteriorated to that point.

1998 New Pastor
Pastor Tom Yandell

Almost immediately from within the church, God raised up Tom Yandell to the ministry.   Pastor Tom was a computer expert and found a way to contact everyone near the church. Not only and address but also a phone number.  Pastor Tom called every person on that list!

Emphasis switched from Sunday School to Vacation Bible School and until May 1999 when he retired.   Pastor Tom called everyone that he could in the city of Rockford to make sure they were invited to church.  No one would have an excuse.

1995 New Pastor
Pastor Ken Finnis

In April 1995 Pastor Ken and his wife Diane came to be the pastor of Halsted Road Baptist.   Son of a Southern Baptist Convention church planter, Ken Finnis was ordained at the church.  Ken continued to study and found work on his Master's Degree from Trinity Evangelical Seminary.  Pastor Finnis was also bi-vocational and worked for Kinko's.

Pastor Ken resigned the church in 1998 to return to upper New York and take care of his ill father.

1991 New Pastor
Pastor Mike and Jill King

the 9th pastor of Halsted Road Baptist church, Mike King and his wife Jill  came from Baltimore and with the blessing of Brother Clyde began again the ministry of the Word.

Jill was an accomplished pianist and filled the church with melodies praising God at every opportunity.  

Missions became a primary emphasis for the church and Pastor King led the church to pray for missionaries around the world.

1990 Lightening Strike
Pastor Scott Resigns

Pastor Scott resigned as pastor in January 1990.  The parsonage had been struck by lightening and was severely damaged by the fire.  Brother Scott was known for his sacrificial living and caring for the people of Rockford, Illinois.

1988 Missions Director
Dr. Gordon Logan

in June 1988 Gordon Logan became director of missions for Blackhawk Association (now North Central Baptist Association).

1987 New Pastor
Pastor Harvey Scott

Pastor Harvey and his wife Marty came to Halsted Road Baptist in October 1987.  Pastor Harvey was a recent graduate of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City.  The focus of the church shifted to Sunday School.

1984 New Pastor
Pastor Elmore Clyde

In January 1984, pastor Elmore Clyde and his wife came out of retirement to help the work at Halsted Road. Gentle in nature and excellent preaching brought many to Christ and to join with the mission of the church.

In 1986 it was apparent that Pastor Clyde would have to retire again.  Mary Clyde stayed at the church and nursed Pastor Clyde until he went home to be with the Lord.

1979 New Pastor
Pastor Russel Miller

Russel Miller came in December 1979 as pastor.  Pastor Miller's name was known as the "visiting pastor" and he majored in evangelism of his own life and teaching other's to evangelize as well.  Pastor Miller, as a bi-vocational pastor, worked as a guard at Rockford Memorial Hospital (now Mercy Health).  Pastor Miller's wife Sherry and their three little children were loved deeply by the congregation.  The ministry suffered a blow when Pastor Miller resigned in 1983.

1977 New Pastor
Pastor Robert "Bob" Garris

Pastor "Bob" came to the church in the fall of 1977 from a church in Kansas City, Missouri.  Pastor Bob was musically inclined and lead the association's choir.  Pastor Garris also was employed as an X Ray Technician by Rockford Memorial Hospital (now Mercy Health).  Pastor Garris resigned in the summer of 1979.

1975 New Pastor
Reverend William Ward

Reverend William Ward became the fourth pastor in 1975 following Pastor Dann's resignation.  Pastor Ward remained until the summer of 1977.

September 1973 New Pastor
Pastor Paul Dann

Pastor Paul Dann became the third pastor of the church, he served the church until early spring 1975.

July 23, 1973
Changing of Leadership

On July 23, 1973, Reverend Crowley Bridges died of a heart attack.  The church became discouraged and many left the church.  There were some that remained and out of their faithful prayers a search for the next pastor began.

May 1970

On may 24th, 1970 the sanctuary was completed.  The auditorium was dedicated that Sunday.


in July 1968 the church purchased the neighboring house and Pastor Bridges and his wife Dorothy took up residency there.

June 1964 New Pastor
Pastor Crowley Bridges

in June of 1964 the church called Pastor Crowley Bridges and his wife Dorothy to the church.  Evangelist Sammy Tippet came and preached to the congregation and revival broke out among the church.  The youth were moved by the Holy Spirit and in groups turned from their sin, professed Christ and stopped drinking, drugs and other addictions without hesitation.

October 20, 1963
Northwest Baptist Church

The building was dedicated as Northwest Baptist Church on Halsted Road.

January 1963

Fire struck an on a cold Saturday morning in January, 1963  the house caught fire and burned to the ground.

January 1962
Someone Was Praying

On January 7, 1962 the church purchased 3.6 acres of land on Halsted Road for a building site.

New Location

A ranch style house on Searles Street was purchased and found to be suitable for both worship and Sunday school programs.  In a search for space the church rented the small house next door.

June 1959
Constituted Church

Halsted Road Baptist church gathered in June of 1959 and constituted with 18 charter members

October 1958
Mission Status

The mission work started with Brother Daniel Preston and two summer missionaries from the Home Mission Board (NAMB).  The first Sunday meeting had 20 for Sunday School and 27 in worship.

23 July 1958
Northwest Mission

In July 23rd, 1958 the idea of a Northwest Mission was brought before North Park Baptist Church (now First Baptist Church Machesney Park)  by Reverend Earl Guth to reach across the river to the west side of Rockford with the Gospel.