Franklin Road Baptist Church
Monday, May 16, 2022
“Christ is our Message….The Bible is Our Text”

Church History

Truly, Jesus’ words spelled action for a certain small group from Tuxedo Park Baptist Church when He said “the harvest is plenteous, but the laborers are few” Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)   A small group of people accepted this commission. In the Spring of 1927 the pastor of Tuxedo Park Baptist Church, Rev. U. S. Clutton, and the deacons spent Sunday afternoon looking over the territory of Washington Place and vicinity with the idea of organizing a Sunday School. Impressed with the opportunity, they recommended to the church that this be done.   On March 20, 1927, the first Sunday School meeting was conducted in Township House Elementary School. This early beginning was known as Washington Place Bible School and marked the beginning of the church’s history. The school was located at the southwest corner of Franklin Road and East Washington Street. Soon building plans were formulated to build the first structure on the north east corner of the intersection. The building was dedicated on August 10, 1930, with the name of Franklin Road Chapel, being a branch of Tuxedo Park Baptist Church. Rev. Albert King held the first pastorate. The church was gaining recognition and by January, 1948, Tuxedo Park agreed their chapel had grown to the stature of a church and they were withdrawing as the governing body. On April 21, 1948, “Recognition Sunday”, we received the deed and a gift of $1,000.   We would be chartered as the Franklin Road Baptist Church and be a member of the Indianapolis Baptist Association.   In the 1990s we became an Independent Baptist Congregation and dropped out of the American Baptist Association.   It is interesting to note that a few of the chartered families are still represented in our congregation.
Between August, 1930 and October, 2010, were only nine pastors.   This indicates that fellowship, peace, and joy in the Lord abide here. Rev. Albert King was followed by Rev. James Julian (1933); Rev. Louis G Crafton (1944); Rev. J. W. Kinnett (1947), Rev. Joseph King (1953); Rev. Charles Baxter (1957); Rev. E. Murray McMillan (1971); Rev. Charles M. Williams (1978), and Rev. Larry DeBruyn (1985).   Rev. George King, Rev. Don Kouwe, and Dr. Marvin Utter served as interim pastors in 1978. Rev. Charles Circle began his ministry as Senior Pastor on September 6, 2011.
With the growth of the church, a need for leader of the youth was recognized as being essential; therefore, in 1961 Rev. Edward Bird became the first Youth Pastor.   Other pastors who have served as Associate &/or Youth ministers are: Rev. Winfred Winegar (1967), Rev. Harvey E. Ranard (1972), Rev. Larry K. Miller (1975), Rev. Randy Kesler (1978), Rev. Ted Hixson (1979), Rev. Curt Krohn (1991), Rev. Ken Lightner (1996), Rev. Steve Baird (1997), Rev. Donnie Chase (2005), and currently Rev. Andy Johnston(2010). In 1982 it was decided the supporting staff should be reorganized and Billy W. Mills became Minister of Music and Youth, followed by others. Since that time the position has been split and we have both a minister of youth and a music director. Our current Music Director is Sara McDaniel who has served in this position since 1995.
A number of men from the church have become active pastors in churches—Robert Welling, Bob Wyrick, Walter Terry and Kenneth Hopper who served in Indiana and is now working with Bearing Precious Seed ministry in Texas.
Even though Franklin Road Baptist Church had a small beginning, the small body of God’s people accepted the challenge and worked diligently harvesting the fields. “Lift up your eyes and look on the fields for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35)
It was necessary to build a new sanctuary in 1956 and an educational building in 1964, making additions to the structure which already existed. A new education and office center replaced the original building and was completed in 1990. All funds for this building were given by the congregation before the foundation was poured. In addition to the church proper, we have purchased four houses adjacent to the church property. One has since been demolished for additional parking, one is the Associate/Youth Pastor’s home, and the other two are used as homes for missionaries who are on furlough from the mission field. We own all our properties free and clear of any mortgages.
From a small beginning we stand as a witness to the power, majesty, and grace of our Heavenly Father and what can be accomplished through such power, hard work, sacrifice, and faith in the Holy Spirit. Franklin Road Baptist Church became a unified body of believers with “Christ being it’s message and the Bible it’s Text”.
            “Now therefore we are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with
            The saints, and of the household of God, and are built upon the foundation of the
            Apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto an holy temple in the Lord; In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit”. (Ephesians 2:19-22)