By Brenda Corey
Pastor Ted Keys and the Members of Community Southern Baptist Church celebrated their 40th Church Anniversary on Friday, February 10, thru Sunday, February 12, 2017. The theme was “Praise the Lord!” with a focus Scripture of Psalm 150: “Praise Him for His mighty acts: Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.” CSBC is thankful to God for the mighty acts He has done over the past 40 years. The following speakers provided the Word of God: Elder Johnnie Johnson, pastor of Deliverance Temple COGIC of Waterloo, Iowa, Rev. Robert Knight Jr., pastor of New Birth Church of Ames, Iowa and the current President of the Iowa Baptist Convention, and Rev. Ed Gregory, who is on the staff at Baptist Convention of Iowa with one of his primary duties being to strengthen BCI’s support of churches and their pastors across the state.
Rev. Ted Keys was called by God into the ministry in1975 while attending Antioch Baptist Church. He was very active in the church’s Baptist TrainingUnion (BTU). God used this ministry to prepare him for a greater ministry. It was during this time that God called Rev. Keys to start a church. On February 6, 1977, this calling became a reality and Community BaptistChurch was formed in the basement of the home of Rev. Ted and Sis. Sarah Keys with their children and 5 other members. CSBC moved from the basement to the YMCA at 425 Lafayette Street, Waterloo, in May 1977, and from there to a store front at 617 East 4th Street, Waterloo, where the church opened a clothes closet ministry for people in need.
Rev. Andy Gentry, of the Trinity Southern Baptist Church, led in ordaining Pastor Keys and continued mentoring him. Trinity became our “Mother Church.”
As Rev. Keys, began to participate in the Southern Baptist Convention attending various seminars and training he was guided by the Holy Spirit to join the Convention. On September 10, 1977 CSBC became the first African American church to be voted into the Southern Baptist Convention in the state of Iowa.
As we continued our worship services in the store front on 617 East 4th St., Waterloo, Iowa. God gave Pastor Keys a vision directing him to build our first building. At this time our congregation was small in number and this would not be an easy task, but the Congregation came on one accord to build a building and God was in the plan. In March of 1982 CSBC was blessed to purchase land on Anthony St., in Waterloo, Iowa, and God sent crews from Southern Baptist Churches in North Carolina, to help us with the task of building the church..
In September 1982 we held our first church service in our new building located at 522 Anthony Street. God gave Pastor Keys another vision that we would build three times. In 1990 God directed Pastor to build a new sanctuary and again the congregation came together with a mind to go forward. God sent a crew of 60 members (the Carpenters of Christ) from Atlanta, Georgia, and within three weeks we had worship service in our new sanctuary.
What a mighty God we serve. God blessed us to build the third and final time in 2001. We were blessed to add a fellowship hall, state of the art kitchen, additional offices and nine rooms to be used for Sunday school classes.
As we celebrate all that God has done in the life of Community Southern Baptist Church we know that He has much more for us to do. So we will continue to give God praise and remain vigilant as Nehemiah 6:3 says “We are carrying on a great work and we cannot stop now.”