Ed and Linda Farmer

BFR 35th Anniversary Celebrated

It was a real blessing to be present at the church today as the body celebrated the constituting of the church some 35 years ago on June 4, 1978.  The church still has come active members who were a part of that group and they were present. (Ken and Janice Brown, Andy and Maryann Davis, Malcolm Davis, Mac McLaughlin, Bob and Barb Orleck) (Tom and Diane Lyons were away)  It was a special surprise to have Ed and Linda Farmer visit with us as well.  They were not only members of the church at constituting but were the first to have been baptized in Randolph as the result of the work started by the Merwyn and Linda Borders and the Home Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  To memorialize that event, the Farmers were asked to cut the celebration cake.

We received the following nice greeting from Merwyn and Linda:

“Dear Members and Friends of The Baptist Fellowship,
          Linda and I send our congratulations as you celebrate today the 35th anniversary of your constituting as a church and mark 35 years of Christ led ministry in the Randolph and beyond communities. We know that it is truly a joyous occasion.
          As we have communicated back and forth with Bob Orleck recently about the early days of The Baptist Fellowship, our hearts have been stirred as we have recalled the commitment of the pioneer families and those who followed in establishing a solid, Bible based, evangelical church in the Randolph area. And since leaving Randolph in 2000 we have been excited to hear of the growth of the church and its continued strong ministry.
          The phrase “The Past is but Prelude” is especially true of The Baptist Fellowship in that no doubt your greatest days of servant ministry in the name of Christ lie ahead.
          Though here in Tennessee we are no longer physically with you, you are still very much in our hearts.
May God bless,
Merwyn and Linda Borders”

Melvin McLaughlin (Mac) shared his recollections about the start of Southern Baptist work in Vermont and his and Florence’s role.  You can read all about it in Mac’s interview found on the BFR Timeline.  Just go to the search function and type in Mac and any post he is involved in will show up for you to read.  The interview with Mac was filmed and can be seen on our Facebook page.

A delicious potluck luncheon was served as other from the past came to visit with us as well in addition to new visitors.  Bev and Cliff Hatch, members from the 90’s shared recollections from their time here and it was a joy to see and talk to them.

At the service we shared the new website during the Mission Moments time.  In addition we recognized the graduation of two of our seniors, Morgan Riddle and Lawrence Stalnaker.  It was a fine day.

For those who do not have a computer, a printout as follows was presented with the bulletin.  It is included here to give some background as well on the development of the website.

Currently pictures of the event can be seen on our Facebook page but will be posted on our website in the future as well.


The Baptist Fellowship of Randolph

35th Anniversary Celebration  

June 9, 2013 @ 12:15 PM – please stay and join us for a celebration luncheon

The Missions Committee, in recognition of the 35th Anniversary of The Baptist Fellowship of Randolph wished to have a timeline prepared covering the history of the church and they asked member Bob Orleck to prepare it.   Recognizing a need for a new website to better communicate the activities of the church and to project our Mission to the whole world (salt and light), Bob, with the great technical assistance of Thor Hansen from Thorworx, developed and launched a new website for the fellowship.  You can find it at http://www.bfrvt.org.  He also created a new Facebook page for the church that will serve as a tool to allow folks to post messages as well as to get relevant and real time information about things and especially about what is happening on the website.

The body of believers is and should be the way to get the word out about the ministry and activities of the church and the website can be the primary technological tool to help accomplish that.

More topics can and will be entered.  When you go to the website and select one of the timeline topics you will see the narrative information behind most of them.   So please take the time to go to the website.  I think you are going to like it and you will see it expand into many more areas that will promote the ministries of the church and get the message about them out.  There is much more to come as our website expands to offer more to help you in your daily walk with Christ so please come back and visit it often.  And if you are on Facebook, please go and “like” our Facebook page.

As a personal note, it was a real blessing to do this project.  Being a member who was here when the church was constituted, it was so good to go back and revisit the years and the blessings our family has received because of this church.  What a joy to reconnect with the former pastors and members who have moved away and in particular with Merwyn and Linda.  Merwyn has been so helpful in our communications in providing me with good information on the details.  The Circle Comes Full book he wrote regarding New England Southern Baptist from 1958-1998 was invaluable.  It was great to work again with Jim Wideman (BCNE) who helped me with key documents and who put me in touch with Sarah Killough (GMBA) to pull more documents together.  It was so sweet to remember those like Marge, who have gone to be with the Lord.   I know that much of what was done is based on the early part of the church’s history, but Pastor George did want to emphasize that since most are not too familiar with that period.  But this project is dynamic and is a work in progress so you will see more of the current times reported as well.  It is exciting to understand what potential lies out there for sharing the work of this church and for fulfilling the expectation that Jesus has for us to be “salt and light”.  Let us be thankful and give all the Glory and Honor to Jesus, our Creator and Savior.

Bob Orleck

June 9, 2013



January, 1961 Southern Baptist Work starts in Vermont

June, 1967 Merwyn Borders and family move to Randolph

September, 1970 Merwyn Borders, Pastor (Sept 1970-1978)

May, 1972 Baptist work starts with home Bible study

January, 1974 Baptist Fellowship looking for a home

1978-Congregation purchases land for church.

June, 1978 Church secures loan to build building

June, 1978 The Baptist Fellowship of Randolph constitutes into a church

September, 1979 Ron Huffman, Pastor (fall 1979- early 1983)

September, 1981 Building completed and building dedication held!

October, 1982 Green Mountain Baptist Association (GMBA) organized

August, 1984 Steve Holbrook, Pastor (Aug 1984-June 1988)

June, 1987 Church Vision

June, 1988 Tenth Year Celebration for BFR

July, 1989 Mark McAllister, Pastor (July 1989-Jan 1991)

April, 1992 Mike Bone Pastor (April 1992-September 1995)

September, 1995 Marge Hart (Prayer Warrior)

July, 1996 Jerry Smith Pastor (July 1996-April 2005)

June, 1998 BFR celebrates 20th Anniversary

April, 2006 George Sweet Pastor (April 2006-present)

May, 2008 Church Renewal Journey