Vermont has lately developed the dubious reputation of being the first to institute radical changes in the law. But in some things it has been last. For example, Vermont became the last state in the Union to have a Walmart. Some might think that is good and some might not. They have another last as well. Southern Baptist work was present in the other 49 states before it got a start in Vermont in 1961 with the beginning being a mission congregation that was formally constituted into the South Burlington Baptist Church in 1963.
In 1982 the Green Mountain Baptist Association formed and included 18 churches. Bob Brindle was pastor of the South Burlington Baptist Church for 10 years and in 1970 Merwyn Borders was employed through a joint effort of the church and The Home Mission Board as a “church planter”. Then in 1972, The Baptist Chapel of Montpelier was started. The church was officially incorporated with the State of Vermont on July 4, 1976, the only corporation to have been registered in our state on that day, the 200th birthday of the birth of our Nation. Bob Orleck, one of the church’s charter members who was an Assistant Attorney General with the State of Vermont had made those unique arrangements for this body.
Then work developed in Randolph and Randolph formally constituted into The Baptist Fellowship of Randolph on June 4, 1978. This writing is not intended to go into the formation of other Southern Baptists Churches in Vermont because it is our timeline at The Baptist Fellowship of Randolph, but suffice it to say there has been a steady growth of churches all to the Glory and Honor of God.
(the above information is gleaned from a 12/4/1984 report by Merwyn Borders to the GMBA as well as from information known by the writer, Bob Orleck)
Because this timeline history is about our church, it would seem appropriate here to list the names of the charter members of this congregation:*
* Still active in the local church on 35th anniversary date: Kenneth B. and Janice Brown, George A. and Maryann Davis, Thomas E. and Diane Lyons, M.W. McLaughlin and Robert L. and Barbara K. Orleck.