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Faith Baptist to celebrate 40th anniversary

WARRENSBURG - Tucked away behind Warrensburg's firehouse is a modest clapboard building, which many have passed by for years without taking notice.

As of this Sunday, it will have housed Warrensburg's Faith Baptist Church for its entire existence of 40 years.

For four decades now, Faith Baptist Church of Warrensburg has been host to hundreds of adults singing praises and taking Bible courses, children learning spiritual concepts, couples taking marriage vows, students studying lessons and a wide array of church functions.

And at the helm of the church over the time span of Faith Baptist's history, has been one pastor, Lee B. Call, the church's founder. While at most congregations, pastors move on or are reassigned after a number of years, Call has kept on shepherding his church.

On a recent morning, Call said he felt he was called to serve a long tenure in Warrensburg.

"God has been good to us," he said. "There have been a long of different things we've been able to do.

He said that the church has pursued many functions and ways of reaching out to people over the years, but the church's purpose has been steadfast.

"It's been a challenge at times, but we have a great group of people here, there's a oneness of spirit," Call added.

Call, 69 years old, originally moved here in 1968, after graduating from Gordon College in 1964 and ministering in Baltimore, Md. with Youth for Christ.

In 1970, he launched the church, originally titled Mastering Life's Challenge, a congregation with an emphasis on youth outreach.

In 1978, Call took several years off from his church to obtain a degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

He returned in 1981 to resume his pastoral duties. At this time, he established the Warrensburg Christian Academy to provide a spiritually-based alternative to public school. At this time, the congregation was re-named Faith Baptist Church. During these early years, he led an effort to build a second story to the original church building and in 1985, a new church sanctuary to the southeast of the original sanctuary was constructed. During the peak years of the Academy, it had an enrollment of 42. The school lasted until 1997 or so, when falling enrollment meant tuitions weren't sufficient to support two to four teachers.

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