Brief Church History
Charles and Hazel Gilbert had the vision to start a church in the Colfax area and began their labors in 1953. They held Bible studies starting in Colfax, then moving to Clipper Gap, Auburn and finally to the Long Valley Grange Hall in Newcastle near the present location of the Sierra Baptist Church.
The work was turned over to Pastor James Warthan in 1963. Under his leadership, a recognition council was held on March 23, 1963 and the church was recognized by the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches and brought into the GARBC at the national conference that same year. Pastor Warthan pastored the church until April 12, 1964. The church was meeting at the Long Valley Grange Hall at Scott’s Corner during that time.
The church was incorporated under the laws of the state of California as the Sierra Baptist Church of Auburn on July 1, 1964 under the leadership of Pastor Larry Deckard. While the church was still meeting at the Long Valley Grange Hall, the church was lead to purchase a 5 acre parcel of property along the Auburn Folsom Rd., about a half mile south of the Grange Hall. The property cleared escrow during the summer of 1965.
The present building was built during Harold Bradley’s tenure as pastor. The ground breaking ceremony was held on May 25, 1970 and the first service was held on February 28, 1971. The church is located on the main road that links the cities of Auburn and Folsom and can seat about 200 people for a worship service. The indebtedness of the church was paid off in 4 years under the leadership of Pastor Keith Stone.
Each succeeding pastor along with a dedicated body of believers have sought to reach the surrounding community for Christ. The congregation is made up of people as close as across the road to those who drive 10 miles or more. The church continued to grow and went to two services during Pastor Charles Perry’s pastorate. Pastor Perry had a heart attack in 1991, so the church cut the services back to one to relieve some of his load.
In July of 2010 Pastor Randal Pollard and his wife Joan joined us at SBC. The church is once again in a phase of growth and seeks to reach out to the greater Newcastle community.