Open Bible Church
Prior to the Assembly of God Church in Atlantic, an Open Bible Church began holding evangelistic services in the courthouse meeting room in 1950 and prayer meetings at the pastor's home. Other locations were used for evening services as well including the Congregational Church at 5th & Walnut and the Seventh Day Adventist Church at 6th & Walnut. By 1953 the Open Bible Church had their own church building at 700 Oak Street.
Assemblies of God
In July, 1958, the Assemblies of God purchased the building at 700 Oak Street from the Open Bible Church. The church was considered to be a Home Missions church until it could support itself.The first service was held on July 18, 1958 and included Sunday school at 10:00 AM, worship service at 11:00 AM and a 7:30 evening service. Pastors Included: 1959 - 1960 - Reverend Roy Phillips 1961 - 1963 - Reverend Corwin Lowe 1964 - 1965 - Reverend Wayne R. Sullivan
Reverend Estebo came to Atlantic in 1965.
703 Walnut Street
The church outgrew the building at 700 Oak Street and the congregation began to look for other facilities. The former Peace Evangelical and Reformed Church (7th & Walnut Streets) had merged with First Congregational Church (at 5th & Walnut Streets) in 1960, leaving the building at 700 Walnut Street vacant.
As Reverend Estebo drove by the vacant building, he heard an audible voice clearly speak to him saying, "What's wrong with this building?" Reverend Estebo responded audibly, "Nothing, Lord." He turned the car around to get the name of the realtor and by 3:00 that afternoon, he was visiting it. The board visited it that same evening. The board spoke with the southwest Iowa regional presbyter who informed the board they would come up with the money so an offer of $10,000 was made. The next day the bid had been accepted. The realtor also purchased the 700 Oak Street building and converted it to apartments.
The congregation made some renovations to the church at 701 Walnut and updates to the parsonage at 703 Walnut after purchasing them. Attendance at the time was approximately 41.
Reverend Jameson was appointed to come to First Assembly in Atlantic as a home missions pastor. Reverend Jameson also worked a full-time job. He and his wife, Marilu, had three girls, Diane, Donna and Denise.
801 Chestnut Street
In 1969, Safeway bought the entire 700 block between Chestnut and Walnut Streets, which included the church and parsonage. The former First Christian Church and Trinity United Church of Christ had recently merged and moved to their new building at 16th and Hazel Street allowing First Assembly of God to buy the building at 801 Chestnut Street with the proceeds of their sale to Safeway.
The 801 Chestnut Street building had been built in 1904 and had undergone extensive renovations in 1951. As a result, very few renovations were needed. The building included a sanctuary, nursery room, office, baptismal, communion preparation room and tiny closet for the Sunday School Superintendent to track attendance and count the offerings on the first floor. The basement included a nice-sized kitchen with two stoves and sinks, one large meeting room, two smaller classrooms, one mid-sized classroom with an expandable wall that could split it, and men's and women's rest rooms.
Rev. A. R. Sorenson
Reverend Sorenson came to Atlantic after retiring from the Shenandoah Assembly of God church. He chose not to take a salary in order that the church could invest in a 15-passenger van so children could be given rides to church if their parents could not bring them. Reverend Sorenson's sermons were well liked and a number of new families began to attend the church under his leadership. Royal Rangers, an activity-based ministry for boys and young men, ages K-12, started during the Sorenson's time in Atlantic.
Royal Rangers, an activity-based ministry for boys and young men, ages K-12, started during the Sorenson's time in Atlantic.
Pastor Booth was an lively speaker and his wife, June, played the accordion. Missionettes, was added to the children's programs for girls in addition to Royal Rangers for boys. Both programs were a priority during their tenure. A new brick sign was constructed at the corner of 8th & Chestnut.
Our first Assistant Pastor, Al Hazelton, joined the church in 1977 and remained in the position until 1984. Al provided much needed expertise to develop the sound system and established the youth group as a formal ministry of the church.
Rev. Gary Sherman
The Shermans enjoyed people and Gary especially enjoyed telling a good joke. The church grew under their leadership not only due to Gary's enjoyable personality, but also because of his focus on prayer. Gary had a short Sunday morning radio program that ran before Sunday School. The tagline of the program was, "The friendly church of worship and praise." Because the church was still growing, with nearly every seat full on Sunday mornings, the congregation began to discuss purchasing land to build a new facility.
Rev. Timothy Graetz
Early in Pastor Graetz' tenure, the congregation approved the purchase of land at the intersection of 22nd Street and Highway 71. According to the Atlantic News Telegraph article announcing the purchase, the church had grown 95% in the past three years and because of generous contributions by members, allowed the land to be purchased debt free. Pastor Greatz, and other leaders, developed an exceptional music program, with three musical productions in one year! Associate / Youth pastors during 1985 included Barry Bailey and Tyler Grant.
Rev. Charles Feltman
During Pastor Feltman's tenure, the new church was constructed and students became involved in Bible Quiz competitions. Ed Garvin (1988 - 1989) and Ed Akin (1989 - 1991) were both youth pastors under Pastor Feltman. The church at 801 Chestnut was sold and the congregation celebrated the dedication of the new facility in 1990.
Rev. Guy Fisher
Once the new building was complete, Reverend Guy Fisher, and his wife, Vickie, came to Atlantic. Pastor Fisher emphasized solid Biblical teaching, with a focus on loving and forgiving others.
From 1998 - 2005, numerous building improvements, administrative and musical changes were initiated in order to allow the church to adjust to the changing times. Drums, guitars, digital keyboards and an improved sound system were introduced. Changes to the by-laws were approved by the membership that would allow women and divorced individuals to be elected to the board.
Celebrate Recovery began meeting at the church 2014, helping individuals who struggle with harmful habits.
After serving in his role as Senior Pastor in Atlantic for 27 years, Pastor Fisher was elected by his peers to become the next Superintendent of the Iowa Ministry Network in April, 2019.
Assistant Pastors Included: Dan Aubuchon (1993 - 1994), Guy Somers (1998 - 2005), and Lee Havemeier (2007 - 2015)
Rev. David Beroth
In January, 2020 David Beroth became the new lead pastor and moved to Atlantic with his wife, Elli.