By Beverley Colpitts and Ruth MacDonald
In June of 1946 a house on the same street as the church was bought for later use as a parsonage.
In June of 1948 the Gunningsville group called the Rev. J.B. Messenger to their service and the church now became a separate pastorate. Gunningsville then joined the Eighth New Brunswick Eastern Baptist Association District.
Mr. Messenger suffered a heart attack in 1952, and he was replaced by the Rev. G.D. Brydon.
Members of the Riverview Baptist Church requested joint services in August 1955 and in 1959 on February 5 it was decided to hire a student from the United Baptist Bible Training School so that both churches could have a Sunday morning service, and the evening services would alternate. This proved satisfactory until 1960.
On February 20, 1958 a church committee was asked to gather information regarding the future hosing of the congregation. On May 29, 1958 it was decided to buy land from Mrs. William G. Watters.
Extensive repairs proved to be unwarranted on the old parsonage, so the church voted on July 16, 1959 to construct a new minister's home on the northeast corner of the new church property, south of Government Road and the old parsonage was sold in May of the next year.
In 1960 a Baptist Men's Fellowship was organized and is still active.
On July 23, 1964 space was rented at the Gunningsville school for the Sunday School. In the same year, Junior, Intermediate, and Senior Baptist Youth Fellowship groups were formed, the membership being 60, 30 and 20 respectively.
Mr. Cyril Ingalls re-organized the Boy Scout Program in 1964 and by the following year there were 7 Rovers, 15 Scouts and 8 Wolf Cubs in the set up. A "Pioneer Girl" program was introduced in 1964 with 26 members in the Pilgrim and Colonist groups, and the Christian Service Brigade was chartered in 1973. In the summer of 1967 the church bought more land adjacent to the Government Road property, and on September 14 the Rev. George Simpson arrived in the pastorate.
On January 30, 1969 the Building Committee recommended that tenders be called fo the first unit. Services began in the new chapel by the end of the year. The actual dedication ceremony was held on February 8, 1970, with invitations being sent to each Gunningsville householder. The Rev. Harry Renfree was the guest speaker.
The year 1975 was the 50th anniversary of the founding of Baptist work in this area. Special meetings took place over the weekend of May 30-June 1, of which 10 original charter members were present. The theme of the sessions were "Yesterday", "Today", and "Tomorrow". The Reverends Roy Campbell, Keith Hobson and George Simpson spoke on these three subjects respectively.
In the fall of 1976 a new Family Bible School project began. The Teen Class embarked on a program of Daily Devotions, Book Reports and Scripture memorization. Later on this program was enlarged to include pre-teens. Those completing the program qualified for a week at camp.
On February 3, 1977 the Management Board concept was accepted for a year, and still meets monthly.
In January off 1977, a Building Committee investigated additional facilities. Their 1978-79 report was submitted and emphasized that stress be placed on Worship for 1982. Family Bible School for the same year. Administrator for 1983 (along with Unified Budget Studies), and Music for 1984.
In December of 1983, the church authorized a Building Committee and on May 24, 1984 Clyde Hamilton of Chapelstone Developments Inc., presented the congregation with drawings of a new building. On June 28, 1984 the church approved a stewardship campaign to run from September 12 to October 12, 1984. The results of that campaign are evident to all who were involved in it.
Pastors of the church from its beginnings were (and are):
1925-26: Rev. D.H. Maitland
1926-29: Rev. Milton Addison
1929-39: Rev. Gordon Beckett
1939-48: Rev. Steadman Smith
1948-52: Rev. J.B. Messenger
1953-57: Rev. G.D. Brydon
1957-66: Rev. Seth Crowell, Sr.
1967-71: Rev. George Simpson
1971-74: Rev. Harold Price
1974-80: Rev. William Cairns
1981- Rev. Douglas Kinsman
Interim pastors were: Mr. John Simcox; Rev. A.K. Herman, Rev. Roy Campbell, Rev. Roy Bell, Rev. Elwood Bannister, and Rev. James Tetley; while United Baptist Bible Training School students were: James Otis and Duane Berry.