We look to God in prayer for a renewed vision for our future. It is our desire that Bible Baptist Church continue to bring families together, and pass on a godly legacy to our children and to our children’s children. We are laying a foundation for the future ministry and outreach of Bible Baptist Church. The following is a brief history of the foundation of Bible Baptist Church for the past eighty-five years.
Bible Baptist Church was founded by a group of five ladies during the early part of the 1920’s. They gathered together at the home of Mr. and Mrs. William Clarke of Sixth Street in Wood-Ridge, as well as in other homes, for weekly prayer and fellowship. Soon, other ladies of the town began to ask if they could join the group. It was not long before it became evident that their group would outgrow a home meeting place. The first official move toward an organized body of the church was September 27, 1928, when a document was drafted and acted upon. This document stated their belief and purpose and on October 8, 1928, the church was officially named First Baptist Church of Wood-Ridge, New Jersey.
First Baptist Church held its first service on November 4, 1928, when a bungalow at 499 Highland Avenue, Wood-Ridge served as a meeting place. Due to the steady growth of First Baptist Church, an addition was built onto the original building in 1941. In time, they realized the need for even more room. 31 Passaic Avenue was presented to the congregation for their consideration after a lengthy search. It was approved and in June 1954, the papers were signed. Construction was started after they met a financial goal in October of 1956 ($40,000). The new building was completed in April of 1957, and in May, First Baptist Church changed its name to Bible Baptist Church.
Reverend Peter Vander Vliet was called to be the first pastor. It took three years for Sunday School to become an active program. Mr. and Mrs. Lees served as leaders of Sunday School from 1933 to 1945. In 1943, Jasper Meyer was pastor for 18 months, followed by Rev. Kenneth Wilcox from 1946-1952. In August of 1952, Rev. Donald C. Hafler became Pastor and he and his wife Marie served until 1983 when Pastor Hafler went home to be with the Lord. In December of 1984, Pastor Robert Cateau was called as pastor having come off the Mission Field in Aruba. He remained until his resignation in 1988. He will be remembered for helping to start our Faith Promise Giving Program.
A “Pastoral Search Committee” was formed and the members of this committee were resolved that they needed a pastor who would have a very strong evangelical approach, with a definite heart for preaching and teaching, and an ability to truly meet the needs of the community. Reverend William Hegedus visited twice in the Fall and Winter of 1988. The committee sought the will of God and the membership. In February 1989, Pastor Bill Hegedus, his wife Diane and their seven children came to Bible Baptist Church. The members and congregation welcomed Pastor Hegedus at his installation service on February 26, 1989.
Pastor Bill retired on October 2013. Pastor Bill serving together with his family, for 25 years, were very influential in many areas of growth, in our church especially through the Jesus Story for 25 years which was a dramatization of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In 2013, a “Pastoral Search Committee” was formed consisting of the Elder Board, Chairman of the Deacon Board, a Deacon and 2 members. After reviewing countless applications, Pastor Eric Dammann was asked to come to an interview with the Search Committee. After much prayerful consideration, Pastor Eric was invited to come and share a message on Sunday morning for both services. To get a better picture of Him and his family he was invited to our annual Church picnic. Shortly thereafter a meeting of the members of the church was held. By a large majority of the votes he was asked to become Pastor of Bible Baptist church.
The vision of our church ministry is in keeping with the original charter documents, stated in October 8, 1928, and continues to be our purpose today. These being:
1. Discipleship (2 Timothy 2:15)
2. Evangelism (Matthew 28:18-20)
3. Worship (John 4:23)
4. Fellowship (Acts 2:42)
5. Ministry (Ephesians 4:12)
Bible Baptist Church is a family-focused body of multi-cultural believers with 212 members, who gather with the purpose to both glorify God and to inform the world about the work of Christ as Redeemer.
We have approximately 375 men, women and children who gather weekly for corporate worship and Sunday School. The greatest number of attendees reside within a seven mile radius encircling more than 10 townships. Our church is located in a suburban area. Its attendees are mostly lower middle-class. The Hasbrouck Heights/Wood-Ridge area is mainly a middle class population that is mostly Catholic.
Some building blocks in that foundation have been and continue to be:
A. Elder Board Leadership
Bible Baptist Church is led through an Elder Board, which is a shared leadership structure of gifted leaders complimenting one another in the responsibilities of shepherding the church. Shared pastoral leadership helps lighten the load and allows each Elder to function primarily according to their personal giftedness. From among the Elders there must be a first among leaders, who is a highly gifted leader and teacher of the Word. This person acts as the spokesperson for the group and leads the church in its vision and preaching. This is the position of the Head Pastor/Elder. 1 Timothy 5:17
B. Membership Covenant
After an individual has received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and has been baptized, attended membership classes and is in agreement with the doctrinal stand and policies as stated in the Bible Baptist Church Constitution, they commit to God and to the members to do the following:
1. I will protect my church.
2. I will share the responsibility of my church.
3. I will serve the ministry of my church.
4. I will support the testimony of my church.
C. Weekly Worship Services
Presently we have two Sunday morning services and one Sunday evening service. Traditional hymns are sung at the 8:30am service followed by contemporary music sung at our 11:00am service. The preacher gives the same message at both morning services. An Elder or Deacon who has the gift of teaching, gives the message at the 6pm service and traditional hymns are sung.
D. Sunday School
Sunday School is from 9:45 am to 10:45 am.
Classes are offered for Nursery to Pre-K, 1st to 6th grade, Junior/Senior High, Young Adult, Spanish Class, and three Adult Classes which average approximately 170 students total.
E. Foundational Ministry Programs
1. Children’s Ministries - include: UpStreet, VBS, and AWANA. These are available for children in Pre-K to 5th grade.
2. Rooted in Christ - is our Junior/Senior High School Ministry, which meets on Fridays.
3. CrossLife - is a Young Adult Ministry for 18-30 year olds, which meets on Tuesdays and has a monthly outreach event.
4. Men's Ministry - meets on Tuesday nights for prayer and Bible study. The men have a breakfast worship fellowship on the first Saturday of each month. They also have several outreach outings to local and neighboring communities.
5. Women's Ministry - meets on Tuesday nights for prayer and Bible study and on the second Thursday of each month they meet for worship and fellowship.
6. Midweek Bible Study - meets on Wednesday nights for in-depth Bible studies, which are led by the Pastor, an Elder or Deacon.
7. Small Groups - are various small groups which meet at the church and in private homes. Opportunities for people to study the Bible, discover their gifts and fellowship.
8. Couples for Christ - meets on Fridays for marriage enrichment.
9. Senior Saints - is a group for those over 60 years of age, who meet monthly for a devotional and fellowship.
F. Outreach Ministries
1. AWANA Reaching children ages Pre-k to 5th grade with the gospel. We have book time, games and theme nights.
2. MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) - is an outreach ministry which ministers to mothers of preschoolers in our community and surrounding areas, many of whom do not know Christ.
3. DivorceCare - ministers to those in our church or outside of the church that have recently experienced a divorce or marriage separation.
4. Family Community Harvest Festival - is an outreach ministry for families in the Church and in the community. It provides a safe environment to collect treats, play games while collecting food for the local pantry and exposing them to the gospel message.
G. Foreign Missions
Bible Baptist Church supports 9 missionaries serving cross-culturally with a long-term commitment in countries across the world.
We have also had several groups commissioned and sent out from our church which have traveled to other countries (China, St. Lucia, Romania, and West Africa, Ghana, Poland) as short-term missionaries to minister to their physical and spiritual needs.
We also support individuals from our church that do short term mission trips.