Our History

Fourth Baptist Church began as a mission Sunday School of the First Baptist Church of Minneapolis. At that time, the congregation that would become the Fourth Baptist Church met in members' homes until they grew large enough for their own building. Jewett Chapel, formerly on the corner of 11th Avenue North and Lyndale Avenue, housed the church until 1885, when they built a new sanctuary at 18th Avenue North and Dupont Avenue.

The church continued to grow and, in 1920, they built a new building on the corner of Fremont Avenue North and 21st Avenue. By 1954, attendance averaged over 700 for Sunday services. In 1974, a 2,000-seat auditorium was added adjacent to the original auditorium on Fremont Avenue North. In 1998, the congregation voted to relocate the church to the suburbs of Plymouth. A new ministry, Family Baptist Church, was planted at 21st and Girard Avenues.

God has blessed Fourth Baptist Church by providing great Bible teachers to lead this ministry through the last 60 years.

  • From 1940 to 1982, Dr. Richard V. Clearwaters pastored the church and oversaw the establishment of Fourth Baptist Christian School, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and WCTS radio.
  • Dr. Ernest Pickering provided a strong pulpit ministry from 1988-1993.
  • Dr. Doug McLachlan pastored the church on two different occasions -- 1982-1987 and 1994-2007 -- and he superintended the relocation of the church from Minneapolis to Plymouth, and the planting of two new churches: Family Baptist Church in North Minneapolis and Bible Baptist Church in Elk River.
  • Dr. Matt Morrell became the Senior Pastor in 2008, signaling a new and exciting chapter in the story of Fourth Baptist Church.