Our Story of God's Faithfulness

November 1969
A local missionary identified the need for a church in Springfield, so four couples began meeting for prayer about starting a church on the south side of the city.

February 1970
An infant Southgate Baptist Church held its first service in Perrin Woods school cafeteria. Cedarville University professor Dr. Jim Grier preached the inaugural sermon the first Sunday to a group of about 40 people.

May 1970
Following his graduation from Dallas Theological Seminary, Joe Stowell became Southgate’s first pastor. Joe and Marty Stowell arrived in Springfield and parked their camper on a church family’s front lawn.

May 1971
Southgate was made official when the church constitution was completed. There were over 100 attending, so the church had to move into the Perrin Woods school gymnasium.

June 1972
After attendance had reached 200, many sacrificially gave to buy three acres for a dedicated church building. Groundbreaking took place at 2111 S. Center Blvd.

June 1973
Construction began for phase 1 of the facility, including a 400-seat sanctuary, ten classrooms, nurseries, library, fellowship hall, and offices.

February 1974
The first Sunday in the new building saw 468 crammed into the pews on February 10, 1974.

October 1978
Rev. John Greening was called as Southgate’s second senior pastor.

October 1983
Phase 2 of the church building was dedicated, allowing for additional classrooms, fellowship areas, and seating in the sanctuary.

October 1990
Plans were approved to expand the existing facility, including a 1,200-seat auditorium, more education space, and an office suite.

October 1991
Southgate called Rev. Jim Vogel as third senior pastor. At this time, average Sunday morning attendance was 900.

April 1993
The conclusion of three building phases—first in 1973, then in 1983—was on April 18, 1993. More than 1,200 attendees joined the first service held in the new auditorium. Dr. Joe Stowell, Southgate’s first pastor, preached at the dedication service.

April 1995
Southgate celebrated God’s faithfulness over 25 years.

October 1995
Rev. Eric Mounts, who previously served as an associate pastor, returned from Michigan to serve as Southgate’s fourth senior pastor.

March 2012
Rev. Bobby Hile was called as fifth senior pastor. Bobby and Sara Hile had been supported by Southgate as missionaries in South Africa for nearly two decades prior to coming.