FIBC's History

FIBC's History
A Brief History of the Flagstaff Indian Bible Church

The Flagstaff Mission to the Navajos was organized in June 1948. Dr. Walter L. Wilson, a practicing physician and also the pastor of Central Bible Church in Kansas City, Missouri, along with Miss Katherine Beard and Miss Imo, who were both acquainted with the Navajo field and need, were burden of the Lord to pray this Mission into existence. The first work and organized church was at the Navajo Ordnance Depot where the Mission was appointed the authorized protestant work for the Navajo village there.

As Indians began to settle in the city of Flagstaff, the Mission purchased property in October 1952 at Leroux and Cherry Streets for a mission headquarters building to accommodate the growing need of Indians settling here. This building was dedicated September 1953. In August of 1953 a group of Indians met in the newly acquired headequarters building to organize a Sunday School and worship together. From its beginning it was thought of not primarily as a Navajo work, but as an Indian work so as to include any tribe. There have always been from four to six tribes particpating in this fellowship. Presently there are Navajos, Hopis, Apaches, Creek, Hualapai and Havasupai who count this as their church home.

Under the leadership of the mission staff and its director, Miss Katerine Beard, that small fellowship experienced God's blessing until it became apparent that a church building would be essential to adequately carry on the Lord's work. By faith and putting their trust in the Lord, they began the structure known as the Indian Bible Church in the summer of 1956. In spite of testings, the Lord's faithfulness has been assured, and by His enabling they were able to start constructon on the second unit of the church in 1959. With the help of Christian friends and the faithfulness of God, they were able to see the present structure completed and ready for use.

The building provided ample class rooms for the growing opportunities of witnessing to Indian people in the city of Flagstaff. The present unit ready for use as the congregation gather together on October 2, 1960, for the purpose of dedicating that which the Lord has made a reality.

In 1971 Rev. Scott Franklin, a Navajo pastor was called to the Indian Bible Church. He has served in that capacity until 1993. During this time, the Native people got more involve in leadership and teaching God's Word. In 1980's IBC was organized with a charter membership and established Church officers.

This local body of believers was established as an indigenous church: self govering, self financing, and self propagating. The Church was incorporated under the laws of the State of Arizona as of January 3, 1991.