HISTORY OF THE CHURCH
At its founding, the Comfort community was primarily German-speaking, and members of the Baptist faith were in the minority. However, there was a growing need for a church to serve these members, so an effort to form a Baptist church began. A formal congregation was organized on August 30, 1936, and the first meeting of the church was held in the Comfort Park pavilion, where the name Comfort Baptist Church (CBC) was officially adopted.
The first pastor of Comfort Baptist Church was F.E. Kirchner, who at the time also served Baptist churches in Boerne and Fredericksburg. As he could not be present every Sunday morning during CBC’s initial beginnings, other pastors preached in his absence. Pastor Kirchner officially moved his letter to Comfort Baptist Church in December 1944 and solely served the congregation until March 30, 1945, when he resigned to accept a call from First Baptist Church in Hallettsville, Texas.
In addition to F.E. Kirchner, the following pastors have served the church:
C.F. McClure: May1945 - October 1945
W.B. Wooten: Intentional interim on several occasions
A.J. Carson: January 1946 - July 1947
Leo Davis: August 1947 - December 1947
Vernon Shaw: February 1948 - May 1948
Don Hendricks: May 1948 - November 1948
Graydon Howell: April 1949 - October 1949
V.W. Tatum: March 1950 - September 1952
A.M. Averitt: March 1953 - July 1955
D.B. South: August 1955 - November 1955 (interim)
C.H. Phifer: November 1955 - July 1967
Roy Dozier: August 1967 (interim)
Keith Lamb: August 1967 - July 1971
Charlie H. Simons, Jr.: August 1972 - September 1973
Mitchell Butler: December 1973 - July 1975
Michael Pennington: November 1975 - September 1976
M.M. Baze: October 1976 - July 1977 (interim)
James H. Holt. Jr.: July 1977 - June 1984
Rick Owen: August 1984 - May 1987
James H. Holt, Jr.: June 1987 - December 2017
John C. Music: February 2018 - present
The Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) was organized in 1938. They met once a month to promote the study of missionaries and their work, while setting goals for contributions to mission causes locally and around the world. The WMU was also heavily involved in sponsoring youth groups and their activities. In May of 1988, a quilt was made by the members of the WMU in celebration of its 100th anniversary. The quilt is currently on display in the Fellowship Hall of CBC.
BUILDING A CHURCH
As Comfort Baptist Church began to grow, plans were made to erect a permanent church building. Since its beginnings, the congregation met regularly at various facilities around town. In 1942, the building funds were invested in War Bonds, and additional bonds were also purchased as offerings by members of the church.
On December 10, 1947, the lot at 334 Broadway was purchased for $800, and in June 1949, Comfort Baptist Church officially began building with ground-breaking ceremonies held on June 20, 1949. Though the building was still under construction, the church began holding worship services in the facility in September 1949.
During the flood of 1978, the church building suffered minor damage due to the heavy rains and rising waters from Cypress Creek. Monetary donations helped defray the cost of repairs, which were made in record time, and allowed church services and activities to continue uninterrupted. A few years following the flood, it was determined that additional educational space was needed, so a building program began in 1981 to add classrooms. The project was completed in 1982, with a dedication service held on June 6, 1982.
FIRST MAJOR LOVE OFFERING PROJECT
In June 1984, after seven years of service, Pastor James Holt resigned as pastor of Comfort Baptist Church to pastor a church in Sabinal. Pastor Rick Owen was then called to pastor CBC in August 1984. In 1984, the Whitsons, missionaries from Tanzania, visited CBC and made the church aware of the need for churches in Tanzania. The congregation set a goal of raising $1,000 for the purpose of building a church in there. The was goal was gloriously exceeded, and the remainder was applied to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
August 30, 1986, was the 50th anniversary of Comfort Baptist Church. At this time, a Historical Committee was formed to begin work on the compilation of a complete church history, and previous pastors and members were invited to a celebratory worship service and the dinner that followed on the church grounds. The Historical Committee did such a good job noting the 50 year history of the church that in November of 1987, CBC received an award for the detailed document from the Texas Baptist Historical Commission.
CREATING A STRONG FOUNDATION
In 1987, several notable things occurred. First, in April 1987, Pastor Rick Owen resigned to enter the international mission field in Africa. In July - after 3 years of service in Sabinal - Pastor James Holt returned to Comfort Baptist Church as pastor. Also, in April, the first Church Council was formed, and they immediately began work on an operations manual for the church, as well as drafting the church’s first constitution and by-laws, which were then adopted in September of that year. These became the foundation for a restructured constitution and by-laws for the church that were adopted in October 1998.
MISION BAUTISTA HISPANA
In October 1989, Comfort Baptist Church, in conjunction with First Baptist Church of Boerne and the Baptist General Convention of Texas, began work to organize a Baptist Hispanic Mission. The new mission was to meet in the facilities of CBC at 334 Broadway. Pledges from each of these organizations were to finance the endeavor until it was self-sufficient. The mission began in April 1990 with Jose Gonzales as its first pastor. Mision Bautista Hispana continues to hold services and mid-week activities in the old Comfort Baptist Church building location.
FUTURE NEEDS OF THE CHURCH
Due to the growth of the church and the Comfort community, a Long-Range Planning Committee was established to determine the current and future needs of the church. The committee found that there was a need for additional space and asked the congregation to consider how such needs could best be met. The committee proposed three alternatives: a complete remodel of the existing structure; a remodel, plus the addition of more space; or a relocation and the construction of new facilities. As the church was located in the flood zone, the majority of members voted to move to another location. An ad hoc committee was thus formed to search for a suitable location, and in January 1990, 4.7 acres of land were purchased at the corners of Highway 473 and Amber Drive for $69,000. Plans for a pre-fabricated concrete building - designed by Mr. William Petty - were then approved by the church membership. Mr. Petty also graciously agreed to act as Quality Control Supervisor for the building project.
A ground-breaking ceremony was held on November 15, 1992, and the foundation slab was poured December 29, 1992. Thus began construction of the new facilities of Comfort Baptist Church! Paid laborers were assisted through countless hours of volunteer labor by members of the church and people of the Comfort community. The building was completed, and the first worship service held in the sanctuary in July 1993. A formal dedication service was held on August 22, 1993, to celebrate the new facilities.
The custom of honoring graduating seniors from Comfort High School began in 1954 when the local churches hosted a celebratory banquet in order to award each with a Bible. Although the banquet no longer occurs for every senior graduating from the high school, Comfort Baptist Church still provides each graduating senior, who is a member of the church, with a special Bible with their name on the front cover. The family of Elvin Grantham established a Memorial Bible Fund in his memory in the 1990s that was dedicated to the purchase of these Bibles. At the close of this fund, CBC's youth ministry continued the long-standing tradition as a way to commemorate this important milestone for our seniors.
On May 14, 1997, long-time church members, the Schwethelm family, requested permission to build a small prayer chapel on the grounds of CBC. Known as the “Founders Chapel,” the building was completed in 1996. It was designed by Ed Nicholson Associates, Inc. of San Antonio, and it was built by Don Biermann Construction Company of Comfort. Becky Patterson designed its stained glass windows, which were made by IHS Studios. Each window pane has a special meaning, and if you visit the Founders Chapel, you can read about the symbolism of each. A dedication service was held on April 24, 1999. The Schwethelm family also graciously donated the stained glass mural that is situated above the baptistery in the sanctuary.
Because of the substantial growth of CBC, there was a growing need for a structured youth ministry. CBC’s first youth minister, Bobby Walsh, was hired in April 1998. Bobby served the church until 2000. Over the past 22 years, we have had many wonderful men and women fill the role of Youth and Children's Director, and not only has each added a new dimension to our program, but many have also gone on to follow the call of God on their lives. With Jeanna Biermann as Youth Director beginning in 2014, we saw such an increase in families that it was determined a separate Children's Program was necessary. In the years following, both the Youth and Children's ministries have served families in Comfort and the surrounding communities through dedicated discipleship programs. Joy Miller, our current youth director, is doing fantastic things with our children and youth groups. JCFAM - our group for 6th through 12th grades meets on Sundays at 4:30 pm in our fellowship hall for dinner, activities, and Bible study. Our Children's Group for Pre-K to 5th grade is on Wednesday evenings beginning with dinner at 5:00 pm and then worship and grade level classes focusing on God's Word.
In August 1999, the church began a love offering program, dedicated to sending Pastor Holt and his wife, Janice, to the Holy Land. Jim and Janice traveled to Israel in March 2000 with a tour group headed by Pastor Buckner Fanning of Trinity Baptist Church in San Antonio. This experience positively impacted not only Jim and Janice by giving them the opportunity to experience the places Jesus walked, but they were able to share their newfound knowledge with the congregation through firsthand accounts.
CALLED TO THE GOSPEL
Comfort Baptist Church has a rich history of ordaining called men of God to the Gospel ministry. Ordained ministers include Michael Pennington on February 29, 1976, and Tim Marshall in May 1995. Also, CBC has been involved in the ordinations of Pastor Roy Dozier at North Central Baptist Church in San Antonio; Pastor Mitchell Butler at First Baptist Church in Center Point; and Pastor James H. Holt Jr. at Park Hill Baptist Church in San Antonio. Bobby Walsh, CBC’s first Youth Director, was ordained into the Gospel Ministry on February 7, 1999, at Trinity Baptist Church in Kerrville, by Pastor Bill Blackburn and Pastor James Holt.
In 2017and 2018, Comfort Baptist Church began to experience some impactful changes. In December 2017, Pastor James Holt announced his retirement, and his last sermon was delivered on December 31, New Year's Eve 1917. Jim and Janice first came to CBC in July of 1977, leaving to serve in Sabinal for a number of years, before returning in July of 1987, where they faithfully served for the next 30 years, serving CBC for a grand total of 36 years. To celebrate their service, a community gathering was held on December 3, 2017, with a much more intimate and fun church retirement party held on December 10. The ladies of the church held an appreciation shower for Janice in November 2017.
So began the search for a new church leader. In February 2018, the congregation welcomed John C. Music as the new pastor of Comfort Baptist Church. The installation service was held March 4, 2018, followed by a welcome celebration for John and his family - and a few months later a ladies shower for Alicia - following the worship service in the Fellowship Hall.
Comfort Baptist Church continues to be on mission in reaching the Comfort community for the Lord. Every year, the church hosts Vacation Bible School in partnership with Mision Bautista Hispana, as an outreach ministry to children in Comfort and the surrounding areas.
Through the Backpack Program, the church works with families in need to distribute backpacks and basic school supplies at the beginning of a new school year. This program has been a joint community effort throughout the years, and the donations and support of church and community members make it possible for us to bless these students. In August of 2022, the church passed out more than 80 backpacks to students in Comfort and the surrounding communities.
“Trunk or Treat” is a Halloween night community alternative on the church campus that regularly draws over 500 people on October 31st. The church provides candy, carnival games, bounce houses, balloons, food, drinks, photo opportunities, and church members open and decorate their trunks to provide a free, festive, and safe night for everyone!
CBC also supports Comfort Table and Comfort Food Pantry, which provide weekly meals and groceries to those in need in our community. Wednesday evening supper with the Comfort Table has also provided an area for quality fellowship with our neighbors in the community.
Of course, the history of Comfort Baptist Church would be vastly incomplete without the recognition of the many dedicated members through the years who have served as volunteers in the various offices of our church as musicians, greeters, Bible Study teachers, worship leaders, committee members, deacons, and ministry team leaders. Our church is profoundly grateful for all of the volunteers who have dedicated and continue to dedicate themselves to serve the church and help others grow in their faith.