At its founding, the Comfort community was primarily a German-speaking community, and members of the Baptist faith were in the minority. There was a growing need for a Baptist 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 voted on and adopted.
The first regular pastor of Comfort Baptist Church was F.E. Kirchner, who also served Baptist churches in Boerne and Fredericksburg at the same time. As he could not be present every Sunday morning during the CBC’s initial beginnings, other pastors supplied for him as needed. Pastor Kirchner officially moved his letter to Comfort Baptist Church in December 1944 and served the congregation until March 30, 1945, when he resigned to accept a call from First Baptist Church, Hallettsville, Texas.
In addition to F.E. Kirchner, the following pastors have served Comfort Baptist Church:
C.F. McClure—May 1945-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-Ocotber 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
Keith Lamb—August 1967-July 1971
Roy Dozier—August 1967 (interim)
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 1984-December 2017
John C. Music—February 2018-present
The Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) was organized in 1938. They met once every month to promote the study of missionaries and their work, while setting goals for contributions to missions 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 at CBC.
As Comfort Baptist Church began to grow, plans were made to erect a permanent church building. In 1942, the building funds were invested in War Bonds until they were needed. Additional bonds, purchased as offerings for the building fund, were also received. On December 10, 1947, the lot for the original building was purchased for $800. In June 1949, at a called church conference, a motion was made that Comfort Baptist Church proceed with its building program. Ground-breaking ceremonies were held on June 20, 1949. Though the building was still under construction, the church began to hold worship services in September 1949. During the flood of 1978, the church building suffering minor damage due to the heavy rains and the 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. Following the flood, it was determined that additional space was need, so a building program began in 1981 to add classrooms. The project was completed in 1982, with a dedication service held for the new educational spaces on June 6, 1982.
In June 1984, Pastor James Holt resigned as pastor of Comfort Baptist Church to pastor a church in Sabinal. Pastor Rick Owen was 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. Comfort Baptist Church set a goal of raising $1,000 for the purpose of building a church in Tanzania. The goal for this cause was exceeded and the extra amount was applied to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. The church in Tanzania was erected, and the Whitsons, along with the members of the church in Tanzania, appreciated the efforts and support of Comfort Baptist Church.
August 30, 1986 was 50th anniversary of Comfort Baptist Church. A Historical Committee was formed to begin work on the compilation of a complete church history. Previous pastors and members were invited to the celebratory worship service and the BBQ dinner that followed on the church grounds. In November of 1987, CBC received an award from the Texas Baptist Historical Commission for the 1986 “History of CBC” document that was compiled for the 50th anniversary.
In 1987, several interesting things of note occurred. First, in April 1987, Pastor Rick Owen resigned to enter the foreign mission field in Africa. In July, Pastor James Holt returned to Comfort Baptist Church as pastor. In April, the first Church Council was formed, and they immediately began work on an operations manual for the church, as well as the drafting of the church’s first constitution and by-laws, which were adopted in September. A restructured constitution and by-laws were adopted in October 1998.
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 present facilities of CBC. Pledges from each of these organizations were to finance the endeavor until it was self-sufficient. The mission began in April 1990; its first pastor was Jose Gonzales. Mision Bautista Hispana continues to hold services and mid-week activities in the old Comfort Baptist Church building location at 334 Broadway.
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 addition space, and they asked the church 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 relocation and the construction of new facilities. Members of the church were asked to vote on one of these three alternatives. 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. A called church meeting was held, and plans for a pre-fabricated concrete building, designed by Mr. William Petty, were accepted. Mr. Petty 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 that involved countless hours of volunteers labor by members of the church and people of the Comfort community, as well as paid laborers. The building was completed and the first worship service was held in the sanctuary in July 1993. A formal dedication service was held on August 22, 1993.
The custom of honoring graduating seniors from Comfort High School began in 1954 and continues to the present. The family of Elvin Grantham established a Memorial Bible Fund in his memory. The fund was dedicated to the purchase of Bibles for graduating high school seniors at Comfort High School, as well as other Bibles in the church.
On May 14, 1997, the Schwethelm family requested permission to build a small prayer chapel on the grounds of CBC. Permission was granted. Known as “Founders Chapel,” the building was completed in 1996. It was designed by Ed Nicholson Associates, Inc. of San Antonio and built by Don Biermann Construction Company of Comfort. Becky Patterson designed its stained glass windows, which were made by IHS Studios. 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 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 20 years, CBC has hired many great men and women who have faithfully served CBC as Youth Directors and have gone on to follow the call of God on their lives.
In August 1999, the church began a love offering program, dedicated to send 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.
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 2017-2018, Comfort Baptist Church began to experience some impacting changes. In December 2017, Pastor James Holt retired. Jim’s last sermon was delivered on December 31, 2017, and his retirement began effective January 1, 2018. 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.
In February 2018, the church voted to welcome 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 immediately following the worship service in the Fellowship Hall. A ladies welcome shower was held for John’s wife, Alicia, on August 4, 2018 at the Marquardt Ranch in Sisterdale.
Comfort Baptist Church continues to be on mission in reaching the Comfort community for the Lord. Every year, the church hosts Vacation Bible School, with the support of Mision Bautista Hispana, as an outreach ministry to children. Through the “Project Backpacks” program, the church equips students in need with backpacks and basic school supplies. “Trunk or Treat” is a Halloween alternative on the church campus that regular draws over 500 people on October 31. CBC is also involved in the Comfort Table and Comfort Food Pantry, which provides weekly meals and groceries, respectively, to those in need.
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.