In August of 1971 Fred L. England came to Kalispell from Bible Baptist College in Springfield, Missouri to start an independent Baptist Church. The church was organized on May 18, 1973. Pastor England left the church on April 1, 1974; he went to Selah, Washington to study under another pastor for a while. Nathan Bemis arrived in Kalispell on May 17, 1974 with his wife Louise and sons John, 16 months old and Joel, 6 months old. When Pastor Bemis arrived the church was meeting at the former Assembly of God building on 2nd St E. in Kalispell. The building had been sold to the Senior Citizens, so a new meeting place had to be found within the first months of his arrival. There were only 10 or 15 people attending the church at that time.

The Bible Baptist Fellowship of Colorado supported the Bemis family with $500 a month for a six month period. The church paid Pastor Bemis $50 a week. The church had purchased 3 and ½ acres of land in Evergreen from Les and John Inabnit. While trying to build up the congregation spiritually and numerically, Pastor Bemis was able to rent the hallway of East Evergreen School for Sunday services. Wednesday night prayer meeting was held in the Pastor’s home.

The first part of November, 1974 Pastor Bemis began working as a welder and doing odd jobs to support his family. He sold his truck that winter to pay for a concrete slab to be poured at the property just off of LaSalle Rd. in Evergreen. The local owners of a Quonset hut construction company agreed to put up a Quonset hut shell with 1 inch of insulation to cover the slab. In March of 1975, the first Quonset hut was erected. By this time the congregation had grown to about 50. The monthly payment for this building was $140. As money came in the sheet rock, piece by piece was put into place; furnaces installed, chairs purchased. A retired pastor, H.L. Inabnit helped with the building and was a great blessing to the church and to the Bemis family.

During the 1980’s Shawn Scribner was the youth pastor at Bible Baptist Church. After training under Pastor Bemis, he went on to pastor Heritage Baptist Church in Yuma, AZ. Phil Sieler, Jr. also studied under Pastor Bemis and is presently a missionary in Lo de Marcos, Mexico. Many of the young people who grew up in Bible Baptist are still serving the Lord at the church.

During the 40 years Pastor Bemis has been Pastor at Bible Baptist Church, a second Quonset hut was built as a Sunday School building and fellowship hall. A new auditorium was built in 2007 and the original Quonset is used as junior church meeting place and Sunday School class building. We praise the Lord for the many children, teens and young adults who fill the various classrooms each Sunday and Wednesday as they learn the Word of God and the love of fellowship with God’s people.

Bible Baptist Church is an independent Baptist Church; we believe the King James Bible is the Word of God preserved without error; we sing the old hymns accompanied by the piano. The hymns sung are to prepare our hearts for the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.

PASTOR NATHAN W. BEMIS was born in Colorado in 1941. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1960. While in boot camp, he had to spend several days in sick bay and was given a gospel tract. He was saved as a result of that tract and he began reading a Gideon New Testament. He joined the Methodist Church because Paul Whipple, the man who gave him the tract was studying to be a Methodist preacher. But as he and some fellow Christian sailors began visiting churches in the various ports where the Lexington was docked he began to go to Baptist churches. While in Pensacola, FL, he went to Brent Baptist Church where Dr. Peter Ruckman was pastor. There he got assurance of his salvation. When Dr. Ruckman began Pensacola Bible Institute in 1965, Bro. Bemis was a member of the first class. He graduated in 1968. That same year he married Louise Plemons and in the fall of 1970, they moved to Laurel, Mississippi where Bro. Bemis was pastor of Victory Baptist Church. In 1972, they moved back to Colorado. They adopted their son John in January of 1973 and Joel was born in November of 1973. They moved to Kalispell in May of 1974 and have served the Lord at Bible Baptist Church since then.