Our Church History
In February of 1926, a train steamed into Flagstaff past the Santa Fe depot and dropped off the Glad Tidings chapel car at a siding by the lumber mill just west of town. Arizona Baptist missionary W.A. Vanderhoof began services in the car that continued in that location until the end of the year. The Coconino Sun reported that: “In spite of a bad location, the audiences have been growing at the chapel car. Sunday’s services were well attended and enthusiastic.”
At the end of the year 1926, the car was moved from that “bad location” to a siding off south Beaver street and just south of the Santa Fe depot. It was next to a stone warehouse we now know as The Historic Anderson Building.
The Glad Tidings chapel car was finally moved to the northeast corner of Beaver and Cottage, but with many problems and delays. One delay was caused by a large snowstorm and another due to problems with those hired to help with the move. It was taking so much time that the newspaper began to refer to it as the “streetcar” as it “slowly” progressed down Beaver Street. It became known as the Glad Tidings Baptist Church and served that purpose until around 1931 or 1932.
The church then moved into the former Seventh Day Adventist church building. The sign on the front of the building says Glad Tidings Baptist Church. As it was no longer needed, pastor Reverend Dixon dismantled the chapel car piece by piece.
As a young boy, Harold Harper remembers helping to prepare the chapel car for worship by rubbing down the golden oak pews, Estey organ, and the ornate pulpit. He remembers the Reverend Dixon teaching him life-sustaining scriptures. He says he will never forget the warmth and fellowship of the Christians in that chapel car.