HomeChurch HistoryHistory of the Apostolic Church of Belleville IL

History of the Apostolic Church of Belleville

In 1934, The Apostolic Church began with a handful of families and met in a small building at 800 West Main Street in Belleville Illinois.  Bro. B. J. Ballard was the first pastor followed by Rev. A. F. Varnell.  Bro. Varnell held a tent meeting while pastoring and then rented a building at 1st and “B” Streets (29 W. “B” Street).  After Bro. Varnell resigned, the church asked Rev. Raymond Tripp to become their pastor.  In 1938 the Apostolic Church asked Rev. Paul Froese to be their interim pastor and in 1939 he was elected pastor of the church. 

Property was purchased at 1648 LaSalle Street in Belleville and, while services continued to be held at First & 'B' Streets, the new church building was erected and was dedicated in 1941.  Somewhere around 1948-49 a building was constructed behind the church for evangelist accommodations.  In 1954 a beautiful new 3-bedroom parsonage was built on the church property.  The former living quarters at the back of the church was turned into Sunday School classes.  Due to continued growth, the new parsonage basement was also used for Sunday School classes.  Bro. Froese resigned in January 1958 and Rev. Clarence Smith was elected as pastor. 

Due to the growth of the church, an immediate building program began.  The church was moved to the back lot and became the Fellowship Hall.  A new brick church building was then erected on the main lot and was dedicated on April 14, 1962.
Bro. Smith resigned in 1963 and Rev. George Shanks was elected pastor in September 1963 and resigned in 1968.  Rev. Ernest E. Breithaupt pastored the church from 1968 until June 1972 when he accepted a position in the Illinois District.  In September 1972, Rev. G. E. Switzer from Terre Haute, Indiana, was elected as our pastor and the church continued to grow.  In 2008, due to ill health, Bro. Switzer stepped down and the church accepted Rev. George Szabolcsi as their pastor.

 To learn more about these pastors, click on the links below.


Rev. B.J. Ballard
Rev. Alfred F. Varnell
Rev. Raymond R. Tripp
Rev. Paul Froese
Rev. Clarence Smith
Rev. George G. Shanks
Rev. Ernest E. Breithaupt
Rev. G. E. Switzer
Rev. George Szabolcsi

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