Pastor Richard and Lois Mitchel
The ministry at GBC now experienced another change of leadership; this time into a full time pastor for a lengthy period. Pastor Richard Mitchel, and wife Lois and family, moved to the Gettysburg area from the York area. Formerly from a ministry in York called Teen Encounter, and numerous other evangelistic ministries, Pastor Richard came to the Gettysburg Bible Church family in 1975.
During his many years of ministry at Gettysburg Bible Church many new ministries were started and changes were made as this church continued to grow and souls were saved. One ministry that was started during this time was an in-house Christian academy called the Gettysburg Bible Christian School. This was transitioned into many families' home schooling. Other ministries during this time period included: jail ministry, nursing home ministry, visitation, tract ministry, and many others. God blessed during these years, and growth was seen in many areas. Some major changes during this time was the installation of Pastor Dave Mitchel becoming an associate in the early 1980’s. Also, Pastor David Mitchel traveled to Fellowship Tract League and instilled in his heart, and Pastor Richard’s heart, to become supporters and purchasers of rolls of paper and mailing bags to send tracts to numerous world wide locations.
During these years the congregation voted on changing the name of the Church from Gettysburg Bible, to Gettysburg Bible Baptist Church. This was to more closely align the church with the Baptist beliefs and firm fundamental doctrines contained in God’s Word.
In 1999 Pastor Richard Mitchel felt God’s leading into another area of ministry. He felt God’s leading into becoming a full time traveling representative for the Fellowship Tract League. This included presenting the ministry of the Fellowship Tract League to numerous churches across the country. When health permits, they still continue this vital ministry today.
Pastor David and Patty Mitchel
After Pastor Mitchel’s resignation his capable son, Pastor David Mitchel, and wife Patty, felt the call to fill the vacancy left by Pastor Mitchel’s resignation. In 1999 Pastor David was ordained into the ministry with numerous pastors, missionaries and evangelists being on his ordination council. He then was voted in, unanimously, as pastor at GBBC.
Pastor Dave, as many affectionately call him, was fully prepared and ready for this task at hand. He had been the Associate pastor for 18 years with Pastor Emeritus Richard Mitchel.
Many have said that Pastor Dave’s keen Bible memorization, knowledge, and well-studied sermons leave the listener knowing that they heard a message from the Bible. Many times, people will see Pastor Dave and wife Patty working at the church, and putting in countless behind the scenes hours to continue this ministry.
The ministry of GBBC continues under very capable leadership at this time. There is a continuing burden at GBBC to keep many of the same key elements of the foundational components of this ministry with a new vision, and new direction, as we embrace the 21st century.
Inside Current Auditorium
This new vision includes a large emphasis on worldwide missions and evangelization of the community. This includes GBBC being responsible for over 30 million tracts being sponsored by this ministry in the purchasing of supplies, paper, and tracts being mailed as M-bags for the Fellowship Tract League. These tracts and M-bags have been sent to numerous countries all over the world. Another key element is the missions programs that are currently being supported. Also, GBBC continues to take a strong stand on the issues and doctrines rapidly becoming neglected in society. These include: the Bible, standards of Christian living, salvation, teaching, and exhortation. Included is a strong emphasis on updating and remodeling the church building and property.
Current GBBC church building
As the world around us becomes more confused and unsettled, GBBC, with its current pastor and dedicated family of believers, seeks to continue on for Christ. This ministry still seeks the lost and hopeless in the world and wants to shine the light of Christ as God blesses and leads. The desire is for Gettysburg Bible Baptist Church to continue to be a work, “ For the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ ”