Our History

The history of Aurora Baptist Church is colorful and exciting. As you see the hand of God moving in the lives of men and women of the past, you must join with the present congregation and say, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”! From the humble beginning in an old two room school house to facilities they now enjoy, God’s people at Aurora Baptist Church have sought to lift up the name of Jesus Christ, preach and teach His gospel, win the lost to our blessed Lord and strengthen the faith of the believers.
The Church began in 1930 as the Union Sunday School. People of various faiths met together in the old two-room Aurora Schoolhouse each Sunday afternoon to be taught Bible lessons. Taft Slimp helped in the organization and teaching duties of the Union Sunday School until April of 1931, when Dr. Loys Vess was asked to come and preach. Seven people came forward to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior during his first service. After this special service Vess was asked if he and Brother George Jackson could conduct a revival campaign. The services were held with many souls being saved. At the close of the Revival on May 21, 1931, the church was organized. On Sunday, May 31, 1931, the first baptism was held at the west fork of the Trinity River at the old Aurora and Boyd Bridge crossing.
Dr. Vess became the Church’s first pastor and remained for a number of years. Brother Taft Slimp remained in the Church helping with the Sunday school and administrative duties and surrendered to preach the same year. Later Taft Slimp accepted the call of the Church to become its pastor and served in that capacity two different times. Over the years the Church enjoyed the ministry of many of God’s greatest servants. Currently, James D. Withers pastors the congregation and the church is seeing great growth. For over 82 years the church has grown and ministered in the community as well as around Wise County.
Aurora Baptist Church is known by many as the “church on the hill”. The location of the church is the same as it was when it began in 1930. The old Aurora Schoolhouse has been restructured, remodeled, enlarged and now is completely surrounded by the state of the art facility that was dedicated in January 2004. This new building features a sanctuary that seats just over 600, with professional high qualitiy sound, lighting, media capacities and some of the best music heard “this side of glory”. Sunday school, youth ministries, and children’s ministries enjoy the comfort of the spacious facility. Within the last decade the church has purchased adjoining properties to the north, south, east and west; and has already planned for future growth. Today the church enjoys properties and assets valued at 4.9 million dollars.
Only God in heaven knows the souls that have been saved, families reached and lives touched by the ministry of the Aurora Baptist Church. Sacrifices have been made and energy spent to provide for this generation a solid, doctrinally sound church. By God’s grace and with God’s help the next generation will seek God’s guidance in keeping the Aurora Baptist Church a “Light on the Hill”, shining in this community, preaching and proclaiming the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ and His power to save to the uttermost!