The Elkton Baptist Church was established by Morris and Freda Wilgus in August 1965. For years they had wanted to be more involved in ministry in the church. So when the opportunity came to meet a need for a church in Elkton, they sold their house at a loss and loaded up their furniture and family and moved Elkton. Morris did not have a job lined up and had never been to the community. With no financial support and just living by faith the church was established. The first service of the church was on August 9, 1965. That fall, Eugene and Doris Holcomb who had been leading the Kellogg Sunday school came and joined the church.
Through the leadership of Morris, the emphasis of the church was the obedience to God’s word. In 1969 six students from the church were attending Bible college. In 1970, John and Janie Wilgus moved to Elkton and led a vibrant youth group. They left in 1972 to start a church in Eugene.
In the fall of 1972 Rod and Patty came to Elkton and began working in the church. Patty played the piano and worked in the children’s Sunday school classes. They also worked in the youth group for several years. The church continued to grow both spiritually and numerically. With the emphasis of surrender to Jesus Christ and living by the Word of God we saw many lives changed and rescued. During these years the church also developed a priority for giving to missions both here and abroad. In 1988, Morris resigned the office of being the lead pastor and handed the baton to Rod.
In 1990, the back part of the old building was torn down so that it could be enlarged. During that construction phase a foundation was also put under the original building. But even more important was that during that time period a greater understanding of God’s grace in our daily lives began. That has been the most important thing that has happened in our church since its inception. In 2007, we moved into our new building to make more room for the congregation. This building is a reminder of what can happen when our church puts its trust in God. During this process; we never had a capital campaign, special offerings or borrowed money. And when we moved in, everything had been paid for. In 2014, Eric and Wendy Klein and their family joined our church. Eric became the associate pastor. He is an experienced pastor, a gifted teacher and worship leader. We know that God has a great future for our church as we reach out to our community to lead people to become devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
Rod spent his high school years in Elkton. In 1972 he came back to Elkton and began working in the church with the youth and in teaching. In February of 1988, he became the pastor of the church. His God-given vision is to lead people to become devoted followers of Jesus Christ. He has been married to Patty since 1972. They have one son Jeremiah, who is married to Katie. They also have two grandchildren; Julia and Sam. He also drives school bus for mid-Columbia primarily in the Elkton school district. He likes to grow a vegetable garden, and plans to learn how to fish in the Umpqua River and is also an avid duck fan.
Two verses that explain his calling are:
John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
2 Timothy 2:1–3 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.