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The Baptists in Kassel-West

The Baptist Church in Kassel-West (which is officially called "Evangelical Free Church Congregation Kassel-West") is not yet very old. For 40 years we have been holding services regularly. We meet in the "Courtyard Church", a former dance hall we have converted for our activities. The church is located in the yard behind a row of houses near the city centre and is not easy to find. But every Sunday about 90 adults and children come together here to praise God. About 160 women and men belong to our church as full members or associates ("friends"). They mostly come by car or by tram from various parts of the city of Kassel or the surroundings. Some of them travel for almost an hour to come to worship.

On Sundays there are not just adults in church, but also up to 15 children. We are a vibrant group and we enjoy our fellowship. Together we laugh - and sometimes cry – especially if there is a reason to pray for one another. During the week we meet in groups: the older ones in the Senior Circle, some of the women in the Women's Prayer group. The children and youngsters join the young people of another local Baptist church in the Youth Group.. Every Thursday evening our Church Café is open and offers talks, concerts, informal discussion and regular art exhibitions. This is a special invitation to all those who live near the church, even if they are not Christians. We try to be a community for all generations, in which young and old Christians enrich one another.

Our church is led by two men, whom we have elected as elders, and they are assisted by another eight members (deacons) in the leadership committee. In addition we have a full-time pastor, Frank Fornaçon. A special feature is that the deacons and elders may only hold their offices for eight years continuously, then they have to step down for at least two years.

It is one of our aims to share: We share our premises, where we provide hospitality, for example to a small African worship group from Eritrea. We share our money not only with the German Baptist Association, but also with Baptists abroad, for example in the European Baptist Mission International. And we also share our skills and our volunteers, whom we encourage to participate in regional or national bodies or in neighbourhood initiatives.

It is important for us that Christians from many countries live together in one congregation. In our church we have members and visitors from Syria, Iraq, Japan, China, Romania, Chile and Brazil. The family of God is international. We are therefore delighted to have an official partnership with the Baptist church in Zidim/Cameroon, where a married couple from our church worked for several years.

For people who do not speak German well we offer a German language course on Mondays and Wednesdays.. The International Choir, the international hiking group and the international cooking-group are special opportiunities to get in contact with native speakers. In order to make it easier for foreign visitors to follow the sermon, they can get a print-out at the entrance; on special request we can also organize an English language translation of the service.