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Our History

Our History

Magnifying God by Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Summit Woods Baptist Church began on March 1, 1998, with a worship service in the Blue River Kansas City Baptist Association Building with Dr. Mark DeVine preaching. By the next week, the new church had secured a building to call home near Pappi's Pizza (now Fun House Pizza) on O'Brien Road in Lee's Summit. Dr. DeVine, a theology professor from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, agreed to serve as the first interim pastor and continued in this position until he and his family became missionaries.

During its first year of ministry, in addition to forming a pastor-search team, the membership was eager to establish strong foundational ministries to children, students and adults. As the foundation for ministry was being built, the congregation purchased a 10-acre tract of land off of 50 Highway in Lee's Summit for future development.

On January 31, 1999, Summit Woods called Ryan Bowman to serve as its first pastor. Ryan had served as an associate pastor and youth minister in other churches for several years, but Ryan’s first pastorate as a lead pastor would be as Summit Woods’ first lead pastor. 

In 2000, to accommodate the growth in membership and ministry, Summit Woods relocated to a new facility in a warehouse on the corner of Broadway and Bailey in Lee's Summit. With this move, Summit Woods Baptist Church was fondly referred to as "the church in a warehouse."

At the beginning of 2002, the debt on the previously purchased 10 acres on 50 Highway had been retired. The church began work with an architect and made plans for a ground-breaking ceremony for the permanent facility. While the plans for construction were underway, the ministries of Summit Woods continued to develop along with new ministries such as AWANA and mission trips to Haiti began.

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On the first Sunday of 2004, Summit Woods worshipped in a newly constructed facility on 50 Highway. On that cold and icy morning, the members gathered for a special service to celebrate God's faithfulness and to move forward on the next leg of their journey together. The church family grew by one-third in this year alone.

In 2005 Summit Woods began ministry in the former Communist country of Romania. Members had the privilege of sharing Jesus with people in towns and villages where there was no gospel witness. In succeeding years, members would be deployed to serve through the International Mission Board of the SBC, as well as other agencies in Eastern Europe, Southeast Europe and Asia.

From Ryan’s beginning days of pastoral ministry, he had been leading the church to pursue a plurality of men to serve the church as elders. In 2009 Summit Woods chose their first elders. Shortly after, Pastor Ryan, himself, was sent out by Summit Woods to serve as a missionary in Athens, Greece. The elders and congregation began an intense year of searching for the congregation’s next Pastor-Teacher. In October 2010, Bret Capranica accepted the congregation’s call to move from Southern California and serve as the next Pastor-Teacher. Since then, the congregation has grown in maturity and number, with the members being thoroughly equipped to do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16). Global partnerships have been established in Central Asia and members are now serving in South Asia. We have established formal pastoral internships for training future vocational elders in connection with area seminaries. Lay leadership has grown in depth and number through intentional training. Ministry to men, women, students, children, biblical counseling and music have all been developed and deepened significantly. Summit Woods hosts area church leaders through its annual Weekender Conferences and is eagerly planning toward greater involvement in regional church planting and local church revitalization. With eagerness and intentionality, Summit Woods Baptist Church continues to pursue her God-given mission to magnify God by making disciples of Jesus in Lee’s Summit and around the world.