In December 1960, Ed and Leona Bunell gave twenty acres of choice property on Tucson’s growing east side to the First Baptist Church as they envisioned the possibility of a new ministry.
After much deliberation and prayer, First Baptist, with Dr. Woodrow Rood as pastor, decided to initiate a dual ministry. Worship services at Magee Junior High and the downtown campus started in 1973. Meanwhile construction of the main building, and two pods on the Speedway property were completed and services were held for the first time in January, 1975. The full pastoral staff of First Baptist served what was referred to as First Baptist East and the home church.
On January 1, 1977 First Baptist East became an independent church. Soon, the name El Camino Baptist Church was chosen and Dr. William Whittemore was called as the interim pastor. Dr. Warren Fleischmann served as the first pastor. The second pastor, Mark S. Lauterbach accepted the position in February of 1987.
Continued growth necessitated the need for additional facilities and resulted in two more pods being built along with the Family Activity Center. Temporary buildings for the independent Desert Christian Elementary School were located on the property as well and continue now as additional space for Sunday mornings.
Pastor Kevin Shorkey became the Senior Pastor in 1999, followed in 2005 by Dr. Ron Rushing as Senior Teaching Pastor. In 2019, El Camino called Dr. Bruce Ford as our Senior Pastor.
We thank God for His direction and the faithfulness of the many people making possible the privilege of ministry here at El Camino Baptist Church.