In September 1987, an English language worship service was being held regularly on Sunday evenings in the chapel of the International Baptist Theological Seminary in Rüschlikon. This service was led by two American missionary families who were associated with the seminary: Charles and Bobie Cottle and Wes and Jean Miller. At the same time, the German-speaking Rüschlikon Baptist Church was holding bilingual Sunday morning services in the seminary chapel. Noting the growing attendance at the Sunday evening services, the team believed the time had come to establish an English-speaking church. A place to meet was found in Wädenswil, at the Hotel Engel, and a small group began worshiping there on Sunday mornings.
On December 13, 1987 the Lake Zürich Baptist Church was established with 18 members. Ben Leslie, a student at the Rüschlikon seminary, served as pastor.
A highlight of 1988 was the church's January move into the Evangelical Methodist Church building, on Rosenbergstrasse in Wädenswil. The Methodist service concluded at 10 AM, which gave several members of the English-speaking congregation an opportunity to meet for choir practice. For the next few years, the International Baptist Church became known for its special music program since they were fortunate to have many opera singers in the congregation. The service began at 11 o’clock, followed by a Bible Study for adults. This schedule was typical as long as the church met in Wädenswil.
In April of 1989, the church name was changed to the International Baptist Church of Wädenswil. (This was done to accommodate the other Swiss lakeside Baptist churches in Thalwil, Horgen and Rüschlikon,) Also in that same year, the church joined both the Swiss Baptist Union and the European Baptist Convention.
In 1995, when the Baptist Theological Seminary in Rüschlikon relocated to Prague, Czech Republic, the European Baptist Federation elected not to sell the chapel along with the other property. Instead, it was given to the Swiss Baptist Union for their use. They, in turn, offered it to the local Baptist churches for their use as a worship center. With the departure of the Seminary population, the bilingual Rüschlikon Congregation was decimated, the remaining families decided to merge with the existing Thalwil congregation. This congregation already had its own building and did not wish to relocate. The International Baptist Church of Wädenswil had been experiencing space problems for quite some time, and gladly accepted the invitation to rent the building as the sole tenants, seeing it as an answer to prayer.
The chapel, however, was in great need of renovation. The European Baptist Federation allocated a sizable amount for replacement of the heating system and for structural repairs. Additional funds were needed to convert the basement into useable Sunday School space and a fellowship area. The Rüschlikon Baptist Church generously contributed a large sum, even though they were no longer going to be using the building regularly. The remaining balance was contributed by the congregation and interested individuals.
Renovations were completed in February of 1996, and a Dedication Service with participants from both the Rüschlikon and Wadenwil congregations was held on March 3, 1996. In anticipation of the move and given the close proximity to Zürich, the church changed its name to the International Baptist Church of Zürich (IBCZ) in 1996.
Today, IBCZ has primary use of the former Seminary Chapel in Rüschlikon. As has been true throughout the history of IBCZ, it is an ever-changing group of people. The congregation encompasses people from all walks of life, many countries, and from various denominational backgrounds.