|Our Church History||Previous Pastors and Years||Church Affiliations|
In 1871, Pastor Absolom Holbert left the Proctor Church. He had been pastor of a Baptist Church there with approximately 100 members. When he left, about twenty members also left and past history tells us that was the beginning of the Baptists in Doolin Valley. This pastor was the organizer of what would later be the New Martinsville Baptist Church. Organization date was November 1871.
There were sixteen original members. Only male names were registered. We are not certain as to where the first church was located but some recall it being about three miles up Doolin.
In 1878, the Parkersburg Association minutes state that the church was changing names and location and was now affiliated with that Association. Rev. Holbert's salary was $3,250.00 per year. He only came one weekend a month and services started on Saturday with food being brought for mealtime. Membership at this time was forty-one.
In 1883 a deed recorded says that two lots were purchased for $200.00 on North Street. Rev. George Stewart was Pastor; he served half time. The church built at that place cost $1,875.00.
The church became almost inactive until 1906 when Rev. John Killian was hired to re-kindle a ministry. No mention is made of what happened to the former building but when they re-organized services were held in the Weatherhead Building (opposite V.F.W.). He organized a Ladies Aid Society and it greatly helped in financial assistance.
The next pastor was Rev. H.W. Tiffany, a Louisville Seminary graduate. In July 1907 the church was permanently re-organized with thirty-six members. It was then received into the Panhandle Association. Amos Swisher was ordained as one of the first deacons. He was an outstanding leader and there is still a stained-glass window in the sanctuary in his memory. Pastor Tiffany received $33.33 per month and he also served the Smithfield Baptist Church. As the church prospered a new location on McEldowney Avenue was purchased and a church built there. In 1915 the "Bromley" Evangelistic meetings were held and great results were recorded with sixty-two baptisms. The building was then enlarged to meet the congregation's needs. This addition was to the front of the building.
A gift from Mr. & Mrs. J. C. Trees of Pittsburgh of a wonderful lot gave the church members the first opportunity to build a parsonage. Before this, the pastors provided their own homes. The parsonage was built in 1925. Over the following years the church grew in numbers and spiritual enrichment. One burst of membership came in 1931 when seventeen persons united with the church. It was during the pastorate of Rev. J.H. Whitt that the church became independent and didn't need subsidized by our WV State Convention.
On March 16, 1947 ground was broken for our present church at Fourth and Leap Streets. Mr. P.W.Johnson donated the lots. The first service was held on February 1948. The total cost of the new church was $46,000. IN 1951 a special Homecoming and "Burning of the Mortgage" was held.
During 1962-63 as a result of expanded membership a major addition was added. Rev. Warren B. Moyer was pastor. James Springston was appointed as head of construction and this unit was dedicated on June 9, 1963. Five years later a new and beautiful parsonage was constructed in Rolling Acres. Mr. W. E. Durig donated these lots. Again the indebtedness was eradicated in a short period of time.
It is an interesting fact, in 1971 our Church Budget was $29,603. In the year 2000 the budget was $105,293. Three additional lots, south of the church have been purchased. The one adjoining the church property is being used for parking. Our church kitchen has also been recently remodeled and central air conditioning has been installed throughout the entire church.
Previous Pastors and Years at First Baptist Church New Martinsville
|George Stewart||1871-1874||John H. Whitt||1933-1938|
|Milton Owens||1875-1876||Robert H. Seabough||1938-1943|
|John Brooks||1878||Warren F. Taylor||1944-1948|
|George Stewart||1879-1890||S. Ward Robinson||1948-1953|
|John Killian||1906 (reorganized)||Joseph Voso||1953-1955|
|H.W. Tiffany||1907-1909||Warren B. Moyer||1956-1962|
|R.F. Hopkins||1910-1911||Ralph L. Young||1963-1968|
|J.F. Cost||1912-1917||Bill Withers||1968-1972|
|Mark F. Kiger||1918-1921||Theodore Bretz||1972-1978|
|J. E. Gibson||1922||Robert Melton||1978-1981|
|Oscar Jackson||1923-1924||Roger Spinney||1982-1990|
|Lloyd Powers||1925-1926||David Bess||1991-1995|
|J. A. Young||1927-1933||Donald Biram||1997-present|
West Virginia Baptist Convention - WVBC's mission statement is "to empower local churches to be Christ-honoring communities of faith, and to help them fulfill their mission by enabling them to do together what they cannot do alone."
American Baptist Churches USA - Visit the ABC-USA website for a listing of Baptist Churches around the country as well as many other valuable resources.