Our church is a very special, family-like, lively and multi-cultural community. We have a broad and diverse congregation both in terms of its focus and membership.
There always seems to be a lot happening. We believe that God still has much to teach us, as a worshipping, witnessing, working and welcoming community of believers and we are open to God promptings. The current morale amongst those who attend our faith community is high and there is a real sense of excitement about the future.
Our differences are not deficiencies, but in our differences we can find hope and opportunities for new ideas. This church began as one of those ideas in 1919. An initial congregation of 25 grew by the 1960s to nearly eight hundred. The first building was in the lower level of the current church structure with an addition of an education centre, in the late 1960s.
In recent years, as a result of a fervent desire to see growth, both spirituality and numerically within the church, we have wanted to have a more flexible and user-friendly environment for those within the church and the wider community, and there has been gradual redevelopment. Many of our activities have benefited from this and the additional space has enabled the church to host a number of conferences and events.
Our Local Community
According to the 2010 census our town has a population of 6900 of whom 56.5% are white. The largest ethnic groups are Blacks and Hispanics but there are many smaller groups. We have a high number of people aged 50+ and people aged 25 and below, and most recently, reaching a new group of economically active young adults.
We have a membership of 320 members at present. There are slightly more women than men, and about 10% of the fellowship are from Ethnic majority groups, including Hispanics. All candidates for membership attend a short course and are interviewed by leaders of the church to establish their faith in Christ; Membership courses are run regularly throughout the year.
We have a Leadership Team usually comprised of the Pastor and other members, at present 23.
The Leadership Team are the deacons and trustees of the church, and are formally “responsible for the pastoral care of the members, the oversight and direction of ministry, worship, teaching, membership, fellowship, evangelism, finance, premises, all organisations and matters of policy, programme and leadership”.
Our Religious Beliefs
Our church is affiliated with the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Pennsylvania State Baptist Convention, and the Allegheny Union Baptist Association, and accepts its basis of faith.
We see the greatest need as connecting our church members with the national and international community, so that effective evangelism can bring new people to faith. This will involve intentional evangelism, growth in personal discipleship and an increase in small group activity to encourage it.
The age profile of the church is also expanding, and there is fresh growth among younger people allowing our teams to plan for the future of the church. We have a God-given, young and innovative pastor who is relentless for people and unlimited in his passion for the God’s church. We are coaching and training new persons who have accepted calls to the gospel ministry of preaching.
We have secured a second location to accommodate the growth and expansion of ministry programs and groups. This facility is open to community groups, schools, and other organizations providing space for events, recitals, productions, meetings, conferences, etc. and an elevator in our main facility to accommodate seniors. However, we are still having a resource challenge for the transporting of seniors and disabled persons to and from worship.
We are expanding our leadership team to include a Minister to Youth & Young Adults, Men, Women and Christian Education to attract new families from the community around to meet this challenge.