History Of Our Church
History First Baptist Church has been in existence for 67 years. The church began through the efforts of Bro. Charles Ashcraft, who came to Harrison, Ohio, in 1946 and began to preach the Gospel. For two years he had no fruit of his labor, but after this two-year period, souls began to be saved. On March 28, 1948, the church was organized with about 34 charter members. Bro. Charles Ashcraft was called as the first pastor.
The church grew in number, and a building was built. In the 1950's, the building was completed and housed as many as 600 people at one time. On special occasions, many people were turned away because of the size of the crowd.
Many hands helped in the construction of the building. Many of those people are now gone, but the memories are still alive in the minds of some. They remember the hard work, the tight budget and the tireless effort of those who gave of their means and their time to put up a good building for the saints of the Lord.
First Baptist Church, Harrison, Ohio (1948) out of
Grace Baptist Church, Middletown, Ohio (1945) out of
Emmanuel Baptist Church, Dayton, Ohio (1912)
-Formerly Haynes Street Baptist Church out of
Linden Avenue Baptist Church, Dayton, Ohio (1872) out of
First Baptist Church of Dayton, Ohio (1824) out of
The Baptist Church of Lebanon, Ohio (1802)
-Formerly Turtle Creek Baptist Church out of
Clear Creek Baptist Church, Ridgeville, Ohio (1797) out of
Columbia Baptist Church, Cincinnati, Ohio (1790)
(first Baptist church in Ohio) out of
Baptist Church of New York City (1762) out of
Scotch Plains Baptist Church, New Jersey (1747) out of
Piscataway Baptist Church, Shelton, New Jersey (1689) out of
Lower Dublin (Pennepeck) Baptist Church, Pennepeck, Pennsylvania
(1688) out of
Cold Spring Baptist Church, Bucks County, Pennsylvania (1684) out of
First Baptist Church of Rhode Island (1638), first Baptist church in
Bro. Charles Ashcraft was pastor for over 15 years. He left to pastor Grace Baptist Church on Winton Road in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the man who began the work. He came to Harrison, Ohio, in about 1946 and began to have services with just his family. It was almost two years before he had even one more person to come to worship with them. Soon after that, many came and brought their families. The people of the church did most of the work to build the church building, which no one in Harrison thought could be done. The attendance grew to over 600 at one time during Bro. Ashcraft's pastorate. There are many fond memories that still permeate the city of Harrison as I talk with people around town of the years past when these events were transpiring. Bro. Ashcraft is now in Glory.
After he left the church, Bro. D. D. Williams came as pastor in 1964 and was pastor for about three years. After his term as pastor, Bro. Berlin Hisel came to pastor in 1967. Bro. Hisel was pastor for over 15 years and left to teach at Lexington Baptist College in Lexington, Kentucky. He eventually became pastor for the second time of South Irvine Baptist Church in South Irvine, Kentucky, where he had pastored in the 1960's. He served as pastor there until 1990 when he died of a massive heart attack at the age of 53, I believe.
When Bro. Berlin Hisel left, the church called Bro. Ronnie Wolfe to pastor. He became pastor in 1982. Bro. Wolfe, his wife having passed away on May 21, 2003, lives in the church parsonage on Flora Road. During his term as pastor, the church has been blessed with souls saved and baptized. The church continues to air their TV program on cable television three times a week on Time-Warner Cable. For a few months in 1999 the church sponsored a radio program out of Falmouth, Kentucky. The church has begun a printing ministry whereby notes by Bro. Wolfe and other authors are being printed or reprinted.
God has been good and has blessed this year. We continue to see visitors come, many regularly. We are praying that God may lay on their hearts to be members of our church. Others need salvation, and, of course, we are praying that God will touch their lives and save them by the preaching of the word of God. We are an old-fashioned church with no new-fangled twists. We believe the Bible and preach only the Bible. We use the beautiful King James Version of the Bible in all of our services and in our Sunday School classes.
Dr. Ronnie Wolfe is pastor of First Baptist Church and has been since 1982. God has blessed through these years with many being baptized and others coming in the church. What a privilege to be pastor of such a wonderful church. God has blessed tremendously!
Bro. Wolfe retired in April of 2023. In June, 2023, Bro. Carl Westrich was called as Interim Pastor.
Pastor Wolfe has BA and ThB degrees from Lexington Baptist College, Master of Religious Education from Kentucky Mountains Baptist College, and a Doctor of Religious Education from Anderson Theological Seminary.
Bro. Carl Westrich was called as Interim Pastor in June, 2023. He is a graduate of Temple Baptist College in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The purpose of First Baptist Church is, first of all, to bring glory to God. Its purpose also includes the preaching of the Gospel through pulpit teaching and preaching and through personal evangelism and study.
Carl Westrich, Interim Pastor
Pastor Emeritis: Dr. Ronnie Wolfe
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