First Baptist Church
has been in existence for 64 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)
First Baptist Church of Rhode
Island (1638), first Baptist church in
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, Bro. D. D.
Williams came as pastor in 1964 and was pastor for about three years.
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.
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 in this year of
2012. 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.
New Hampshire Declaration of Faith will tell more about what we
Short History of First Baptist Church" by former pastor,
Berlin Hisel, along with Bro. Larry Burton