Austintown Baptist Church, 1180 S. Raccoon Road, Austintown, is marking its 50th anniversary.

Austintown Baptist Church, 1180 S. Raccoon Road, Austintown, is marking its 50th anniversary.

Celebration details: A special service is planned at 10:30 a.m. July 13. Guest speaker will be the Rev. Ron Martin of Columbus, founding pastor. Also speaking will be Dr. George Bannister of Steel Valley Baptist Association; Dr. Bruce Smith of Ohio State Baptist Convention in Columbus; and Mary Nell Jones of Cornersburg Baptist Church. Linn Hess and Tom Gregory will provide special music along with the praise team. Other participants will be Jane Bailey, pianist; John Carson, celebration in giving and prayer; and G.L. Mears, church history. A dinner will follow in the fellowship hall.

Mission statement: “To bring people to Jesus Christ, uniting them with his family and the family of Austintown Baptist Church developing and maturing them to be Christlike, equipping them for their ministry in the church and life mission of the world, in order to magnify God’s name.”

Pastors: Church pastors and when they began their ministries are the Rev. Ron Martin, Sept. 20, 1964; the Rev. Earl Ashley, Nov. 14, 1976; the Rev. James Shaneyfelt, June 11, 1978; the Rev. Daniel Hunt Sr., May 10, 1987; the Rev. Denny McKenzie, June 8, 1992; the Rev. Daniel Weaver, October 6, 2002; the Rev. Arthur Wells, Dec. 21, 2003; and the Rev. Charles Cole, July 4, 2004.

Background: The Rev. Mr. Martin was the first pastor to serve Austintown Baptist Church which began in a barn on Raccoon Road. Every Sunday, the animals had to be removed before service could begin. About 20 people attended church services. The church built its first building in 1965. The church was constituted on its first Sunday service in April of that year with 55 people attending the service. The church grew to more than 100 people, and the first addition, the current sanctuary, was built in 1974. It seats 200 people. The church continued to grow and the second addition — the fellowship hall — was built in 1989 and seats 200 people.

Source: Austintown Baptist Church

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