History of The First Baptist Church of Coraopolis
“I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the House of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1
The First Baptist Church of Coraopolis was founded in September, 1899 by 13 chartered members. After several temporary locations, our own church home was built on State Avenue and was dedicated in September, 1903. By the end of 1908 more than 50 new members had been added to the original 13. That remained our church home for many years until a need for a larger facility became evident. The present church property on Coraopolis Heights Road was dedicated in October, 1957, the building was dedicated in May, 1959 and the congregation has been there ever since.
Over the years the church has conducted Vacation Bible Schools (in 1925 the first one ever in Coraopolis attended by 200 boys and girls and lasted four weeks), Schools of Mission, welcomed visiting missionaries home on furloughs, PBA events, Baptist Youth Fellowship (BYF), Guild Girls, Pioneer Clubs, AWANA, evangelistic services, Seder services, choir concerts by our own choir, hosted touring choirs from colleges, Mother-Daughter banquets, dramas, fellowship dinners and even talent shows.
We have always had a strong support of missions both at home and in foreign lands. We supported locally with time, effort and money the Mooncrest Community Baptist Church in Moon Township, Christ Community Church in Cranberry Township, Rankin Christian Center, the Baptist Homes, and the Choices Pregnancy Services. And have given support internationally for, to name a few, World Vision and our designated missionaries and dedicated mission programs through the American Baptist Churches organization. Two of our young men, Harry Moore and Eugene Stewart entered full time Christian ministry and our members Rev. and Mrs. Edwin Brush served in the Bengal-Orissa area in India for many years in the 1930’s-40’s.
We have had 20 pastors up to and including our present pastor Rev. Mark Heiner who came to us in August, 2013. We have celebrated our 45th, 50th, 75th, 100th, and 110th anniversaries. Our 100th in 1999 was celebrated with monthly events all year culminating in a Homecoming Weekend in October. Many former members returned and we were especially happy that Rev. and Mrs. Gordon Whitney, who had pastored this church for 22 years from 1946 to 1968, were able to attend. Rev. Whitney also gave the Sunday evening sermon which he said had been the first sermon he had preached here in 1946.
We have had a long and strong presence in this community which we hope continues as we earnestly seek to follow the perfect will of God.
Janet Oellig, Church Historian