Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The end of an era with our Estey Pipe Organ

Don't worry, our 1903 Estey Pipe Organ is still working (and hopefully will continue for decades to come).  But today is the last day that Tim and Cathy Hemry will be tuning and performing maintenance on it because they're retiring of many years in the organ business.  In 2005, 1st Baptist asked Tim and Cathy to do restoration work on our organ, for the past 14 years they've been coming once a year to tune each note individually.   Incredibly, they brought us a gift basket today to commemorate the occasion.  On behalf of 1st Baptist, thank you to Tim and Cathy Hemry for helping us continue to make a joyful noise (and a loud one!) unto the LORD.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Toy Drive for UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh - 12/13 5:30-7:30 PM

Inspired by 1st Baptist of Franklin's Josie and Abbie Seely (and assisted by their parents, Missy and Jordan Seely), the Christmas toy drive for UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh is now in its 4th year, having netted over 700 toys in its first year.  The church will be open from 5:30-7:30 PM on 12/13 for drop-off of new and unwrapped toys.  Please help us share the joy of Christmas with the children who spend the holiday in the hospital.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Week at a Glance (12/8-12/14/19)

Sunday, December 8, 2019
               10:00 a.m. Fellowship Time (Clark Hall)
               10:45 a.m. Worship Celebration
               12:00 p.m. Lunch Bunch (Clark Hall)
Monday, December 9, 2019
               6:30 p.m. Girl Scouts (Latchaw)
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
               7:00 p.m. AA Support Group (Latchaw)
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
               10:30 a.m. Prayer Meeting (Latchaw)
               11:00 a.m. Bible Study (Latchaw)
               1:00 p.m. ABWM Christmas Luncheon (King’s Restaurant)
               7:00 p.m. Bible Study (Latchaw)
Thursday, December 12, 2019
               5:15 p.m. Governing Board Meeting (Latchaw)
 Friday, December 13, 2019
               8:30 a.m. Mustard Seed Missions Mtg. (Latchaw)
5:30 p.m. Children’s Hospital Toy Drive (Clark Hall)
               7:30 p.m. Celebrate Recovery (Latchaw)
Saturday, December 14, 2019
               7:00 p.m. Victorian Christmas Concert (Sanctuary)

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Upcoming Event: County-Wide Thanksgiving Service, November 24th

Great is thy Faithfulness
A County-Wide Thanksgiving Service
Sunday, November 24th at 6 PM
At Cranberry High School
Sponsored by:
 The Venango County Christian Ministerium

Congregational Singing, Scripture Readings, and a message from Scott Walters of Christ UMC in Franklin

This event is free and open to the public
All are welcome

An offering will be collected to support the food pantries of Franklin, Oil City, and Seneca

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Upcoming Event: What Every Christian Should Know About: The Bible, November 3rd, 10th, and 17th

What Every Christian Should Know About:
The Bible
What is the Bible?  How can I understand and apply it?
A three-part educational discourse created by Pastor Randy Powell

At First Baptist Church of Franklin
1041 Liberty St.   Franklin, PA 16323
6-8 PM
Sunday, November 3rd, 10th, and 17th
Will include segments on: Revelation, Inspiration, Inerrancy, Composition, Organization, Literary Genres, Interpretation, and Application

This event is free and open to the public, no reservations necessary, and will include time for Q&A
For more information, please call 432-8061

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Upcoming Event - What Every Christian Should Know About: World Religions (at 1st Baptist of Meadville)

What Every Christian Should Know About:
The Religions of the World

A four-part educational discourse created by
 Pastor Randy Powell of First Baptist of Franklin, PA

At First Baptist Church of Meadville
353 Chestnut St, Meadville, PA 16335
6:30-8:00 PM
August 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th

Will include: Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, Mormonism, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, 7th Day Adventists, and Scientology

How do they differ from traditional Christianity?
What are the barriers to the Gospel in each?

This event is free and open to the public,
 no reservations necessary,
 and will include time for Q&A
For more information
 please call (814) 724-3384

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A Father's Day Blessing: Two young men in the waters of baptism!

On Father's Day this year, 1st Baptist was blessed to have the profession of faith, followed by the baptisms, of Matthew and Michael Martz.  "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off - for all whom the Lord our God will call." Acts 2:38-39
Bob Martz Sr. Matthew, Pastor Powell, Michael, and Lisa Martz

Friday, May 17, 2019

More of 1st Baptist's history uncovered

Thanks to the research of Jessica Hilburn, the Historian & Head of Reference at the Benson Memorial Library in Titusville, we now have some new information to share/preserve about the church's history, in particular the opening of the building in 1904 as related by the Oil City Derrick newspaper.  Below is the transcript of that article, the link to the scan of the original is the title below:

Baptist Church Dedication
Impressive Ceremony Before an Audience of More Than Twelve Hundred
Franklin, March 13 – (Special)- After many tedious delays, tiresome waits and annoying disappointments experienced by the officials and members of the First Baptist church, extending over a space of more than three years, they have finally reached the day when they could say, “At last, we have a church.”  March 13, 1904, will be a great day in the annals of the First Baptist church, and what a church for a town the size of Franklin.  The entire plant, consisting of church, Sunday school building and parsonage, is not equaled by any denomination in the State, except in several of the larger cities.  Just prior to the turning over of the keys, Treasurer Hart read a valuation of the property as follows:
Real Estate…………………………………......$5,850
Church proper………………………………….30,000
Church parlors…………………………………..8,000
Sunday school department complete..................58,000
Organ and furniture…………………………....12,180
            A grand total of $113,530 for the entire plant.  The estimate made is considered too conservative, but so it stands on the books.  The ground for the new buildings was broken in July, 1900, and had it not been for the many vexatious delays, the new church should have been dedicated a year ago.  The outward appearance of the buildings is both stately and imposing and would attract attention on account of size and the large area of ground covered.  The seating capacity of the new auditorium is about 500 and when the large sliding doors, which form the lower part of the partition between the church and Bible school building, are raised the capacity is increased to 1,250.  This takes in only General Miller’s class room, which is only one half of the auditorium of the Bible school building.  Another set of sliding partitions are pushed up and another 1,000 is added to the seating capacity and when all is thrown open, presenting one grand arena, the preacher can be seen and heard by 2,700 if it is so desired.  The buildings include 35 distinct rooms, besides spacious halls and corridors. 
            The interior of the new edifice is a marvel of artistic beauty and arrangement.  It is constructed somewhat on the cathedral order of architecture.  The room is octagon shape and the walls arise to a height of possibly 50 feet.  Four walls are each 30 feet wide, with the corner walls about 15 feet wide.  The wide walls run to a gothic paint (point?), the narrow walls are inlaid at the top with the dark finished oak wood that reaches down from the ceiling a distance of 20 feet.  The entire ceiling is finished in dark oak.  From the center is suspended a magnificent electroller of 150 lights; another of 25 lights hangs over the space occupied by the choir.  The wall towards Liberty street and the one towards Eleventh street each contain a magnificent leaded-glass window about 12 feet wide and 25(35?) feet high; these windows are wonderfully artistic in their composition of cathedral glass.  On the other two large walls are pictures painted in oil directly on the plaster.  This innovation for a church in a town the size of Franklin is what made the occupant of the pews today marvel.  The paintings are 50x38, filling in the entire space in width and up to the ceiling in height.  Both pictures are after Gustave Dore, the one, being “Christ’s Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem,” the other “The Dream of Pilate’s Wife.”  The former picture has more than 100 faces in it and is a wonderful study.  Both are technically true copies and are done by well known New York artists.
            These paintings are the gifts of Hon. J.C.Sibley, who, when in Franklin last summer and while in one of his generous and artistic moods, asked the privilege of decorating the walls, which he saw, during the construction, were going to be very large and blank.  The paintings are the outcome.  After the artists were here and had finished them during the winter, he thought that it left the other two walls rather bare on each side of the big window, so he had four canvases painted by the same artists and these are mounted on the wall on either side of the window.  They are 8x12 in size and are: “The Annunciation,” by Plockhorst: “Christ Blessing Little Children,” by Plockhorst: “The Descent From the Cross,” by Rubens, and “The Ascension,” by Hofmann.  So that altogether, it makes one of the grandest church interiors that can be found anywhere in the country.
            The large new organ of the latest construction, with electric stops, is the gift of General Miller.  The pews, finished in cathedral oak and upholstered with cushioned seats in maroon colored goods, are free to all comers and were paid for by the classes of the Sunday school.
            The carpeting was a donation from some of General Miller’s kind business friends, every other furnishing was paid for through different ways, so that the church was dedicated today without a dollar’s indebtedness hanging over it.  Dr. Maurice Penfield Fikes’ own suggestion and design.  There is an arched opening in the southwestern wall under the painting of “The Triumphal Entry.”  The arch is possibly 12 feet wide and 20 feet high.  The front of the opening is built up eight feet with gravel rock in a sort of hit and miss way for rustic effect.  Back of the wall is the receptacle for holding the water, which can be heated to any desired temperature.  Set in the arch as a background theme is a miniature mountain of the same kind of stone, built to a point, the crevices filled in with moss.  Back of this is a painted scene, representing a mountainous valley, with the rays of golden sunshine streaming down over the hills making at once a most striking effect.  The pastor and the person to receive baptism come in from the rear, as if they were coming down the mountainside, and by a gradual decline, step into the water tank and out on the other side of a similar gradual incline.  The effect is so realistic that it makes the scene all the more impressive during baptism.
            At the morning services more than 1,200 people sat for two hours, during which time the formal dedicatory service took place.  After the dedication sermon by Dr. Fikes, Hon. Joseph C. Sibley, as chairman of the board of trustees; General Miller, as chairman of the board of deacons, and D.J. Hart, who took the place of H.E.Swan as chairman of the committee on construction, and Deacon Morgan were invited to take seats on the pulpit platform.  Mr. Swan being sick and unable to attend, Mr. Hart read a report as to the value of the church property, Mr. Sibley then, supposing to have received the keys from Mr. Swan, made a most impressive address, passing the keys to General Miller, who then, on behalf of the trustees, made a most touching address, paying a marked and glowing tribute to the pastor.  The pastor then received the keys on behalf of the First Baptist church.  Dedicatory responsive readings then followed, after which several musical selections were rendered, when the people were dismissed.
            At the Bible school today the attendance broke the record, 1,214 people occupying seats, which makes March 13 the banner day.  The meeting was a most enthusiastic one, because, as General Miller said, “It is a great day.”
            At the evening services the attendance was much larger than this morning, although there were no particular services incident to the dedication.  At each of the three services during the day there were baptisms, some 30 persons being baptized.  All in all it was a most notable day for the First Baptist church of Franklin.  Special services will be held each night the coming week in the new church.