Monday, December 20, 2021

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at 7 PM


Please join us for an evening of singing, worship, and joy culminating in our lighting of the candles while we listen to a recording of Lois Ann Schaefer's rendition of O Holy Night.

{The video above was recorded during our service in 2018}

Upcoming Event: What Every Christian Should Know About - World Religions (at St. Patrick Parish)

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 St. Patrick Parish
949 Liberty St. Franklin, PA 16323
6:30-8:00 PM
January 31st, February 7th, 14th, and 21st

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) 437-5763

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

What is GPS? (That thing Pastor Powell is doing in 2022)


A GPS Strategy

A week or so ago, through Constant Contact, we told you all the WHO. Now we will tell you all the WHAT …

To assist ONLY during the transition period between Frank’s stellar leadership and what the Lord has in mind and in store for our more permanent future, a GPS strategy has been envisioned, approved, and will be begin starting January 1, 2022. 

You ask yourself, so what is The GPS Strategy? Great question! Here’s the answer.

GPS stands for “Geographic Pastoral Servants. These are SIX pastoral leaders, whose names you now know, some leading local churches and some not, in six different geographies of our two-state region. These individuals will serve the equivalency of one full day a week doing regional ministry in addition to their present responsibilities. This ministry will focus on making contacts, having conversations, and building on existing pastoral and congregational relationships. They will provide support, encouragement, and coaching as needed in the contacts and connections they are making. They will also serve about eight weekends during the coming year being in one of their geographic churches, representing the region family at a church event, associational function, or service of celebration or commemoration. This will allow Mark and Jeff to continue in their own responsibilities as well as dividing up Frank’s duties as they serve starting January 1 as our co-executive pastors. The GPSers will keep Mark and Jeff and really the whole region family informed of their regional ministry by posting to social media as you have already become familiar with and excited about. Starting in January, you will now see on our Facebook page besides Mark writes, Jeff writes, people like Cristy writes…, Bob writes…, Randy writes…, and so on. They will also be able to point pastors and church leaders to the many, many resources available in our region as well as encourage overall mission support, more critical now than ever before, not the least of which is giving to the Partners in Ministry offering, where 100% stays right here in ABCOPAD and makes this transitional strategy and so many other things possible, allowing the region’s leadership to focus on a vision process to discern and determine what we believe the Lord would have us look like and do in structure and function in the future. This is an exciting time for everyone involved, including you!

To stay connected as staff, Mark and Jeff along with our two other fulltime staff, Denise and Caryl will convene bi-weekly meetings with these six GPSers as well as also oversee our existing Regional Ministry Associates. Besides the duties already mentioned, the GPSers will assist the ABCOPAD Leadership Team as time permits and they are able. It should be noted that the GPSers presently serving in the local church context will ALWAYS make their local church their number one priority with their regional ministry complementary.  Please keep in mind, we will be learning as we are living this strategy, so making adjustments as deemed necessary throughout this coming transitional year. 

STAY TUNED, more information is to come. If you have ANY questions at all, please don’t hesitate to direct them to Mark ( or Jeff ( and they will be happy to answer them. 

Your prayers will not only be appreciated but are needed as we move forward. We thank you now for them! We thank God now for you!

- Co-Executive Ministers (Acting) Mark Mahserjian-Smith and Jeff Johnson

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Pastor Powell entrusted with additional role for ABCOPAD in 2022

My church has known this was coming for a few weeks, but now it is official: Starting in January, I will be serving as the Geographic Pastoral Servant (GPS) for the NW region of ABCOPAD, encompassing the 45 churches from the associations of French Creek, Beaver, Oil Creek, Clarion, and Allegheny River.

This is not instead of any of my responsibilities for First Baptist Church of Franklin, Mustard Seed Missions, or the Venango County Christian Ministerium, but an additional commitment for 2022. As such, I'd appreciate your prayers for my time management and organizational skills (don't take my desk as an indicator, I'm not hopeless on that front), as well as my travel to visit these churches throughout the year.
In addition, I thank Jeff Johnson and Mark Mahserjian-Smith as well as the executive committee of the ABCOPAD regional board for their faith in myself and the other five entrusted with this role, plus the willingness of the members of 1st Baptist to share me with our denominational brethren.
Itching to get started making connections to the churches in the area that I don't already know, and building upon the existing relationships that I have.

- Pastor Powell

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Upcoming Event: VCCM county-wide Thanksgiving Service, 11/21 at 6 PM


Give Thanks unto the LORD

A County-Wide Thanksgiving Service

Sunday, November 21st at 6 PM

At 1st Baptist Church of Franklin


Congregational Singing, Scripture Readings, and a message from Msgr. Herbein of St. Patrick Parish*

Due to health concerns, Msgr. is unable to speak at this service, Pastor Chad Troup of Fox Street Church of God will be speaking


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

Friday, September 24, 2021

Help Wanted: part-time Building Maintenance worker

Help Wanted: Building Maintenance

First Baptist Church of Franklin is seeking a part-time Building Maintenance worker.

Flexible days, hours
Some experience and/or know how necessary
Duties to include, but not limited to: plumbing, electrical, painting,
        masonry, and seasonal upkeep of property grounds.
Integrity and reliability a must.
Hourly rate TBD in accordance with experience and skills
Questions or to apply, call Pastor Powell at 814-432-8061,
        or email:

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Upcoming Event: What Every Christian Should Know About: The Bible @ 1st Baptist of Meadville

In this three-part series, Pastor Powell delves into important questions about the Bible: What is it?  How did it come to be?  What does it contain?  How we can understand it?  How can we utilize it in our lives?

  The series focuses upon the following topics: Revelation, Inspiration, and Inerrancy (part 1), Composition, Organization, and Literary Style/Genres (part 2), Interpretation, and Application (part 3).

At First Baptist Church of Meadville

353 Chestnut St.  Meadville, PA 16335

6:00-8:00 PM

Thursday, July 22nd, 29th, and August 5th  


This event is free and open to the public, no reservations necessary, and will include time for Q&A

For more information, please call 814-432-8061

Friday, May 14, 2021

Update to 1st Baptist COVID-19 policy

 In response to the new recommendations from the CDC regarding social distancing and mask wearing for those who are fully immunized, 1st Baptist will no longer require that those who are immunized wear masks in the common areas of the church (we had previously lifted that requirement in the sanctuary when the local infection numbers declined).    

Given the available space in our sanctuary, open pews will still be socially distanced for the time being for the benefit of our young people and any others who are not immunized as they retain a higher level of risk.

Let us give thanks to the Lord, and honor to those in the healthcare field and other essential workers whose faithful service has helped us reach this point or near normalcy.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Venango County Christian Ministerium's Palm Sunday 2021 worship service

  Below is the link to the VCCM's Palm Sunday service, which was pre-recorded this year.  We look forward to worshiping together with a crowd of fellow believers from many churches at this year's Thanksgiving Service, by God's grace we will be able to do so.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Update to Church mask policy and the return of in-person Bible Study

 The Governing Board has decided, effective this Sunday 3/21, to return to the policy we utilized last summer of requiring mask wearing in the common areas (entrance area, hallways, bathrooms, etc.) while maintaining social distancing in the Sanctuary where only every 3rd row is being used, making mask wearing there optional. 

 The reasons are two-fold: (1) The majority of those attending church on any given Sunday morning have now been vaccinated, and (2) the daily infection rate for Venango County has returned to about 10 or less as it was last summer before the Fall surge began.  Those who have not yet been vaccinated, or who have other health concerns, are encouraged to continue to wear a mask as long as necessary.

In addition, in-person Bible study will resume on the Wednesday after Easter, April 7th, at the prior times of 11 AM and 7 PM.  Because Latchaw is a smaller room than the Sanctuary, mask wearing during Bible study may be necessary, depending on the number attending.

Facebook Live will continue to be utilized for both the Sunday worship service and both Bible studies, we intend to continue to offer that option for participation even when pandemic considerations have ceased. 

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Upcoming Event: Good Friday Crosswalk, April 2nd 10 AM

 Good Friday Crosswalk

April 2nd, 10 AM

Begins at St. Patrick Catholic Church

Featuring readings of the 14 Stations of the Cross

with a hymn at each stop

All are welcome, please utilize a mask during the walk; thank you.

Sponsored by the:

Upcoming Event: Ecumenical Good Friday Service, April 2nd at 7 PM


“It is Finished.”

An Ecumenical Good Friday Service

April 2nd, 2021

7:00 p.m.


Franklin Church of the Nazarene

393 Pone Lane

Franklin, Pa 16323


Sponsored by the

* All are welcome, mask wearing and social distancing will be utilized; thank you

Friday, March 5, 2021

Upcoming Seminar: The Church and Politics - The Kingdom of God vs. the Kingdom of the World, April 22nd, 29th, and May 6th


A Seminar created by Pastor Randy Powell

Where: First Baptist Church of Franklin, 1041 Liberty St.

When: Thursday April 22nd, 29th, and May 6th

7:00-8:30 PM

* Mask wearing requirements remain in effect; thank you.

Dozens of scriptural texts and Church history will be explored, along with insights from Blinded by Might and The Myth of a Christian Nation to examine the proper relationship between the Church and Politics.

What is the cost, to the Church and the Gospel, of a political marriage?

How can we love our enemies if we call them an ‘enemy of the people’?

No reservation needed, free and open to all,

an opportunity for Q&A each evening.

Questions: Call 814-432-8061

** Those unable to attend may view via Facebook Live on 1st Baptist’s FB page and subsequently via YouTube on Pastor’s blog (

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

1st Baptist has more Healthcare Hero yard signs available


We did a 2nd print run of yard signs, they are still $10 each (with $3 per going to Emmaus Haven our county's homeless shelter).  Call the office, 432-8061, to arrange pick-up.  As always, continue to lift our healthcare workers up to the LORD in prayer.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Can you help? Rides to COVID vaccinations needed for area seniors

 UPMC will be offering special COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics in the upcoming weeks and are anticipating a need for transportation for the Older Adult Population. Venango County has been approached to help provide some of this transportation.  

If you would have anyone interested in helping, please have them contact me at the following number – 814-432-9767.

Thank you,

Kit Woods

Venango County Human Services

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Tax preparation assistance from AARP


AARP Tax Assistance will be available at First Baptist Church in Franklin, the Cranberry Mall, and in Titusville. 

There is NO walk-in service. All tax assistance is by appointment only

Call the appropriate phone number, leave your name and telephone number, and someone will return your call to schedule your appointment and give you any needed instructions.

For appointments at First Baptist Church call 1-814-346-1827. Appointments on Thursdays and Fridays, 2/11/21 through 4/15/21 (closed Good Friday-4/2/21)

For appointments at the Cranberry Mall call 1-814-346-1610. Appointments on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 2/16/21-4/14/21.

For appointments in Titusville call 1-814-827-2188 (preparer's home number)

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Reading the Bible in a Year


In 2021 the congregation of 1st Baptist will be participating in a 5 day a week reading program that will cover the entire Bible in one year.  Each M-F a Facebook Live video will be posted on the church FB page from Pastor Powell covering the days readings.  Those who wish to participate can read the passage on their own (schedule below) or listen/read along with Pastor Powell.  Use whichever 5 days work for you, at whatever time of day works for you.

For those of you who have never read the whole Bible, here's a chance to both take a step forward in obedience and receive a blessing from the Word of God.  For those of you who have walked these trails many times before, you already know the joy of the journey.

The first readings (Genesis 1-2, Psalm 19, and Mark 1) begin tomorrow, January 4th.

To print your own copy, click the link below, or stop by the church for a free copy.

5 Day Bible Reading Program for 2021 - from

The Facebook Live videos will be posted to the church page: 1st Baptist Facebook page