First Baptist Church


New Martinsville Baptist Church (formerly Doolin Valley)We are very fortunate to possess the original clerk’s minute book of the Doolin Valley Baptist Church. The first entry, December 2nd, 1871, states that the “church met in accordance to previous appointment.” This certainly implies that there had been an organizational meeting, with adoption of Articles of Faith, Rules of Decorum and selection of pastor, sometime before December of 1871. A Clue to this first meeting comes to us when we read the minutes for November 1872. This entry refers to payment of the pastor’s salary for the past year and hiring him to serve for the next. This is understood by the early practice of the “annual call” of the pastor. This clue then, reasonably establishes the organization date as November 1871.

In October 1907, the Panhandle Association received the church into its fellowship as the First Baptist Church of New Martinsville.

On January 4, 1911 services were first held in the new building in McEldowney Addition. The lot had been secured (deeded) on September 19, l910.

Up to 1933 the church had been dependent upon State Mission funds in the payment of the Pastor’s salary. Actually from the origin in 1871 through the active years of the church’s life, the state convention had cared for approximately one-third of the minister’s salary. No doubt it was a gratifying experience for the church to break loose from this dependence and become self-supporting.

Ten years later, in 1943, a building fund was begun. Ground was broken for the present Sanctuary on March 16, 1947. The first service was held in the new building on February 1st, 1948.

During 1962 and 1963, as a result of expanding membership and needed educational space, a major addition to the church was constructed. The dedication for this Educational Unity was held June 9th, 1963.

Our church has grown from an original membership of 16 in 1871 to 320 members at the present.

The accomplishments of the past raise for us the challenge of the future. What would God have us do...not for ourselves, but for Him and for a needy world?

Pastors of the First Baptist Church from 1871 - 1976.

  • Absalom Holbert
  • J. F. Cost
  • Robert H. Seabough
  • Milton Owens
  • Marks F. Kiger
  • Warren F. Taylor
  • John Brooks
  • J. E. Gibson
  • S. Ward Robinson
  • George Stewart
  • Oscar F. Jackson
  • Joseph Voso
  • John C. Killian
  • Lloyd E. Powers
  • Warren B. Moyer
  • H.W. Tiffany
  • J. A. Young
  • Ralph L. Young
  • R. F. Hoskins
  • John H. Whitt
  • Bill L. Withers
  • Theodore Bretz

return to the History of the Churches of New Martinsville