History of the Churches of the Pittsburgh Baptist Association
by William Pankey
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH NEW KENSINGTON, ORGANIZED 1894
The First Baptist church of New Kensington was organized in 1894. The first meeting place was the bar room of the Windsor Hotel. In 1895 the group moved to Kuhlman 's Hall. Later places of meeting included the Parnassus school house, the Covenanter church, and the United Presbyterian church. A. F. Houser, a converted Roman Catholic priest, presided at the first organizational meeting, at which deacons and trustees were elected to serve for a period of six months. The three deacons elected at this meeting included H. S. Sloan, F. W. Limberg and C. A. Hager. The trustees elected included A. A. George, R. Lloyd and J. C. Reed. Lewis Kuhlman was made treasurer.
The first candidates for baptism were J. C. Reed and W. L. Johns. They were baptized in the Allegheny River, near the midnight hour, October 10, 1894. The church was received into the Pittsburgh Baptist Association, June 4, 1895. The first edifice was a wooden chapel, dedicated December 1, 1895. The church was remodeled in 1907. The present edifice was erected at a cost of $30,000, and dedicated July 1, 1917. The first persons to be baptized in the new church were Mary Morgan, Elizabeth Morgan, and Florence Davies. In 1937, Miss Florence Tress was employed as the church missionary. In 1938, Lloyd Crosby was employed to assist in the missionary work. The present membership is 458.
The following ministers have served the church:
Rev. John Owens (1894), Rev. Thomas Griffith (1895-1897), Rev. D. T. Firor (1897-1899), Rev. D. M. Patterson (1900-1911), Rev. G. W. Hatch (1911), Rev. W. A. Crawford (1911), Rev. A. J. Meek (1912-1926), Rev. R. D. Wood (1926-1929), Rev. F. N. Parson (1930-1936), and Rev. N. T. Lewis since 1937.
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