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History of the Churches of the Pittsburgh Baptist Association

by William Pankey

FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, TARENTUM, ORGANIZED 1890

In the fall of 1889 a small group of Baptists, under the leadership of Justus Hess, a merchant of Tarentum, met together in a rented hall to discuss plans for the establishment of a Baptist church in Tarentum. The first public service was conducted April 16, 1890, with Rev. T. H. Chapman preaching the sermon. Fourteen days later, April 30, 1890, the First Baptist Church of Tarentum was officially organized, with twelve members.

The first house of worship was erected in 1892 by means of financial assistance from the Pittsburgh Baptist Association. The edifice was a beautiful wooden structure which was adequate for the needs of the congregation for thirty-seven years. The entire building indebtedness was paid in full within ten years.

In order to meet the needs of the rapidly growing congregation, the present brick edifice was erected in 1928. Shortly thereafter the members of the congregation became greatly discouraged because of a financial panic in the community. Undaunted by adverse circumstances, the church has steadily forged ahead, with an unrelenting determination to liquidate its building indebtedness. The present membership is 266.

The following ministers have served the church:

Rev. J. W. Williams, Rev. W. G. Carl, Rev. W. K. Morgan, Rev. Ward Hibbs (1931-1934), Rev. D. O. Slyter (1935-1936), Rev. Robert W. Bevington (1936 ).

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