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History of the Churches of the Pittsburgh Baptist Association

by William Pankey


As an independent organization, the First Baptist Church of Washington was constituted October 14, 1814, with eleven charter members. It had operated as a mission for three years prior to its organization. In 1811, the State Legislature confirmed the title of the church to its lot on Wheeling Street—then known as Belle Street. The first church edifice was erected on this lot in 1819. The second, located on East Wheeling Street, was dedicated, April 23, 1893. The present building, located at the corner of College and West Wheeling Streets, was dedicated June 14, 1931. From 1815 to 1834, the church was a member of the Redstone Baptist Association.

From 1835 to 1857, it was affiliated with the Monongahela Baptist Association. Since 1858 it has been a member of the Pittsburgh Association.

In 1902 the First Baptist Church dismissed fifty-six members by letter to form the Broad Street Baptist Church, Washington. Again, in 1903, twenty-three more members were dismissed to form the Allison Avenue Baptist Church, Washington. In 1904 a missionary chapel was dedicated at Des Caminos, Cuba, as a memorial to Rev. Stephen Drimmiond. Later in the same year a second chapel was built at Jiguani, Cuba.

The following ministers have served the church:

Rev. Charles Wheeler (1814-1838), Rev. B. Davis (1839), Rev. R. Billings (1841-1842), Rev. C. T. Johnson (1842-1843), Rev. J. B. W. Tisdale (1843-1846), Rev. H. Halping (1846), Rev. Thomas Swaim (1846-1850), Rev. George W. Young (1850-1854), Rev. Malachi Taylor (1855-1858), Rev. John Boyd (1858-1859), Rev. H. Adams, Rev. R. Telford (1866- 1868), Rev. J. A. Snodgrass (1871-1874), Rev. Malnor C. Blaine (1875-1878), Rev. I. C. Tuttle (1879-1882), Rev. John Brooks (1884), Rev. Stephen Drummond (1884-1888), Rev. Alexander McArthur (1888-1890), Rev. W. S. Wedemeyer (1890-1891), Rev. Stephen Drummond (1892-1902), Rev. Charles W. Fletcher (1902-1912), Rev. M. A. Graybiel (1912-1916), Rev. F. B. Taber (1917-1930), Rev. William M. Kennedy (1931 ). The present membership is 796.

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