150 Years of Ministry

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Praise the Lord for 150 Years of sharing Christ in Bethlehem, the Lehigh Valley and Throughout the World! Let’s pray that our Lord will continue to help us grow and vitally share this wonderful ministry that has been given to us!

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6

DId you know?

W Broad St Cornerstone

The cornerstone of the new church building was laid on Sunday September 15, 1922. The following account of the ceremonies and the items placed in the cornerstone is from the Bethlehem Globe of Monday, September 16:
“The congregation of the First Baptist Church yesterday took another important step toward the consummation of their enterprise begun several years ago when the foundation for a beautiful house of worship was laid on West Broad Street by laying the cornerstone for this handsome church. When foundations were completed in 1920 they were roofed and the basement thus formed has been used for worship since that time.”

Church Services

Services of the new church were first held at a private home and then for some time in a hall above the smith-shop of the Rice’s. This shop was located on the West side of New Street between Walnut and Broad Streets. The entire area was razed in the mid 70’s to make room for the First Valley Bank/ Bethlehem Plaza which later became Bank of America/Bethlehem Plaza.

Church Organ

June 24, 1892, it was voted to buy an Este Organ for $125. $50 to be cash, $5 donation by the salesman and the balance of $70 to be paid within a year “with the understanding that the church is not to be pushed for money.”

Annual Corn Roast

In 1922 was the first mention of the Annual Corn Roast in the church records. The first corn roast was held in 1917 at Bests Grove and it has been one of the most popular and best attended church social affairs ever since. For most of these affairs Mr. Harry Martin (secretary of the Men’s Class) was on the Corn Roast Committee and many times he was the chairman.

This was also the first mention of the Men’s Class of the Sunday School and Mr. Martin was the secretary or treasurer much of the time since it was organized.

Church Camp

On Sunday, June 17, 1956 the Church Camp and Swimming Pond were dedicated. The camp was name Ichthus, the Greek word for fish. This name was suggested by Edward Heist because of its Christian connotation and its reference to God’s created world of nature. The Camp symbol is a fish with the Greek word Ichthus superimposed upon it. The swimming pond, approximately 180’ x 75’ was constructed entirely on a voluntary basis by men and the young people of the church. The heavy equipment used in building the pond and the parking lot was made available and operated b Charles Schultz Jr. The outdoor fireplace was constructed by Anthony Desiderio. Alex Sahaydak served as camp director each summer for the organized weekly camping.