It was a very humble beginning, which eventually led to the formation and organization of the Second Missionary Baptist Church. In February 1922, a group of baptized believers came together and conducted a Prayer and Praise Service at the home of Mr. & Mrs. William Gravely, 804 Darr Avenue, Farrell, PA. They met regularly, and a mission of the Baptist Church was then in progress.
In May 1922, the Reverend W.M. Nelson organized this small band of earnest devout Christians into a Church. The first building was located at 815 Market A venue, Farrell, PA. The first Deacons were Mr. William Patton and Mr. William Gravely.
The Church, after being set up and properly organized called Reverend Dyer, who pastored until December of 1922. He was succeeded by Rev. D. Herron, affectionately called “Dad” Herron who pastored until April 1927. Under his leadership, the property at 1116 Market Avenue was purchased at a cost of $15,500. The Trustees who contracted for the property were Chairman John Callahan, John Reed, Sr., Edward Borders, William Gravely, and Osborn Galloway.
Rev. Herron resigned, and in October 1927 the Rev. J .H. McCain was called and he pastored until the Death Angel· came in 1929 and quietly took our dearly beloved pastor. Rev. McCain had a stroke while preaching in the pulpit. Pastor’s who have rendered service through the years are as follows:
• Rev. Green 1929-1930
These were tedious years, as the church was split.
• Rev. Dr. T.E. Huntley 1930-1931
Dr. Huntley picked up the mantle as a young Theological student, never forgetting his roots, and always saying how “Second Baptist assisted him in attending College and Pastoring.”
• Dr. C.L. Thomas 1932-1934
Resigned due to ill health, and with deep regrets it, was accepted.
• Rev. C.R. Boyd 1934-1941
These were depression years and money was very scarce. The indebtedness that hung over the church was tremendous. Rev. Boyd made many trips to McDowell National Bank negotiating terms of extension for the existing loan. Mr. Osborn Galloway, who at this time was Chairman of the Trustee Board was also instrumental in this effort.
• Rev. H.H. Scott 1941-1952
Under Rev. Scott’s Pastorate the mortgage was burned in 1944. Clouds of trouble again rose and once again the church split.
• Rev. L.C. Collins 1952-1969
In October of 1954 the Reverend L.C. Collins of Detroit, MI was called to pastor the church. He lost no time in employing his God given talents of preaching the gospel, business, wisdom, and constructive planning to work. The church was remodeled from the pulpit to the door, as well as the lower floor. Rev. Collins rolled up his sleeves and did most of the work along with the membership. He organized auxiliaries, that we might feel that we were “Laborers Together For God.” The auxiliaries were, the Nurse’s Guild, Young Women’s Missionary, Officer’s Wives, Transportation Committee, Religious Education and Vacation Church School. Souls were Saved and the membership increased.
In 1956 a tornado swept through the area and caused severe damage to the church building. Services were held at the Farrell Junior High School until the church remodeling was again completed. Rev. Collins was a great pastor and teacher, and showed strong leadership. We were active in the State as well as the National Conventions sending delegates to each conference. He was also the longest serving of any pastor in this church’s history up to this point. He retired on August 7, 1969.
• Rev. Clyde A. Roston 1971-1972
In April 1971, Rev. Roston of Pitts burgh, P A accepted the call as pastor. It was under his leadership that negotiations began for the present location of Second Missionary Baptist Church at 1138 Spearman Avenue, Farrell, PA. Purchase price of the property and buildings was $28,500.00. Trustee’s who contracted for the property were John Reed, Jr., Ernest Saunders, Henry Sanders, and Rudolph Hammond who was Chairman at this time. Rev. Roston’s pastorate ended on October 8, 1972.
• Rev. W.W. Wingfield, Jr. 1973-1982
The pulpit remained vacant until May 13, 1973 when Rev. Wingfield from Pittsburgh, P A was called to pastor the church. It was soon after his arrival that renovation began on the present building. He led us into this church building on November 25, 1973, and the mortgage was burned March 16, 1980. Rev. Wingfield supported Foreign Missions and the Christian Mission of Haiti. Our Music Department began attending the Hampton University Minister’s Choir Director’s, and Organist’s Conference, while the youth attended the Lott Cary Convention held annually on the campus of Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Men’s Chorus was also organized under Rev. Wingfield. On April 28, 1982 the Death Angel again visited our church family, as Rev. Wingfield suffered a heart attack while playing golf.
• Rev. Dr. Carroll M. Felton, Jr. 1983-1984
On January 3, 1983 Rev. Dr. Felton, Jr. of Pittsburgh, PA accepted the call to pastor at Second Missionary Baptist Church. He was a noted speaker, educator, community organizer, patron of the arts, and a catalyst for social changes in the cause for human rights. He made friends readily and was held in high esteem by his peers and the community. The air conditioning was installed during his pastorate. He was instrumental in bringing Rev. Jesse Jackson and former Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm to visit our area. It was a great day for Second Baptist and the community. Dr. Felton was only with us fifteen month’s, a short pause, but it was indeed the pause that was refreshing. Dr. Felton resigned May 30, 1984.
• Rev. Thomas J. Bolling 1984-2010
In September 1984, God sent us a young man, Rev. Thomas J. Bolling from Masury, Ohio. This was his first church, and as 1984 ended and we stood on the horizon of 1985, a new Chapter was beginning at “Second”. Pastor Bolling accepted the great challenge and tremendous responsibility that had been placed in his hands. Relying upon Devine help for guidance, he has attacked this task with prayer, determination, will power, and undaunted faith in God. Souls are being Saved, and lives turned around with a view that we all might attain perfection through Christ Jesus.
A modem equipped kitchen, that is a “Cook’s” delight was installed, along with Ladies and Men’s restroom renovation, and light’s were installed in the parking lot. Between 1993 and 2000 many new improvements, additions, and renovations have been realized at Second Missionary Baptist Church. A new Copy Machine was purchased, and we finally joined the Computer age and retired our old typewriter. Soon after, our Pastor had a Vision, which included purchasing a new parsonage, and connecting the old parsonage to the church, which would allow us to add new classrooms for Sunday School as well as several other ideas he had mentioned to us. After much thought and prayer, the church voted to move forward. We then purchased a new parsonage, located at 613 Sharon-New Castle Road in Farrell, in which extensive remodeling was done from top to bottom. The end result was a beautiful new residence for our First Family. We then proceeded to connect the church and the old parsonage, with an Annex. With this came new restrooms on the upper level, which was a blessing for all, especially the elderly saints of the church. A new water fountain, new Sunday School Classrooms, as well as a new Pastors Study, Church Office, Financial Office, and several new multi purpose rooms on the upper level are just some of the improvements that have been made. An exit and stairway was built leading down from the upper level to allow for exiting in an emergency situation. Several new computers have been added, and a fax machine was purchased along with new office furniture, upon which the clerical duties are carried out. A new commercial stove was purchased for the kitchen, new sound system, new handicap ramp, and a new heating system for the baptismal pool was purchased.
Many improvements have been made including: the addition of a computer room, new computer system, xerox copier and fax machine. Property directly behind the church as purchased for future development. Later, two homes beside the parking lot were purchased and leveled in which the parking lot was extended. Trees were planted along the property line and additional lighting was installed. Also, in the Fellowship Hall, all the chairs and some tables were replaced with new ones along with the purchase of a large screen projection television and a VCR.
Newly paved parking lot, new roof, new carpet and tile in the Sanctuary.
Enhancements were made to the stage including new custom tailored drapes and new carpet. All new glass doors on the front and steel doors on the side and the back. New carpet installed in the Annex hallway. A CD Burner was purchased for our Tape Ministry and a new DVD Player.
New improvements have been made including: new sound system, heating and cooling system in the Fellowship Hall; new audio system and keyboard has been added in the Sanctuary; new copier in the office. Also, the upstairs apartment has been renovated.
A new boiler was installed.
On September 12, 2010 Rev. Thomas J. Bolling retired as our pastor. Rev. Bolling dedicated 26 years of service to us and we are eternally grateful to him.
• Rev. Russell V. Penn Jr. 2011-Present
In April of 2011 Rev. Russell V. Penn Jr. was called to pastor the church. On May 22, 2011 Rev. Penn was installed as our new pastor. To God be the Glory. He loves the Lord and is a faithful servant. Rev. Penn has proven that he is dedicated to helping our church grow spiritually. We believe that he is led and guided by God therefore, his visions will come to pass. We love and appreciate him, and we anticipate great things under his leadership.
Reorganization of the Board of Christian Education Ministry and the Children’s Choir has taken place. Repairs have been made to the Fellowship Hall floor, and the Women and Men’s restrooms. The Nurses First Aid Room has been moved from the Sanctuary and is located across from the general office. We have also implemented “Laying The Foundation” (Principles of Christianity 001 )”with classes beginning on October 15, 2012. Achieving Christian Maturity is our goal. We are still on a “Labor of Love” and Soul’s continue to be Saved. We have been blessed with several lovely spirit filled Mother’s of this church over the years, namely Mother’s Martha Gravely, Ocey Daniels, Minnie Reed, Mary Lou Wiley and Louise Williams. We thank God for “Second” and we thank God for our Forefathers who made it possible for us to have a place to worship. We have not forgotten, although you sleep. We remember those whose shoulders were bent from the wright of many winters, tired, weak, and worn, who carried the torch of salvation, and placed it in the hands of our generation and to generations not yet born.
Hold high the Torch “Second”, although you did not light its glow,
It was given to you by other hands you know.
I think it happened down the pathway bright,
The day the Master said let there be light!
Not to the Honor of any of us, but to the Glory of God!”
Poem submitted by: Sis. Johnie M. Bloodsaw
and the 90th Church Anniversary Committee