Church Profile

Central Baptist Association
Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention
African American Ministerial Alliance of Steelton and Vicinity
National/Progressive Baptist Association

Membership: 75 to100

Ministries {Clubs and Auxiliaries}

Usher’s MinistryMen’s MinistryPrison Support
BereavementMusic Ministry      Senior Citizens
Goldenrod Missionaries  Nurses MinistrySocial Media
Hospitality/GreetersPastor’s AideWomen’s Ministry
Media MinistryPraise DancersYouth & Young Adult

Church Services:

Sunday SchoolTuesday Noon Day Prayer
First Sunday, CommunionWednesday Bible Study
Sunday Morning Worship Thursday Prayer Service  
Fifth Sunday, BaptismOther Services {Annual Days, All Ministry Services, Revivals, etc.}

Financial Position:

The church maintains its daily operations with receipts of tithes, offerings, special pledges, and gifts by way of Tithely, Givelify, envelopes, and mail.

Concise History:

The First Baptist Church was founded in 1881, while meeting in houses. In 1887, the church began constructing its building at 153 Adams Street, Steelton, Pa.  The First pastors were Rev. Jesse Carter and Rev. J.T. Bailey.  The church grew rapidly and many auxiliaries were added.   The next pastors were Rev. Truitt and Rev. R. H. Bowling.  The building was completed circa 1891.  The next pastor was Rev. J. J. Jones, under which 60 people joined the church.  From 1895 to 1911, the pastors were Rev. B. S. Jones, Rev. C. H. Baxter, Rev. C. B. Coleman, Rev. Nathaniel Marriott, Rev. L. H. Smith and Rev. O. P. Richardson, and interims.  The church began Women’s Day and the BYPU during that time. 

In 1914, TFBC of Steelton began keeping pastors for longer periods of time.  Rev. O. P. Goodwin’s pastorate spanned 1914-1939.  During that time, the church cleared its debt.  Also, the Silver Leaf Sewing Circle, East End Home Mission, and Ladies Auxiliary Ministries were added.

Rev. E. L. Green served as pastor from 1940 -1965.  The word “The” was added to the church name to avoid confusion with another church.  The church was remodeled and the Willing Workers, Dramatic, and Flower Ministries were added.  Once again, all debts were cleared.

From 1967-1980, Rev. R. E. Bartley served as pastor.  He oversaw the renovation of the Adam Street church and started the weekly Teller bulletin.  In 1973, ground was broken at the current location, and in May 1978, church members marched from the former Adams Street church to the new and current building at 1850 South 19th Street.  During Rev. Bartley’s pastorate, the Pennsylvania Club and the Progressive Women ministries were added.

In 1980, Rev. Dr. W. Braxton Cooley became pastor.  The mortgagee was paid six years later.  During Rev. Cooley’s pastorate, many ministries were added, the Male Chorus, Prayer Vigil, Praise Team, Drug and Alcohol, Men, Women, Praise Dancers, and Pastoral Aid. Also, during 2000 and 2001, the church was renovated for more room and modernization. Pastor Cooley resigned from the church in 2013.

In 2014, Rev. Oveta Townsend was selected to serve as the Interim Pastor until a permanent Pastor was selected. 

In November 2015, the church elected Rev. Dr. Walter S. Thomas, Jr. as Pastor.  Under Rev. Thomas’ leadership, a virtual ministry was started along with live streaming services and bible study which continued throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Many improvements to the building were made including: the chapel, fellowship hall, and the replacement of the roof.  In 2023, Pastor Thomas developed and implemented the Legacy Campaign, a three (3) year debt reduction campaign designed to pay off the church’s mortgage and roof loans. In May 2023, Rev. Thomas earned his Doctor of Ministry degree.