Henderson County, Kentucky
FIRST MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH STILL REACHING OUT AFTER MORE THAN 150 YEARS
By Libby Lautzenheiser
First Missionary Baptist Church, 20 S. Elm Street, celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1990. "It's the oldest black church here in Henderson. It's the mother to most of the black Baptist churches in Henderson," said the Rev. Robert ESTERS, pastor.
The church, originally organized as African Baptist Church of Jesus Christ in 1840, has survived the Civil War, the flood of 1937 and the turbulence of the 1960s. It has endured and it has flourished.
According to ESTERS, the church's membership is now between 200 and 300. "It's a blessing from the Lord that has sent people our way. We have a really active ministry," ESTERS said.
Part of that ministry includes efforts to reach out beyond the church walls and into the community. "Christ ministered to the total man, and we feel the same way," he explained, "We want to broaden our ministries to reach more into the neighborhood, not only evangelically but also to meet the needs of young people."
The church recently remodeled its annex to accommodate six additional classrooms. "In those classrooms we hope to expand to include help for young people," ESTERS said. "We like to think that our ministry is geared toward today's times and many of the things that are happening in our communities."
"The scriptures are our No. 1 priority," he said.
The church's Sunday school classes meet at 9:30 a.m. and Sunday services start at 10:45. According to the minister, Family Night Bible Study is from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays.
Reprinted with permission.