Albany Baptist was founded in Albany, Ohio in 1856. In an article
written for the church’s 100th anniversary, we discover the
circumstances surrounding the establishment of the church.
“ During the winter of 1854/1855, quite a revival interest
stirred up in the village caused by meetings held at the academy
to the Manual Labor Academy, so named because students were required
to work a certain number of hours each week for the sake of health
as well as for economy), by Rev. Bird. During these meetings the
colored people became more demonstrative than the ministers thought
reasonable and proper and they were reproved. Together with some
of the white people they decided to call a minister and have meetings
of their own where they could shout as much as they pleased.”
Out of this group was born the First Free
Will Baptist Church of Albany, Ohio. Established on January 7,
1856, the church called
Rev. I.Z. Hanning as its first pastor. There were 9 charter members.
The original church building was erected in 1858. According to
the historical record, during the week of its dedication a revival
broke out. One hundred people accepted Christ as Savior and 60
people were baptized and added to the church’s membership.
Over the years the church has changed dramatically. Eventually,
the church simply became known as The Albany Baptist Church,
existing as an independent Baptist congregation. The church has
had 36 pastors over the years.
During the 1970’s the church affiliated itself with the
General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC) and continues
in that relationship to this day. In 1973, a new facility was built
under the pastorate of Rev. Paul Williams. In the early 1980’s
the original building was torn down.
In November 1993, Michael Rose became our pastor. At the time
he began his ministry, the church was averaging about 90 in attendance
on Sunday mornings. By 1995 the church had grown to an average
of 159 and the church desperately needed additional Sunday School,
fellowship, and office space.
Therefore, the church added to its facilities an additional 8,000
sq.ft. of space. This addition, along with the church’s
outreach emphasis helped the growth to continue.
By 1998 the church was averaging 253 and had 3 staff members.
Additional classrooms were needed so the church added a 4,000 sq.ft.
modular unit. We also began to suffer in the area of auditorium
space. To answer this problem we went to two morning services and
began planning a new multi-purpose ministry center.
church contracted with The McKnight Group from Columbus, Ohio which
is a design-build company. After final plans were approved,
construction began in September 1999. The new facility added 19,000
sq.ft. of new ministry space and 5,000 sq.ft. of the existing space
was remodled for new use. The new ministry facility which houses
a new spacious foyer, commercial kitchen, nursery complex, additional
classrooms, high school size basketball floor, media room, and
worship center that can seat 650, was completed and dedicated in
has richly blessed Albany Baptist since its origination over
150+ years ago. Our prayer is that God’s
hand of blessing and anointing for ministry will continue to
be on our church until
Christ returns and we meet Him, and you, in the air.