What is the worship service like?
The worship at First Baptist Church is a dynamic blend of traditional and contemporary music that uses different instruments, from traditional pipe organ, to flute, guitars and drums. We project all our songs onto a large screen at the front of the sanctuary, along with appropriate images that enhance the preaching etc. People feel free to express themselves. Some may clap their hands. Others may lift their hands in praise, but it’s all done appropriately, with reverence and respect. The worship service is generally a little over an hour long, no longer. We receive one offering, except on the first Sunday of the month when we receive your offerings for our Fellowship Fund. Our Fellowship Fund helps those in our church family who are in financial need.
Will I understand the message even if I come from another church tradition or if I’m not an experienced Christian?
The answer is “yes”. Our pastors work hard to present easily understood sermons that touch persons from all walks of life in a way that challenges them to grow spiritually. It’s also interesting to note that our congregation is now comprised of significant numbers of men and women from many Protestant and Catholic traditions. Many of them say they worship here because they are getting good Bible preaching and teaching, plus a loving community.
Do I have to dress up for worship?
No. Come as you are.
What do the kids do during the worship?
Children through first grade stay in worship for a short while, then they come forward for a blessing after which they adjourn downstairs for a special Kid's Church program that features songs, Bible lessons, and reading Scripture.
What about Infants, Toddlers, and Pre-K & K?
The focus for these age groups is to provide care and content during the worship. Children are welcome to stay in their respective rooms out back for the entire service.
• Infants: Crib Room
• 2's & 3's: Classroom 1
• Pre-K & K: Classroom 2
Will I be welcomed?
Will I be singled out as a visitor?
No, simply warmly greeted and then shown to your seat. We want to welcome you, but not crowd you. Please feel free to visit our Welcome and Information Centers.
Do you have a good youth and children’s program?
Yes, and we’re always striving to make it better.
Are you handicap accessible?
Yes. Our sanctuary is on the ground floor and is easily accessible by wheelchair. We also have special space in our sanctuary for wheelchairs. In addition, we provide audio support for the hearing impaired, plus large print reading material for the visually impaired. If you need any assistance just ask a Gatekeeper (usher) on your way in.
What are the beliefs of the church?
Probably the best way to answer this question is to encourage you to read our Beliefs.
What are Baptists all about anyway?
Baptists are committed to five principles: the Bible as our final authority for faith and practice, believer’s baptism by immersion (baptism comes after a personal profession of faith in Jesus Christ), the independence of each individual church (we don’t answer to a hierarchy), the democratic form of church government and the “priesthood” of all believers ( this simply means that every man and woman can come freely and openly before the Lord without needing an ordained intercessor).
Did you know?
Early on our church was known as the Second Baptist Church of Reading? On August 14, 1832, 16 people met to establish a church in the West Parish. The First Baptist Church was in South Parish – now known as Wakefield. Services were held at the Reading Academy.
In 1832, when a group of 16 men and women decided to establish a church in the West Parish (now known as Town of Reading), they met in the home of Bro. Amos Evans. Bro. Evans had been urged by the established church not to let them meet with him. His response was “My house is paid for, and they can meet here if they wish.” In 1834 the Salem Street Baptist Church was built on the corner of Linden and Woburn Street, and renamed “First Baptist Church of Reading”.
When the Baptists saw the need for a larger meeting space in 1832, Kate Trowe, along with a group of women, raised $600 to purchase more land at the corner of Woburn and Linden Streets. Under the leadership of Pastor Rev. J.C. Ewera a new Victorian structure was built. The new church was dedicated on December 19, 1883.
The membership of the First Baptist Church reached 700 in 1932. An addition was added to provide an assembly room on the first floor with classrooms and offices on the second floor.
A large group of members, who lived in Wilmington, were released from their membership in 1956 to help form the Wilmington Baptist Church.
The Reading Baptist Day School, housed in a wing of the building, has been providing nursery school care for preschoolers since 1961.
Long term pastor Dr. David W. Reid arrived to serve First Baptist Church during the infamous "Blizzard of '78'". After nearly 38 years of service, Dr. Reid retired in June 2016. The church subsequently conferred upon Dr. Reid the honorary title, Pastor Emeritus. At this writing, the front entrance of the church's Narthex is being renovated in honor of Dr. Reid's many years of dedicated service to First Baptist Church.
Since Dr. Reid's retirement, the church has been served by an Intentional Interim Pastor from VitalChurch Ministry. VitalChurch conducted an extensive all church ministry diagnostic evaluation in September 2016. First Baptist Church is on pace to go live with their pastor search in January 2018.