This orientation was created to give you some essential information about the policies and expectations of First Baptist Church of Seville. We’ll share our history, philosophy, practices, and policies as well as inform you of the ways you can serve the Lord Jesus through FBCS.
During your New Member Orientation we will work to match your interests with our available volunteer jobs. Our church is unique because it is steered by the members. It is not steered by a staff.
Mission: To Magnify God by making and discipling committed Christians.
The mission of FBCS was penned by the Pastor and congregation in the 2000s. FBCS recognizes that the church has identified opportunities and needs for a minister with specific gifts and abilities. The church works together with the contracted Pastor in the following identified areas of ministry:
Interpreting the Faith
Pastor Benjamin’s Guiding Principle is to give people the Word of God in every season of life.
- 2 Timothy 4:2
- Preach the word, be prepared in season and out of season, correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and careful instruction.
- Carefully Instruct
- 2 Timothy 4:3 For a time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine, instead, to suite their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their ears are itching to hear.
- Encourage with the love of Jesus
- 2 Timothy 4:4 They will turn away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
- Release or Charge people to use their gifts to fulfill the duties of the Body of Christ
- 2 Timothy 4:5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
Philosophy of Ministry
FBCS promotes the ministry listed in Isaiah chapter 61 as the guiding method of ministering. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free”
What is American Baptist?
The following are distinctions of the traditions and practices of American Baptists.
- American Baptists believe Jesus is Lord and Savior, and the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God that serves as the final written authority for living out the Christian Faith.
- For American Baptists the local church is the fundamental unit of mission in denominational life.
- American Baptists partake of two ordinances: believers’ baptism and the Lord’s supper.
- American Baptists believe that the committed individual Christian can and should approach God directly, and that individual gifts of ministry should be shared.
- American Baptists take seriously the call to evangelism and missionary work.
- American Baptists support religious freedom and respect the expressions of faith of others.
- American Baptists acknowledge that God’s family extends beyond our local churches, and that God calls us to cooperative ministries.
- American Baptists have been called to be Christ’s witnesses for justice and wholeness within a broken society.
- American Baptist Churches celebrate the racial, cultural, and theological diversity witnessed within its membership.
- American Baptists heed the Biblical call to renewal and the need for a vital witness in the new millennium.
A complete written history is available on the church website. The following is a summary provided by Joyce Crislip, the 2017-2018 Church Clerk.
Henry Hosmer journeyed from Connecticut on foot, to find a place to plant a church. The Baptist church was established in 1838. The Constitution and Articles of Faith of First Baptist Church, originally called The Baptist Church in Guilford”, were adopted.
As in the Providence of God, members of the professed disciples of the Lord Jesus have been drawn together in this place from different parts of Zion, and from different church connections, and feeling it to be a most solemn duty, as well as a delightful privilege to erect the standard of truth, to support the ministry of reconciliation, and administering the ordinances of the Gospel, we associate and covenant together in the bond of Christian fellowship under the name of “The Baptist Church in Guilford,” and for the information of the Christian public and of the world…”
A call for a Council of sister Churches was sent to surrounding villages, which convened August 22, 1838, in the Methodist Episcopal Church in Guilford, by which name the village was then called, and after a simple order of exercises, the church was recognized as “The Guilford Baptist Church.” It is said, the first sermon preached in Seville was by Rev. Rufus Freeman. It was preached in a log cabin near the south-west corner of the square.
The members of this early church were limited in their means, and the question of having a regular Meeting House of their own was quite a problem. There was no home large enough to accommodate the congregation, and they worshipped in a log school house, for which they paid five dollars a year rent; one dollar and a quarter every three months.
In March of 1842 the church was incorporated and a building committee was appointed to furnish a “church of our own.” The finished building was dedicated on January 29, 1845 “to God’s work”. Several renovations and additions have occurred since. Notably, 1885 when the East Room was added and the basement finished for a dining room. In 1953, extensive repairs to the brick siding, the roof and steeple were made. And, in 1991 the members purchased the property immediately south of the building and constructed an addition larger than the original building while maintaining the architecture of the original structure.
In 1854, a bell was purchased, and hung in the belfry, and the same tones ring out today over the town and country-side, calling the people to worship. One of the prescribed duties of the janitor, was to ring the bell at appointed times. Evidently the bell in the Baptist steeple was the only one in the village, for the church was often asked to toll the bell at the death of one of the village residents.
First Baptist Church has the distinction of having the world’s only married giants as members. Captain Martin VanBuren Bates and Anna Bates, active in the church from 1877 to 1888.
In 1856, the ladies of the church held an Oyster Supper with returns of $89.50, from which $22.50 was paid on the balance due on an organ. This is the first time any kind of musical instrument was noted. A fire in 1914, caused by an acetylene light explosion damaged the church greatly, destroying books, furniture, and the organ. A Vocalion was quickly purchased and used until the pipe organ was installed in the fall of 1918. A new console was installed in 1938 and the entire 98-year-old organ received a complete renovation in 2016.
There were 15 Charter Members in 1838. There have been forty-seven full-time pastors and several part-time pastors leading the church from 1838 to the present. In 2013, the 175TH anniversary of the church was celebrated with an open house, special services and dinner.
Membership is a vital relationship between the community in attendance and the local church. Any member confessing Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord, learning the Bible for guidance in life, who is willing to join in active fellowship with the other members of this church in the work of the Kingdom of God can become a member.
The Pastor and the Diaconate Board can answer any questions from those seeking membership. We want those attending our Church to understand and willingly accept the responsibilities of being a member at FBCS. Detailed membership is available in the Church Constitution (Article VI. Section 6.01)
It has been said that team stands for Together Each Achieves More. First Baptist Church of Seville is committed to continually building strong teams which includes Board members, Team members, Committee members, and additional volunteers. Commitment to the team is an important ingredient of our success. Policies for volunteering at FBCS are available in this handbook.
You can expect FBCS to help:
- Find a suitable assignment based upon the needs of the church as well as your interests, skills, and availability.
- Provide discipleship and training to help you perform your job.
- Identify God’s purposes for you to participate in the ministry of reconciliation and to work as a part of a loving team.
- Encourage growth and development as a Christian through participation in activities, servanthood, and community in the Body of Christ Jesus.
FBCS is first governed by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit of God. The membership bylaws were written in 1838 and from the 1960s to present day a written a document called the Church Constitution is available to aid the organizational structure and accommodate membership needs and responsibilities. The Church Constitution has been penned in love throughout decades of servant-hood and does not surpass the Holy Spirit or the Word of God, but helps FBCS move in the Kingdom of God for the purposes of God.
There are five teams that govern the organization of FBCS. For detailed information on the governance of the Church please consult the Church Constitution.
Governing Boards and Teams
- Diaconate Board
- Leadership Team
- Christian Education Team
- Music Team
- Constitution Committee
- Nominating Committee
- Budget Committee
- Audit Committee
- Pulpit Committee
The Advisory Council is made up of the Pastor, all elected officers, chairpersons of all committees, and musicians.
There are several Church Officers elected by the membership of the Church. For more detailed information please view the Church Constitution (Article VII Section 7.01).
- Diaconate Board Members
- Chairman of the Trustees
- Chairman of the Christian Education Team
- Chairman of the Music Team
- Church Treasurer
- Assistant Church Treasurer
- Financial Secretary
FBCS does have the following expectations of members and volunteers
- Completion of all discipleship training as required by the organization.
- Watch me serve.
- Serve with me.
- Let me watch you serve.
- Adherence to all First Baptist Church of Seville (FBCS) policies and values.
There are four meetings each year for the members of First Baptist Church of Seville. Members are qualified to vote at the Church meetings if they are older than 16 years and in good standing with the Church. There need to be fifteen members at the meeting for any Church business to take place. We urge members to attending the meetings and contribute. The meetings are the third Sunday of January, April, July, and October. (Article VIII. Section 8.04)
Our Church offers Communion on the second Sunday of February, April, June, August, October, and December. We have been offering Communion each month of the year, recently. (Article VIII. Section 8.06)
First Baptist Church of Seville selects and hires a contracted pastor with a ¾ vote of the members of the church. For more understanding of Pastoral Relations and the calling of a pastor to the church, please review the Church Constitution (Article IX).
Teachers & Volunteers in Christian Education
First Baptist Church of Seville selects teachers, Coffee & Conversation Facilitators, and Youth Group Leaders through the Christian Education Team. Our Christian Education Department values safety and security for all members and our community. Volunteers who would like to work with infants, children, youth, or the elderly are required to complete a background check through the State of Ohio. Please fill out a Background Check Form located at the end the Volunteer Policies section of this Handbook and turn it into the Leader of the Christian Education Team for approval.
The Christian Education Team works together with the Pastor to select Bible Studies to offer throughout the year. Events are planned as a team and there is always a need for volunteers to help in the outreach services of the team. For more information on Teaching and the Christian Education Team please refer to the Church Constitution (Article VII, 7.03, c), (Article VII, 7.04, e), and (Article X, 10.01).
FBCS operates because of the cheerful regular supporters of the ministry. The support of local ministry, expenses of the church, relief of the poor, and spreading of the gospel throughout all nations is dependent of the members of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. The minimum suggested tithe from the Scriptures is 1/10 of our earnings.
- After Abraham He is cited as giving King Melchizedek, the King of Salem and a priest of the Most High God one-tenth of his plunder after King Melchizedek blessed Abraham. (Genesis 14:20)
- There were twelve tribes in the Nation of Israel and eleven of them would give one-tenth of their crops and earnings to the Tribe of Levi. The Levitical order was to attend to the tabernacle, help with disputes, bring help during illnesses, and bring blessings to the people of God.
- The main principle behind tithing and giving is the fact that what we do with our money shows where our heart is. Matthew 6:21 says “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” When we are able to give 10% or more of our income instead of keeping that money for ourselves, it shows that our heart isn’t tied to our money and that we love God more than our money.
American Baptist Women’s Ministry
The ABWM is a subordinate organization that meets in FBCS. In 1847 the first missionary offering was collected at the Church. It amounted to $48.97 for Foreign and $15.00 for Home Missions. The Women’s Mission Society, now known as American Baptist Women’s Ministries (ABWM), began organized mission outreach for the Church in 1938. The group continues today to work and serve missionaries around the world. The ABWM also organizes local mission endeavors and is currently volunteering to organize a Service Committee for the Church.
ABWM meetings are usually on Tuesday nights and all women are invited to participate.
The ABWM organizes the following endeavors and asks for FBCS to support them:
Ongoing Local Outreach
- Sewn Stuffed Bunnies for Children at Lodi Hospital. Including the March Bunny March for “change” donations.
- Aluminum Can Tabs: Benefit St. Jude’s & Kidney Research
- Our Child: We love and support Maleesha, who lives in Sri Lanka. We met her through Church World Service.
- Angel Tree: is set up at Christmastime and gives aid to a church family or a family in Seville.
- October: “Harvest Treat Bags”
- November: “Thanksgiving Baskets” for Homebound
- December: “Cookie Walk”for College and Military
- February: “Tray Favors” for Nursing Homes
- March: “Rolled Bandages” sheets are cut into strips and rolled for bandages and sent straight to missionaries.
- June: Visit Medina County Home for a time of singing, devotions and root beer floats.
- May: “Buckeye Mission and Ministry Offering” This offering assists the work in Ohio through our American Baptist Church of Ohio office, which is in Granville, Ohio.
- June: Disaster Relief
- October: “World Mission Offering”
- December: “Retired Ministers & Missionaries Offerings”
Regionally: American Baptist Association Outreach Projects
- The following items are collected throughout the year. There are baskets in the front of the church and in the east room where you can turn in things like boxtops for education, pennies, and aluminum can tabs.
- White Cross: Each year our ABWM receives a list of items that are needed by American Baptist missionaries in various parts of the world. They are often things we can make or mail to them; sometimes we send money.
- Care & Share: Items are collected and sent/taken to several agencies around Ohio, including Neighborhood Ministries, Camp Koinonia, Used Book Depository, Dayton Christian Center and the Racetracks.
- Women & Girls Fund: The money collected at our church goes to “refit” to financially assist missionaries on furlough.
- Penny Project: The goal is 14 million pennies to represent the number of children living in poverty in the United States and Puerto Rico.
- Boxtops for Education
State Association: American Baptist Ohio Mission Outreach
- Racetrack Ministries Reverend Vincent Harris 1223 Treehaven Lane, Columbus, Ohio 43204
- Dayton Christian Center Tasha Johnson 1352 W. Riverview Ave. Dayton, Ohio 43407
- Heart Reach (Formerly known as Neighborhood Ministries) Mr. Mark & Liz Samuel PO Box 640, Campbell, Ohio 44405
Globally: American Baptist International Ministries
Donations may be sent to any of these missionaries at:
International Ministries | PO Box 851 | Valley Forge, PA 19482-9896 or through FBCS
- Mexico – Reverend David & Joyce Reed
- Ghana – Ms. Rovaughna Richardson
- Hungary – Reverend Carmella Jones
- Chiang Mai, Thailand – Miss Kimberly Jo Brown
- South Sudan – Dr. Bill & Ann Clemmer
- Chiang Rai, Thailand – Reverend Charles & Ruth Fox
- Dominican Republic – Reverend Peter & Sara McCurdy
- Managua, Nicaragua – Doctors David and Laura Parajon
- Chiang Mae, Thailand – Reverend Katherine Ripley (Kit)
- Macau, China – Emerson & Ivy Wu
FBCS Service Committee
The Service Committee is not an official Committee of FBCS. It is organized by the ABWM subordinate organization. The committee currently handles all funeral dinners and kitchen events for FBCS. All are invited to participate in this committee and the ABWM appreciates the help.
Meetings at FBCS
The meetings for all boards, teams, committees, and members generally follow the same outline. This is available to you so that you’re familiarized with the process. We encourage you to be involved and join the Church in what the Lord may be leading us in. For more information on this process please review (Article 15, Section 15:01)
- The Reading of Minutes
- Reports of Teams
- Reports of Finances
- Reports of Officers
- Reports of Committees
- Reports of Other Organizations (Camp Koinonia, ABWM, Akron Area Association)
- Old Business
- New Business
The mailboxes behind the baptistery are available for sending notes, mail, and Christmas cards to our the church family. A donation can be placed in the container on top of the mailboxes in equal amount you would have spent on postage to send cards via USPS. Money collected benefits various mission projects of the ABWM.
If you’re curious about policies on marriage, baptism, child dedication, funerals, divorce, remarriage, homosexuality please talk with the Pastor. The Church Constitution does have written statements for more exploration. (Article XVI, Article XVII, and Article XVIII)
FBCS takes seriously our commitment to provide a safe and secure environment for all volunteers, members, and those who come to worship in our building. For more information on our Security Plan please view the section for Safety and Security in the Volunteer Policies portion of this handbook or schedule an appointment with the Leader of the Trustees.