Our church bell that still calls us to worship was purchased with money from Aunt Kitty and Uncle Ben (Gore) Sandridge who were charter members and former slaves. It was installed in the First Baptist Church building at 4th and Washington in 1865. Then moved to a new church building at 6th and Washington in 1886. Since 1973, the bell has been housed and utilized at our Parkside First Baptist Church Location at 300 Potter Drive.
Our rich 160-year history provide a Biblical foundation for the next generation of leaders at Parkside First Baptist Church. We give God the Glory. We believe church history is valuable for the following reasons:
First, our church history can challenge us. The last two millennia are full of examples of men and women who have courageously lived out what it means to follow Jesus Christ and to make Him known to others. Many of these remained steadfast in their faith in spite of persecution, others braved hardship and danger to take the gospel to new regions, and not a few paid for their faith with their lives. We come away from such a study challenged to be faithful in living for Christ in our world.
Second, our church history can encourage us, and ironically, this benefit is the converse of the previous one. Many times we turn the heroes of our faith into virtually flawless saints, people who were so faithful precisely because they were not like you and me, not prone to discouragement or temptation or lethargy. But a careful study of the lives of these people shows how flawed, how much like the rest of us, they were. There are no perfect people in the post-ascension history of Christianity. Yet those very ordinary people managed to persevere despite their failures, their discouragement, etc. We can come away from a study of their lives encouraged to persevere ourselves.
Third, our church history can teach us. Of course, our faith and doctrine are based on the Word of God, the Bible. But we do not look at the Bible as a completely strange book; we are the beneficiaries of the wisdom of previous generations of Christians who have thought carefully about the teaching of Scripture and have attempted to express it clearly and accurately.
Fourth, our church history can help to show us who we are. The word "tradition" is somewhat of a negative term among evangelicals since we insist that we don't follow human traditions; we follow the Bible. But the fact is that our tradition, our heritage, has a profound impact on what we see when we look at the Bible. Maybe the greatest value of Parkside First Baptist Church history is that it can help us to see ourselves more clearly, and in doing so, to see how we can become even more faithful to Scripture in our teaching and our Christian lives.
For these four reasons, we find that our church history does matter. In fact, it is the history which, in part, allows us to see the Bible honestly and accurately, and hopefully, to be more faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ. We invite you to join us in a lifetime of learning from history and building a new history.
Our Faithful Shepherds throughout our history