Our story begins in 1924. Like so many congregations, First Church of God began in the homes of several people who all came together to worship and pray. As God moved and the meetings grew, it was determined that more formal accommodations needed to be made. A storeroom was secured in the 4200 block of Gallia Street in New Boston, and in September 1924, the first revival was held, with speakers including Rev. Henry Graham, Rev. Z.T. Tussey, Rev. Henry Hall, and Rev. Raymond R. Black. After the revival concluded, Rev. Black was called as our first Pastor.
On October 27, 1924, twenty-four members of the congregation unanimously voted to purchase a building at 3922 Gallia Street (this original building was located in what is the current building’s parking lot, and had at various times been school house, city building, and storeroom). Tent meetings were held throughout the area during this time, and the congregation grew to such an extent that the building needed to be enlarged. The sanctuary was widened and a full basement was added for classroom space.
Soon after his wife passed away, Rev. Black resigned the pastorate and entered the evangelistic field in early 1931. Rev. William L. Schinn served as our next Pastor, from 1931-1934, followed by Rev. Charles E. Cartmill. Area strikes and the Great Ohio River Flood of 1937 took their toll on the church and its finances, but through the hardships Rev. Cartmill continued his faithful leadership and once again the work began to progress.
In 1938, Rev. Walter C. Wood accepted the call to pastor the congregation, serving until 1941. Repairs from the 1937 flood and other improvements to the facilities were made during this time, including new lights and seating, new sanctuary floor, and rooms added to either side of the choir loft. Following Rev. Wood, Rev. Ralph Lee Collins served as Pastor through the war years, 1941-1945; it was during his pastorate that the church debt was paid and the property east of building was purchased.
Upon Rev. Collins entering the mission field in Panama in 1945, Rev. Jerald R. Pirkey served from 1945-1949. Further improvements were made, including the installation of a new gas furnace and the purchase of the property to the west of the building. Rev. Walter R. Gatton served as Pastor from 1949-1952, and then was followed by Rev. Lawrence E. Foudy.
Soon after Rev. Foudy became Pastor, the old church building was condemned and plans for the financing and construction of a new building were immediately pursued. These plans were adopted in January 1953, and ground was broken on Easter Sunday, April 10, 1955, and on December 11, 1955, our current building was dedicated.
In March 1958, Rev. Dale Lehman became our Pastor. During his pastorate the educational section of the facilities was expanded to three floors. Rev. Lehman served until December, 1968. In January 1969, Rev. Marlin S. Jaynes, Jr. accepted the call to serve as our tenth Pastor. While Rev. Jaynes served as Pastor, the debt for the church was again paid, and the property and building adjacent west of and adjacent to the church was purchased. This building once housed the Eagles club, but after the church took possession, it was eventually converted into our Fellowship Hall.
Following Rev. Jaynes' departure in 1973, the congregation called Rev. William A. Staten to the pastorate, who served until 1975. Rev. Staten was succeeded in 1976 by Rev. Michael L. Parker, who served for four years, leaving in 1980. It was in 1980 that our seventh pastor, Rev. Walter R. Gatton, returned to once again fill the pulpit as our pastor. Rev. Gatton's ministry built upon his earlier three-year tenure in the early 1950s and continued for another seven years.
In 1987, Rev. Gatton moved on, and Rev. Gregory Pennington became our Pastor; his service to the congregation lasted for five years, until 1992. It was in 1992 that our longest serving pastor to date began his pastorate. Rev. Acy Gibson remained our pastor for nearly 20 years, carrying us into a new century, serving from 1992 to 2011. Rev. Gibson was followed in 2011 by Rev. Floyd Smith, who was pastor for three years, leaving in 2014.
In 2014, the church called Rev. Donny McKenzie to lead the congregation. Rev. McKenzie served until January of 2019, upon accepting the pastorate of another congregation across the river in Kentucky. At this time, the associate pastor and music minister, Rev. Chris Keeton, was asked to fill the pulpit on an interim basis until a decision on a permanent pastor could be made. Rev. Keeton served as Interim Pastor from January - July 2019, when the church asked him to continue as the 18th and current Pastor.
The year 2019 marks the 95th year that First Church of God in New Boston has served the community. Yet we believe the brightest years are still ahead. The foundation established by the pastors and members of the congregation is strong and rich in spirit and history. As we carry on this tradition, we invite you to join us as we worship, praise, and minister together. We are excited about what the future holds for us, and we want you to share it with us!
Rev. Raymond R. Black
Rev. William L. Schinn
Rev. Charles E. Cartmill
Rev. Walter C. Wood
Rev. Ralph Lee Collins
Rev. Jerald R. Pirkey
Rev. Walter R. Gatton
Rev. Lawrence E. Foudy
Rev. Dale Lehman
Rev. Marlin S. Jaynes, Jr.
Rev. William A. Staton
Rev. Michael L. Parker
Rev. Walter R. Gatton
Rev. Gregory Pennington
Rev. Acy Gibson
Rev. Floyd Smith
Rev. Donny McKenzie
Rev. Chris Keeton