Mableton First Baptist Church


The Media/Library started a media Newsletter in January 1980 to keep Church leaders and members informed of resources, aids, etc., that are available to them. The Media/Library began taping the worship services when Rev. Bob Skelton became pastor.

Also in January 1980, the Church had a Church Renewal Crusade with Aubert Rose.

Rev. Skelton, Rev. Steve Coyle, and Mrs. Russell began an in-depth study of personal soul-winning called Evangelism Explosion in the summer of 1980. Purpose: to teach this unique way of witnessing and soul winning to our own members.

In July of 1980, "The Youth Mission Tour" went to Vermont where they conducted Backyard Bible Classes, Vacation Bible Schools, made surveys, and witnessed. Rev. Steve Coyle led it.

Homecoming Day was celebrated on August 17, 1980.

Our special guests for the day were Rev. and Mrs T. H. Howell. Rev. Howell served as pastor from 1950-1955. They are sitting with Arthur Durand, Minister of Music.

Choir members on second row Cindy Marshall, Gayle Hunter, Louise Lee and Evelyn Holton.

Steve Coyle, Associate Pastor and Pastor Robert Skelton.

Choir members on second row: Evelyn Holton, Jeanne Coyle, Sara Payne, Joe Poole, Steve Marshall and Chan Garrett. On third row Edwin Barber and Gene Barber.

Rev. and Mrs Howell with Vickie and Bob Skelton in the fellowship hall at our dinner and social after the Homecoming service. This fellowship hall is the 1957 sanctuary and is at this point the bottom floor under the Kindergarten hall.The children on the right are Wendy Peal and Brett Skelton.

A group of the children at the August 17, 1980 Homecoming

Front row, L-R: Stephanie Manous, Buzz Rowland, Chris Ogburn, Mark Nave, Reb Burnette, Kerry McDearmid.

Second row: Daniel Golden, Chris Flowers, Mandy Martin, Chris Kinsey, Kurt Ridgway, Scott Ridgway, Lori Blackmon, Wendy Skelton, Holly Todd, Rachel Abston, Christina Bray, Laura Abston.

Third row: Nathaniel Coyle, Matthew Jobson, Heather Coyle, Beth Davis, Michelle Davis, Jennifer Martin, Wendy Peal, Melissa Kinsey, Audrey Floyd, Nancy Henderson, Kathy Johnson.

When the Public School System started Kindergarten in September of 1980, it caused the enrollment of our own kindergarten to decline. That year we had a 3-year class, 4-year class and 5-year class with a total enrollment of 86.

During this fall, the church hired Becky Walker Ridgway as a Kindergarten teacher. Thus began the long and wonderful relationship with Becky in our Kindergarten and Children's Ministries.

The receipts for September 1980 were $20,927.87, and the weekly Sunday School attendance average was 344.

Mrs. Russell helped develop a church Mission Study with the title "Fashion Show 2000" which started December 7, 1980.

January 25, 1981 was the day we burned the note on all indebtedness on our church building. 491 members attended this historic day. Burning the note on these facilities is certainly a victory for our Lord and our Church.

January 24, 1981 was a day of celebration for Mableton First Baptist. We witnessed the burning of the notes on the sanctuary and educational building. Tony Melton and Brawnson Ayres do the lighting of the notes. Bud Durand provides a solo for the occasion.

We recognized the building committee which helped us to raise that building. Front row Bob Harwell, Dot Beavers, Roy Brumbelow, Freeman Poole. Back row: Jean Drawdy, Brawnson Ayres, Gene Barber and Billy Daniell.

and the group of members who had the faith to sign notes to secure the indebtedness. Front row: Roy Brumbelow, Bob Harwell with Tony Melton behind him, Gene Beavers, Frank Widencamp with Luke Melton in front of him, Brawnson Ayres with Arthur Durand in front of him, Billy Melton. Back row: Billy Daniell, Lloyd Gilham , Max Hardie, Harris Daniell, James Cass, and Gene Barber.

Church approved for the summer of 1981 a "Youth on Mission Tour" to Sandusky, Michigan to conduct surveys, have Backyard Bible Clubs, Vacation Bible School, witness at the Fair, etc.

Storm windows were installed on all windows in January of 1981 at a cost of $7,089.00. Trim and gutter repairs were made, plus painting and fencing to improve the older building's appearance.

April 29, 1981 the church purchased new fire extinguishers and recharged the others. A new central air conditioning system was purchased for the Fellowship Hall and Educational Building above the Sanctuary. The Long Range Planning Committee recommended removal of the Scout Hut to make room for future expansion. This was done. Repair to doors and downspouts on the Education Building were also done.

Six more puppets were purchased and added to our growing Puppet Ministry in July of 1981.

Two more couples classes were organized in Sunday School - Young Married (Co-Ed) couples class led by Mr. and Mrs. James Cass, and Fellowship Couples Median (Co-Ed) Class led by Mr. and Mrs. Chan Garrett in July 1981.

Rev. Steve Coyle resigned as Associate Pastor to accept the pastorate of Port Sulphur Baptist Church in Port Sulphur, Louisiana, effective August 16, 1981.

The Church rented a booth at the North Georgia State Fair in August to conduct a ministry similar to the one the youth conducted in Michigan, with singing, witnessing, puppet programs, etc. It was a great success.

The average Sunday School attendance for October 1981 was 338 and the total receipts were $21,605.86.

The Concord Choir, Youth Choir, and Adult Choir presented Christmas programs during December 1981.

On December 20, 1981 the Senior Choir presented its Christmas Musical "God So Loved the World" under the direction of Arthur Durand.

On January 20, 1982, it was decided that no church offerings would be taken during special services (choir programs, kindergarten programs, etc.), unless those special services were a part of a regular Sunday or Wednesday service.

Receipts for January, 1982 were $32,719.11.

The average Sunday School attendance was 329, while the Youth Choir averaged 40 and the Adult Choir averaged 32. The Youth Choir attendance was particularly strong because the youth were preparing for the Winter Choir Tour to Banner Elk, NC.

Receipts for February, 1982 were $23,935.85.

Also in February, the church continued to make repairs, paint, and improve the buildings (carpeted the stairs up to the choir room, carpeted the nursery floors, painted the sanctuary, etc.).

On February 11, the Women's Missionary Union lead in a worship service at the Fulton County Jail (Women's Division). One person prayed to receive Christ, and there were several rededications.

On February 14, the WMU lead in worship at the VA Hospital. Two prayed to receive Christ there.

On February 15, the WMU prepared and served lunch at the Georgia State University Baptist Student Union. The Acteens baked the cakes for the desserts.

Youth Week was held March 15-21. The young people 'replaced' members of the Church Staff for Sunday services, and also taught all of the Sunday School classes and all of the Church Training classes that day.

In March, the average Sunday School attendance was 353.

Mableton First Baptist, by the grace of God, has grown from 20 charter members in 1887 to 1450 members in April 1982.

On June 13, the Summer Mission Reading Club was begun by the Media Library. All ages were invited to participate. This summer reading club was the most successful ever, in numbers of members participating.

July 17-24, 1982, was a big week in the life of our church as we participated in the Baptist Ministries to the World's Fair program. Tennessee: Youth on Mission saw 25 of our young people head to Knoxville to spread the gospel among the attendees of the World's Fair.

Steve Cooper was hired as the Minister of Education and Youth on September 19, 1982.

Rev. Bob Skelton resigned as Pastor to serve as Minister of Evangelism at Roswell Street Baptist Church, effective November 19, 1982. As a result, J. Howell Perry was called to serve as Interim Pastor.

On March 6, 1983, the church voted to call Dr. James Benny Braddy as Pastor. The percentage of approval, however, was not as high as Dr. Braddy preferred, so he declined the call.

Mrs. Evelyn Holton resigned as Church Pianist in April due to her husband, James', cancer diagnosis and declining health. Jessica Payne Beasley, daughter of long-time church organist Sara Payne, was hired as Evelyn's replacement in May.

We added a 2-year kindergarten class to our church school on October 3, 1983. Elaine Ridgway was the teacher. There were 12 students who attended classes on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9am to 12 noon.

The Media Center Director position became a paid one beginning on October 1, 1983. The salary was $36 per week (9 hours at $4 per hour).

The church membership voted to call David B. York as pastor on October 9, 1983. Rev. York began this, his second pastorate at our church, on November 21, 1983.

In December 1983 we welcomed back our friend and pastor David York to lead us once again

in the task of ministering for Christ in the Mableton community.

With his strong hand of leadership and with the grace of God we can pull together as a church family -

we can in faith arise and build whatever is needed to equip our ministry.

Also in October, our media library was named as a Distinguished Church Media Library. To earn this distinction, our library had to accomplish 74 or more of the requirements listed in the Church Library Achievement Guide.

The average monthly receipts for 1983 were $27,986.20. The average monthly Sunday School attendance for this year was 290.

The church voted to purchase a new 15-passenger van, a Ford E350, at a drive-out cost of $14,157.39 at the conference on April 18, 1984.

Also in April, a Building Committee was established to study the church's facility needs going forward. This committee looked at the needs of the current membership, plus our responsibility to reach the lost in our community.

Media Library circulation numbers remained strong, with 344 items being checked out in May. This included 180 books and 164 audiovisuals.

In July, an anonymous donor blessed the church with $2000 to purchase a copy machine for the office.

On August 12, 1984, First Baptist of Mableton ordained William A. (Bill) Landers to be Associate Pastor and Minister of Youth at Trinity Baptist Church in Durham, NC.

The church adopted new, detailed policies regarding hosting weddings at our church on October 17, 1984.

In December, we purchased 5 tape players for the Homebound Ministry. Sunday morning services were recorded and copied, and the tapes were distributed by the Deacons to our homebound members each week.

Average weekly receipts for 1984 were $34,285.04. Average Sunday School attendance for 1984 was 292.

On June 2, 1985, upon recommendation from the Building Committee, Mableton First contracted with Jim Hall & Associates as architects for a new church building, at a cost of $78,750.00. Preliminary architectural plans were approved on July 14, 1985.

The church gave approval on December 18 to spend $575 for Christmas gifts for 3 families in our community. These 3 families had 13 children, total.

Steve Cooper, Minister of Education and Youth, resigned, effective December 31, 1985.

Average monthly receipts for 1985 were $45,843.05. Average monthly Sunday School attendance for 1985 was 303.

On December 8, 1985 we had a church-wide banquet titled "By Faith: Arise and Build". Jerry Stargel was the narrator for the Arise and Build slide program at the banquet.

June 29, 1986 was the date of the Groundbreaking for the new sanctuary. Shown here are Lloyd Ogburn and Delores Collier, two of the members of the Building Committee, along with Mrs. Inez Russell.

In early 1986, the Building Committee altered its building plans, dividing the project into four phases: I - complete the new sanctuary; 2 - renovate the current sanctuary; 3 - renovate the current fellowship hall; 4 - create new office space and classrooms.

On March 19, 1986, the church entered the world of new technology and purchased its first computer for the church office.

This photo of the front of the red brick church was taken by Gene Barber in April 1986, just before it was demolished in May of 1986 for the construction of the new sanctuary.

On May 4, 1986, Jerry Bailey was called to be the Minister of Education and Youth, effective May 26.

The church approved the purchase of a 3-octave set of handbells, with accessories, on May 21.

The body also approved the recommendation of Eddie Barton and Richard Peal to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, which met at Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.

On September 7, 1986 we were privileged to have Georgia Governor Joe Frank Harris as our speaker for our church Homecoming.

Senator and Mrs Roy Barnes, David and Wanda York, and Governor and Mrs Joe Frank Harris gather in the Pastor's office before the service.

The Properties Committee recommended that the old tennis courts be used for parking space on September 17, 1986.

The church approved the expenditure of $3081 to fence the parking lots on November 19, 1986.

The average monthly receipts for 1986 were $69,202.80. The average monthly Sunday School attendance was 300.
1987 was the centennial year for Mableton First Baptist. One of the ways of commemorating this 100th year was the production of a centennial plate depicting the different stages of development. We were in the process of building the new sanctuary.

1987 began with the expenditure of $32,300 for a new roof on the current Fellowship Hall and the current Sanctuary. The church also bought 62 new choir robes in May at a cost of $4,650.

A GA Coronation was celebrated on March 15, 1987. L-R Stacey Lance, Joy Bailey, Marissa Hamby, Lori Blackmon, ?, ?, Tina Lynn Hembree, Mandy Martin, Stephanie Manous, Ginger Bailey, Christina Carr, ?, Angela Matheny, Heather Matheny. Jennifer Brooks, Acteen, was helping in the background. The unidentified names are Cindy Barton, Christen Barton, and Christy Beauford. Scott Bailey was the scepter bearer.

In July, the church recommended Jim and Pat Hughes for classes at the New Orleans Baptist Theological extension in Marietta.

Acclimating to societal trends, the church voted to allow the church staff to contribute to the Expanded Annuity Program. This would allow them to contribute designated monies each paycheck into a personal retirement plan.

Throughout the past year, our membership had celebrated its Centennial with a carefully planned series of church events each month under the umbrella title of "Celepraise 100". Then, on September 13, 1987, the celebration culminated as Mableton First Baptist Church celebrated its 100th birthday with the dedication of its new, permanent sanctuary. The sanctuary boasted a beautiful steeple with a cross, plus a large stained glass window of Christ shepherding his sheep.

Average monthly receipts for 1987 were $50,667.12. Average monthly Sunday School attendance was 284.
We continued to celebrate a Fall Festival, the church's alternative to Halloween. Mrs Russell is shown with a child at the festival on October 30, 1987.

In April of 1988, Becky Ridgway was approved as Summer Day Camp Director. Summer Day Camp, at this point, consisted of a one week camp during the summer.

The vote to proceed with Phases 2 and 3 of the Building Plan was taken at church conference on April 20, 1988. Then in August, approval was given to proceed with the final parts of these phases, including "putting the floor in the old sanctuary (between levels) to provide a two-story educational facility, and the finishing of the remodeling of the present kindergarten and educational space."

The floor cost $200,000. The completion of the educational space, the fellowship hall, and the new kitchen cost $150,000.

Trio of Janie Ayres, Jeanne Widencamp and Elsie Daniell. They sang together for many years. This is in the new sanctuary, and guessed to be about 1988

On November 16, 1988, the church voted to sponsor a Spanish mission in Mableton, along with the Concord Association, the Home Mission Board, and the State Mission Board.

Average monthly receipts for 1988 were $53,188.73. The average monthly Sunday School attendance was 294.

In the 1980's we had an active cooperation with a Spanish ministry and cooperated closely with Hispanic pastor Ricardo Fachisters. Mrs. Russell was active with that ministry, and on September 17, 1989, Anna Fachisters presented a gift to Mrs. Inez Russell on behalf of the Spanish congregation for her work with them.

A Mother's Day Out program was established at the February 15, 1989, church conference. The teachers were Juewania Brown, Mary Payne, Karla Cornelio, and Betty Jean Brown. The Director of the program was Deborah McWaters. The program began on March 7, 1989. Childcare was provided one day a week, from 10a to 2pm, for children ages 8 weeks to 5 years.

The new Spanish mission held its first in-home Bible Study in April of 1989. Seven people attended. The Spanish community appeared very hungry for the Word of God. On May 31, 1989, the church called Rev. Ricardo A. Fachisthers to be the MFBC Spanish Mission pastor, starting immediately.

Our sanctuary for many years has been used for graduation Baccalaureate services by both Pebblebrook High School and South Cobb High School. This has been yet another way we have been able to serve and reach out to our community.

On August 16, 1989, the church granted permission for Rev. York to attend the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary extension at Roswell Street Baptist Church for a Greek language class to begin in the fall.

The average monthly receipts for 1989 were $48,355.52. The average Sunday School attendance for the year was 303.

to 1990