About Us

Meet the Pastor:

Joe Thornton has been our Pastor since September 1st, 2015.  
He and his wife, Jenny, have three children and are life-long residents of the area.
Pastor Joe is an avid Ohio State Buckeyes fan (O-H!) and enjoys fishing, hunting, golfing and spending time with his family and Sadie the Bulldog. 
He has an office at the Church, so come on by and introduce yourself anytime.

More staff and leaders:

Pam McLaughlin, Secretary
Doug McLaughlin, Chairman of Deacons
Gary Moore, Chairman of Trustees

Find us

Address: 94 Shady Lane
Barnesville, OH 43713


Contact Us

Our Beliefs

  • The Bible: The Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God's revelation of Himself to man. It has God as its author, salvation for its end, and truth without mixture of error, for its matter.
  • God: There is one infinite, personal God. The eternal God reveals Himself to us as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, with distinct personal attributes, but without division of nature, essence or being.
  • Man: Man was created by the special act of God, in His own image, and is the crowning work of His creation. By his free choice man sinned against God and brought sin into the human race. The sacredness of human personality is evident in that God created man in His own image, and in that Christ died for man, therefore every person possesses dignity and is worthy of respect and Christian love.
  • Salvation: Salvation involves the redemption of the whole person and is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, who by His own blood obtained eternal redemption for the believer. In its broadest sense salvation includes regeneration, sanctification and glorification.
  • The Church: A New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ is a local body of baptized believers who are associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel. The New Testament speaks also of the church as the body of Christ which includes all of the redeemed of all ages.
  • Baptism: Christian Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water. It is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer's faith in a crucified, buried and risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.
  • Lord’s Supper: The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby Christians memorialize the death of the Redeemer and anticipate his return.
  • Evangelism and Missions: It is the duty and privilege of every follower of Christ and of every church of the Lord Jesus Christ to endeavor to make disciples of all nations seeking constantly to win the lost to Christ by personal effort.
  • Last Things: God, in His own time and in His own way, will bring the world to its appropriate end. Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly. The dead will be raised; Christ will judge everyone into righteousness. The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell. The righteous will receive their reward and will dwell forever in Heaven with the Lord.
Church Covenant
  • Having been led, as we believe, by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior;
  • And on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
  • We do now, in the presence of God, angels and the assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another, as one body in Christ.
  • We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advancement of this church, in knowledge, holiness and comfort;
  • To promote its prosperity and spirituality, to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrines;
  • To contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of the ministry, the expenses of the church, the relief of the poor and the spread of the gospel through all nations.
  • We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances;
  • To walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements and exemplary in our deportment;
  • To avoid all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger;
  • To abstain from the sale of and use of intoxicating drinks as a beverage and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the kingdom of our Savior.
  • We further engage to watch over one another in brotherly love;
  • To remember each other in prayer; to aid each other in sickness and in distress; to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and Christian courtesy in speech;
  • To be slow to take offense, but always ready for reconciliation and mindful of the rules of our Savior to secure it without delay.
  • We moreover engage that when we remove from this place we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church, where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word.

Dr. Ray Roberts, Executive Director of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio met with Leonard Smith in a restaurant in Zanesville, Ohio. Dr. Roberts learned that Leonard was a Baptist and that there were no Baptist churches in Barnesville. He asked Leonard if he would be willing to start a work in the community.

The Barnesville Baptist Chapel held its first worship service on November 1, 1960, meeting above Bohandy's Restaurant at 129 West Main Street. This initial worship service was conducted by Rev. Robert Hall, Director of Missions of the Upper Ohio Baptist Association. Five persons were present at this meeting.

A revival was conducted during the second week of November and the evangelist was Rev. Hall. A survey had been taken the last of October to find prospective members. First Baptist Church of Woodsfield (the mother church of Barnesville Baptist Chapel) helped with the survey and the evangelistic services. Rev. Hall came from Athens, Ohio to preach on Sundays during the months of November and December. John Ashcraft, formerly of Woodsfield, supplied the pulpit on a part-time basis during the early months of 1961. Eldon Fox served the chapel as preacher during the summer of 1961.

Rev. Clay Frazier, pastor at First Baptist Church, Woodsfield, conducted a Vacation Bible School and revival services during June 1961. He was helped in these endeavors by college students working at the Ohio Baptist Assembly at Seneca Lake.

Rev. B. Leon Wilson from Jacksboro, Tennessee was called for a trial sermon on July 12, 1961. Thirty persons were present for this service. A call was extended to him to become the Bi-vocational pastor. He and his wife, Aleda and two small daughters moved from Tennessee, and he began his duties at Barnesville on August 28, 1961. Between July 12th and August 28th many that were attending the chapel decided to start a chapel in St. Clairsville because most of them lived in that area. The result of this move left only the families of Leonard Smith and Paul Gregg attending the Barnesville Chapel.

In November 1962 the Chapel moved from above Bohandy's Restaurant to the Roe "storefront" building on West Main Street. Services were held in this building until 1972. In January of that year, the Barnesville Baptist Chapel began worship services in the AME Church building at 240 West South Street.

On April 18, 1978, the Barnesville Baptist Chapel was constituted into the First Baptist Church of Barnesville with 58 charter members.

On September 1, 1981, the first Baptist Church made an application for a loan to the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to purchase a tract of land from Mr. Kenneth McGhee. (Cost of this land was $25,000.) The application was approved and 18 months later the lot was debt free.

Through faithful giving of members and friends the building fund continued to grow and preparation of detailed construction plans began in March 1992.

Rev. Wilson went to be with his Lord on April 20, 1992. His record of over 31 years of faithful service as the first pastor of the Church will long be remembered. The Church was served by various ministers and lay speakers until the fall of 1993.

The members continued with the existing plans to build a new building. Ground breaking services were held on June 7, 1992. Construction had begun by the end of the month. David Reynolds of White Oak Texas was the volunteer superintendent of the building crews. Much of the work on the new building was done by the members of First Baptist Church along with volunteer labor from Texas, North Carolina, Alabama, Minnesota, Tennessee and Ohio. Some of the materials and the steeple were made possible by gifts from outside the local church family.

On February 10, 1993 the church called Murray Allen of Marietta, Ohio to serve as interim pastor. He accepted the call and preached his first sermon as interim pastor on February 14, 1993.

The first service (a praise/thanksgiving service) held in the completed building was April 18, 1993. A formal dedication service was held May 23, 1993.

The Church voted on October 6, 1993 to extend a call to Murray Allen to serve as their Bi-vocational pastor. He accepted the call and preached his first sermon as pastor on October 17, 1993. He and his wife, Geneva, commuted from Marietta each weekend until they built a home on Shady Lane in order to become a part of the Barnesville community and to serve the church more fully.

Rev. Allen served as pastor until his retirement, December 28, 1997.

The Pastor Search committee recommended at a special called business meeting on Wednesday, August 26, 1998 that the church call Barnesville native, Rodney D. West to serve as bi-vocational pastor. He and his wife, Patty, began their service as pastor and wife on Sunday, September 13, 1998. Church attendance grew and the Sunday morning service became crowded. Pastor Rodney stepped out in faith by quitting a full-time job to devote his time to the ministry.  On September 6th, 2009 the church added a second Sunday morning service at 8:30.  

On September 24, 2014 the church voted to add Bethesda native Joe Thornton as Associate Pastor. Joe was ordained on March 21st, 2015.

At the May 13, 2015 Business Meeting, Pastor Rodney announced that he would be retiring on August 31st, 2015.
On July 8, 2015 at the recommendation of the Pastor Search Committee the church voted to hire Joe Thornton as Senior Pastor effective September 1st, 2016. Pastor Joe preached his first sermon as Senior Pastor on September 6, 2015. On the same day, the church returned to one Sunday morning service, moving the time to 9:00 a.m.  Pastor Joe continued his college education as he served the Church.

On July 6, 2016 the church voted to extend the church building. Construction began October 10, 2016 for a 41’ x 50’ 2-story construction adding to the Sanctuary and creating a large Fellowship Hall underneath. Attendance remained steady throughout the construction process even though services were held elsewhere for 4 consecutive Sundays in February/March. The first service in the completed sanctuary was March 19th. Sunday School was able to resume April 9th. A Dedication Service was held Sunday, April 2nd at 4 p.m. and was highly attended by the community and companies involved in the construction process.

On December 3, 2017 Sunday service times were changed to 9:45 am for Small Group Bible Study (Sunday School), 11:00 am for Worship Service, and 6:00 pm for Evening Worship and Bible Study.

The Lord continues to bless the congregation through His leadership as programs are added to meet the needs of the community and new members are welcomed into fellowship. 

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