In the early spring of 1955, Pastor Keith Van Hooks, then pastor of the City View Heights Baptist Church, felt the need for a Baptist Mission in the north end of the city of Hamilton, Ohio. He resigned his church and with a few dedicated laborers, independently, without the aid of a sponsoring church, began a mission in an old storefront building located at 6th and Vine Street.
It was in May 1955, after a great struggle to keep the mission going without the assistance of a mother church, and then the loss of Pastor Van Hook, who was called up to active military service, that action was initiated to have the church become affiliated with the Southern Association of the Ohio Baptist Convention, and have the East Hamilton Baptist Church, based upon the acceptance of that congregation, to become the sponsor of the infant mission.
Pastor Paul McFarland was called on May 11, 1955 to become the pastor of the mission, and 7 days later on May 18, 1955, the East Hamilton Baptist Church officially became the sponsor of the mission which became know as the Sixth and Vine Street Baptist Mission of the East Hamilton Baptist Church until its name was changed to the Calvary Baptist Church in November of 1955.
On Sunday, January 1, 1956, at 2:30 PM, of council of Baptist churches, which included representatives of the East Hamilton Baptist Church, the West Side Baptist Church, the Stahlheber Baptist Church, and the Horsehoe Bend Baptist Church, all of Hamilton, along with the Woods Station Baptist Church of Oxford and the Blue Ash Baptist Church of Cincinnati, was called for the purpose of assisting the East Hamilton Baptist Church in allowing the Calvary Baptist to move from mission status and constitute as a church in good standing with the Southern Association. At the time of its constituting the church had 26 charter members.
Three months later, on March 21 1956, Rev Eugene Issacs was called as Pastor to replace Paul McFarland. Pastor Issacs came to the church from the Smyrna Baptist Church of New Trenton, Indiana. Both Pastor McFarland and Pastor Issacs served on a bi-vocational basis. Under the leadership of Pastor Issacs, the church began to contribute 5% of its weekly budget receipts to mission causes through the Cooperative Program and 1% to Associational Mission Work.
The church began to grow and by July of 1957 had outgrown its storefront building. It was at this point that the church rented a meeting room at the Grant School at the corner of Ford Boulevard and Greenlawn Avenue. The fledgling congregation had a vision, however, and on May 7, 1956 purchased two lots (approximately 2 acres) on Allison Avenue about a mile from the Grant school, with a loan secured from the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The church continued to grow under Pastor Issacs ministry, and by early 1959, had increased its Mission Giving to 10% to the Cooperative Program and 2% to Associational Mission causes. Pastor Issacs became convinced that the church needed a full time pastor and submitted his resignation to be effective as soon as a full time pastor could be called to the field. A call was extended to Rev. Bill Rowland who was serving at the Sand Hill Baptist Church in Floydale, Texas, on March 1, 1959. Pastor Rowland accepted the call and moved to Ohio to pastor the church, which was still meeting in the Grant School.
In early 1960, the church was approved by the Home Mission Board for a loan to begin construction of a building on its property on Allison Avenue. This first unit was a rectangular structure 35’ x 88’ providing about 3,080 square feet of space. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on Easter Sunday, 1960, and although the building was not totally completed, the first service was held in the new building in August of 1960. On June 21, 1961 Pastor Rowland resigned feeling the Lord had called him to serve in West Virginia. On July 23, 1961, Rev. James Baughman was called to serve as pastor.
The church made substantial progress under Pastor Baughman’s leadership. During his 3 ½ year pastorate, the church had 169 additions and two young men were licensed to preach the gospel. The influx of new members also caused the church to outgrow his existing building, and so a building committee was appointed in April of 1962 to plan for the addition of a 50’ x 100’educational building to provide much needed Sunday School classrooms and a kitchen area. This unit was in large part built by the men of the church, and attached at a right angle to the rear of the first building, but was designed as a basement to upon which a future second story could be built. The work was completed and the unit was dedicated on June 2, 1963.
When Pastor Baughman resigned as pastor in January 1, 1965, the church began its search for a new pastor. Bro. Bill Chambers was called and arrived on the field on April 4, 1965. Bro Chambers was a gifted administrator and his passion was for Christian education and discipleship. Two other significant events took place during Bro Chamber’s pastorate. The first was that in July 1967, the church decided to sponsor a mission in a strategic location between Hamilton and Middletown at the corner of Milliken Road and Yankee Road. This mission eventually became the Bethany Baptist Church when it constituted in March of 1972. The second major accomplishment was that in May of 1968, the church hired an architect to draw up plans for a third unit to be built on top of the existing educational unit which would include additional educational space and a new sanctuary. This second floor addition was dedicated on December 21, 1969.
In May of 1970, Pastor Chambers resigned to accept the pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Springdale, Ohio. He later became the State Sunday School Director for the state of Michigan. In October of 1970, Bro Don Moseley was called as pastor. He came to Allison Avenue Baptist Church from the Second Baptist Church of Greenville, Mississippi, where he had been serving as the associate pastor. Pastor Moseley had a heart for evangelism and the church advanced under his leadership. A secretary was hired and a part time associate Pastor, Bro. Don Wake was called to assist Bro. Moseley in March of 1973. Bro. Wake served the church until December of 1974 when he accepted a call to become the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Henryville, Indiana. Pastor Moseley also attempted to develop a daycare ministry which never came to fruition because of the church’s failure to meet State of Ohio daycare specifications. A second ministry initiated by Pastor Moseley, was a bus ministry. This type of ministry was very popular among churches during the early 70’s, but dropped in popularity by the mid 70’s because it was expensive, was very difficult to staff, and required more children’s workers than most churches could enlist as Sunday School teachers and Children’s Church workers. It was also under Pastor Moseley’ ministry that the church began to publish a weekly church newsletter called ”The Good News.”
Pastor Moseley resigned in June of 1974 to take a position as staff evangelist with the Wade Akins Street ministry of Washington D.C. He later moved to the state of Arkansas to pastor the Sylvan Heights First Baptist Church, a large, multistaffed ministry in Sherwood, Arkansas, where he had a long and highly productive ministry.
With the resignation of Pastor Moseley, the church began a search for a new pastor, which resulted in their extending a call to Rev. Darrell Stone who moved onto the field in September 1974 from the Mt. Vernon Baptist Church of Waddy, Kentucky. Pastor Stone was a very civic minded and community oriented pastor. He led to the church to become involved in the Head Start ministry and was instrumental in developing a chaplain’s program in the local hospitals and for the Hamilton police department and Butler County Sheriff. Pastor Stone resigned effective December 24, 1978.
In April of 1979, the churches in the Southwestern Baptist Association, of which the Allison Avenue Baptist Church was a part, held simultaneous revivals. Ken Dugas, who was serving as the Associate Pastor/Minister of Music at the Valley Station Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky was enlisted by the church to serve as the preacher/ evangelist for that meeting. Since the church was also looking for a new pastor at the time, they extended a call to Bro. Dugas, who accepted the call and moved to the church field on the first Sunday of July 1979. It was his first full time pastorate.
astor Dugas’ ministry has been one of attempting to not only reach the lost but also to edify and strengthen the body of Christ. By 1982, the church had outgrown its space and so he led the church to engage in its first capital fundraising campaign to provide funds for additional educational and office space, and a new sanctuary. The first program was a 3 year Southern Baptist Program called Together We Build. This initial effort morphed into two other in-church campaigns called Vision, Venture, Victory, and Vitalize the Vision. It was during this period that the church retired its debt on the previously existing buildings with the note burning taking place in July of 1986. The groundbreaking for the new 12,000 square foot unit took place on July 3, 1988 and the new building was dedicated an August 11, 1990. Following the completion of the building, church members continued to give to the building fund making it possible for the church to retire the debt on the new building in early September 2000; approximately 15 years early and resulting in savings to the church of hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential interest costs.
In the summer of 2013 Pastor Ken Dugas resigned. This led us to search for a new Pastor. After the pulpit committee was nominated they set in search of a pastor that fit what our congregation wanted. In February of 2014 after a long search the committee presented to the Church the man that they felt that God had led them to call. The Church voted to call Andrew Hancock as our new Pastor on Feb. 23, 2014. Bro Hancock accepted our call and started on March 2, 2014.
These pages were designed to give you just a very brief glimpse of the flow of the history of the Allison Avenue Baptist Church. That history traces it earliest roots not to the year 1955 but to Matthew 16:18 where Jesus promised to build his church, a small part of which ultimately resulted in this local congregation some 2,000 years later. By God’s grace, the history of the Allison Avenue Baptist Church will continue unimpeded unto the same Lord Jesus who founded the church comes in the air to receive it unto himself (John 14:3, 1 Thes 4:13-17).