Early History of First Baptist church, DuBois, pa

     First Baptist Church of DuBois, PA was founded in 1878. The first meetings were held in a one-room DuBois public school house. Rev. J.E. Dean was the church's first pastor. 


     The First Baptist Church family was pastored by six different men in the first 17 years. Rev. J.E. Dean (1878-1883); Rev. Parcell (1883-1885); Rev. C.W. Hamilton (1885-1886); Rev. H.H. Leamy (1886-1890); Rev. E.H. Hovey (1890-1891); and Rev. J.S. Teasedale (1891-1894). In the first year of Teasedale's time as pastor, the wooden church building caught fire and burned down. Construction of a new brick building began on East Long Avenue in downtown DuBois. The building's cornerstone was laid in 1893, and the new First Baptist Church building was completed in 1894. (The building still stands, and it is currently home to Bethany Covenant Church.)


        Three men served as pastor from 1894 to 1900. They were Rev. W.H. Clipman (1894-1896); Rev. F.S. Bardens (1896-1897); and Rev. William Holt (1897-1900). It was at the beginning of the 20th Century that the financially struggling, and small-in-number congregation of First Baptist Church welcomed a new pastor who was following an interesting journey -- Teno T. Vulkoff. 

Pastor Teno Vulkoff (1900-1903)

     The following is the interesting story of First Baptist Church's pastor from 1900 to 1903 -- Teno Vulkoff:


     The year is 1885. The place is Bulgaria. Turkish Muslims have been oppressing the people of Bulgaria. Two young men who have experienced the horror of that oppression decide to set out for America. With great hardship, they make their way across Europe, and eventually arrive in New York City.


     Teno T. Vulkoff was 17 when he arrived in America. New York City treated him poorly, so he crossed over to New Jersey and worked his way down to Bridgeton. There, Teno and his buddy were befriended by the Baptists. They entered the Baptist South Jersey Institute where they learned English, graduated, and more importantly, accepted Christ as their Savior.

 

     Teno felt called by God into the ministry, so he entered Crozer Theological Seminary. He graduated June 10, 1891. That same year, Teno was married. His daughter Anna was born in 1893. His son Richard was born in 1894. Just a month before Richard's birth, Teno became a U.S. citizen. He would go on to pastor three churches in West Virginia and Eastern PA. But then he resigned his church to head to the remote parts of Western PA as a "pioneer pastor." 

 

     Teno arrived in Clearfield County at just the right time. First Baptist Church was going through a very difficult period. Finances were tough, and the small congregation had given up its building. Teno became the pastor of First Baptist Church in 1900. By May 17, 1900, a committee had been formed to repurchase the building; and on May 29, 1901, the church building was repurchased for $8,000. By 1903, Teno had helped to put First Baptist Church back on solid ground, but now God was calling him to the wilderness of Ohio. But before he could leave DuBois, Teno died in March 1903. He was 37 years old.

 

     One of his contemporaries, W. C. Martin described Teno Vulkoff this way:

“Mr. Vulkoff has an American wife and two children, speaks a rich and glowing English, has a heart big as a bushel, an apostolic trust in God, and devotion to His service. He is an extremely lovable man.” 

First Baptist Church Pastors, 1903-1963

  • Rev. J.S. Hankins (1903-1907)
  • Rev. M.E. Hare (1907-1913)
  • Rev. H.J. Johnston (1913-1919)
  • Rev. Homer MacArthur (1919-1922)
  • Rev. H.J. Baker (1922-1927)
  • Rev. H.K. Freeman (1927-1934)
  • Rev. I.F. Falk (1934-1937)
  • Rev. Thomas Lowther (1937-1944)
  • Rev. James M. Hollowood (1944-1952)
  • Rev. Frederick J. Nader (1952-1960)
  • Rev. Frank Kolk (1960-1961)
  • Rev. Stewart Snook (1961-1963) 

Great growth and blessings...1963 to Today


  • 1963 to 1993...Pastor Roy h. hunter

         First Baptist Church has experienced tremendous growth and an outpouring of God's blessings over the past 60 years. Perhaps the most rapid growth and ministry expansion took place under the pastoral leadership of Roy Hunter from 1963 to 1993. 

         As many new families with young children were joining the First Baptist congregation in the mid-to-late 60s, there were two obvious and pressing needs: Specific youth-oriented ministry; and larger facilities. In 1969, the First Baptist Church AWANA Club was chartered. In 1971, ground was broken for a new church building. The new church building (and current church building) was completed and opened for services and ministry in 1972. Two years later, in the fall of 1974, First Baptist Church Academy (now DuBois Christian Schools) opened. A gymnasium was built in 1977, and the Happy Hearts Daycare opened in 1991. (In recent years, the gymnasium was named the Roy H. Hunter Activity Center in honor of Pastor Hunter.

         Following his 1993 retirement from service at First Baptist Church, Pastor Hunter and his wife, Joanne, moved to Altoona, PA. He taught at Altoona Bible Institute, and served as interim pastor at several churches in the Altoona region. He went home to be with his Lord in 2011 at the age of 81.

  • 1993 to 2002...Pastor Dan Corff

         Dan Corff was called to be the senior pastor of First Baptist Church several months following Roy Hunter's retirement. Pastor Corff, a graduate of Baptist Bible College (now Clarks Summit University) in Clarks Summit, PA came to DuBois with a strong background and experience in youth ministry.

         One of the big changes that took place in the ministries of First Baptist Church under Pastor Corff's leadership happened within First Baptist Academy (now DuBois Christian Schools.) A decision was reached to transition the school's academic structure from a self-taught curriculum in combined class "learning center" environments, to more of a teacher-taught, Christ-centered curriculum in more traditional classroom environments. The change proved successful and beneficial, and the school has maintained a traditional, teacher-taught academic structure for the past 25 years. 

         Dan Corff and his family moved on from First Baptist Church to accept a ministry position in the state of Maine. Today, Corff is the senior pastor of the Wayside Bible Baptist Church in Livermore, Maine.

  • 2002 to present...pastor mark montgomery

         In early July 2002, Pastor Mark Montgomery preached his first message as the official new senior pastor of First Baptist Church.

         Since 2002, First Baptist Church has grown to be a vibrant, multi-generational congregation. There are currently about 450 people who call First Baptist their church home. More than 100 of them are under the age of 20. The church is currently populated with the adult children and grandchildren of the Pastor Hunter years, plus many new families.

         First Baptist Church is an active church. Some of the current activities include yearly mission trips, local community ministry opportunities, active children’s ministries, outreach ministries, discipleship ministries, and supporting DuBois Christian Schools.

         Most of the physical projects have been to update the buildings. A renovated gym, restrooms added to the gym, modern science lab, new pew chairs, a renovated parking lot, and many other projects have kept the First Baptist Church family busy in recent years. During this time, 4 adjacent properties have been purchased to help pave the way for growth in the future.