History of Faith Independent Baptist Church
Faith Independent Baptist Church was a split-off from another church. Pastor Richard Henderson had come to the church in June of 1971. He was a thirty-five year old man who had given up a good job in California, sold his home and brought his wife and children back east where he was to find another job and go to school at the same time. Pastor Henderson came to the Tabernacle having just graduated from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. Just as many people make mistakes when they start their first jobs, Pastor Henderson made a few of his own. Most people are given a chance to rectify their mistakes, not crucified like Pastor Henderson was by his flock of people.
Even though the church was a non-denominational church, the church as a whole has been critical of anyone who believed in eternal salvation. Pastor Henderson believed in eternal salvation and therefore let his beliefs be made known in his messages. Several of the members were upset about this and thus began their goal of making him so miserable that he would resign. They accomplished what they set out to do and one Sunday night in late November, Pastor Henderson resigned and several members walked out with him.
On the following Wednesday night, the people who left the church, along with some other people, met at the home of Randall and Katherine O’Neal in Mitchell Heights, West Virginia for a good ole-fashioned prayer meeting, asking God to give them direction as to what they should do. God answered those prayers the next day by directing Pastor Henderson to an old building that had not been used in years. It was the “Sons of Italy Hall” located at 555 Pine Street in Logan, West Virginia. It was called “the dancehall” by many who were critical of this move. The group of people were able to rent the building and after some fast cleaning, services were held the following Sunday. Not a service was missed during this time. God allowed the group to purchase the building on May 10th, 1972.
In December of that year, the church held its first Christmas dinner at the Stollings Grade School gym with approximately fifty or sixty people in attendance. Also in December, in that scrungy old building on Pine Street, the church had its first wedding. Johnny Mon and Kathy Ellis were married on Christmas Eve.
Faith Independent Baptist Church was officially organized on January 16, 1972, with twenty-two people joining the church as charter members and a few more who supported the church and would become members at a later date. Reverend Richard Henderson, who God used to establish the church, served as its first Pastor.
The first deacons of Faith Independent Baptist Church were George Boytek, Ron Craddock, Randal O’Neal, Jack Slazo, David West, and Richard Zigmond.
The song leader was Victor Noe and the pianist was Patty Cook, who along with her husband, Conrad, did much of the singing in the church. Conrad and Patty now sing professionally with their daughter and son-in-law.
Reverend Henderson was to see the church grow and led many to the Lord before he resigned in February of 1974 when he and his wife Lois, and children Rick, Jeanie, and Bruce left to pastor a church in Virginia.
Faith Independent Baptist Church has had its good times and its bad times, but God has always blessed. He’s brought us through floods and fires, sickness and death. Our church had a fire that did considerable damage, but we still had services, sometimes in homes of members. We also had floods, and two rock slides that came right through the church, one coming right through the ceiling during Sunday Services. God is good; no one was injured. The devil was defeated. We still had services. I believe that God will continue to bless this church if they remain faithful to Him. [Addendum by Jon Browning] Since the writing of this paper the church’s history has seen many members die, and many others join the church. It is our duty in life to go on with life in this world no matter the circumstances. We trust that by reading this History that you will be encouraged and know as the Lord proclaimed to Peter that upon the Rock of which He builds His Church, the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.
Taken from a paper written by Geoffrey Sean Noe in April 1995 with current material appended by Jon Browning in October 2002.