Church History

Rev. Frank P. Marshall - 1910-1939

The Reverend Frank P. Marshall came to Jeannette in the year 1910, and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, called together seven person who founded and dedicated the Hopewell Baptist Church to the service of the God. The following is the list of charter members: Mrs. Otha Johnson, Mrs. Betty (Bollinger) Martin, Mrs. Fannie Dowell, Deacon Lucky Bollinger, Mrs. Henrietta Smith and Mr. Bobby Thompson.

The gathering of this body began the first meeting of Baptist in the Old News-Dispatch Building on the second floor and worshipped there for about two months. It was there that the name "Hopewell" was established by the mother of Rev. Marshall's former church in Rapid Dan, Va. which was readily accepted.

Later the parish moved to Clay Avenue and Fifth Street where measures were taken to raise funds by sponsoring dinners and soon was able to buy a lot on Chestnut Street where our first and second churches were built. Mother Martin, the last charter member and ground breaker, passed away in November 1983, and the age of 104. The first church building was a rough frame one erected during the latter part of the year 1912 and dedicated on November 20, 1913 with a membership of seventeen. The Reverend J.E. Smith was the churches' first Licentiate at the time the congregation held its services at the Clay Avenue site. In 1917, he, his wife and two daughters left our city to reside in Greensburg and there formed a new congregation now known as First Antioch Baptist Church.

The congregation was admitted to the Allegheny Baptist Association in 1914 which then later merged with the Union Baptist Association and is now known as the Allegheny Union Baptist Association (AUBA), Pittsburgh, PA.

The cornerstone was laid in May 1925 and the church was dedicated on the third Sunday in May 1926 with the dedication sermon preached by the Reverend Humphrey, Greensburg, PA.

In 1929, the church was caught up in the depression. The first mortgage was held by John Jacobs. A second mortgage was held by Mr. G. M. Johnson and he was helped with the dedicated efforts of the Junior Willing Workers.

At this time the health of Rev. Marshall began to fail and on October 22, 1939 the founder and builder of the Hopewell Baptist Church, was laid to rest following a lenghty illness. There are still members of his family affiliated with our church today.

ADMINISTRATIONS UNDER HIM - Chairman of the Deacon Board:  Deacon Otha Johnson; Trustee:  Mrs. Lily Demps (first woman trustee); Secretaries:  Mrs. Betty Bollinger Martin, Mrs. Patsy Green and Nora McCann; Pianists:  Mrs. Claudine Logwood Williams, Mrs. Lily Demps; Superintendent of Sunday School:  Mr G.M. Johnson and Mr. J.E. Johnson.


Rev. E.E. Hamlet - 1940-1950

Under the guidance of Deacon J.E. Johnson, chairman of the deacon board, the Rev. E.E. Hamlet of Corapolis, PA was called on February 1, 1940. During his tenure the mortgage was burned in June 1942, the first Usher board was formed with Dea. Joshua McCann, president of the men and Miss Easter Robinson, president of the women. A reorganization of the Junior Choir was formed and renamed the Eveline Junior Choir after his wife. Mrs. Betty Bolinger Martin was elected as mother of the church. Affectionately known as Mother Martin, she passed away in November 1983 at the age of 104. During this time Rev. Hamlet was a loyal and faithful Pastor to his church. He did not let the distance of 74 miles round trip interfere with him. Having only missed one Sunday in the span of 10 years.

ADMINISTRATIONS UNDER REV. HAMLET: Chairman of the Deacon Board: Dea. J.E. Johnson; Trustees: Mr. Frank Willis, Sr.; Secretaries: Mrs. Johnnie Lee Pitts and Mrs. Viola Bolinger; Treasurer: Mrs. Lily Demps and Mr. Richard Porcha, Sr.; Pianist: Mrs. Lily Demps and Mrs. Alean Miller Roberts; Superintendent of Sunday School: Mr. Charles Bolinger, Sr. and Mrs. Ruth Stafford Clarkson.