In June of 1964, Mogadore Baptist Church was chartered by the State of Ohio as a duly recognized Baptist Church. Pastor William J. Absalom led in the organization of the newly formed church. However, the fellowship had its roots in what was known as the Guiding Light Baptist Church which met in the Daughters of the American Revolution Hall on Pearl Avenue in Mogadore. That church began meeting in 1959 under the guidance of Pastor Lowell Boatright. In 1963, Pastor Bob Roberts began his ministry which led to a split in November of that year. Pastor Absalom began his preaching in the fall of 1963 before the chartering of the church.
In March of 1964, anticipating a state charter the M.B.C. elected its first officers. Of the five officers elected, only William Seymour survives. While many charter members survive, only William and Betty Seymour, Pastor Rob, Tom Seymour, Steve Seymour and Jeanie Knapp remain with the church. Jeanie Keeling Knapp is the longest standing member of the church. From its beginning until now, she is the only person who has been a member for forty consecutive years.
In 1964, Mogadore Baptist Church joined the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC). We have been a member of the GARBC fellowship for our entire 40 years. We also have been supporting missions all of those years. The Haven of Rest Rescue Mission was our first agency. We also took on the support of the Ohio Association of Regular Baptist Churches in 1964.
Porperty was bought in 1964 to build a building for the church to gather. That property was on Martin Road in Suffield. Later that year the property on Martin Road was sold and property on Carper Avenue in Springfield Township was purchased. In the spring of 1965, ground was broken for a 100 seat building. The building was a 30′ x 50′ structure with two restrooms, seven classrooms and a nursery. It was completed over the winter and our first services were held there on March 6, 1966. Mrs. Rowena Flynn, the wife of our treasurer, James Flynn, made the church an interest free loan so that the building could be completed. That building is the present southwest portion of our building.
The people who first made up the membership of Mogadore Baptist Church included James and Rowena Flynn, William and Betty Seymour, Albert and Esther Kinsey, Tom and Lois Keeling, Earnest and Marie Farthing, Clifford and Helen Goodwin, Claude and Dorothy Miller, John and Rose Bell and of course Pastor Bill and Mary Absalom.
On May 8, 1966, Pastor Absalom and the above named members help a dedication service. The speakers at the dedication were B.F. Cates, pastor of what is now First Baptist Church of Tallmadge, and Rev. CC. Thomas, the founder of the Haven of Rest Rescue Mission. Evangelist Herbert White of Norton preached evangelistic services the week following the dedication.
Pastor Absalom continued as pastor until June of 1967. In January of 1967, the church licensed R.C. Green to preach while Pastor Absalom was recovering from back surgery. Believing that God was calling him to another ministry, Pastor Absalom resigned but stayed on until June of 1967 when Pastor Hoyt Douglas was called to our church.
Pastor Douglas began his ministry with his wife Pat emphasizing a strong youth ministry and a strong mission program. Pastor Douglas never wavered on these two commitments. Under his ministry, no less than seven men went to Bible College or Seminary and four remain in ministry to this day. He and his wife ministered through chalk drawings, camp ministry, youth ministry, as well as pulpit ministry. Pastor Douglas was always enthusiastic, musical and athletic. His sense of humor and wit made him a favorite in small groups, behind the pulpit, at a camp fire or in a personal discussion. He truly loved the Lord and the people he served. During his ministry, the auditorium on the Carper Road side of the building was built..
While Pastor Douglas ministered to the adults and youth of Mogadore Baptist Church, one young man was called into ministry who was a charter member of the church, Rob Seymour. In January of 1982, Pastor Rob was called as an intern under Pastor Douglas. In the year 1982, he assisted Pastor Douglas and grew to love his home church. Pastor Douglas gave him a variety of duties to gain valuable experience. In 1983, Pastor Douglas called an ordination council and Rob was ordained to the gospel ministry. It was Pastor Douglas’ joy to see this young man go from his youth group to Cedarville College to Grace Seminary and back to MBC. While at Cedarville College, Rob met the former Nancy Taylor of Topeka, Kansas and they were married in June of 1974 by Pastor Douglas.
In May of 1984, Mogadore Baptist Church called Pastor Rob to be the third pastor of the church with an unanimous vote. On June 1, 1984, Pastor Douglas and Pastor Seymour were attending a Moody Pastor’s Conference in Chicago. As they drove to the conference, Pastor Douglas was still the senior pastor of the church. On their way home, Pastor Rob became pastor of the church. Pastor Douglas remained a member of MBC and continued to be an encouragement to Pastor Rob and the members of the church until his death in 2016.
Pastor Rob Seymour began his ministry in June of 1984 and faithfully served as the senior pastor through March of 2020. During his 38 years of ministry, 36 as the senior pastor, he lead the church through rewriting the constitution, instituting new budgetary procedures, launched the AWANA program, led in a building program, and was the founder of Mogadore Christian Acadamy (MCA) along with Pastor Henry of Tallmadge. During his ministry, many of our present members trusted Christ as Savior and followed the Lord in baptism. Pastor Seymour has led mission trips to New Hampshire and Georgia. He taught classes at Moody Bible Institute as well as MCA. He preached at various churches, the Haven of Rest Rescue Mission and at a variety of area church functions as a guest speaker. He also served the Ohio Fellowship as a Trustee on the Board of Camp Patmos and for three years on the OARBC council of 12.
In April of 2020, Pastor Rob officially retired from vocational ministry and lead MBC to call Forest Greetham as the new pastor. Like his predecessor, Rob plans to remain at MBC to help encourage and support Pastor Forest. Also a graduate of Cedarville, Pastor Forest formerly served at First Baptist, LaGrange as an associate pastor from 2004-2014 and then as the Lead Pastor of First Baptist, Brunswick from 2014-2020. We are excited to see what God has in store for the next chapter in the history of our church.