June 30, 2016

Mostly clear

Lasting faith: Medina church celebrates 94th anniversary

MEDINA — While Sunday is usually a day for worship, one congregation was celebrating an anniversary along with its faith.

Second Baptist Church marked its 94th year with a banquet and silent auction at Williams on the Lake, 787 Lafayette Road.

Attendees celebrated with gospel music, prayer and dance worship. While enjoying a roast beef and chicken buffet, they put their names on silent auction lists for a chance to win theater tickets, gift baskets and autographed pictures of some of Cleveland’s professional athletes.

City and county leaders like Medina City Council Ward 1 Councilman Brian Hilberg, County Auditor Michael Kovack, Judge James Kimbler and his wife, attorney Joyce Kimbler, showed up to support the church and celebrate its history.

The church also welcomed the Rev. Stephen D. Sullivan, moderator for the Northern Ohio Baptist District Association, as a special speaker.

The church began when members of Medina’s First Baptist Church separated in 1920 to form its own congregation with the help of the Second Baptist Church of Akron.

The church has grown to about 100 members, adding 13 last year.

The Rev. C.P. Carter, the church’s senior pastor, said the church has flourished since its founding because of commitment to the Gospel and ministering to church members beyond their spiritual needs.

“We are a Bible-believing, teaching, preaching and living congregation,” he said. “Not only do we teach spiritual growth, but we’re strong proponents of Christian education. We believe that if we feed the mind, the body will follow, and we promote a healthy lifestyle, too.”

He said the church’s success also comes from reaching across racial and cultural lines to inspire as many souls as they can.

“Our congregation is multiracial because the Kingdom of God isn’t just African American,” Carter said. “We share the Gospel of Jesus Christ across racial lines, cultural lines, gender lines, and we celebrate that; that’s a wonderful thing.”

Carter said he plans to keep growing the church by serving as many of Medina County’s needs as possible.

The church will continue its food pantry, which serves more than 60 families a month on the last Friday of each month, through a partnership with the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank.

The congregation also will work to grow its off-site ministry in Brunswick to meet growing spiritual and community needs in that city, Carter said.

As well, the church will expand on its Christian education services through a burgeoning partnership with Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minn.

“We want to grow our Christian leadership school to make Christian leaders who will not only serve Second Baptist but at congregations all throughout the community,” he said.

“Ninety-four years is great, but today’s just another opportunity to do good. We can’t rest on our laurels, because we’re looking forward to being here for another 94 years.”

Contact reporter Dan Pompili at (330) 721-4012 or dpompili@medina-gazette.com.