Canton Baptist Temple, Canton – Origin:
On a Saturday afternoon in August, 1937, approximately 35 heads of families gathered in a ball field in Ringers Park on old Route 8, south of North Industry. The purpose of this meeting was to establish a new church that was 1) Fundamental, 2) Evangelistic, 3) Independent and self-governing and 4) Baptist in its theology. This church in time was to be called the Canton Baptist Tabernacle.
The next 4 or 5 Sunday services in August and September were held in what was called the Old German Dance Hall. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” “Cleanse Me, Oh Lord,” “and “Amazing Grace” were all sung by saints of God standing in a wooden dance floor in a room smelling of stale beer and cigarettes. Various ministers came and preached until a permanent pastor was chosen.
Desiring a more “church-like” atmosphere, the Canton Baptist Tabernacle moved into what was called the Cobblestone Church building at 2237 6th St. S.W., Canton, for their Sunday services. Not yet having their own pastor, Dr. Dallas Billington, pastor of the Akron Baptist Temple, preached at their Sunday afternoon services.
On January 30, 1938, the church began its first organizational meeting. At this meeting the congregation of approximately 100 believers decided that hereafter the church would be called the Canton Baptist Tabernacle.
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