March 23, 2016
Florence Baptist is a church plant in the Greater Cincinnati area. I love our church family and I’m excited about what God is doing here. The church is fully staffed, has a strong foundation of members, and sits on a beautiful campus located next to a major interstate. We have on-campus and off-campus small groups. We operate a local missions organization, support multiple church starts across the country, and send several teams overseas every year. Our church supports an orphanage in Haiti with over 100 children, 7 house mothers, a school, a medical clinic, and a church. We have a long way to go, but we’re seeing good things happen and the ministry is growing. The only problem is, it took us 160 years to get here.
At the turn of the 19th century, Moses Vickers led a small group of Maryland Baptists down the Ohio River looking for a new place to live and work. They settled in what is now called Boone County, Kentucky. Mr. Vickers and his friends started Dry Creek Baptist Church in 1801, but the new church had a difficult time sustaining the ministry without outside help. Members soon reached out to nearby Bullitsburg Baptist Church for assistance. Still in existence today, Bullitsburg Baptist is the oldest Baptist church in Boone County and one of the first Baptist churches in the state of Kentucky. When members of Dry Creek reached out to Bullitsburg for help, the church gave financial resources to support the new work at Dry Creek. More importantly, Bullitsburg sent people to help Dry Creek reach critical mass, and the church survived as a result of the investment of people and dollars. By 1809, Dry Creek grew to a membership of 201, making it one of the largest churches in the local association.
The areas surrounding Cincinnati continued to expand through the mid-1800’s and the need for more churches became evident.
The areas surrounding Cincinnati continued to expand through the mid-1800’s and the need for more churches became evident. Several members of Dry Creek expressed an interest in leaving the church for the purpose of planting a new work several miles to the south. In 1855, Louisiana Fitch and six other members of Dry Creek planted a new church in the Florence area, and Florence Baptist Church was born. Dry Creek supported the church plant until it reached enough people to sustain the new ministry. I am the 34th pastor in the long history of Florence Baptist, a church that was started and sustained by the vision, generosity, and sacrifice of a sending church.
Florence Baptist is old enough that we are now considered an established church, but this was not always the case. We owe our present viability to the prayers, support, and assistance of numerous individuals and churches of the past. Without their help, we would not be in existence today. Therefore, we are committed to supporting new work in our community and across the country, because we understand that strategic partnerships are necessary for church plants to thrive. Florence Baptist currently supports 10 church plants in Cincinnati and 3 others across the country. We are blessed to support new work in Cincinnati and beyond in the same way that Bullitsburg Baptist and Dry Creek Baptist supported us many years ago. We are simply carrying on the legacy that others passed on to us, because Florence Baptist is a church plant … 160 years in the making.