The First Baptist Church in Hamilton at Pyramid Hill has hired a new director of families and children and is seeking to put on a variety of events in the city this year. It is growing in a time when other churches are dwindling, as it is preparing to remodel its 60,000-square-foot facility. Some events it will host will be at schools in the Hamilton district.
Katie Simpson has taken on the role as director of families and children. At a time when many places of worship are struggling to survive, she sees a bright future for her church.
“We sit up on Pyramid Hill Boulevard and have been around since the late 1800s, and we’ve had consecutive services since the late 1800s, and we’ve never closed and we are growing,” she explained. “We are trying to grow with ourselves and we are launching a second service.”
She can barely contain her excitement about how the church is gaining momentum and growing in numbers and in ways to reach more people around the city.
“We’ve hired some new staffing and we are getting ready to do a big remodel of the building and we are actually branching outside of the walls to do some outreach in the community and some of the local schools,” Simpson said.
She added that, “we are trying to do a vacation bible school and in the summer months a three-day basketball camp, (and) a school-wide Easter egg hunt the Saturday before Easter by Riverview Elementary.”
Reaching out to get a younger audience is also a focus of the church, as Simpson is working with Pastor Dan Clemens, who has been there for three years, to make the goal a success.
“We are trying to be more of a children-focused church. We do Awana (a program that provides churches with resources) on Wednesdays, which is geared toward sixth-graders and under and is just a fun way for them to learn about Christ,” Simpson said. “Pastor Clemens has been working to change things by leaps and bounds since he started. He wants us to focus on getting outside of the walls of the church and reach people in the community.”
That outreach has led to the development of several programs including a group of mothers with preschool-aged children and a mothers group that meets each week to worship and have time to grow with each other spiritually.
“We want to reach out to people in Hamilton, Ross Twp. and all over the area,” Simpson said. “We want people to be able to have the chance to worship anytime and anywhere, not just inside the church. But it is also important to know that this building will always be here.”
The momentum that has been going on will culminate in a special celebration coming up in March as the church expands its services.
“We are launching our second service at 11 a.m. Sunday, March 4,” Simpson said.