Our History

Our History

First Baptist Church began as a vision and burden in the heart of a neighboring pastor. Pastor R. Kenneth Smelser was the pastor of First Baptist of Medina. Concerned for his neighboring community, Pastor Smelser shared this burden at a local pastor’s meeting of the Hebron Association, a group of regular baptist churches in northeastern, Ohio. It was through this local association that Pastor Elliot Horton, the pastor at First Baptist of Parma, recommended a young bible school student from his church named William Hollen to possible lead this new church planting venture. It was the spring of 1956 and the community of Brunswick was experiencing substantial growth.

  • Services began in July of 1956 in the public school gymnasium.
  • First Baptist Church was officially chartered as the first baptist church in the community with 9 families and 25 members in December of 1956 and called Mr. William Hollen to be their first pastor.
  • In 1957, three acres of land was purchased on Substation road, construction began, and in the summer of 1959, the First Baptist Church moved into a new building.
  • In 1960, after some difficulties the church called Pastor Lewis Hunter. For the next 13 years Pastor Hunter lead the congregation with passion and conviction, watching the struggling new church grow to just over 200. This increase called for a small building project to increase Sunday School space on the north side of the small church building.
  • Pastor Donald Matheny was called to be the pastor in February of 1975. Under his care the church continued to grow and began it’s third and largest building project. The current building is the result of this construction phase. Under Pastor Matheny’s pastorate, First Baptist Church had grown to 390 members.
  • By the late 1980’s, due to a variety of reasons First Baptist Church went through a series of short pastorates causing a rapid decline in attendance and membership causing the membership to drop to 66 members by the end of 1997. This rapid decline slowed significantly in1998 when the church called Pastor Dennis Martin to be their 9th pastor.
  • Pastor Martin retired after 15 years of ministry on Easter Sunday of 2013. Under his ministry the church had stabilized and had even increased to 82 members with an average Sunday attendance of around 60.
  • In October of 2014, the First Baptist Church of Brunswick called Pastor Forest Greetham to be their 10th pastor. Pastor Forest, a graduate of Cedarville University, had previously served for 10 years as an associate pastor at First Baptist Church in LaGrange, OH, a sister church in Hebron Association.