There is a marker in the old Baptist section of the Bridgeport Cemetery, which marks the site of the first meeting house for the Simpson Creek Baptist Church. The date on the marker is 1770. The early records of the Church states that the Church was founded and constituted by five members and was ministered to be itinerant pastors during the period between 1770 and 1780. At the Centennial Convention of the West Virginia Baptist Convention held in Parkersburg in October 1965, Simpson Creek Baptist Church was recognized as the oldest existing Baptist Church in West Virginia. It is generally accepted that this church is the oldest existing Protestant church west of the Allegheny Mountains. It is indeed fascinating to note that the Simpson Creek Baptist Church was organized six years before the Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia in 1776.
By 1880 Simpson Creek had established itself as a stable congregation and an organizer of other churches. Its pastors were respected men, both locally and denominationally, and the church served as a place of worship, caring fellowship and discipline.Â The church had been many years without a covenant, and in September of 1831 two members of the group were appointed to write one to be presented to the church for adoption. On November 12, 1831 the covenant presented was adopted and was still in effect until January 10, 1973, when after much consideration, a new covenant was prepared by a group of older youth and college students. Both covenants have been retained in our recordsâthe first for its historical value and the second for its practical use of our members in their personal relationship between born again believers and God.Â The first Sunday School was begun in 1848 and has remained a vital part of the church program, contributing much to the growth and spiritual welfare of the church throughout the years.Â The Womanâs Mission Circle was organized on April 18, 1882.The fifth building to house the Simpson Creek Baptist Church was built and dedicated in 1929. This is the present meeting house of the congregation. The Simpson Creek Baptist Church in her two hundred thirty years has mothered ten churches within the area.
On August 22, 1970 a tornado swept through our community causing much damage to many dwellings. The greatest amount of damage caused by the tornado that fateful day was suffered to our church property with damages estimated at $120,000. The entire third floor of the educational unit, which was completed by the men of the church after the lower floors had been finished, was destroyed, and much damage resulted from the rain, which followed. The sanctuary windows were blown out, heavily damaging the interior and the furnishings of that part of the building. Because of the farsightedness of the trustees, the damage was covered by insurance so that the building was completely restored with some additional work being done to enhance the beauty of Godâs house.
By the middle 1980âs, it was evident that the present sanctuary and the area that housed the Sunday School was no longer adequate. In 1985 a major building program was set in motion. Included in the plans for this expansion was to increase the size of the sanctuary, which seated 300 people, to the present capacity of 600 people, and a large narthex was added to the front of the church. Seven new Sunday School rooms were added beneath the new sanctuary, along with several restrooms. Chairlifts were installed in all step areas, which for the first time provided accessibility to the first and second floors of the building for handicapped persons. In May 1987, the new addition to the Simpson Creek Baptist Church building was dedicated to the glory of God, and the church family renewed their dedication to continue the ministry of the church.
Probably for the first time in history of the church, the larger percentage of the membership was composed of young families with small children and youth, and it had been once again determined that more space was needed to accommodate the ever growing congregation and Sunday School, especially in the area of Youth Ministries and Family Life Ministries. Plans for a new Youth and Family Life Center were formulated and in the spring of 1995, the new building was completed and dedicated. This building was constructed across the street from the church. It is composed of a gym, a kitchen and new meeting rooms. The youth Sunday School classes and activities were moved to the new building upon its completion.
Shortly after the completion of the Youth and Family Life Building, funds were donated to install a much needed elevator for the handicapped and those, who no longer could climb the many steps of the church. After the installation of the elevator, the building was completely handicap accessible.
In this year of our Lord, 2019, Simpson Creek Baptist Church has stood for 249 years as a symbol of Godâs love and a haven to those seeking salvation. The church continues to move forward in her mission of proclaiming the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to the world searching and seeking for hope and assurance. It is a Bible preaching, Bible believing Church, and all who enter will find peace, comfort and renewal to meet the challenges of todayâs world. The doors are always open to those who seek the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Many blessings are received by those who enter in and leave to serve a world hungry for the truth of the Bible and Godâs saving grace and love.