November 19, 1950
The first Sunday services of the Massillon Baptist Temple Mission were held with 22 present for Sunday School and 21 present for the evening service. We began with a full schedule of services: Sunday School at 10 am, Morning Service at 11 am, Evening Service at 7:30 pm and Wednesday Prayer Meeting at 7:30 pm. These services were held in a rented store room at 611 Bebb Ave. SW., Massillon.
January 7, 1951
On this Sunday, the Massillon Baptist Temple (MBT) was duly organized with 30 charter members. On Easter Sunday 1951, we topped 50 in Sunday School attendance.
MBT pitched a borrowed tent, and conducted a two week revival service on our newly purchased property at 1219 Overlook Ave., S.W., Massillon. Over thirty people were saved, and added to the church. This was the first of many revivals. Our Sunday School attendance went over 100 people.
In the spring of 1952, MBT launched our first building program…BY FAITH! In the fall of the same year, we dedicated our first building to the Lord, for His honor and glory. Dr. Dallas Billington was the guest preacher for the service and the 350 seat auditorium was filled to capacity. This building is currently the Dr. Bruce D. Cummons Chapel.
Sunday School rooms were added to the new auditorium. This is presently the College office, Baptist Bookstore, and the Youth Ministry room.
The MBT Sunday School had reached the 700 to 750 mark in attendance. Massillon Baptist Temple began their third building program, the large 1,200 seat auditorium, with Sunday School facilities in a “half-basement” below the auditorium. Soon MBT reached 1,000 in attendance. This new building was dedicated to the Lord in April 1960, with Dr. Earl K. Oldham as the guest preacher.
MBT took the “Grace & Peace” Radio Broadcast international. The printed page of the Massillon Baptist Temple carried the message of the gospel in papers, magazines, the “Baptist Reporter,” “Penny Pulpit” sermons, books, and booklets.
In 1967, MBT built a three-story educational unit with a full basement to join the two auditoriums together. This building houses Sunday School classes and the church offices.
Massillon Baptist Temple was listed as one of the “TOP TWENTY SUNDAY SCHOOLS IN AMERICA” in the Christian Life Magazine. We were listed number 20, with an average attendance of 1,700 to 1,800 in the small city of Massillon with 30,000 people.
After one year of praying and planning, Massillon Baptist Temple launched two of the most fruitful ministries this church has ever undertaken. Massillon Baptist College and Massillon Christian School were started. Today, there are over 600 graduates of MBC scattered across the country and around the globe serving the Lord in various positions.
A modern building was constructed to house the Christian School, grades K through 12 on the church property. During the 70’s and 80’s, Massillon Baptist Temple constructed a bus garage, Men’s and Ladies Dormitories, and a parsonage on this 50-acre campus.
In November of 1980, Massillon Baptist Temple dedicated the current auditorium in a special service and revival meeting conducted by Dr. Curtis Hutson, former editor of the Sword of the Lord. The east wall of the old auditorium was removed, the size of the auditorium doubled, and a U-shaped balcony added. The interior was completely remodeled and rebuilt, giving us a new 2,500 seat auditorium.
On Sunday, July 24, 1994, Massillon Baptist Temple had a mortgage burning ceremony. Finally, the last of the church bonds were paid off! We have 5 buildings and 50 acres of property valued at $5 million, completely debt free. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Dr. Bruce D. Cummons resigned the pastorate after 45 years of faithful service and became Pastor Emeritus. Rev. Mark A. Jacobs became the pastor.
On August 1, 2000, Dr. Larry Emery accepted the call to pastor the Massillon Baptist Temple. Dr. Emery was the founding Dean of Massillon Baptist College and previously served on the pastoral staff of the Massillon Baptist Temple for 15 years.
Dr. Cecil E. Thayer accepted the pastorate of Massillon Baptist Temple, September 17, 2006 and is the current pastor. Dr. Thayer is a 1993 graduate of Massillon Baptist College and has served on the mission field in South Africa for 10 years.
We began a three-part revitalization plan – update MBT auditorium, church history display, and mission display. On Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, a dedication service was held for the auditorium update.
The history of the Massillon Baptist Temple is still being written. We are grateful for our heritage and look forward to the future with great anticipation of what God will do in Massillon.