‘Body of Believers’ keeps the faith

WILLIAMSTOWN-Faith Bible Church, 118 West Ninth St., was formed by about 90 people who met at the Holiday Inn in Marietta.

After it first began on July 15, 1983, and Matt Echols was named as pastor in October 1983, the church still had no stable structure to call home.

Charter member Perry Hall, 62, of Williamstown, said the congregation used to meet in one location after another.

“We started the church as the Body of Believers,” he said. “We went from motels to schools, to whatever. We went to the Holiday Inn and the Ramada Inn, as it was called then.”

In February 1984, Ed Long agreed to serve as the interim pastor after Echols left. At this time, Faith Bible Church still did not have a permanent place of worship.

Hall said services continued, but church members began looking to the vacant building owned by The Church of Christ of Williamstown, which had housed its Bible College.

“We held services and the Lord led us to the building in Williamstown,” Hall said. “We bought the Church of Christ college building. At that time, we revamped it and put in pews. We were running two services.”

Pastor Steve DeLay has been at the church for five years. He said currently, there are about 300 members of the church. Two services are held on Sundays, at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. There is also Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. On Wednesdays, childrens’ ministries are held, as is a youth group and a Bible study and prayer meeting.

DeLay said the principles in the church are Baptist, though the denomination is not included in the church name.

“When they started the church they couldn’t decide between ‘Bible’ and ‘Baptist,'” he said. “But we are a Baptist church…We stick to the Bible…but at the same time we make sure the teaching and preaching is very relevant to our lives today.”

DeLay said the church is a great place for families.

“Our motto is ‘The Family Place to Be,'” he said. “We have ministries for all ages. We have strong childrens’ ministries…We try to be real visible in the community.”

DeLay said the community has always been important for the church.

“We’ve always had heart for people and outreach and trying to administer to those in our community,” he said. “Our mission is to share the Gospel with the Williamstown and Marietta area.”

In addition to community, the church supports missions, both locally and internationally.

“We try to reach lost souls in our area,” DeLay said. “We’re very missions minded; we support 26 different missionaries right now, from local to all the way around the world. We feel very strongly about missions.”

Hall said the church has been blessed over the years.

“God has been good to us and blessed us,” he said. “It’s by the grace of God that he put us in Williamstown, on West Ninth Street. We continue to serve him and try to reach people for the Lord.”