CHILLICOTHE BAPTIST CHURCH
Property was purchased at West Fourth Street and Pohlman Road with groundbreaking service on Christmas Day,1954. Chillicothe Baptist Church constituted on January 13, 1955. On October 27, 1955, a $15,000 loan was granted from The Home Mission Board. Construction began in November 1955. The first service and dedication were held on Easter, April 29, 1956. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 13, 1965, for a two-story $47,000 education unit. Dedication was held on May 15, 1966.
On March 11, 1970, a 10-acre parcel on Clinton Road was purchased with a $13,000 loan from The Home Mission Board and was paid in its entirety February 1973. The Home Mission Board granted a loan of $215,000 for relocation to the Clinton Road property with groundbreaking April 1, 1979. Much of the work was done by the membership. The building, with 20 classrooms, sanctuary seating 350 and full basement, costing $500,000 was ready for the first services on March 2, 1980. Dedication Services were on June 1, 1980. On May 31, 1985, ground was broken for a two-story Educational Wing. Membership and Volunteer groups from Georgia and Alabama gave many hours of labor. The new wing was dedicated on October 27, 1985.
On December 9, 1965, the church voted to sponsor Open Bible Baptist Chapel, a mission on the east end of Chillicothe. May 1, 1987, Darrell Chapman, who had pastored Chillicothe Baptist from 1966-1970, became the mission pastor of Open Bible.
In 1988, the church established a park on the back acreage, which had been purchased June 5, 1986. On July 2, 1989, this park was dedicated to the memory of Jess Brown.
On July 18, 1990, the church voted to enter into a stewardship campaign for the purpose of constructing a balcony of approximately 200 seats at a cost of $140,000 which included lighting, sound, and furnishings, to complete the commerical kitchen and to retire the current indebtendess of $540,000. The Stewardship Campaign was called "Vision to Victory" and the Slogan was "Not Equal Giving, But Equal Sacrifice." The balcony was completed and dedicated on December 9, 1990. A note-burning celebration was held March 15, 1992. In July 1992, the parsonage and additional property in the back were paid in full and the commerical equipment for the new kitchen was ordered. The church was debt free in April 2001.
After much prayer, on November 10, 2002, the church voted to purchase and relocate on 61 acres at 14000 State Route 104. The church purchased the 61 acres in 2003. Master Church Builders were contracted in 2004. River of Life Amphitheatre was constructed on the property in 2004. This outdoor facility provided a wonderful atmosphere for gospel concerts. The following year, Giving to Grow Stewardship campaign was begun. On February 19, 2006, a groundbreaking service was held for the 28,000 square foot facility. The first service was held on June 3, 2007 with dedication service on July 15, 2007.
There have been several staff members throughout the years. A new position of Associate Pastor/Education was created in 1998. Bill was James was called and resigned in 2014. Steve Huff was called as Minister of Music in 2000. In 2009, Joe Messer was called as Associate Pastor/Youth and Children. After serving Chillicothe Baptist Church for 31 years, Pastor John Burris retired. The consgregation paid tribute to his service with a Day of Retirement celebration on September 23, 2012.
Chillicothe Baptist Church ministers in many unique ways to the area. This congregation was the first to perform "The Singing Christmas Tree" in Ohio. The Easter Story in Living Pictures depicts the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ through song and drama. A Judgment House Drama reached hundreds of youth in the fall. A God and Country Service was always a highlihght in July. Vacation Bible School is held every summer. Womens' Ministres have hosted simulcast of Beth Moore Study Series. Men's Prayer Breakfast met on Saturday. Youth Activities are numerous. Upward Football Program has been conducted in the fall. Children's church is every Sunday Morning. AWANA Program is conducted for the children during the year on Wednesday nights. Senior Citizens are active in many events. Operation Andrews has been a successful tool used for reaching others for Sunday School. An exciting Praise Team leads the worship service.