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Recent Years - 1959 to 1995

During these 36 years there were 6 pastors and 2 associate pastors who ministered to the church family. The church continued to see young people who grew up in the church go out into missionary service during this period.

Louis Tulga  (April 8, 1959 - May 2, 1962)

Louis Tulga became the 17th pastor of the church on April 8, 1959. The church arranged for his ordination, with his father, Rev. Chester Tulga, preached the ordination sermon.

During the ministry of Pastor Tulga our church became the one of the first in the state of Ohio to adopt the AWANA program for young people.  It is regrettable that in later years this program had to be dropped for a period of time due to an insufficient number of leaders.  

Pastor Tulga also started a children’s church.  This has been an active part of our church program ever since.  Rev. Tulga resigned on May 2, 1962 to further his education.

Darrell Bice  (July 25, 1962 - May 24, 1967)

On March 25, 1964, the old Herrick Avenue church property was sold for $8,000.  The money was used to pay off the mortgage on the church parsonage, which was then located at 511 East Herrick.

The church also took part in the establishment of the Calvary Baptist Church in Oberlin, contributing $50 a month toward the ministry of this new church.


Gary and Bernie Hilliker became missionaries to Venezuela under Baptist Mid-Missions in 1966.  Gary had grown up in the church, and his parents and siblings were still members.  But the family was commissioned to missionary service by the church they were currently attending in Grand Rapids, MI.


The church also began supporting John and Martha Barre, who were ministering to the Navajo Indians in New Mexico.  Martha had been a former member of the church.

Rev. Bice resigned on May 24, 1967, when he accepted the pastorate of the First Baptist Church of Niles, Ohio.


C. W. "Bill" Rugg  (April 10, 1968 - August 31, 1974)

Pastor Rugg was called to the pastorate on April 10, 1968, but he could not accept the call until he had been officially discharged from the United States Navy where he had been serving as a Chaplain.  While waiting for Rev. Rugg to arrive, Rev. Elton Hukill served as interim pastor.  Pastor Rugg chose to buy his own home, so the church sold the parsonage.



Mark and Beth (Ziegler) Trimble left as missionaries to Brazil in 1971 under Baptist Mid-Missions.  Mark's parents had been among the early BMM missionaries to Brazil.  Beth's parents, Carl and Ruth Ziegler, had served in Bolivia under New Tribes Mission, but were now home and were active members of the church.

Philip Jewett
was called to be the minister of music on December 10, 1973, and he served in that position until his resignation in 1976. 

On August 31, 1974, Pastor Rugg resigned, with the church suffering a minor split.

Gerald Wagner  (November 13, 1974 - January 13, 1982)

Upon his arrival the church purchased the current parsonage, located on State Route 58 about a mile and a half north of the village limits.

On January 1, 1978, the church was informed that we were beneficiaries of a $10,000 bequest from the estate of Mr. and Mrs. Phil Miller.  This money provided the impetus for Pastor Wagner to organize a building committee to discuss the possibility of putting an addition onto our church.  In February of 1979 the church voted to borrow the balance of the necessary $100,000 required to pay for such an addition, which was completed in 1980.  The two-story addition provided much needed space for Sunday School rooms, restrooms, a church office, and a pastor’s study.


Ed & Jeanne Casteel left for Indonesia in 1977, serving with New Tribes Mission.  Jeanne is the daughter of Harold and Thelma Jackson, who left Wellington to serve with New Tribes in the 1940s.

When Pastor Wagner reached his 65th birthday, he decided to retire from the ministry, feeling that the Lord would have him serve as a pulpit supply and a Bible conference speaker.


David Birch  (September 1, 1982 - June 13, 1990)

During his pastorate the Word of Life Club program was adopted for our teens and the AWANA Clubs were reinstated for our younger children.  Summer “Five-Day Clubs” were held in various parts of the town to present the gospel to the children of Wellington.  A high priority for Pastor Birch was to disciple several young couples in our church for future positions of leadership in the church.


Joel S. Kettenring  (November 1, 1990 - December 31, 1995)

Pastor Kettenring began his ministry in our church by serving as pulpit supply during the summer of 1990.  That fall he submitted his resume', and was called as Pastor during a special business meeting on October 17.  He formally began his pastorate on November 1.

During the summer of 1990 two of our young men gained experience in carrying the gospel to far-off regions. Jeff Hyde went to Australia with a group from Cedarville College under a Missionary Internship Service Program, and Bret Butler went to South America as a member of an Athletes in Action team. We ended the summer with the good news that our mortgage was entirely paid.

In 1991 the church started distributing the "Church and Family Guide" to homes in Wellington and four rural routes.  This small newspaper was distributed four times a year with the purpose of acquainting everyone with the First Baptist Church.  Pastor Kettenring also began an outreach ministry at Wellington's annual Lorain County Fair.  An attractive display draws people to our tent, where water is also available for free.  Fairgoers are given gospel tracts and other gospel literature, with special gospel bracelets and other gifts available for the children.  This ministry remains an important part of our church outreach.

During Pastor Kettenring’s pastorate, several improvements to the church and parsonage were made.  Air conditioning and a sound system were installed, a church van was purchased, and the parking was lot expanded.   

In 1993, Doug Nelson was called as our first Youth Pastor.  The Word of Life program and newspaper distribution were discontinued and replaced by our new Youth Pastor and his program.  He and his wife, Breanna, served until October of 1997, when he left to further his education.


In 1992 Jim and Rachel (Mayo) Chambers went to Zambia as missionaries under Baptist Mid-Misssions.  Rachel had spent some of her teen years in the church. 




In 1995 Dave and Robin Olsen began their ministry with Child evangelism Fellowship.  Dave serves in the administration of CEF in their home office in Warrenton, MO.


Pastor Kettenring resigned on December 31, 1995, to become Executive Director of Remnant Ministries (the former Cleveland Hebrew Mission).  Joel and Pauline Kettenring had previously served in various missionary ministries, and this new ministry marked their return to missions as the final phase in their vocational service for the Lord.


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