First Baptist Church Offers Hope, Grace
SISTERSVILLE – Long ago, the First Baptist Church of Sistersville set down roots in Tyler County.
The church was founded in 1838 at the home of William Johnson of Long Reach, Va. – before West Virginia became a state. The cornerstone on the present building at 506 Wells St. was laid in 1910 – a good year. The church has an average attendance of 75 on Sundays.
Worship times are as follows: Sunday School at 9:30 a.m.; morning worship at 10:45 a.m.; Wednesday Bible Study and prayer at 6 p.m. and youth on Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m.
“Everyone who comes to First Baptist is important to us,” Pastor Darrell Mayfield said. “People are what makes it important. We want to support you and your family and help you in your relationship with God through Jesus Christ.”
Mayfield stressed the value of church.
“A person should attend church because Jesus is the founder of the church and loves it,” he said. “To not attend church is to not follow His will for your life. Church is important for growing in grace and faith. Ephesians chapter 5 tells us how Christ feels about the church.”
Speaking of the Bible, Mayfield loves a passage from the book of
“My favorite passage is Jeremiah 29:11,” he said. “It was written for Israel, but is true for every man, woman and child today. ‘I know the thought that I think toward you, says the Lord, thought of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.'”
As to the importance of prayer, “God will always answer when the person is sincere. ‘Lord Jesus, forgive me all of my sins, fill me with Your Spirit and lead me in the way You want me to go.'”
And that thought – very perfectly, praise God – leads into the question as to why Mayfield decided to answer the calling to serve the Lord.
“I felt led to the ministry as a teenager,” he said. “I first trusted in the Lord Jesus at about the age of 14 at a youth rally in Mannington. I attended church in Lowman Baptist Church near Pine Grove. My youth leaders were Chuck and Linda Tennant. They were very inspirational to me.”
Mayfield said he enjoys being a minister.
“The best part of being a minister is seeing people come to Christ and through His word and Spirit having changed their lives,” he said. “So many people are hurting and are broken in this world we live in. Jesus tells us in John 10:10 that the devil has come to steal, kill and destroy. But Jesus has come that we might have abundant life through faith in Him.”
As with many Christians, perhaps, it should be no surprise that Mayfield has had moments of “oneness” with God.
“Anytime I pray earnestly and seek Him by reading His word and through worship, it becomes personal between the Lord and myself, as it will for anyone,” he said. “James 4:8 tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us.”
Sometimes, naturally, doubts/questions about faith arise among even the most faithful.
“I think every believer has seasons of doubt and questioning in our lives,” Mayfield said. “But God understands that because He knows our hearts and what takes place in our lives. We won’t know all the answers on this side of eternity, but we can take rest in His promises.”