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First Church Of God Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Michael Smith, pastor at First Church of God on Falconer Street in Jamestown is celebrating his one year anniversary there as the church also celebrates it’s 100th anniversary. P-J photo by Sara Holthouse

The First Church of God is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

First Church of God, located at 291 Falconer Street in Jamestown is a rather new building after a fire destroyed the previous one on the day after Christmas in 2016. The original building was built in 1938 in that location and the church had two previous locations before settling there. The current building was rebuilt in the same location.

First Church of God’s current pastor, Michael Smith, is also reaching a milestone with the church, having now been a full-time pastor there for a year. He has been a pastor for about four years in total and previously served as Assistant Pastor at North Main Street Church of God. He is ordained through the First Church of God in Indiana.

“I started here filling in as they were looking for a new pastor,” Smith said. “I was an interim pastor for about six months and then they hired me on Sept. 14 of last year.”

Throughout this last year, Smith thought what he brought to the church the most was a sense of unity and coming together.

“I think I brought us closer together as a church,” Smith said. “We have a sense of community, and together we need to help the community and share God’s love as he shares it with us.”

Smith has also worked to get the church’s event calendar bigger, with events such as the previously held Love Thy Neighbor event, or the upcoming Trunk or Treat.

Smith said that reaching the 100 year mark as a church is a big milestone for them.

“I’m happy that as a church body we have been here for 100 years,” Smith said. “I’m not sure how long other churches in Jamestown have been here, but 100 years seems like quite the milestone. We could have disbanded after the fire (in 2016), but they wanted to keep it going and so we are still here today.”

The 100th anniversary celebration will be held on Oct. 9 at 5 p.m. The event includes a guest speaker, Reverend Sammie Drayton who is a Senior Pastor with the Hope Divine Church in Rochester. There will also be a special service and coffee and an anniversary cake.

In the future, Smith said he hopes to be able to show the community how community oriented the First Church of God is.

“Going forward I would like people to know how community oriented we are,” Smith said. “On the way out we have a sign that says ‘you are now entering the mission field’. Our message is to love everyone no matter what. We have found God and hope and we want to share that with everyone. I know life is a little tough right now with everything that happened with Covid, and we want people to find hope through that. We want to make disciples of all men.”

This message of hope and love is one of the very first things that made an impression on him when Smith first got to the church with his family.

“I’m very impressed with how this church has shown me and my family love,” Smith said. “We were searching for a place for me to serve full time for a long time, and we thought that this had to be the place. The companionship for others and the heart for God that exists here stood out to me from the beginning.”

Smith invited everyone to come out to their weekly Sunday services which begin at 11 a.m.

“We would like people to come out and share God’s love with us,” Smith said. “We welcome everyone with open arms, and we’re looking forward to hopefully another 100 years here.”

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