History of Shawnee Hills
Baptist Church
Jamestown, Ohio

“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all”           (Ephesians 1:22, 23)

In February, 1974, the Cedarville College Swordbearers canvassed the Shawnee Hills area.  Three people were saved during this service to God.

The Ron Coriells’ who were members of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Xenia and who were living at Shawnee Lake,  became burdened for the need of a fundamental Baptist church in their area.  That burden was turned to action on February 28, 1974, when a group met in the Coriell home for Bible study.  Later that spring, after consulting with Pastor William Wheeler of Emmanuel Baptist Church, the group called Rev. Earl Umbaugh to provide guidance in this new work.

In June, 1974, interested members of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Xenia, Grace Baptist Church in Cedarville, and Southgate Baptist Church in Springfield met to hear the plans for a new church near Jamestown, Ohio.  These churches indicated their desire to support the new work.  Subsequently, these churches began the following monthly support:  Emmanuel --$200, Grace $50, and Southgate--$50.

Five families agreed to become actively involved in this new work and on July 14 regular Sunday services began in the Coriell’s home with twenty-seven people in attendance.  On September 8, Sunday services were moved to the Greenview Central Junior High School in Jamestown.

A steering committee was selected to guide the affairs of the church until the time came to elect regular officers.  Later three trustees were elected and on November 5, Shawnee Hills Baptist Church became a non-profit corporation in the state of Ohio.

The Lord blessed financially and directed the members to purchase ten acres of land on Jasper Pike near an entrance to Shawnee Lake.  On November 14, 1974, a down payment of $4,000 was made and a five-year financing agreement was signed.

Although the pulpit was filled on Sundays with men from area churches, it was felt that the calling of a pastor was of utmost importance.  A number of candidates were considered and in December Thomas Fillinger came to consider this new work.  Believing that this was the man that the Lord had for Shawnee Hills,a call was extended to Pastor Fillinger on January 22, 1975.  On February 9 he began his regular Sunday ministry.

On May 4, 1975, the Charter closed, and Shawnee Hills Baptist Church was officially chartered.  On May 10, 1975, the church was examined by a recognition council and at that time the church was accepted into the fellowship with the Ohio Association of Regular Baptist Church and the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches.

On February 1, 1976, services were moved once again to the Jamestown church facility which the members of Shawnee Hills Baptist Church were able to rent from the Jamestown Church of Christ.

In November of 1977 a loan application was presented to Fellowship of Baptist for Home Missions accompanied by a unique audio-visual presentation entitled “Windows of Heaven.”  The Church Building Committee viewed the presentation in which Mr. I Am Crumbling, the building being rented and occupied by the congregation of Shawnee Hills BaptistChurch, conducts a rather humbling tour of its own admittedly inadequate facilities.  At the conclusion of the presentation the viewers are confronted with God’s challenge to test Him by bringing in the whole tithe and God promises to open the “windows of heaven” and pour out a blessing until there is no need.

The loan was approved and on Sunday, February 26, 1978, at 3:00p.m. the Shawnee Hills Baptist Church members and friends observed a ground-breaking service.  The firm CoMaCo. Construction Management Company, Inc. was enlisted as the organization responsible for construction of the proposed building.

The last week of September, 1978, the church family began packing and moving into the newly completed facility on Jasper Road.  On October 1, 1978, the first church service was held and 201 people gathered to praise God.  On November19, 1978, Paul Jackson, pastor of Grace Baptist Church of Cedarville, Ohio, spoke at the dedication service.

Pastor Fillinger continued to shepherd a growing flock until his resignation read on September 30, 1979 became effective on October 30, 1979.  He then moved his family to Rochester, New York where he accepted the pastorate of North Baptist Church.

James M. Grier, professor at Cedarville, accepted the responsibility of interim pastor the first Sunday of November.  During the two years of Pastor Grier’s ministry the church continued to grow.  Led by Pastor Grier and the deacons, the congregation considered several candidates, searching for the pastor God had for their pulpit.  On October 10, 1981, Rev. William Campbell, pastor of North Baptist Church of Corning, New York, received the vote of the congregation and accepted the call to serve as Pastor of Shawnee Hills Baptist Church.  His ministry began in January, 1982.  Pastor Campbell served here until May 22, 1983, at which time he read his resignation.

Once again the deacons began the search for a pastor.  During the interim the pulpit was filled with a variety of capable speakers.  In less than three months without a pastor, the congregation met to accept the deacon’s resolution that a pastoral call be extended to Dennis L. Henderson, pastor of Whitehall Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Pastor Henderson accepted the call and became the third full-time pastor of Shawnee Hills Baptist Church.  He moved his family to Jamestown and began his ministry on October 1, 1983.

Upon arrival, Pastor Henderson made an immediate plan for financial stability and evangelistic outreach.  Offerings increased and a balloon payment/building fund was established in November.  By the fall of 1984, an evangelism outreach ministry called The Lord’s Army was organized to reach the community for Christ.  Church attendance continued to climb and a Church study Task Force explored the feasibility of expanding the facility.  The study concluded in 1985 that the church needed to build but the remaining debt of $165,000 needed to be paid.

By October 1986, Pastor Henderson and a small task force had organized a three-phase mortgage reduction drive based on Matthew 6:21 called Operation Heartshare.  By using the three phases of Operation Heartshare, $52,548 of debt was eliminated in the next year.  That was equivalent to 84 payments (7years).  A remarkable $9,896 was saved in interest alone.  While this was happening, in 1987, a Church Growth Task Force study led to the addition of support ministry staff.  Mark Kordic was called to be the Assistant to the Pastor for Church Growth.  He was licensed by the church in December 1987.  Through two more mortgage reduction drives called The Building Fund and The Joash Project the entire debt of the Shawnee Hills Baptist Church was eliminated by December 1990.  On January 20, 1991, the church was packed with 230 people as the former Pastor Fillinger assisted Pastor Henderson and Pastor Kordic in burning the mortgage on the building.

Changes for the better continued to occur.  That same year (1991) another task force for church growth developed a four-phase strategy for growth.  The heart of “Share the Vision,” was to add a second non-traditional service to the Sunday program to reach more people for Christ.  The church experienced record attendance when this service was implemented in September 1991.  Having a two-service Sunday morning format provided the space needed for growth bringing the average attendance from 174 in 1990 to 212 in 1991.  A drama ministry was undertaken and short sketches were added to the service each week serving as powerful reminders of the heart of that week’s message.  “Share the Vision” increased the building fund to $20,000.  Many church members participated in HOMEvangelism workshops designed to encourage members to use their homes as a witnessing tool.

In 1993, Shawnee Hills Baptist Church reaped the benefits of the Church Growth Plan.  The congregation was able to plan an expansion to the building, secure a loan, break ground and build.  On Sunday, January 31, 1993, the new facility was dedicated.  The drama team continued to bring direct application of Pastor’s sermons to each service, including a ten-week series on the Parables portrayed by the event of the “Mustard Seed Café.”

On May 31, 1993, after 10 years of ministry at Shawnee Hills Baptist Church, Pastor Dennis Henderson read his letter of resignation.  The following Sunday, Dr. Floyd Elmore, professor of Bible at Cedarville College became our interim pastor.  Three months later the congregation issued him a call to become the part-time senior pastor, and the search began for a full-time administrative pastor.  In July 1994, Dennis George accepted the call and began his ministry at Shawnee Hills.  Under the leadership team of Elmore, Kordic, and George, new programs of outreach andevangelism were established, and old programs strengthened.  Small group ministries provided new opportunities of fellowship, training, and new places of ministry for the body of Christ.

After ministering at SHBC for over four years Pastors Elmore, George, and Kordic submitted their resignations.  On September 1, 1998, the resignation of all three leaders became effective and though saddened by their departure the Lord was working in the life of Shawnee Hills Baptist Church.  Again we began the pastoral search, and again the Cedarville College Bible Department supplied our interim pastor.  Jim Bjornstad stepped into the pulpit bringing encouragement and leadership that was invaluable.  During this time the leadership’s wisdom and the faith of the people held the congregation together in an amazing way.  On September 19, 1999 Jim Riggle began his ministry as the senior pastor of Shawnee Hills Baptist Church after accepting the call and moving his family from Clark Summit, Pennsylvania.

Under Pastor Riggle’s leadership the church experienced amazing growth and vitality.  New ministries prospered and an age-appropriate Sunday School system began.  Exciting outreaches began to bring numerous families in from the community and surrounding areas such as “Friendship Day” (a community picnic and pig roast), “Marketplace 29AD” (a VBS program that brought the days of Jesus to life), and “Ever-Ready with Kindness” (the church passed out 2000 smoke detector batteries to the community during Fire Prevention Week).

By June of 2001 additional staff was needed.  A full-time secretary was hired and the former secretary moved to administrative assistant.  In August of 2001 Mark McFadden accepted the call as Pastor of Spiritual Formation. Pastor McFadden’s leadership was invaluable in establishing effective children and adult ministriesincluding the Shawnee Hills Bible Center.  The Bible Center provided a more in-depth study of God’s word through classes such as Old and New Testament studies, Principles of Bible Study, and Apologetics, etc.

By now the church was bursting at its seams.  With a sanctuary that seated 200, three Sunday morning services were necessary. In the spring of 2002 a Capital Stewardship Campaign, “Our Sacrifice . . . His Glory,”began.  The funds would provide a newsanctuary, kitchen, additional classrooms,and office space.  On July 14, 2002, over $900,000 was pledged and the planning processbegan.
Along with the growing congregation came a growing teen program.  On June 8, 2003, Josh Yoder left his position with Scioto Hills Baptist Camp to accept the call from Shawnee Hills as Pastor of Teen Ministries and part-time custodian.

God continued to guide and protect Shawnee Hills throughout the building process.  On October 24, 2004, with great rejoicing, a congregation of 525 walked from the old sanctuary into the new sanctuary and dedicated the new facility to God for His glory.The teen ministry transformed the old sanctuary into a teen all-purpose room.

Much growth occurred in 2005 as the adjustment to a new building continued and community outreach opportunities increased, i.e. local blood drives, voting polls, high school baccalaureate, Karate Club, Weight Watchers, aerobics classes, and Bible studies.  An annual Super Bowl Party was established and several local teams and clubs were able to use our facilities for their meetings.  Again the Lord allowed Shawnee Hills Baptist Church to touch our community for Him.

By the end of 2005 Pastor Yoder advanced to full-time, and Shawnee Hills continued to grow.  The congregation approved funding for Pastor Yoder to further his education at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, through on-line classes and occasional commuting. To complete a Masters of Divinity, Pastor Yoder resigned his positionas youth pastor effective June 19, 2011, and moved his family to Wake Forest, North Carolinato attendSoutheastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

By the providence of God, Adam McCune, a member of Shawnee Hills,accepted the call of Pastor of Teen Ministries.  Pastor McCune provided the love, leadership and guidanceneeded for the months ahead.  Aresident directorand graduate of Cedarville University with a BA in Bible, Pastor McCuneearned a Masters of Divinity from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, was ordained by Grace Fellowship Church in Mokena, Illinois, on October 2, 2005.

With sad hearts Shawnee Hills Baptist Church said goodbye to Pastor McFaddenas his resignation was read to the congregation June 14, 2011.Again, Pastor McCune prayerfullyaccepted the additional responsibilitieswhen called upon by the Shawnee Hills body.

Pastor Rigglecontinued to shepherd the Shawnee Hills congregation until his resignation read on March 4, 2012 became effective on April 1, 2012.With prayerful consideration Pastor McCune accepted the congregation’s call as full-time associate pastor, left his position at Cedarville and moved his young family to Jamestown in June of that year.  On June 3, 2012, Pastor Greg Couser from Emmanuel Baptist Church officiated at the installation service for Pastor McCune and the newly elected deacons.

A Pastoral Search Committee was formed with a charge to present a pastoral candidate to the congregation and provide weekly pulpit speakers. As Shawnee Hills Baptist Church continues to be a light to the lost in the Shawnee Lake and Jamestown area, the congregation prayerfully and patiently awaited for the man of God’s choosing.

On April 8, 2013, Pastor David Culver began as the new Lead Pastor of Shawnee Hills Baptist Church.

Revised June, 2013


Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! ~ Psalm 115:1