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Bicentennial Celebration at Site of Orville Wright's Funeral

First Baptist Church of Dayton Celebration on May 12, 2024:

Dayton, OH – Sunday, May 12 will mark a special day in the ongoing 200th Anniversary Celebration for First Baptist Church of Dayton. As part of the Sunday morning worship service, the church will dedicate an Ohio Historical Marker on its front lawn at Monument Avenue and Ludlow Street. Representatives from Ohio History Connection will help unveil the new sign and speak to the importance of recognizing the long-standing history of the church in the community.


“The dedication will take place outside the church at approximately 10:45 a.m.,” stated Pastor Kent Berghuis. “The church service and the dedication are open to the public and all are welcome and encouraged to attend this jubilant event.”

     The church also extends an invitation to the community when it will celebrate its 200th anniversary on Sunday, May 26, 2024. The church will welcome back former pastors, out of town members, and special guests. Church services will begin at 10:00 a.m. followed immediately with a luncheon at the church at 11:30 a.m. If you would like to attend, please RSVP by May 17 to or call 937-222-4691.

     For those that cannot attend the unveiling of the historic marker,

below is the text on both sides of the marker.

First Baptist Church of Dayton organized on May 29, 1824. A council met on the porch of William Huffman’s home at Third and Jefferson and approved 9 members as a congregation. The next day Lydia Huffman was baptized in the Great Miami River, the first recorded Baptist immersion in the city. Their first church building was erected in 1827 on Main Street. In 1829 the congregation suffered a Campbellite schism. Those resolved to remain Baptist incorporated on February 25, 1837, as The First Regular Baptist Church of Dayton, Ohio. The foundations for the Monument Avenue building were begun prior to the 1913 Dayton flood and the cornerstone was laid May 31, 1914. The building was completed, furnished, and ready for worship on June 26, 1915.


First Baptist has long been a beacon of progressive ministry. Many of Dayton’s leading families — with names like Stout, Thresher, Barney, Robert, Canby, McCann, Beaver, and Deeds — were members. The church hosted Orville Wright’s 1948 funeral as his niece, Ivonette Wright Miller, was a member of the church and its choir. Notable long-serving pastors included Henry Colby (1868-1903), Charles Seasholes (1931-1965), and nationally-known Baptist leader J.C. Massee (1913-1919). First Baptist was a leading American supporter of foreign mission work while simultaneously sponsoring such fledgling Dayton congregations as Zion Baptist, considered the city’s oldest Black Baptist church. First Baptist welcomed women into leadership and in 2017 adopted a “Welcoming and Affirming” statement. Celebrating its bicentennial, First Baptist Church builds on its rich history with faith for a vibrant future.

Thank you for your consideration.

Angie Hoschouer Berghuis, FBC Heritage Committee and Volunteer

Attn: Photographers and Videographers: You may set up cameras inside and outside of church on Sunday, May 12. Historical Marker Dedication will take place outside at approximately 10:45 a.m.

Click the icon below to download PDF file on the Wright family.

Wright Family_First Baptist Church
Download PDF • 331KB

First Baptist Church

111 West Monument Avenue

Dayton, OH 45402

Phone: (937) 222-4691


Rev. Dr. Kent Berghuis, Lead Pastor

Phone: 937-344-7775 Email:


The First Baptist Church of Dayton is a site on the Aviation Trail


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