Pastor Terry Herbert - June 2013-Current
After a unanimous vote on Sunday, June 2nd, 2013, Brother Terry Herbert was voted in as our next Pastor. The change will take place no later than June 23rd, 2013. We look forward to a smooth transition. Please be in prayer as they head this way.
Pastor Jimmy Knight - May 2012-September 2012
Pastor Peter Zengel - Feb 2002-March 2012
Hello, my name is Pastor Peter Zengel. I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour in April of 1994. At that time I was 23 years old and was serving on active duty in the U.S. Navy. I had just been assigned to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, MD. Even though I had grown up in church, I was never truly saved, according to the Scriptures. I thank God for my co-worker and dear friend, Rich Young and the Patuxent Baptist Church in Great Mills, MD with Pastor Rick Conner.
After my salvation, my wife-to-be (who was saved as a teenager) and I were baptized together. Soon after we were married and joined Patuxent Baptist Church in May of 1994. Less than a year later in March of 1995, I surrendered to full-time Christian service. Then in September of 1996, I began attending Independent Baptist Bible College, under the direction of the Independent Baptist Church, and Pastor Mike Creed, in Clinton, MD. Shortly after I started Bible College God called me to preach. In December of 1996 I was honorably discharged after seven and a half years of active military service.
Following God's will, my family and I then moved back home to Altoona, PA, where both my wife and I grew up. In January of 1997, I accepted the position of Youth Pastor at the Riggle's Gap Bible Church in Altoona, PA under the late Pastor Bob Burge. We served there until June of 1998 when God called us into evangelism to help smaller, struggling churches and churches that were without pastors. The Lord allowed us to help many churches in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey in that ministry for four and a half years.
In August of 2001 we lost our 5th wheel camper in an accident. We then moved to Seneca, PA where I worked to complete my Bachelors Degree through the Faith Baptist School of Theology. The college is under the direction of its founder and President, Pastor Larry Williams, and Faith Baptist Church in Seneca, PA. While I was attending the college one of my instructors was Pastor Rik Parcel, who was the pastor of Forest Area Baptist Church. Through Pastor Parcell, I was introduced to the people of Forest Area Baptist Church.
In February of 2002 Pastor Parcell announced his intentions to resign from Forest Area Baptist Church in order to take over a struggling work in Iowa. My family and I came to Forest Area Baptist Church upon Pastor Parcell's recommendation to the church. Initially I was asked to come as the Interim-Pastor, but after several months God made it clear that this is where he wanted us to stay. In April of 2002 I was accepted as the Pastor of Forest Area Baptist Church. My family and I were excited about the privilege we had of ministering in Forest County and we were anxious to continue on with the work of the various ministries of the church.
It has been such a blessing to serve the families of Forest Area Baptist Church. Our desire has always been to be a help and a blessing in anyway we can. We have had the good fortune to be able to serve the Lord here at Forest Area Baptist Church for the last 10 years. We can't wait to see what God will allow our church to accomplish in the future.
Pastor Peter J. Zengel, FABC Pastor from 2002 - 2012
Pastor Bill Smith - 1986-1994
Pastor Terry Cumberland - August 1981-1986
As a child Pastor Cumberland hunted in Forest County. During those trips he never had the opportunity to attend church because there was no Baptist church in the area. He always had a burden for the area. After completing Bible college he continued to have this burden. In 1981 after serving as an assistant to pastors for four years he felt God was moving his family (wife, Nancy, and daughters, Heather and Elizabeth) to Marienville to start a church.
The church held its first service as Redclyffe Mission on August 31, 1981, in the old Redclyffe Methodist Church building. The cemetery association graciously leased the empty building to the small group of believers for twelve dollars a year. The first year the group added a heat source, painted, and reroofed the old leased building. In 1983 with a desire to own property for a future building of their own they purchased two acres and were given two acres of the adjoining Christmas tree farm from Dana Logue. The original boundaries of the property were later adjusted to give additional road frontage.
The church was chartered and incorporated as Redclyffe Baptist Church in 1982. This name was later changed to Forest Area Baptist Church.
After the property was acquired the group of about 35 believers got busy building the infrastructure on the property. A road into the property was built, a spring on the property was developed, gas and electric lines were installed, a septic system built and hundreds of Christmas trees removed for preparation for buildings. A Christian insurance man from Brookville gave the group his old office building which was a remodeled single wide trailer. It was moved onto the property for Sunday school rooms.
In 1984 the church lost their lease with the cemetery association and began to have all services in the Sunday school building. Also, at that time a savings account was set up as a building fund for the new building. By 1986 the church had enough money saved for a down payment. Blueprints were drawn up and approved in Harrisburg for the new building.
In the first five years of the church there is recorded that thirty-two were saved and twenty-five were baptized (most in the Clarion River.) And the church was supporting three foreign missionaries. During this time Pastor Cumberland worked carpentry to support his family.