Pittsfield church restores building and congregation

First Baptist was built in 1847. Now, almost 165 years later it still stands at its original location on Memorial Street.

The oldest church building in Pittsfield showed off its new renovations Saturday.

The Pittsfield First Baptist Church held a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially re-open its home.

"Basically, the church has been resurrected, it was back from the dead essentially," First Baptist Pastor Michael Pierce said.

First Baptist was built in 1847. By 2008, the building was falling apart and its congregation had declined to only seven parishioners.

Later that year, those parishioners teamed up with the Columbus Road Baptist Church in Quincy and other local organizations to repair the structural problems and renovate the facility. During that time, the building closed, but its congregation continued to meet at various locations.

Now, four years later, they're able to return home.

"As soon as we stepped in here it was like, 'Whoa!'," an original seven parishioner, Pam Will, said. "Our eyes got big and people started coming back and we're glad to be back here. We're home again."

"It is so beautiful," life long parishioner Pamela Pearson said.

Pierce says the repairs have changed more than just the building.

"The church is coming back to life, it's not really about the building it's about the people," Pierce said. "From being seven people ready to close their doors to now about 40 people excited about a future. We've got kids running around now and there are great possibilities."

It's everything the original seven had been praying for.

"It's just been a new eye-opening experience, it's been enlightening, so I think you can feel a presence when you come in here," Will said. "I feel a new sense of hope."

First Baptist opened its doors for its first service in the new building this past December. Almost 70 people attended.

First Baptist will hold a celebration service Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and a rededication service at 2 p.m., all are welcomed to attend.