NJ Herald article

August 27, 2018

Historic First Baptist Church of Newton installs new pastor

Submitted photo - Pastor Scott Stine is installed as the newest minister of the First Baptist Church of Newton.


Posted: Aug. 27, 2018 12:01 am


NEWTON -- A long history doesn't have to equate to being stuck in the past, especially for First Baptist Church of Newton as it approaches the celebration of its 185th anniversary. On a recent Sunday, the church formally installed Pastor Scott Stine as the newest minister of the church.

While Stine is only 32 years old, he comes to the church with six years of previous pastoral experience in the Pittsburgh area. With his wife, Kate, and 1-year-old son, Isaiah, he took up residence at the church's historic parsonage earlier in the year, and the family has wasted no time getting acclimated to Newton.

The installation service was attended by members and friends of the church and was officiated by the Rev. Brian Hart, pastor of the Reformed Baptist Church of Pittsburgh and executive director of the Baptist Institute of Pittsburgh. Prior to Hart's sermon and charge to the congregation, special music was performed by Stine on guitar with Dave and Sarah Degenario playing percussion and violin, respectively.

At a time when the millennial generation has been leaving the church in ever greater numbers, First Baptist was intentional in calling a pastor who himself is a millennial and understands much of the disillusionment experienced by so many of his peers.

Often, churches with a lengthy history are perceived to be out of touch with today's issues and needs, and in some cases, this analysis is valid. But First Baptist Church has long been a beacon for the unchanging truths of the Bible. So, while generations come and go, First Baptist and churches like it have a sacred obligation to preserve and proclaim the life-changing message of the Bible while making it relevant and applicable to the unique needs of the current generation.

Recent studies have shown that there is now an increase in younger adults coming back to their roots in the church and finding the hope and stability that are so elusive in today's world of moral relativism. With a youthful minister in a very old church, it's heartening to see how many visitors are coming and staying at First Baptist. It's exciting to think that this historic Baptist church on the corner of Route 206 and Liberty Street just might be part of something special -- a movement that revitalizes and offers peace from the Prince of Peace to hungry souls in Newton, Sussex County and beyond.