New Minister of Music
We welcome Carley Anderson as our Minister of Music beginning this month. She is finishing a Master of Public Health degree from the University of New England and has returned to the Syracuse area. She has a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Azusa Pacific University, an A.A. degree in music from OCC in piano and violin, and studied at Duquesne University in Violin Performance. She has served in various churches and is a member of the Central New York Association of Music Teachers. Most recently, she was the Music Director at First Presbyterian Church of Brookline, MA.
Eastwood Baptist in History
As the work began on the new sanctuary, E. J. Bowen came to visit the congregation in the Nichols House. He was a columnist for the newspaper, writing weekly articles entitled “Pulpit to Pew”. Here is what he wrote sometime in 1953 on a Christian Education Sunday.
“It was the happiest hour of worship I have spent for a long time….After the hour of worship, I had the opportunity to look over the hole in the ground which marks the site of the new church in process of erection.” Then he described in detail the service and those involved in the construction.
On Sunday, September 12, 1954, the congregation bid farewell to their church home for nearly 30 years. The new sanctuary was ready to be occupied. The sanctuary was said to seat 600 people, so folks must have been skinnier back then. Some 2000 people were said to have come see the sanctuary completed. The Haver House (now known as the Hobart house named after our first pastor) was purchased and the church now owned the front of a city block. In 1959, the Nichols Mansion was torn down to make way for the building of an educational wing. At the groundbreaking, the grass was dug up in the shape of a cross.
Life at Eastwood Baptist was more than buildings, though. The church and church families sponsored refugee families from Hungary and Germany. A Director of Christian Education was called. Technology advanced in the form of a 24 prayer phone. A new daily recorded message of encouragement from the pastor could be heard by calling the number.
Rev. Nicholas Titus was Vice President of the Council of Churches of Syracuse. This may have led to the creation of a World Council of Churches stained glass window that exists today. He was regularly on the radio doing a spot called, “Religion Makes the News” on WSYR. He even did a series of family programs with his family on WHEN-TV. Rev. Titus was recruited to become the Executive Minister of Connecticut and resigned in May 1960.
After 9 years, Rev. Harold Clark accepted a call to a church in Rochester. Eight months later, the church called a new but familiar pastor, Rev. Nick Titus in May. The year was 1945. Earlier that year, Germany had surrendered. A few months later, the atomic bombs would be dropped on Japan and the war would be over in the Pacific. Men (and women) would be coming home looking for a peaceful and productive life. Syracuse was becoming the headquarters for Carrier Corporation and Crouse-Hinds traffic signal manufacturing, whilst General Electric had its main television manufacturing plant at Electronics Parkway.
What made Rev. Titus so unique might best be described in the words of David Hart:
“When Rev. Titus was called, we youth had a little swagger in our step because we knew Nick Titus, on a first name basis, from camp.”
A year later the mortgage on the church house was paid off. In 1946, a church newsletter was started and the Service Men’s Mother’s Club presented a Good Shepherd window to the church in memory of those from the church who died in World War II. While it has been relocated more than once, it is currently on the right hand side of the sanctuary today, near the Homecroft entrance.
In May of 1952, the church celebrated a 25th Anniversary with founding pastor, Rev. George Hobart present. It was at this event that the church announced the launching of a campaign to build a new sanctuary. Ground would be broken a year later at an expected cost of $60,000. Blessed Sacrament Church was building their new sanctuary across the street.
This tribute was written by Rev. Titus on the occasion of the 25th birthday of the church.
Twenty Five Years Old!
That’s not very old—as churches go, or people either, for that matter. And yet, consider the tremendous events which have packed into the last quarter century.
We’ve had a depression and world war. We’ve witnessed the Nazi threat, and are now under the shadow of Communism. We’ve seen great strides in transportation, communication, science, and medicine. It’s been a quarter century filled with change and uncertainty.
And through it all, the Eastwood Baptist Church has ministered to the needs of our growing community. Couples have been married in our church. Children have been dedicated to the Lord. Young people have come under the influence of our church school, vacation Bible school, as well as the various scouting groups.
Our church has ministered to the suffering and the sorrowing. Bewildered and confused folks have sought the counsel of understanding and helpful ministers.
In a time of change and uncertainty, people have discovered that our church represents something which is changeless and certain. And that is, “the love of God.”
For twenty-five years, our church has brought the love of God to our community and the world. May it continue to do so for many years to come!