Vienna Baptist Church

Vienna Baptist Church was established in 1965.

Organizing a Church in Vienna

In 1963, Reverend Frank Chittock of Girard sought to plant a new Baptist church in the Bethany Association of Regular Baptist Churches (Mahoning and Trumbull Counties). After much study, a committee of eleven Bethany pastors recommended such a church be established in Vienna.

On July 4, 1965, a month of tent meetings was begun. Held at the intersection of Warren-Sharon and Youngstown-Kingsville roads, these meetings featured evangelist Don Winters speaking nightly for the first two weeks, and evangelist Chelsea Stockwell for the remaining weeks. Reverend Frank Odor, pastor of the Midview Baptist Church in Grafton, Ohio, was invited to speak at the final tent meeting held on Sunday, August 1, 1965.

During this month, five families living in Vienna expressed an interest in becoming a part of a new Baptist congregation. The first organizational meeting was held on August 3, 1965, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Fundoulas. Reverend Earl Umbaugh, State Missionary for the Ohio Association of Regular Baptist Churches, attended this meeting and assisted in its organization. At this meeting the group voted to call Reverend Frank Odor to be its first pastor.

On August 8, 1865, twenty-one men, women, and children met in Vienna Town Hall for the first Sunday School. Twenty-five individuals attended the first morning service, and thirty-six individuals attended the evening service. Reverend James Jennings was the first pulpit supply.

Reverend Frank Odor met with the five families for mid-week prayer meetings beginning at the end of August, and on August 31, 1965, twenty-four persons signed the membership charter. Reverend Odor assumed the pastorate of the Vienna Baptist Church on September 26, 1965.

When the congregation reached seventy-five members, it moved into the Mathews High School cafeteria for Sunday services. The New Life Center on Warren-Sharon Road was used for a time for Sunday evening services. Prayer meetings were held at the Town Hall.

Pastoral Ministry

The following individuals have served in the pulpit of Vienna Baptist Church:

Rev. Frank Odor (1965-1973)
Mr. William Bosco (1973-1975)
Rev. Max McCullough (1975-1978)
Rev. J. Gordon Dandignac (1978-1981)
Reverend Frank Odor (1981-1991)
Mr. Micah Wilton (1992-1994)
Reverend Frank Odor (1994-1995)

Updated 8/13/2020
This entry is adapted from Rev. Frank Odor, "Vienna Baptist Church," in Vienna, Ohio, "Where We Live and Let Live": Town 4, Range 2 of the Connecticut Western Reserve (Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 1999), p. 155.