Original Class
Original Class
What do twins Laura Cole Thrash and Leah Cole Jarrell, Marty Stuart, Cynthia Williams Jordan and 18 others have in common? They all were a part of the first kindergarten class at First Baptist Church of Philadelphia in 1964!

On Sunday, the classmates and others who have gone through the kindergarten program in its 50 years of service to the community will join in a special celebration during the 11 a.m. service at First Baptist.

Past directors will be recognized during the service. What's more, the preschool choir is scheduled to sing.

"We are going to talk about how the child ministry started and the plans and goals we have for the future," Jennifer Prince, director, said.

An open house and reception are planned that afternoon from 2 to 4 p.m.

"We will have tours of the child ministry center," Jennifer said. "Past, present and even people who are considering looking at us are invited. The rooms will be open for tours and my staff will be there to answer any questions. The reception will include cake and punch."

Jennifer is looking forward to the celebration. She has been at the helm of the child ministry for the past 10 years.

The public is invited to the morning service and reception on Sunday.

"It is an exciting time just to know that we have been around for 50 years supporting and helping our community," Jennifer said. "I think that is a goal to achieve. We are looking forward to the future. I'm really wanting to expand so we can reach more of our community. Con-structing a new facility to house the child ministry is part of our long range plans."

The late Mrs. J. C. Walton was the first director of the kindergarten program at First Baptist. In the 1980s, the church added daycare to its child ministry.

Today, there are 110 children in the children ministry, which includes the daycare, and a three and four-year-old kindergarten program.

The ministry is staffed with teachers who provide a loving and nurturing environment. The staff seeks to guide the children in developing spiritually, socially, physically and educationally.

After school care is also a part of the ministry.

Dr. Dan Howard is pastor of First Baptist. Below are recipes for some of the children's favorite foods at the center.

Chicken N Dumplings

30 leg quarters

1 49.25-ounce can Cream of Chicken soup

6 packs Tortillas, cut into small pieces

Preboil chicken day before. After chicken has cooled remove all bones. Place chicken and stock in refrigerator. Next day add cream of chicken and chicken to stock and let come to a boil. Add cut up tortillas a little at a time. Cook on medium/low for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.


2 6-pound cans of Red Beans, drained

1 2-pound bag of frozen onions

4 pounds of rope sausage

12 cups of uncooked rice.

Prepare rice as directed on package. Cook sausage in oven for approximately 30 minutes. Once rice and sausage is complete add remaining ingredients and cook on low for approximately 1 1/2 hours stirring frequently.

Shepherd's Pie

6 pounds of ground meat

5 pounds of shredded cheese

6 cups of mash potatoes flakes

Precook ground meat and drain. Cook mash potatoes flakes according to package. Grease a cooking sheet. Add ground meat, then potatoes and top with shredded cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted, usually around 30 minutes.

Chex Mix

1/2 cup olive oil

6 cups wheat chex cereal

6 cups regular chex cereal

6 cups gold fish

2 packs dry ranch dressing mix

Mix cereals and goldfish together. Pour oil over top and mix well. Sprinkle ranch dressing over top and mix. Spread mixture onto a pan and let dry.

Tortillas with Brown sugar

50 flour or whole wheat tortillas

1 pound of brown sugar

1 pound butter.

Melt butter and stir in brown sugar until completely dissolved. Spread over tortillas and bake at 350 degrees until brown. Each child gets 1/2 tortillas.

Fruit Cobbler

2-6 pound cans of fruit (we like peaches)

4 cups of sugar

4 cups self rising flour

4 cups mill

Pour fruit on bottom of a large greased baking pan. Mix sugar, flour and milk together and then pour over fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes.