"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is,
and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Hebrews 11:6
The history of First Bible Church is a testimony to the fact that God is REAL and is still rewarding them that diligently seek Him! In 1975, Pastor Mel Sabaka from Canton, Ohio, came here with his family and other members of Canton Baptist Temple to plant a Bible believing church on Staten Island. They came with no gimmicks, no bag of tricks, no worldly strategy for "success"; but with an undying love and enthusiasm for the Savior. Their goal was simply to teach and preach the life changing truths of God's Word and gather together a group of people willing to build their lives on that eternal Book.
God began to bless that small team of missionaries. They worked and witnessed and waited for God's Holy Spirit to open the windows of heaven, and He did! In October, 1975, just two months after the first prayer meeting in the Sabaka home, God provided a place for them to meet at 522 Mill Road. It wasn't much to look at: just a one-room, wood-frame building with no heat and no plumbing. Looking back, it's surprising that anyone came to church in such a humble setting but they did! God was getting glory, not through buildings, but through the lives of His people!
When we outgrew the building on Mill Road, God taught us once again to trust Him and lean on the promises of His Word. One evening a young couple in our church had a visit from an insurance salesman who came to try to sell them some life insurance, but instead they spoke to him about Jesus Christ and eternal life. Soon afterward that man got saved and introduced us to a businessman who had a large building for sale, an old warehouse down by the railroad tracks. With no money for the purchase, we prayed. Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call unto me and I will answer thee and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not." The Lord answered those prayers in a wonderful way. Not only did He provide all of the needed finances, but the businessman who sold us the building was won to Christ! He and his family, along with the insurance salesman and his family and relatives, became a part of our congregation and remain a part of our church to this day.
In October, 1993, our congregation went through a difficult transition as our founding pastors, Mel and Dan Sabaka, decided to step down from the pastorate and soon afterward moved away to take up new ministries elsewhere. We will forever be in their debt for the eighteen years of preaching and teaching that gave our church a solid foundation of sound doctrine and a passionate love for the Word of God. The following month (November, 1993), with Pastor Mel’s blessing, the congregation called upon one of its own, Michael Veach, who was serving as the assistant pastor, to take up the mantle of leadership to serve the Lord as the new pastor of the church.
By God’s grace, First Bible Church continues to carry on the work of the ministry in this “strong city”, the greatest mission field in the world, New York City. We rejoice to see God continue to work in our midst, saving souls, training up believers and sending out labourers into His harvest. Our heart’s desire and prayer to God for the future is that we will be faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ no matter what: faithful to stand without apology for the authority and perfection of His word, the King James Bible; faithful to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) and faithful to glorify our Saviour for every blessing we have and for every good thing that gets accomplished in this place! After all, the history of First Bible Church is truly His story. “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." – Ephesians 3:21