In the early 1900's immigrants became a principal concern of the church. A mission to Chinese people was established and Chinese were received as members. An Industrial School reached out to boys and girls of various ages. A School of Domestic Arts for women was created with the help of five other churches, and this became the forerunner of what was the Margaret Morrison School for Women at Carnegie Institute of Technology (now CMU). A Toy Mission became one of the most popular charities in Pittsburgh and provided countless children with Christmas gifts for many years. A ministry for the deaf helped hearing-impaired people receive the good news of the Savior. After the church moved to Oakland children from the School for the Deaf were active in the church, and sermons and lessons were signed for them. Summer "fresh air" programs, at church-owned Camp Myler, introduced city children to the countryside of western Pennsylvania. The severe recession of 1894 prompted the congregation to organize a food bank, and this continued through 1904.
Ministry in the early 1900's included a physical culture department tied closely to Camp Myler which welcomed children of any race, creed, or color. Sunday Night Supper Club drew large numbers of young adults from across the county. A business and professional women's group came into being, and Pennsylvania Baptists used First Baptist as a base for campus ministry to twenty five colleges and universities.
The church discovered radio soon after KDKA began broadcasting. Sermons were carried over the air waves in 1923. The most unusual use of radio came on Easter Sunday 1941, when Dr. Clausen, the church quartet and organist, with a pump organ, broadcast over KDKA a sunrise service from a DC-3 flying 10,000 feet above the city.
A woman became a trustee in 1941 and women were elected to the Board of Deacons in 1964. In 1980 women chaired both the Board of Deacons and the Board of Trustees, and in 1982 the first ordained woman, Rev. Thelma C. Mitchell, was selected as Minister-to-Students. Miss Mitchell is also the first African American person to serve the church as a minister.
Dr. Clausen and Dr. Moseley after him steadfastly promoted the causes of civil rights and peace. Succeeding clergy have kept the tradition alive. Dr. Stromee preached a sermon from the steps of Heinz Chapel during protests against the Vietnam War. Under Dr. Stromee important cooperative relationships were created with the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors and the Civic Center Chapter of AARP. A mutually beneficial contract with The Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, enabling WPIC to conduct a Therapeutic Activities Center for mentally handicapped adults from Monday through Friday in the church basement.
Cultural support for liberal religion, so essential to the church from 1920 into the 50's, diminished in the 60's and 70's. Ministry in recent years has looked to the late 1900's for clues to identity and forgotten pathways in ministry. One response to present realities has been to make the building a place of mission. The Korean Mission Church worshiped here for four years. The Chinese Campus Fellowship, Pittsburgh Chinese Church, Mid-town Chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous, and at least a dozen other groups whose purposes are congruent with those of the church used rooms in the building. The location nearby of the hospital with an organ transplant team has given us the opportunity of helping several families through those difficult times.