Van Boone Castleberry, son of William Worth and Fronia Elizabeth Castleberry, born January 30, 1898 near Benton, Kentucky. Van Boone was one of seven children.
Van Boone trusted the Lord as his Savior August 1910 at the age of 12. By 1914 he felt the Lord was calling him to preach. In 1915 at age 16, he was licensed to preach by his home church. His first sermon was at New Bethel Church, a few miles west of Benton, Kentucky, his home town. Van Boone had been born with a speech handicap which he worked at overcoming. His education was limited as he did not finish high school, completing only one year. As a result he had no college or seminary training, He gained knowledge by studying the writings and teachings of others.
In 1916 Van Boone attended Hall-Moody at Martin, Tennessee, a school for men who had not completed school. While there he was called as pastor of Hamlet Baptist Church, (east of Benton, Kentucky) and they ask that his home church ordain him. He was ordained April 29, 1917.
Van Boone transferred from Hall-Moody to Bethel College at Russellville, Kentucky in 1917 . In 1918 Calvary Baptist Church called him as pastor. He married on October 30, 1918. They had four children Mary Elizabeth, John, William and David.
From 1919 until 1922 Van Boone served as pastor of several churches in Kentucky and Tennessee:
1919 Kirsey, Kentucky - Kirsey Baptist Church
1920 Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Salem Church - one Sunday a month
Wards Grove Church - one Sunday a month
Greendale Church - one Sunday a month
Powell's Chapel - one Sunday a month
1921 Murfreesboro, Tennessee Wards Grove Church - two Sundays a month
Powell's Chapel - two Sundays a month
In 1922 Van Boone resigned his pastorate to go to Brazil as a missionary. While preparing to go to Brazil he was employed by the Kentucky Board of Missions. Van Boone and his family left for Brazrl on October 8, 1923. They were forced to return to the United States in August 1926 due to ill health of both Van Boone and his wife.
In March of 1921 he again obtained a position with the Kentucky Baptist State Board of Missions, Greenup Association. He served as pastor at the Grayson Church, Grayson, Kentucky in 1927. The first church which he helped to organize was at Hichens, Kentucky in 1928. He had a weekly radio program from June of 1931 until August of 1936. The program originated from Huntington, West Virginia. From 1932 to 1933 he was moderator of the Greenup Association. He was pastor of the Central Baptist Church, Ashland, Kentucky January 30, 1933 to August 19, 1936. From 1941 until November 1, 1943 he was pastor of the Broadway Baptist Church, Richmond, Kentucky.
Van Boone was called to be pastor at West Side Baptist (Hamilton, OH), and assumed the position on November 1, 1943. He resigned his position with the Kentucky Baptist State Mission Board after 16 years. While at West Side Baptist he led the church to leave the Kentucky State Convention and join the White Water Association (1944). In 1945 Van Boone was elected Moderator of the White Water Association. He was instrumental in many of the surrounding churches joining the White Water Association. In June of 1941 he was chosen to be the White Water Associational Missionary. He remained at West Side until a replacement could be found. He served as Missionary from June 1947 until September 1952.
In April 1951, Van Boone began mission work in New Castle, Indiana; a church was organized on July 22, 1951. He served as pastor 1951 - 1952. Work began on organizing an Indiana Association of Missionary Baptist and a State Convention. In November 1951, Van Boone was elected Director of Missions and Evangelism for the New Association. In 1953, mission work began in Portland, Indiana. The First Baptist Church of Portland was organized on May 3, 1955 with 16 charter members.
Van Boone served as pastor of the First Baptist, Connersville, Indiana, October 1955 - July 1957. Served in Anderson, Indiana from July 1957 - November 1959. He returned to New Castle November 1, 1959. On January 21,1962 Van Boone suffered a near fatal heart attack. He retired from full-time work and returned to Hamilton, Ohio in May 1962. After recovering from his heart attack, he did supply work, interim pastor work, and revivals until 1972 when his health began to fail. He went to be with the Lord on December 21, 1976. During his life time he received many honors for his work as missionary, pastor and organizer. In his capacity as missionary he organized or helped organize eleven churches in Kentucky from 1928 - 1942, eleven churches in Ohio from 1947 - 1951, twelve churches in Indiana from 1951 - 1958. a total of 34 churches in 30 years.
[Information for this biographical sketch selected from a biography titled "A CHOSEN VESSEL," written by Mrs. V. B. Castleberry.
He pastored West Side Baptist Church November 1, 1943 - November 1, 1947. From "The Sixty-fifth Anniversary of West Side Baptist Church, Hamilton, Ohio." via Google. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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