Elder J. P. Edwards and Deacon S, Wyman, assisted by Elders Thomas Slayden and William M, Crawford, organized the Clinton Baptist Church of Jesus Christ December 12, 1833. There were ten members on this date namely: Stephen and Sherwood Ray, Coleman Ringo, Martin Nail, Sarah Moore, Polly Jordan, Liddia Flemming, Francis Nail, Francis Garner and Elizabeth Spicer.
In 1834 Elder J. P. Edwards was called as the first pastor, to preach on the fourth Sunday in each month and the Saturday before for $50.00 a year. There are no records verifying where the church held services until about 1851 when Clinton Baptist Church purchased a lot on the east side of the court square for the purpose of building a place of worship. This lot today is part of the Hickman County Annex Building. A story and a half wooden building was erected with the church using the first floor for church services and the Masonic Lodge occupied the second floor. This building and lot was sold to John T. Moore.
A new lot was donated on the south side of the court square where First Community Bank is today. An auditorium and a large east room and front rooms were build and worship services began in 1890 in this building. In March 1914 the church purchased the lot on the west side of the church building and built a Sunday School Annex. The church bell was hung in the church tower in 1920. When the church moved the bell was taken out of the tower and it now sits on the lawn of the present church building.
Clinton First Baptist has always been mission-oriented. Early in the history of the county Clinton First Baptist helped form two other churches in the county, one in Columbus and one at New Hope. In 1873 it was the sponsor for Clinton College that operated for about forty years. A "preachers' school" was proposed by West Kentucky Baptist Association and so West Kentucky Baptist Bible Institute was begun in 1949 with classes meeting in Clinton Baptist Church. In April 1950 Clinton First Baptist voted to purchase and provide a suitable building to house the West Kentucky Baptist Bible Institute. The old Cresap house was bought for this purpose and the school remained at this location until 1957 when moved to Mayfield and became Mid-Continent Baptist Bible College. After West Kentucky Baptist Bible Institute moved, the church established a mission Sunday School in the building. In 1954 the mission was constituted into a church composed of forty-two members to form Second Baptist Church of Clinton. A lot was donated and a building was erected by Clinton First Baptist Church.
In 1959 the Clinton First Baptist Church purchased eleven acres on Mayfield Road and in the spring of 1964 voted to build a new church. The new building was dedicated on November 8, 1964. In October 1981 the church voted to build additional space to include an educational building and an activities building, in the fall of 1982 the classrooms were put into use and the activities building was completed later.
In the past ten years the present auditorium and staff offices were renovated with a welcome center added along with a carport at the side doors. In 2011 the activities building, downstairs kitchen and restrooms were completely renovated.
The pastor at Clinton First Baptist church today is Bro. Kevin W. Clark. His wife, Kari, is director of Women of First Ladies Ministry. They have three children Tyler, who is in college, Wade and Bailey who are in high school and are very active in the youth group.
[History provided by the church. Document from Ben Stratton, Farmington, KY. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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