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Christian County, Kentucky
     The Baptists of the Pembroke community first worshipped with the people of the Fairview community in a church known as "Old Bethel," located two miles from Pembroke on the right hand side of the road going toward Fairview.

      As their own community grew, the people of Pembroke desired a church in their own town. Records vary as to the exact date of organization One account states: "On the fourth Sunday in May, 1884, a presbytery was called consisting of three ministers (Dr. J.M. Peay, Rev. H. P. Lockett and Dr. J. N. Prestige) organizing fifty-one members into a church to be called Pembroke Baptist Church." Another date given for the organization is July 3rd, of that year. Whichever date is correct, it seems certain that seventy-nine members at one meeting, and twelve more at another, withdrew from Bethel Church by calling for their letters to build a house of worship at Pembroke. The names of the charter members of the new church were as follows:

James Richardson
Mattie Richardson
May A. Rust
C. R. Reynolds, Sr.
Fidelia Rawlins
J. J. Stewart
L. Stewart
B. M. Trabue
James Trice
Mollie Trice
Herbert L. Trice
S. F. Williams
Mary J. Trice
Mary T. Williams
John C. Fruit
Asenath Fruit
Hattie D. Bronaugh
Francis A. Garnett
Margaret T. Garnett
Rosa L. Garnett
R. C. Jameson
E. B. Kenner
R. R. Lloyd
Elizabeth Lloyd
Annie Lloyd
M. G. Miller
Samantha Owen
W. F. Morris
Annie McRae
Ada Ogburn Trice
E. J. Murphy
Catherine S. Poore
Lelia M. Peay
Annie W. Murphy
E. G. Barclay
W. M. Bronaugh
Charles Bronaugh
D. A. Bronaugh
John D. Bronaugh
Donie E. Bronaugh
H. C. Bronaugh
Jennie P. Bronaugh
Lillie Bronaugh
W. H. Chastaine
W. W. Garnett
Rebecca Dudley
V. A. Garnett
John P. Garnett
Sallie A. Garnett
      James Richardson, S. F. Williams, Sr., and John P. Garnett, who were deacons at Bethel, were named the first deacons of Pembroke Baptist Church.

      Even before the new church was organized a committee consisting of: John P. Garnett, Thomas Jameson, and B. L. Leavell, M.D. had been selected to solicit subscriptions for the building of a house of worship. Within a week the amount subscribed had reached $3,000.00. With the erection of the building assured, a committee on location was appointed. W. W. Garnett, W. M. Bronaugh and R. C. Jameson selected a lot on the east side of Main Street near the center of town. The lot was purchased from its owner, R. C. Jameson, for $250.00, a sum later given by him toward the construction of the new building.

      Both the original building (built at a cost of $4,665) and the furnishings (purchased for $565.00) are still in use. A pulpit chair was donated by George O. Thompson, and carpeting was given by the ladies of the church. Other items were purchased as needed including a bell.

      During the period of construction, lasting several months, the church met hi Miller's Hall. It was there, on August 2, 1884, that a number of new members were received. Among these was Miss Fannie Garnett, the first member to be received by baptism.

      The first pastor of the Pembroke Baptist Church was Rev. J. M. Peay, who had been pastor of Bethel Church. He was called for half-time, at a salary of $600 a year plus a parsonage purchased from Bethel Church at a cost of $860.00. This house, long since torn down, was on the road to Fairview across from the present water tank.

      A Sunday School which provided for men, ladies, and the younger people was begun in September, 1884, with E. J. Murphy as superintendent.

      On April 19, 1885, at the dedication service, the pastor, Rev. J. M. Peay, described the building as "one of the most elegant, tasteful, and comfortable houses of worship and one of the prettiest in this part of the state". Dr. T. T. Eaton preached the dedicatory sermon.

      Growth through the years has necessitated the provision of additional space. One in 1910, in 1949, in 1962 and a fourth addition in 2000. The nave also greatly enlarged the original structure. A brick pastorium was built next to the church in 1957, replacing the house across the street which had served since 1907 as the pastor's residence.

      From the beginning Pembroke Baptist Church has manifested a concern for missions. The first collection for State Missions was $56.70. The W.M.U. was organized in 1902, with Mrs. John P. Garnett as its first president. During the five-year period of the 75 Million Campaign the church raised, in addition to local expenses, approximately $25,000 for missions.

      During the pastorate of Rev. J. D. Herndon, participation in the Cooperative Program was begun. For several years a voluntary offering has been given for Miss Sarah Frances Miller, a former church member who served as a missionary in Brazil under the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society.

      Two men from the Pembroke Baptist Church are now serving in the ministry, Rev. J. B. Maddux, Jr. and Rev. Denny Burchett.

      Twenty seven men have served as pastors of Pembroke Baptist Church since it was organized. The pastors, with the approximate length of service for each follows:

J. M. Peay - 3 years
J. G. Bow - 7 months
T. E. Tiler - 2 years
J. M. Phillips - 5 years
J. G. Bow - 4 years
A. R. Bond - 3 years
W. E. Mitchell - 8 years
C. P. Scott - 2 years
O. C. Payton - 2 years
B. E. Herring - 2 years
A. R. Willet - 8 years
A. H. Webb - 8 years
Robert Locke - 9 years
Charles Burgett - 15 years
J. D. Herndon - 4 years
G. T. Greenwell - 2 years
O. G. Priddy - 8 months
J. W. Wood - 1 year
P. C. Walker - 5 years
Earl Mitchell - 2 years
J. T. Spurlin - 2 years
J. A. Porter - 3 years
Carl McNeill - 2 years
J. W. Watt - 2 years
W. B. Brookshire - 2 years
J. T. Spurlin - 4 years
Frank Deese - 1 year - Interim
Mark Marshall - 1 year - Interim
Jack Studie - 2000 - to
Bobby Sellers - present pastor
      Pembroke Baptist Church has been a member of the Christian County Baptist Association since the association's beginning in 1923.

[Prepared 7-2005. Document supplied by Ben Stratton, Farmington, KY. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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