The Muhlenberg Couhty Baptist Association is relatively young when compared with the age of some of the Baptist churches now in its membership. Hazel Creek, Nelson Creek, and possibly Old Bethel had been active churches for over a hundred years when the Association was constituted in 1907.
The early history of the county and, in a general way, the history of the Baptist people and of the Baptist churches may be found in Chapter One of A History of the Muhlenburg Baptist Association.
In this chapter short histories of the individual churches belonging to the Association are given. Each church was asked by the Historical Committee to furnish the Committee with its history. The most of them compiled. Some of these histories gave the name of the compiler. Where this was done, credit is given. The Committee extends sincere thanks both to those who signed their names and to those who did not.
In most instances the author-editor added statistical information gathered from a study of the minutes of the Association from 1907 through 1965.
The church histories are given alphabetically except for Forest Oak, New Prospect, Paradise, Pleasant Hill, and Riverside. These will be found toward the end of the chapter. _____________
Beech Creek Baptist Church
In 1910 the Hazel Creek Baptist Church organized a branch Sunday School at Beech Creek, Kentucky. This was the beginning of the Beech Creek Baptist Church. The church was organized in the fall of 1912 at the home of Mrs. Ezra Howerton. There was thirty-seven charter members: Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Underwood, Dayton Underwood, Clyde Underwood, Mr. and Mrs. Ezra Howerton, J. J. Pogue, Mrs. Effie Dillinger, Mrs. Lucy Carver, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Wood, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Hawes, Mr. and Mrs. Willie Stuart, Mr. and Mrs. Dick Redfern, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Hughes, Golden Hughes, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Hughes, Mr. and Mrs. Welton Bradley, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Ray, Elwood Ray, Mr. and Mrs. B. B. Posey, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Tipton, Ernie Posey, Ora
Mohon, Mrs. Hager Williams, H. L. Mohon, and Mrs. Nora Gill. Bro. J. W. Gill was elected the first pastor. Five deacons were elected for the newly organized church: Tom Ray, Ezra Howerton, Clarence Wood, J. J. Pogue, and Welton Bradley. The first trustees were B. B. Posey and Alfred Underwood. Clarence Wood was elected for church clerk.
Services were held in the Miners' Hall until a church could be built. This building was finished and dedicated in 1914.
The first revival was held in 1913 with a great number of decisions for the Lord. During the early years of the church, mission revivals were held often. Ministerial students from Bethel College in Russellville helped in these revivals.
In 1927 a new building was erected on a different site and the old building was sold to the Holiness denomination. The new building was dedicated about two years later.
The year of 1928 was the most outstanding year in the history of the church. During a revival in July, 135 lost souls were saved into the Kingdom of God. 118 joined the church by baptism, and 38 came by letter. The offering for the Cooperative Program increased ten per cent. There was an increase in membership of 142 which made a total membership of 365. The pastor's sallary [sic] was $600 for the year. This was certainly a joyous year in the work of our Lord.
In 1929 during the annual revival there were thirty conversions and twenty-six additions to the church. The membership then totaled 371. The mission fund for the Cooperative Program was raised in 1930. During this year there were 41 conversions and 29 baptisms. This raised the membership to 385. Four deacons were ordained in August of 1932. The church roll contained 401 names this year.
In November of 1933 this budget was adopted for the church: fifty per cent was set aside for the pastors salary, ten per cent for missions, and forty per cent for the Cooperative Program. This was changed in 1942 to provide sixty percent for the pastor's salary, fifteen per cent for local expenses, fifteen per cent for the Cooperative Program, five per cent for charity, and five percent for reserve.
In February of 1945 three deacons were ordained — C. E. McLemore, Ozra Mefford, and Raymond Mefford. In 1953 three more deacons were ordained — D. M. Vincent, T .B. Bandy, and James Strader. C. W. Mefford, O. E. Ewing, and L. A. Mohon were ordained in 1958, and James Edmonds in 1965.
A vestibule was built onto the church in 1948. In 1954 an annex of five rooms and a full size basement were added.
The first pastor to move on the field was Bro. T. T. Moore in 1922, but not all pastors have lived on the field. In 1954 a parsonage was bought, and since that time a house has been provided for the pastor. In 1950 a new parsonage was built on the present site.
Preaching services were held once a month until 1916 when half time preaching was started. In 1919 the church returned to fourth time preaching. Half time preaching was resumed in 1931, and full time preaching was begun in 1938.
The church has licensed four ministers: Brothers Gordon Reynolds,
L. A. Whitaker, David Mefford, and Dan Hughes, Jr. The church has had several members who have gone into full time Christian service.
The church now has full time preaching, a parsonage valued at $4,000, a church building valued at $15,000. It pays the pastor a salary of $75 a week. The membership is 180. Its organizations are Sunday School, Training Union, Woman's Missionary Union, Girl's auxiliary, and Sunbeam Band.
The first Sunday School superintendent was Ezra Howerton. When the church was first organized Sunday School was held in the afternoon and only during the summer months. Soon an "Evergreen" Sunday School was started which meant services would be held the year round. In January of 1928 the attendance was 200. In June it reached the peak of 342. The number enrolled was 355. The enrollment dropped to 195 in 1929 and to 190 in 1930. The first Sunday School study course was held in 1932 with an enrollment of 168. The first Vacation Bible School was held in 1938.
A B.Y.P.U. was organized in 1917, again in 1928, and again in 1934. These early attempts did not prove too successful, but in 1946 a Training Union was organized with Bryan Clark as director. There was approximately 40 charter members. The present enrollment is 67 with an average attendance of 36.
The first W.M.U. was organized in 1916 with ten charter members. Because of a lack of interest it had to be reorganized in 1922. A Sunbeam Band and a Girl's Auxiliary was organized at the same time.
A Brotherhood was organized in 1954, but because of a lack of interest it has been discontinued.
Pastors who have served the church are: Brethren J. W. Gill, 1912-1915; A. C. Doris, 1915-1917; J. A. Brannon, 1918-1920; Arthur Holland, 1920-1922; T. T. Moore, 1922; J. W. Gill, 1923-1925; T. T. Moore, 926-1927; L. P. Whitaker, 1928-1931; Morris Prince, 1931-1934; S. T. Skaggs, 1934-1938; T. G. Shelton, 1939-1941; T. S. Southard, 1942-1944; Kenneth Clindaniel, 1944-1946; John S. Jennings, 1947-1952; John W. Brandon, 1953-1955; John R. Couch, 1955-1957; Freddie Denton ,1957-1958; Joe Prater, 1959-1962; Roy Francis, Jr., 1962-1965; Perry Fletcher, 1966.
Editors Note: Membership has varied greatly as the foregoing history shows. The fewest seems to have been in the early '50's when 152 were reportd. This increased to 180 in 1965.
The pastor's annual salary was $125 in 1913. The salary has been $3,600 since 1960.
Mission payments started at $40 in 1913. Since 1955 the amount has been from $1,000 to $2,000 a year.
The number of baptisms reported from 1912 to 1965 has been 619. ____________
Beechmont Baptist Church
The Beechmont Missionary Baptist Church was constituted November 27, 1955, in the store building of C. E. McLemore, Beechmont, Kentucky. Sunday School had been meeting in said building since March 6, 1955. Eighteen were present at the first meeting.
Brother Dencle Lewis, Graham, Kentucky, came to us in May 1955 as our first pastor. This was his first pastorate. We paid him $37.50 a month plus living quarters.
The new church was sponsored by the Hazel Creek Baptist Church other than for financial obligations.
The constituent council was made up of pastors and deacons from sixteen Muhlenberg County Baptist churches. Brother John Brandon called the meeting to order. Brother R. H. Forsythe served as moderator and Brother Gail Clardy as Clerk. Brother E. E. Spickard, Mt. Pisgah, brought the sermon on "The Work of the Church." Brother H. K. Langston prayed the organization prayer.
The constituent membership was made up of Mrs. Gertie Tucker, Alford Cottrell, May Cottrell, Alfreda Cottrell, May Cottrell, Alfreda Cottrell, Henry Brigance, Mrs. Henry Brigance, Mrs. Gladys Luckett, Mrs. Bernice McLemore, W. J. Wilkerson, Mrs. Pearl Wilkerson, Melvin Mclntosh, Mrs. Eva Jenkins, Monroe Luckett, Brother Dencil Lewis, Mrs. Louise Lewis, Patricia Lewis, June Lewis, C. E. McLemore, and Clayton Anderson from the Hazel Creek Baptist Church; D. M. Vincent, Mrs. D. M. Vincent, Mrs. Tom Lyons, Jo Ann Lyons, and Mrs. Horace Smith from the Beech Creek Baptist Church; Helen Mclntosh and Wilda Mclntosh from the Penrod Baptist Church; and Mrs. Vina Wester from the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.
Officials chosen by the church were C. E. McLemore and D. M. Vincent, deacons; Clayton Anderson, Alfred Cottrell, and Monroe Luckett, trustees; Melvin Mclntosh, clerk; C. E. McLemore, treasurer; D. M. Vincent, music director; W. J. Wilkerson, usher; and Melvin Mclntosh, jainitor.
At this writing (November, 1965) we have seventy-three members. Death has claimed five of our charter members plus one other.
In June 1956 the basement of our church building was completed. Seven Sunday School rooms and an auditorium. It was debt free in December 1959. In January 1965 the church auditorium, constructed of bricks, was completed. The total cost of the entire investment was $30,000.00 The debt at this writing is less than $6,000.00. Approved by the church November 11, 1965. Mrs. C. E. McLemore, Historian. Editor's note taken from Associational minutes:
Pastors: Rev. Dencle Lewis, 1956 and 1957; Rev. Boyce Newman, 1958 to 1965. Treasurer: C. E. McLemore, 1956 to 1965. Sunday School Superintendents: Henry Brigance, 1956-1959; Eugene Luckett, 1960-1965. In 1956 the church had 33 members, paid her pastor $900, gave $270 for all missions, and paid $4,533 for all purposes. In 1964 she had 74 members, paid her pastor $2,800, gave $561 for all missions, and paid out $5,108 for all purposes. Sunday School enrollment increased from 55 in 1956 to 67 in 1964. A total of 27 people have been baptized into the church from 1956 through 1965, 19 of these during the first three years. In 1966 she baptized 3, reported 79 members, 81 enrolled in Sunday School, contributed $715 to missions, expended $7,425 for all purposes. Rev. Stanford Simmons was pastor. _________
Bethel Baptist Church
The church building burned in 1960. No picture available.
Bethel Baptist Church is no longer in existence, but because of the influence it had in the establishment of other churches in this area, the following brief history of this church is presented.
The exact date Bethel Church was organized is not known because the first records have been destroyed. It is believed to have been in existence as early as 1801.
The first authentic written records available are the records of a business meeting of the Arm at Charles' Chapel. This was dated October 1866. No further mention of this Arm is recorded until September 1869. At this time the members composing the Arm at Charles' Chapel requested letters of dismission to organize a body. The request was granted. This Arm is believed to be what is now Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church.
In 1811 Bethel extended an Arm which is now New Hope Baptist Church. This arm did business as the Arm of Bethel Church from 1811 until 1824 and perhaps later.
The first church building at Bethel was a log building. At a later date a brick building was erected at or near the site of the original log building.
In May 1917, J. B. Noffsinger, J. R. Reno, W. D. Tudor were appointed a committee to dispose of the old brick building and to collect funds to erect a suitable house of worship. This building was a frame house with weatherboarding on the outside and plastered walls on the inside.
During the months of October, November, and December 1917, the services were held in Eades School house because the old brick building was being torn down. The first services in the new frame building were held February 22, 1918.
This buliding was dedicated August 1918. The Muhlenberg County Baptist Association met at Bethel on this date and the dedication services were held on the first day of this meeting. The Association met here again in 1958.
Old hand-made benches were disposed of August 24, 1918. It was wired for electricity in April 1953.
No major changes were made in this building until the spring of 1958 when Sunday School rooms and a basement were added to the rear of the church building. The addition of a furnace made it possible to have central heating. This part of the building was dedicated May 1960.
Late Saturday evening November 19, 1960, a fire of unknown origin completely destroyed the church building with all of its furniture.
At a special business session at the New Harmony Church, November 27, 1960, the members of Bethel Church voted not to rebuild the church. The reasons for this decision being: there was now no longer a community at Bethel, and most members were driving from other communities to the services. The members felt they would be of greater service in the communities where they now lived.
Other notes of interest: The church roll listed 17 slaves as members of the church in 1856. They were listed by first name only. October 13, 1906, three delegates were chosen to meet with Hazel Creek Church for the purpose of discussing the advisability of organizing a Muhlenberg County Baptist Association. August 10, 1907, Bethel sent delegates to both Little Bethel Association and to the Muhlenberg County Baptist Associaion. At this time Bethel sent a request for a letter of dismission from Little Bethel to join Muhlenberg County. February 3, 1911, the church was called a Missionary Baptist Church. Before this date it was called the United Brethren Church at Bethel. March 23, 1912, the church met to organize a Sunday School. January 25, 1947, the church adopted the budget system. January 14, 1956, the church went from quarter time to half time preaching. January 1960, the church went to full time preaching.
Pastors: Brethren W. H. Woodson, 1868-1873; Charles Karins, 1874-1877; T. W. Pritchett, 1878-1879; W. W. Williams, 1880-1883; J. T. Casebier, 1884-1885; W. H. Woodson, 1886-1894; J. D. Woodson, 1895-1896; W. H. Woodson, 1897; R. E. Smith, 1898; J. W. Gill, 1899-1905; J. H. Coleman, 1906-1911; T. M. Welburn, 1912-1913; I. B. Stuart, 1914-1918; John Grady, 1919; H. D. Divine, 1920-1921; W. H. Curl, 1922; L. P. Whittaker, 1923-1924; J. W. Gill, 1926; W. W. Wood-son, 1927; S. P. Browning, 1929; J. W. Gill, 1930-1931; Robert Spears, 1932-1934; Bryant Wice, 1935-1941; Ben Woodburn, 1942-1944; A. R. Procter, 1945-1947; L. B. Wice, 1948-1951; S. A. Kittinger, 1952-1956; Ora DeArmond, 1956-1960.
Clerks: Brethren G. M. Bibb, 1868-1871; T. J. Eades, 1872-1878; J. S. Edwards, 1879-1884; J. W. McLevain, 1885-1891; J. W. Durall, 1892; T. A. Eades, 1893-1902; J. W. Banner, 1903-1910; W. D. Tudor, 1911-1955; Willa Dean Noffsinger, 1956-1960.
Ministers licensed and ordained: L. J. Stirsman, ordained, 1881; J. R. Henry, licensed, 1883; W. T. Henry, licensed, 1887, ordained, 1889; Samuel Brown, licensed 1891; Lat Grundy, licensed 1916, ordained 1917; Houston Noffsinger, licensed 1960, ordained 1960. Compiled by Willa Dean Noffsinger.
Editor's note: [Frank] Masters says that Bethel belonged to the Little River Association previous to 1820 when it became a constituent member of the Highland Association which was organized that year. Highland Association, however, because "a rank anti-mission body" and in 1836 Bethel and three other churches withdrew from that Association giving as their reason "the violent opposition of a majority of that body to the benevolent institutions of the day" and "its repeated violation of the spirit and letter of its constitution." These four churches formed a new association, Little Bethel.
The first anniversary meeting of the Little Bethel Association (1837) met with Bethel Church. Three other churches joined the Association that year, Unity being one of them.
From a copy of the Little Bethel Association minutes for 1890, we learned that W. H. Woodson, W. P. Henry, and Samuel Brown were messengers from Bethel. Church membership was 282. The pastor, the Rev. W. H. Woodson, received a salary of $125 for the year. No mention is made of a mission expenditure by the church.
From minutes of the Muhlenberg County Baptist Association, we learned that Bethel had 160 members in 1907 and 151 members in 1960 when it disbanded. The pastor's salary was $30 a year in 1910; it had increased to $1,914 in 1960. No gifts to missions were reported in 1907, 1930, or in 1931; but $537 was given to missions in 1960. Total expenditures for all purposes was reported as $105 in 1907; as $4,784 in 1960. 230 baptisms were reported from 1907 to 1960. _________
Bethlehem Baptist Church
This brochure is dedicated to all the saints of God, pastors and members, glorified and living, who by their dauntless faith; perservering prayers; and sacrificial labors have kept the altar fires burning in Bethlehem Baptist Church for the past one hundred glorious years.
One hundred years ago, on Saturday, May 28, 1953, Elders K. G. Hay and William Bennett met at Scott's Schoolhouse with nine Baptists, who brought their letters and requested that they be constituted a United Baptist Church.
Scott's Schoolhouse stood in a beautiful woodland about a mile northwest of Bremen, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky; near the spot where the Bethlehem Baptist church-house now stands on the west side of Kentucky Highway 81, between Bremen and Sacremento.
These nine Baptists were: Daniel Harris, Thomas Drake, Elder William Welch, Mary Welch, Elizabeth Drake, Nancy C. Gossett, Mary E. Drake, and Sarah K. Drake.
Their letters of dismission being in regular order, they were approved and duly constituted a United Baptist Church, and thereupon immediately went into a business session, in which they chose Bethlehem as their name; Saturday before the second Sunday in every month for their conference meeting; and Elder William Welch for their pastor.
During the pastorate of Brother Welch, Bethlehem Church ordained her first deacons: Thomas Page and Walter Sparks; made her first mission offering; elected her first Mission Board member, Brother J. N. Rhoades; and took her first Foreign Mission offering, Brother John Noffsinger giving one-third of it.
Brother Welch continued his pastorate of the church till 1861 and his membership in the church till 1922, a total of 69 years during which time he remained a useful and honored member of the church.
On May 11, 1861, the church called Elder John M. Peay as pastor and he made a proposition to the church to which "the church agreed." If this refers to the pastor's salary, it is the first record of paying the pastor a salary.
Elder K. G. Hay accepted the call of the church as pastor in July of 1862, and continued till June 1866, a period of four years. During his pastorate Bethlehem ordained her first minister of the Gospel, Elder Charles Karnes, on April 7, 1866; and elected her first trustees — Jesse Welch, John Danner, and J. N. Rhoades — on December 9, 1865.
On June 9, 1866, Bethlehem called Elder W. H. Woodson who accepted and served the church till sometime in 1870. It was during his pastorate that the church erected its first house of worship in 1869, having used the schoolhouse for a period of sixteen years.
On December 10, 1870, Bethlehem called Elder Charles Karnes, her son in the ministry who served them four and one half years. Then Elder B. F. Swindler served from 1878-1881; Elder W. W. Williams, 1882-1883; Elder W. H. Woodson, his second pastorate, 1884-1891.
In October 1885, during Brother Woodson's second pastorate, the church minute makes record of a "glorious revival," eleven being added to the church membership. Then again in 1889 God visited the church with a great revival in which the church minute records "fifty odd souls converted, and twenty-five additions to the church". How fine it would have been if all the revivals at Bethlehem, with the number of professions of faith and additions to the church, had thus been made a matter of record in the church minutes.
Brother L. H. Voils served as pastor for five months during 1892; Brother W. H. Bell, 1893-1895; Brother W. D. Cox, 1896-1898; and Brother R. W. Danks, 1899-1902.
On March 7, 1896, the church adopted resolutions commending Dr. Fred D. Hale's course in combatting the traffic in his, the First Baptist Church, Owensboro, Kentucky. On April 11, 1896, the church had 20 additions to her membership, presumably from a revival meeting.
On March 12, 1897, the church ordained Brother Sylvanus
Shanks to the Gospel ministry, the presbytery consisting of Brethren W. H. Woodson, J. T. Casebier, L. J. Stirsman, Samuel Brown, and Pastor W. D. Cox.
In 1901 on February; 9th, and again on March 9th the record makes its first mention of a Sunday School. On the latter date it set March 31, 1901, at 2:00 P.M. to meet for the purpose of organizing a Sunday School.
On September 13, 1902, the church called Brother B. F. Jenkins as pastor at a salary of $200 a year. Pastor Jenkins held a revival with the church in November 1902 which resulted in fourteen professions of faith, and fourteen additions to the church by experience and baptism. After this revival the church appointed her first regular weekly prayer-meeting for "every Thursday night."
In 1904 Bethlehem Church entertained the Daviess County Baptist Association for its second and last time as she went into the Muhlenberg County Baptist Association when that body was organized at Nelson Creek Batist Church in 1907.
On December 10, 1904 the church called Brother J. D. Kocker as pastor. He served until the close of 1907. He was replaced by Brother W. W. Schwerdtfeger who served until April 1910. Brother J. N. Jarnegin began his pastorial labors with the church in May 1910 and resigned at the February meeting 1911. Brother B. F. Jenkins was then elected for the second time, but when the church voted to have a "missionary sermon" on April 14, 1912, this proved to be his last Sunday with the church. During the same month the church called Brother G. H. Lawrence. During his pastorate the church began regular monthly Mission offerings, and in November sent Brother R. W. Batsel as a messenger to the General Association of Kentucky Baptists which was meeting in Madisonville, Kentucky.
On February 9, 1913, the committee to investigate in regard to building a new church house was enlarged; and at their March meeting the church approved their plans and gave them "full right to go ahead". On March 7, 1914, the church requested that Pastor Lawrence preach the dedicatory sermon, which he did on Sunday, May 10, 1914.
Brother Arthur Holland served the church as pastor during 1916; Brother Thomas Woodson, one of the three preacher sons of W. H. Woodson, 1917 and 1918; Brother J. W. Gill, 1919; Brother L. P. Whitaker, 1920-1923; Brother S. P. Browning, 1924 and 1925; Brother T. T. Moore, 1926-1929.
Pastor Moore led the church in revival services in 1926. On July 25th the minutes records the baptism of six young people, and on Saturday, August 21, Brother Andrew Kittinger and wife Estel joined the church by letter.
On Sunday, August 28, 1927, Brethren W. J. Stirsman, Simon Whitmer, W. A. Robinson, and C. D. Vincent were ordained deacons.
On May 24, 1930, the church called Brother J. H. Boswell as pastor. He held a revival meeting with the church which resulted in 35 additions to the church, 25 of them being by profession of faith and baptism. Brother Boswell closed his pastorate of the church May 22, 1931.
On January 24, 1931, the church took loving note of the home-going of Brother L. J. Stirsman, which occured on January 5, 1931.
Brother L. P. Whitaker was pastor during 1932-1933; Brother Frank Farmer, 1934-1935; Brother Ishmael Phillips, 1936-1938.
On October 24, 1936, the church took note of the home-going of Brother Frank Farmer in tender "Resolutions of Respect and Sympathy."
Brother T. T. Moore was called and began his second pastorate of the church on December 31, 1938. This 'pastorate was to continue till November 28, 1946, thus giving him the second longest pastorate in Bethlehem history. During this pastorate the monthly offerings of the church increased from $19 to $159, and the pastor's salary from $15 for once a month preaching to $68 for twice a month preaching. Vacation Bible Schools were begun, gifts to missions and benevolences were greatly increased and church membership grew steadily.
Brother Hughlan P. Richey began pastoral care of the church in March 1947. An educational addition to the church building was begun and put well on its way; the Training Union was organized; the Sunday School grew from an enrollment of 86 to an enrollment of 121.
Brother Richey resigned and Brother W. W. Crowder became pastor in 1949. Brother Crowder resigned the following year and Brother John W. T. Givens supplied the pulpit until Brother Drexel R. Hankins began his pastoral labors December 17, 1950.
In 1951 the church set about building an $8,000 pastorium. Later the church auditorium was refinished and redecorated, and the educational addition was pushed to completion, providing 12 classrooms, a kitchen, two lavatories, two toilets, and other conveniences. Later still a beautiful baptistry was completed and an attractive front entrance was provided. The total building and improvements could not be duplicated for less than $25,000. [The 1964 report to the Association valued all the church property at $50,000.]
As we note the growth of Bethlehem Church during these past 100 years, from a membership of 9 at her constitution to a membership of 330 reported at our last Associational meeting [membership 382 in 1959], we rejoice at the wonderful grace and blessings of our God.
Bethlehem has entertained the Association five times to date and is to be host to the Association in this her centennial year .
As we think of the glorified saints who worshiped and served God here during the past 100 years, we may well say with the writer of Hebrews: "Wherefore seeing we are also compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finsher of our faith." Heb. 12:1-2. Rev. John W. T. Givens, Historian
Editor's Notes: Brother Givens' history covers the period to 1953. Some later statistics have been inserted in brackets by the editor. Brother Hankins served as pastor until 1959; Brother William Tucker, during 1960; Brother Robert Travils, during 1961 to July 1964; Brother Ed Bolton, 1965 to present. Pastor's salaries have increased from $150 in 1918 to $4,160 in 1964; mission offerings from not any in the early 1930's to $3,711 in 1965; total expenditures from $238 in 1907 to $20,205 in 1958.
Sunday School enrollment has increased from 58 in 1920 to 259 in 1963. Notable progress has been made in Vacation Bible Schools, Training Union, Brotherhood, Woman's Missionary Union, Library, and other church work. The church has reported 546 baptisms from 1907 to 1965. ___________
Browder Baptist Church
Brother Warren Payne, Enlistment Evangelist for the Association, held preaching services in some of the homes of Browder in 1922, and Mrs. H. R. Paxton superintended a Sunday School. These seem to have induced some of the people of Browder to desire a local church. Accordingly a church council with representatives from Hazel Creek, Forest Grove, Antioch, Oak Grove, Forest Oak, Beech Creek, Greenville, Unity, Lewisburg, Green Briar, West Providence, Old Bethel, and Franklin assembled on May 7, 1922.
Elder Warren W. Payne was elected moderator and H. R. Paxton, clerk.
H. R. Paxton, Maude Paxton, Billy Paxton, William Chumley, T. M. Wright, Catherine Wright, H. M. Lawson, Pearlie Lawson, and Albert Smith submitted letters of dismission from other Baptist churches and were designated by the Moderator as those constituting the charter members of a new church.
This group adopted the Articles of Faith and the Church Covenant found in Pendleton's Church Manual and were declared duly constituted and ready for business. This Browder Baptist Church was admitted as a member of the Muhlenberg County Baptist Association in 1922 with nine members; Warren W. Payne, pastor; H. R. Paxton, clerk; H. R. Paxton and H. M. Lawson, messengers.
Membership had increased to 79 by 1925. Charlie Cottrell, Richard Swihart and Charlie Arnold were ordained as deacons in 1925; Alvis Stewart and Fernie Givens in 1929.
Membership continued to increase. 122 were listed in 1935; 161 in 1940; and 172 in 1950. Then a decrease to 158 in 1955, and 145 in 1959 was reported. The church went to full time in 1959 and by 1964 the membership had almost doubled — 271.
Mission expenditures increased from $50 in 1958 to $855 in 1963; total expenditures increased from $256 in 1958 to $7,083 in 1963. Property value increased proportionately. The number of baptisms — 388 — has been large as compared to most churches of its age and size.
Pastors who have served the church are Brethren W. W. Payne, 1922-1923; J. W. Gill, 1924; S. P. Browning, 1925-1926; T. G. Woodson, 1927-1928; S. T. Skaggs, 1929-1930; Drexel Hankins, 1931-1935;
S. P. Browning, 1936-1938; Marvin Stinson, 1939-1940; R. H. Forsythe, 1941-1942; M. V. Cotton, 1943; C. E. Daniel, 1944; Dewey Noffsinger, 1945-1948; None Reported, 1949; Charles Wilcox, 1950; Jack Smith, 1951-1952; None Reported, 1953; John Brandon, 1054-1957; None Reported, 1958; Elliott Williams, 1959; Carl Pendley, 1960-1964; Robert C. Bottoms, 1965; George Durall, 1966.
Information furnished by Mrs. J. B. Kirtley and by minutes of the Association. __________
Calvary Baptist Church
For several years, many people had seen the need of a mission on Stringtown Road. Most of the people were lost and unchurched. Rev. Ray Dean, pastor of the Central City Baptist Church, had ridden up and down the road on horseback and talked of the need to all who would listen. Later, Rev. J. L. Parker continued talking and praying. A prayer meeting was held in the home of Mrs. Morris on May 16, 1950 with the following present: Reverend Parker, Mrs. Parker, Mrs. Nannie Day, Mrs. Elmer Tooley, Mrs. H. S. Lovell Shirley Tooley, and Mrs. Morris.
In June 1950 a Vacation School under the direction of the First Baptist Church was held each morning and a revival under the leadership of Reverend Parker was held at night. This was held under a tent located in a vacant lot on Stringtown Road in front of C. H. Boothe's. The song service was led by volunteers each night. Many people were saved — the interest was great! Only July 2, 1950, a Sunday School was organized, and the following officers were elected: Howard Lovell, superintendent; Roy Crunk, assistant superintendent: Eva Flener (Booth), secretary; H. S. Lovell, mission Sunday School treasurer; teachers, Mr. Naaman Autry, Mrs. Naaman Autry, Mrs. Wilford Flener, Mrs. Sarah Anderson (Stilos), Mrs. H. S. Lovell, and Mrs. Howard Lovell.
We met in a little store building located near what is now Chaney's Bar-B-Q. In a short time we started meeting in a little dwelling which is now in front of our present church. A month later we moved into a combination store building and dwelling, located where the church now stands. The building was about as crude as a building could be but the presence of the Lord was definitely felt.
The first services were held July 23, 1950. Training Union was organized on September 17, 1950. The next day W.M.U. was organized with Mrs. H. S. Lovell elected as president.
In October the mission asked to be organized into a church and the name Calvary Baptist Church was chosen by a unanimous vote. It was organized November 19, 1950 with forty-five charter
memhers, including the following deacons: Wilford Flener, W. F. Gaddis, Polie Wilcox, and H. S. Lovell.
The first business meeting was held November 23, 1950, with these officers being chosen: J. L. Parker, pastor; W. F. Gaddis, assistant moderator; H. S. Lovell, clerk; Millard Gaddis, treasurer; A. L. Fortnry, custodian; H. S. Lovell, chairman of deacons; J. N. Autry, Delmar, Roy Crunk, trustees.
We had preaching only on a half-time basis because Reverend Parker already had another church. We were seldom without some one to preach — several preached their first sermons. We heard Charles Wilcox, Huglan Richey, E. T. McDoniel, John McDoniel, Jack Whitmer, Don Lam, Dewey Mercer, and many others.
Since we were outgrowing our store building and it was in such bad shape, work on a new church building was begun May 10, 1950. The work on the basement was all done by voluntary labor. One time when there was no money and things looked very bad, a prayer meeting was held in the mud as the men were working on the basement; this seemed to be one of the highlights in the lives of those who were there. God truly answers prayer! Much work was donated and the ones who were paid worked at a reducted rate. The church when completed was made of concrete blocks. It had an auditorium 40 X 60 feet upstairs and Sunday School rooms were provided in the basement.
The church was admitted to the Muhlenberg County Association in August 1951.
On February 10, 1952, Mr. M. V. Foster joined the church. He was elected as choir leader and served in this capacity until forced to retire because of ill health. Mrs. Dorothy Sandefur joined the following year and became pianist.
Reverend Parker resigned as pastor November 10, 1954. Reverend John Brandon was elected to take his place. A house two doors from the church were rented to serve as a parsonage for Brother Brandon, his wife Evelyn, and their three children, Johnny, Elizabeth and David.
The debt on the church building was paid on October 16, 1955, and the building was dedicated November 29, 1955.
Work was begun on a parsonage May 25, 1955, and the Brandon family moved into this new home in November 1956.
In November 1956, Millard Gaddis, Howard Lovell, and Ishmael Underwood were ordained as deacons.
Reverend Brandon resigned as pastor in June 1957 to go to California to a large mission field. Reverend Orville Hickey, his successor, served until October 8, 1958. The church called Reverend T. C. Thurman of Dyersburg, Tennessee, as pastor in December of 1958. He served until May 10, 1960.
As time went on and our membership was increasing, a great need for a larger building was seen. The membership had grown from 45 to 200 in nine years. A building committee composed of H. S. Lovell, Estil Geary, Albert Shemwell, Millard Gaddis, and Robert Sandefur was appointed April 12, 1959. Plans were developed to build a new auditorium in front of the church and to remodel the old auditorium into Sunday School rooms. Work was begun July 1, 1959. We held our first service in the new building in March 1960.
On May 22, 1960, the church called Reverend John Brandon to again serve as pastor. He accepted after much prayer and held his first service July 17, 1960. Work was progressing on the church building. Much volunteer work was done, financial offerings greatly increased, and a church building of which the church and community can well be proud was completed.
1961 was a very good year for Calvary. All departments went forward in a great way. Membership increased fifty-nine during the year. Quite a few good Baptist workers who were employed by TVA joined the church.
On February 4, 1962 the church voted to buy the Casebier property adjoining the church. The house is used as a nursery; a part of the grounds for a parking lot.
During the early sixties, Christians were maturing, people were being saved — one year this church led the Association in baptisms — and church members were enjoying Christian fellowship.
In January of 1964 Reverend Brandon resigned to accept a church in Springfield, Tennessee. Reverend Floyd Berry of Hazard, Kentucky, was his successor.
During the fourteen years of Calvary Baptist Church, God has truly been good to us and has blessed us with new-born souls, the ability to build as space has been needed, and a wonderful fellowship with Him and with other Christians. Mrs. Howard Lovell, Historian.
Editor's comment based on statistics in Associational minutes: Some churches really deserve the name Missionary Baptist. Calvary must be missionary — she gave $28,658 to missions in the 16 years she has been reporting the Muhlenburg County Baptist Association. She must be Baptist since she has baptized 292 people during this time — the smallest number, 2, in 1965; the largest, 45, in 1961. Her love for the Lord's work is manifested by her generosity: she increased the value of her church property from $2,250 in 1951 to $60.000 in 1964; her total expenditures for all purposes has been $205,998. Membership increased from 61 in 1951 to 404 in 1964. Large numbers of people joined by letter as well as by baptism. Achievements in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Baptist Training Union, and Woman's Missionary Union have been well above the average Associational level.
Carter Creek Baptist Church
Brother John S. Penley and others made a sincere effort to collect the facts about the early history of Carter Creek, but found little on record.
The church was constituted in 1887, and Brother Pendley found a record of her meeting with the Gasper River Associa- k» tion in 1888. She remained in this Association until 1907 when she became a constituent member of the Muhlenberg County Baptist Association. Brother Pendley submitted these records:
1888. Brother M. H. Whitson, pastor; J. S. Jenkins, clerk. 1890. J. S. Jenkins, W. T. Bradley, and E. Dwyer, messengers to the Association. 1893. J. A. Mohon, and A. B. Cornett, messengers to the Association. 1895. Pastor, Brother J. W. Gill; clerk, J. S. Jenkins; pastor's salary, $75; baptisms, 13; membership, 75. 1902. Pastor, Brother W. H. Woodson; messengers, G. B. McClellan, I. McClellan, and Jake Stotz. 1904. Pastor, Brother W. H. Woodson; clerk, J. M. McClellan; messengers, J. W. Gill, A. B. Cornett, and James Wells.
The following facts wer taken from the minutes of the Muhlenberg County Baptist Association: In 1907, W. H. Woodson was pastor; Isham McClellan, clerk; J. W. Gill, W. D. Welborn, and S. C. Clardy, messengers; Jacob Stotz, Sunday School Superintendent. She reported 84 church members and 45 enrolled in Sunday School. The Sunday School met six months out of the year.
Membership declined during the next few years — 61 were reported in 1912. But, in 1913, 5 were baptized, 6 joined by letter, and 31 were restored, bringing the membership to 95. The following year 12 joined by baptism and 6 by letter.
Carter Creek entered the 75 Milliam [Million] Campaign Era — 1920-24 — with 106 church members and with 70 enrolled in Sunday School. She paid her pastor $120 a year for quarter time service. The total amount expended in 1920 was $690. During this five-year period she paid $1,107 to the Campaign, and she baptized 18 people into the fellowship of the church.
Like most other churches in the Association, Carter Creek fell off sharply in all financial contributions during the depression years, 1925-1940. Mission offerings ranged from not any to $20 a year; total expenditures were usually less than $200. Church membership remained under 100 until the last five years of this period when it reached 120.
In the early 1940's financial conditions became better. Pastor's
salaries, mission offerings, and money spent on all church activities increased rapidly. Church membership did not increase until 1957 when it reached 136. 147 members were reported in 1960, 150 in 1963, 158 in 1964, 140 in 1965, and 186 in 1966.
The pastor's salary was $175 in 1945, $356 in 1950, $919 in 1955, $1,478 in 1960, and $2,532 in 1965. Mission and benevolence offerings amounted to $35 in 1945, $190 in 1950, $508 in 1955, $456 in 1960, $939 in 1965, $934 in 1966. Total expenditures in 1940 amounted to $106, in 1950 to $1,201, in 1960 to $3,978, in 1965 to $5,124, and in 1966 to $5,557. Carter Creek baptized 152 peaple into her church fellowship from 1907 through 1965.
Pastors who have served the church are Brethren W. H. Woodson, 1907-1908; P. E. Herndon, 1909; C. S. Truman, 1910-1911; J. W. Gill, 1912-1918; I. B. Stuart, 1919-1921; J. W. Gill, 1922; L. Grundy, 1923; W. W. Woodson, 1924; None Reported, 1925; S. P. Shanks, 1926; I. B. Stuart, 1927-1929; R. H. Forsythe, 1930-1937; Bryan Wice, 1938-1946; W. D. Oakley, 1947-1950; M. R. Rice, 1951-1957; C. R. Skaggs, 1958; Bryan Wice, 1959-1966. _____________
Cave Spring Baptist Church
"In Muhlenburg County, Kentucky, on the 19th October 1833, we the membars of Mt. Carmel Church met and organized Cave Spring Church. We, Benjamin Pannel, Benjamin Pannel, Jr., Jordon Bass, Jacob Utley, James Utley, and William Dodd, members of Mount Carmel Church. Bethel Association, met on the day and date given above. Written by the request of this people and with authority from Mount Carmel Church of Jesus Christ of United Baptist to receive members in order for the constitution of another church of the same faith and order and after the necessary arrangements, we gave an opportunity to any who felt disposed.
The following Brothers and Sisters came forward and by us were found orthodox and orderly and were received in order for constitution: Young Lovelace, Amanda Lovelace, John Moore, Mary Moore, Tempa Gary, John Owens, Meneva Shelton, Alcey Edwards, Polly Duvall, Martha Owens, Jordon Bass, Nancy Bass, Sina Bistin, and Mosiah Taylor. We whose names are here recorded by our request were examined with our rules of deacons (decorum) and Articles of Faith, and being found orthodox and orderly were constituted into a church by use of the United Baptist Order by a presbytery composed of brethren. Elders John Bowlin and William Brisindine. (This is copied out of an old minute book faded out quite a bit.)
How Cave Spring got its name. There was on the Starling and Morning Hills' farm a high hill which is at present the Bobby Coomb's Farm. At the foot of it was a cave and in the cave was a spring flowing with water. The first church was a one-room log church. We don't know the exact year the church was dedicated. Starling Hill and wife gave land for the church for 25 cents. They deeded the land to Cave Spring Church trustees James Utley, James Wells, and David Dukes. The Hills emigrated to this county from North Carolina. We don't know the exact date when the church was built. The records show they met at the members' houses for several months. The church was moved from the Hills farm to the present location — two miles or less — about 1895 or 1896.
Some minutes remain of their meetings from March on through the year of 1841. Bro. K. G. Hay was moderator and Thomas Murphy was church clerk. A protracted meeting was held at their meeting place — the homes of the people of the church — in September 1841. Elizabeth Ann Duvall, Polly Dukes, and Benjamin Duvall were received for baptism. Later Elizabeth Hunt was received by baptism, and Thesdosid Atkinson, Nancy Brown and Lemuel Brown by letter.
Rev. J. U. Spurlin was called to pastor Cave Spring in November 1845. He served until January 1849. Bro. Calvin Meacham served as pastor during 1849 and 1850; Bro. William D. Pannel, during 1851 and 1852; Bro. M. H. Utley during 1853; and Bro. H. Putman during 1854. From this time until 1865 several moderators served, but some of the records are lost and an accurate list is not available.
In 1865 the Baptist Church of Christ at Cave Spring, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, sent to the Bethel Association when convened with Spring Creek Baptist Church of Montgomery [?] County, the following letter:
Dear Brethren, We are glad of another opportunity to represent ourselves in your body by letter and messengers. Owing to the distracted condition of our county we have not sent up our letter and messengers for some years as desired to do, but we hope and will try to be more faithful in the future. We are in a cold condition at present, and we have no pastor. Brethren pray for us that the candlestick be not removed out of its place. We send for printing $1.50 and, we have chosen our brethren W. L. Wells and T. L. Cary to bear our letter and sit with you in council. May the Lord preside over you in all of your deliberations. Done by order of the church September 14, 1865 W. D. Pannel, Moderator W. L. Wells, Clerk.
Pastors who served the church from 1866 to 1907 when Cave Spring joined the Muhlenberg County Baptist Association include Brethren J. T. Barrow, J. U. Spurlin, A. N. Whittenhill, C. M. Pendley, T. D. Ragon, L. J. Stirsman, J. R. Ford, and John Bilbro. The church built in 1895 or 1896 on land donated by J. J. Rice was dedicated the 5th Sunday in October, 1904. Bro. Bilbro was chosen to preach the dedication sermon. A collection was taken up to the amount of $38.40 which paid the indebtedness of the church. The church was given over to God and dedicated to his service.
Bro. Samuel Brown was elected pastor September 1909, and served until August 1910. Bro. W. H. Woodson was chosen pastor in
August 1910 and served until September 1911. Bro. John Bilbro was appointed moderator and served until May 1912. Bro. Jim Ford was elected pastor in August 1912 and served until May 1916. We don't have any record until March 1917 and Bro. T. G. Woodson was pastor for 5 months. In April 1917 a committee was appointed to [see] about repairing the church. In August 1917 Bro. Latt Grundy was elected pastor. At a conference meeting in September 1918 the committee on church repair was changed to a building committee. W. S. Sherrod was appointed finance committee. There were different preachers until April 1920 when Bro. J. H. Ashlock was moderator at the conference meeting. Bro. W. W. Payne came to the church in May 1920 at which time he was County Missionary. The church was in debt and didn't have any pastor, so Bro. Payne was elected pastor in May of 1920.
The church was dedicated to the Lord at a cost of approximately $2,500 on the 5th Sunday in October, 1920. Dr. W. D. No[w]lin preached the dedication sermon.
Bro. W. W. Payne was County Missionary and served the church from May 1920 until October 1921. Bro. E. Grimes was chosen pastor in October 1921 and served the church until February 1924. In September 1923 Bro. Payne and the pastor Bro. Grimes held a revival meeting. Ten additions to the church resulted. Bro. C. R. Evitts was elected pastor in February 1924. During the month of August they had a gracious revival with 17 professions of faith and two joined by letter. In September 1925 Bro. Browning held a revival resulting in six additions to the church. Bro. Devine was elected pastor in September 1927. In August 1930 Brethren Neal Phillips, W. S. Dukes, and Frank Dukes were elected church trustees.
Bro. Ira McCay was elected pastor in October 1930 and served until October 1932. During his pastorate there were 21 additions. Bro. Fred Fox was called as pastor in October 1932 and served until 1936. During a revival in July 1933 there were 27 professions of faith and 14 joined by baptism. Four others were baptized the following month. Bro. M. V. Cotton was the evangelist in a revival held in June of 1934 when 9 joined by baptism. Bible institutes were held during May of 1934 and of 1936. Eleven people were baptized following the 1936 revival.
In October 1936 Brother M. V. Cotton was elected pastor and served until October 1938. Twenty-two joined by baptism during his pastorate.
Twenty-five joined the church by baptism during the pastorate of Bro. Bryant Wice — October 1938 to October 1942. Bro. Kermit Lovelace served as pastor from October 1942 until October 1946. During his pastorate Arvil West, Clyde West, and Floyd Phillips were made deacons. Arvil West was also elected church clerk and treasurer. Twenty-seven joined the church by baptism while Bro. Lovelace was pastor.
Brother Carlos Skaggs served as pastor from August 1946 to October 1950. Forty-two joined the church by baptism during this period.
Bro. W. D. Oakley served as pastor from October 1950 to October 1952. He was followed by Bro. Carlos Skaggs who served until December 1955. During this period C. P. Stovall and Bert Gregory donated about two acres of land to the church — deeded to Floyd
Phillips, Clyde West, and Floyd Dukes, trustees. Bro. Jean Harper was the evangelist in the 1955 revival.
Bro. Herschel Burden was elected pastor in October, and served until March 1958. During this time the trustees leased the church ground to Ed. Morris for $800 to drill for oil. In April of 1957 a contract was given to Mr. H. H. Pepper to build Sunday School rooms in the church basement (six rooms and hall). During Bro. Burdens pastorate of the church 12 joined by baptism and 10 by letter.
Bro. Jean Harper pastored the church from March 1958 to December 1961. He had professed faith in Christ at Cave Spring Church and was baptized the first Sunday in August 1952. He was ordained to the full work of the ministry in May 1958. During his pastorate there were 36 who joined the church by baptism and 12 by letter.
Rev. Joe Spears was elected as pastor in March 1962, and he is our pastor at present. He has had 12 souls saved in his Sunday School class this year (1964). During Bro. Spear's pastorate he has baptized 16 and 10 have joined by letter. The present membership of the church is 197.
Members who have served the church as clerks are Thomas Murphy, William Utley, Thomas Murphy, W. L. Wells, W. W. Johnson, N. J. Oglesby, H. T. Dugger, Amanda Brothers, Rinda Phillips, Neal Phillips, Arvil West, and Reginal Coombs.
Members who have served the church as deacons are Thomas Murphy, Nedom Butler, T. L. Gary, J. L. Spurlin, W. W. Johnson, W. T. Oglesby, J. W. Dukes, John Lile, Neal Phillips, A. F. Walker, B. F. Rice, T. J. Atkinson, Arvil West, Clyde West, Floyd PhiUlips, Yost Lee, and Reginal Coombs. Mrs. Arvil West, Sr., Historian. ____________
Cedar Grove Baptist Church
On February 15, 1893, a Presbytery met at the Forehand School house for the purpose of organizing a United Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. W. H. Woodson was appointed moderator and Rev. L. J. Stirsman clerk. The church was organized with 74 members. The majority of them came from Mt. Pisgah and Old Bethel. They called the Rev. W. H. Woodson as pastor and dedicated the church in 1893. In July 1894 the church voted to invite the Little Bethel Association to meet with them in 1896. In 1895 Brother G. P. Gardner was ordained to the ministry.
In January of 1906 [they] committed to buy ground for a cemetery. In August of the same year the church voted to invite the Little Bethel Association to meet with them the next year, and in October elected
messengers to meet with the Hazel Creek Church to discuss the possibility of organizing a Muhlenberg County Baptist Association. Those elected were J. W. Noffsinger, Ed Lock, and Rev. L. J. Stirsman. In August, 1907, messenges were elected to the Little Bethel Association so that we might join the Muhlenberg County Baptist Association.
By May of 1914 the finances of the church had increased about three times over what it was in 1904 and 1905. This was the result of the Midland Coal Company moving in and putting more money into circulation in the community.
In August 1917 the church invited the Association to meet with it in August 1918. The pastor's salary for 1917 was $137.50. A Sunday school was organized the 5th Sunday in March. The minutes of this church from 1917 to 1931 are gone. Pastors who served during this period are Rev. W. H. Curl, Rev. J. C. Craig, and Rev. Frank Farmer.
In August 1932, an invitation for membership was given and there were 35 that came forward. They were baptized the next afternoon. In November 1933 the church licensed Brother Crunk to preach the gospel. The next year Brother Crunk asked for a letter to join the Nelson Creek Church.
During 1944 the church built a road from the church to the highway.
In July 1947 the cost of the addition to the church was reported: $271.35.
In November 1947 the budget system was adopted: one-third for the pastor, one-third for missions, and one-third for the church. A committee was appointed, August 1948, to see about Sunday School rooms. In November 1948 Ben Vincent reported that Devine Brothers had made a bid of $6,510.00. A committee was chosen to raise the money.
In April 1949 it was moved and carried to build a new church. The church was completed and the first service held Saturday night before the 2nd Sunday in March. (In March 1950 the old church was put up for sale.) The church decided to have the dedication the 5th Sunday in October. The following were appointed to write the history of the church: V. P. Noffsinger, Leonard McRoy, and T. A. Wilkins.
In February 1950 the budget system was changed to provide $40.00 a month for the pastor, 10% to the Cooperative Program, $3.00 a month to district missions. In August 1950 the pastor's salary was raised to $52.00 a month.
In January 1951 the church moved from quarter-time to half-time preaching. In May 1951 it ordered chairs, a table, and a stand. Two and one-half per cent of the 1953 offering was given to help build the County Missionary's home. During 1954 a cooling system was installed and paid for at a cost of $1,423.42. In 1955 the church gave $50.00 to help the Cleaton disaster. During the same year the church changed the annual call of the pastor to an indefinite call with a 60-day notice from the church or pastor. In October 1956 the church voted to go to full-time preaching the first of the year 1957.
In January 1957 we received Rev. and Mrs. Fred Fox into the church and moved to take 10% of the church treasury and 10% of all church collections for a building fund. In October 1957 voted to have all church records recorded into one book with Aunt Ellen Whitmer doing the copying. In December 1957, after being questioned by pastor and church, Brother Ronnie Underwood was given a license to the ministry.
In November 1960 an invitation was extended to Old Bethel Church members to come and use this church any time they wanted to for their church had burned.
In January 1961 the church accepted the plans and the bid of $11,110.00 from the Perkins Lumber Company to build a parsonage on the ground that T. A. Noffsinger had given the church. We cut our offering to the Cooperative Program from 20% to 10% until the parsonage was paid for. This was done during November 1964. A drive had been made to wipe out the debt on the parsonage, The deacons were asked to head the drive by making a contribution of $100.00 each.
In December 1964 the church moved to accept the budget committees' report in which they recommended that 5% of all regular collections be deposited in the building fund, and that the church give 3% of all regular collections to district missions and 15% to the Cooperatice Program.
The church has been served by 21 pastors and 21 deacons and 12 clerks. On December 9, 1964, the church moved that this condensed history of the church be turned over to the Associational Historical Committee for use in the History of the Muhlenberg County Baptist Association.
Following are the names of pastors and the terms they served Cedar Grove Church. Rev. W. H. Woodson, February 1893 to May 1900. Rev. R. C. Allen, June 1 1900 to May 1901. Rev. W. H. Woodson, May, 1901 to December 1901. Rev. R. W. Danks, January 1, 1902 to December 31, 1902. Rev. L. J. Stirsman, 1903. Rev. W. W. Woodson, 1904 to August 1907. Rev. P. E. Herndon, August 1907 to March 1909. Rev. J. N. Jarnigan, March 1909 to June 1916. Rev. John Grady, June 1916 to 1920. Rev. W. H. Curl, 1920 through 1923. Rev. J. C. Craig, 1924. Rev. Frank Farmer, January 1, 1925 to December 1933. Rev. Robert Spears, January 1934 to June 1936. Rev. R. H. Forsythe, June 1936 to November 1939. Rev. Marvin Stinson, 1940 and 1941. Rev. C. E. Daniel, 1942 through 1944. Rev. J. L. Parker, 1945 through 1948. Rev. Johnnie Bruce, January 1, 1949 to July 1949.
Rev. W. D. Oakley, August 1949 to September 1955. Rev. Fred Fox, September 1955 to October 30, 1960. Rev. J. L. Page, December 7, 1960 Rev. Gerald Jones, Sr., 1965 —
Following are the names of the clerks and the terms they served Cedar Grove Church. W. B. Noffsinger, February 1893 to March 1893. J. H. Brown. March 1893 to November 1896. C. B. Noffsinger, November 1896 to December 1900. J. G. Noffsinger, December 1900 to January 1903. J. H. Noffsinger, January 1903 to February 1905. J. W. Noffsinger, February 1905 to December 1910. Ernest Noffsinger, December 1910 to April 1911. S. O. Noffsinger, April 1911 to October 1912. E. P. Noffsinger, October 1912 to September 1932.