History of Central Baptist Church
Grenada, Mississippi, 2003
In the spring of 1894 the Grenada Baptist Church, now known as the First Baptist Church, invited Bro. M. T. Martin to hold a revival. During the meeting several church members were saved. The pastor, Bro. J. W. Lee, insisted that these must be baptized, but many in the church argued that they had already been baptized and that it was not necessary to re-baptize them. This issue caused a division in the Grenada Baptist Church and the issue finally came to a vote. Bro. J. W. Lee and those who agreed with his position found themselves in the minority when the vote was counted. Feeling they could no longer "earnestly contend for the faith" at Grenada Baptist Church, Bro. Lee and thirty-eight others asked for letters of dismissal in order to form another Baptist church in Grenada. The Grenada Baptist Church granted these letters, paving the way for the organization of a new church. In June of 1894 an organizational service was held in which there was a sermon by Bro. Jeff A. Rogers, after which articles of faith were read and the name "Central Baptist Church" was chosen. Bro. J. W. Lee was then called as pastor. There were forty-four charter members.
The first meeting house for the new church, located on the east side of Line Street, burned in the summer of 1894. A kerosene chandelier fell while being lit for an evening service. By May of 1895 Central Baptist Church had a new meeting house located on the same property. Central Baptist Church occupied this building until it eventually needed more room. On July 9, 1916 the land that is the present location was purchased for the sum of $2,600 and in 1917 the present building was constructed for the sum of $9,200. This building has been the meeting house for Central Baptist for the past eighty-seven years.
Central Baptist Church is very unique in that in its one hundred and nine year history, it has had only seven pastors. They are Bro. J. W. Lee (1894-1920); Bro. E. R. Henderson (1921-1954); Bro. B. A. Wilson (1954-1967); Bro. Joe Bell (1967-1980); Bro. Demus Brubacher (1981-1992); Bro. Cecil Fayard (1993-1998); Bro. Bill Lee (1998-present).
Central Baptist Church continues to proclaim the message of God’s free and sovereign grace, both locally and abroad by means of directly supported missionaries. While our church is not affiliated with any organization, association, or convention, we do fellowship with churches of like faith and order in revivals, conferences and sharing the burden of missionary support. We are a people who still believe that salvation is by grace and that the means of carrying the gospel into the world is the local Baptist church. We are a missionary Baptist church and take the commission the Lord has given unto us very seriously.
[From the church's website. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
More Mississippi Baptist History
Baptist History Homepage