We are pleased to know that J. M. Roddy, recent editor of The Baptist Banner, West Virginia, has accepted the call to First Baptist Church, Ashland, KY. Brother Roddy is well known in Kentucky and Arkansas. We welcome him to our state. Ashland has become one of the most important fields in Kentucky, being the strategic point for the great Big Sandy Valley
[From The Baptist Argus, Louisville, KY, September 29, 1904, p. 1; via Baylor U. digital documents. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
In 1910 Rev. J. M. Roddy was called to the pastorate of the First Baptist Church, Middlesboro, KY and, upon his return from a trip to the Holy Land, in January, 1911, he began his work as such. He was full of zeal and devotion and was consecrated to the service of the Master. He was untiring in his efforts to build up the church. Withal, he was a man of marked executive ability, not only in directing the activities of the church, but also in its business affairs. The church had never occupied the place or exerted the influence it could have done in the community heretofore, but under his direction, it became not only an influence for good among Baptists, but also among the people of the entire city. He took a part in every public movement for moral and social uplift of the community. To his active advocacy and efforts, more than to any other man, was due the final success achieved in voting prohibition in Middlesborough, after many failures; and then it was that the city was relieved of the curse of open saloons.
The church needed a better location, a modern building and a pastor's home. The pastor's home was secured, and then he began his efforts to secure an effective and modern church building. First, the most desirable lot in the city, the one now occupied by the church, was secured, and by small contributions from men, women and children, of five cents and up, the money was raised to pay for it. Thus, working for several years, the church was ready to begin to build. The services of Mr. Palmer Sharp were secured to generally superintend the building, and Mr. A. B. Miller was secured to superintend the work. The building was designed by Brother Roddy, and he devoted a great deal of his time during the years getting ready to build and was about the building during the construction every day. Finally it was completed. The building was the most imposing and splendid structure in all this mountain section at the time it was built, and was one of the best planned for Sunday School work, with ample departments for all of the classes. It was dedicated the thirteenth day of March, 1917. Brother Roddy preached the dedicatory sermon, and in two years it was fully paid for.
In 1920 Brother Roddy was called to the Dederick Avenue Baptist Church, Knoxville, Temessee, and accepted the call in October, 1921. He was then in poor health and in a short time he suffered a nervous collapse. He suffered fearfully for more than a year. Brother Roddy recovered and then went to Springfield as pastor.
[From "Literal History of Bell County, Kentucky", chapter 17; via the Internet.]
In 1915, several residents of the area suggested to their pastor, Dr. J. M. Roddy, that the First Baptist Church of Middlesboro begin a mission in the Binghamtown community. On December 26, 1915, First Baptist voted to establish the Binghamtown Baptist Mission, with the understanding that in the course of time the mission would become an independent Missionary Baptist church. The mission held their meetings in the building owned by the Presbyterians. They began with 27 members; Rev. W. H. Hollingsworth was called as mission pastor, and Frank Davis was elected as clerk.
==========[From Binghamtown Baptist Church, Middlesboro, KY, Website.]
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