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History of Pilot Grove Baptist Church No. 1

The following is a copy of the history of the above church, found in the papers of Hubert Nevin and Marcella Smith. Nevin was one of the deacons of the church while Marcella served as the chairperson of the Centennial Committee. This same history was also found in the Pilot Grove No. 1 Baptist Church Centennial Bulletin, published in 1980, for the Centennial Celebration.

The bulletin was compiled and edited by the Centennial Committee who were: Marcella Smith (Mrs. Nevin Smith), Chairman; Helen Arthaud, Steve Terhune, Les Turner, Deanna Clevenger, Neil Griffith, Susan Terhune and assisted by Church Pastor, Rev. Terry Lewis. The Dedication reads:

"This Centennial Book is gratefully and reverently dedicated. The evidence of history that is before us this 1980 should make us feel a great sense of gratitude for our forefathers. For the hundreds of people who have had a place to fill in this church, we give God the praise."


A short history of the background that led to the organization of Pilot Grove Baptist Church No. 1 is in order. The church is better known as "The Corner Church". The old Pilot Grove Church was organized in 1840 by Rev. William Mikels. It was the second church organized in Daviess County. For the first few years church services were in the homes of the members, but in 1845 a log church was built by the members at a total cost of $100. A new frame church was erected in 1857 at the cost of $800. The first pastor of the new building was Rev. William Baldwin. Old Pilot Grove Baptist Church grew tremendously when the War Between the States was over. Many were now asking why a church could not be built nearer their homes. The Rev. Joseph Wood organized the 2nd Baptist church in Lincoln township in 1880. For a time this church was called Wood's Baptist Church. The name was changed to Pilot Grove Baptist Church No. 1 some time before 1883. In 1881, John Thompson Herndon donated one acre of land for a church. The construction was not an easy task as much of the material was hauled by team and wagon from Chillicothe, Mo. As the church neared completion, the structure was damaged by a storm, but repairs and reinforcements were made so that the building was completed by the dedication service held on Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5, 1881. The sturdy structure had been remodeled and repaired at different times through the years.

Homecoming Day was held on June 6, 1960 in observance of 80 years of service to God. Morning services were conducted by pastor Ralph Hughs followed by a basket dinner. Afternoon services were held, conducted by Bro. Hughs with guest speaker Rolla Woods. In March of 1976 a new wing was started on the north side of the building. The dedication service for this new addition was August 29, 1976 with Bro. Ralph Hughs speaker. In the early morning hours of October 28, 1979 the old building was completely destroyed by fire. It was decided to build a new church on the site of the old church building. On December 14, 1979 basement work began. First services in the new church were held on Easter Sunday, April 6, 1980. Dedication services were held Sunday, May 25, 1980 at 2:30 p.m. Moderator was the church pastor, Bro. Terry Lewis. church history was given by Bro. Ralph Hughs. The message was brought by former pastor Bro. Jack Long.

Pastors of Pilot Grove Baptist Church #1

Dan Willas, 1903-1904
James Poe, 1904
Jasper Netherlan, 1905
B. M. Shacklette, 1906
W.C. Lourrie, 1908
J.R. Wright, 1910-1916
Clarence Kerr, 1916-1917
Bro. Finney, 1917
George White
Lewis Clark, 1926-1931
Clarence Dowell, 1938
A.H. Smith, 1941
C.E. Sharrah, 1946-1948
Kenneth White, 1948
Jerry Seabough, 1950-1951
Elmer Hatfield, 1952
Lewis Rogers, 1953-1955
LeRoy Bearce, 1955-1956
Ralph Hughs, 1957-1968
Mike Nichols, 1969-1971
Jay Reeter, 1973-1974
Joe Powell, 1974-1977
Gary Lee, 1978-1978
Jack Long, 1978-1979
Terry Lewis, 1979-

“Some of the records were not available. Please forgive us if we have failed to list some of the former pastors.”


Pastor....Terry W. Lewis
Church Clerk....Susan Terhune
Church Treasurer....Bonnie Terhune
Music Director....Twilla Glidewell
Pianist......Della Fitch
Board Member....George Read
Sunday School Director....Ron Glidewell
Baptist Women Leader....Hazel Read
Bulletin Printer....Janet Collins

Board of Deacons: Bill Terhune, Lewis Read, Nevin Smith, Lee Read, George Read and Charles Booram.

Board of Trustees: Les Turner, Bill Martin, Bill Pardun, Jim Smith, Dean McCrary, John Seltman, and Kent Perry.

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