December 15, 1955
This Article Appeared In The Times
But Was Not Actually Titled Calís Column
Transcribed by Janette West Grimes
†† The Carthage Baptist church was organized on July 16, 1881 with eighteen charter members, all of whom have passed on to their eternal home.
†† This organization was probably largely brought about by the zeal and activity of the Rev. A. D. Phillips who presided over the organization as moderator. Bro. Phillips had been a Missionary on the foreign fields, having lived and served in Africa for a number of years. On his return to Nashville, he gave himself to active work of this ministry wherever he saw the need. At the time of the ofganization of this church, Bro. Phillips had a niece teaching in the vicinity of Carthage. He visited his niece; and, seeing the possibilities of a church, here, took advantage of the opportunity before him, and did what he could toward the organization.
†† In order that our present members may have first hand information on this organization, we will quote the exact words pertaining to the organization as found in the first minutes written. Quote:
†† "For the purpose of organizing themselves into a Missionary Baptist church at Carthage, Tennessee, certain members belonging to various churches of the same faith and order met in their house of worship at Carthage, July 16, 1881, with J. W. Bowen and A. D. Phillips to act as a presbytery in said organization. A. D. Phillips was chosen Moderator and the proceedings were opened by prayer. W. D. Gold was chosen Secretary. The names of these herein set out were then presented as wishing to join in the organization." [End quote]
†† H. M. Hale, T. J. Fisher, Amelia B. Fisher, Jane Fisher, Charles Fisher, E. B. Haynie, Margaret E. Haynie, Juda Haynie, Clarence W. Garrett, Columbus B. Haynie, Mattie Haynes, James Piper, Eliza J. Piper, Samuel E. Piper, Elijah J. Piper, Clarkey Piper, Jesse Haynie, W. D. Gold.
†† The greater number of these charter members came from the Peyton's Creek Baptist church.
†† The first pastor of the church was W. M. Kuykendall. He received only ten dollars per month for his one-fourth time service. The first Clerk of the church was W. D. Gold.
†† Within two years after the church was organized, a Sunday School was organized and H. M. Hale was chosen as the first Superintendent. He was one of the pillars of the church and, through the influence of his fine Christian spirit, the Sunday School grew rapidly.
†† At this time, and for several years, the church had in its membership seven lawyers, all of whom were zealous members. They were: W. D. Gold, H. M. Hale, A. E. Garrett, J. M. Fisher, T. J. Fisher, W. V. Lee and L. A. Ligon.
†† One singular incident took place soon after the church was organized that gave it a great impetus in its onward course. During the month of Jan., 1882, a revival meeting took place, apparently almost by accident. Rev. J. J. Porter, a Baptist minister, stopped in Carthage while passing through, and while he was here, the river got out of bounds. Rev. Porter was forced to stay for a time on account of the high waters. Being anxious to use his time for the Lord, he decided to have a revival meeting. The meeting continued for two weeks and resulted in a large number of conversions and additions to the church.
†† The old frame building in which the church first worshipped, costing around $1,500, was burned on Sunday morning, Oct. 16, 1921. The church began at once to make plans to erect a new building.
†† The building in which we now worship was erected at a cost of around $15,000. This building was paid for and dedicated on the first Sunday in June, 1930.
†† In 1947 the church began the erection of a new educational building, an addition of sixteen rooms. This was completed and dedicated on Jan. 23, 1949.
†† The next progressive step taken by the church was to remodel and redecorate the auditorium. This was completed the next year. The assembly room of the basement was used for the preaching services while the auditorium was being remodeled.
†† On April 11, 1948 the church voted unanimously to change the name of the church from the Carthage Baptist church, to the First Baptist church of Carthage.
†† The church has had the following pastors:
†† W. M. Kuykendall, who was called shortly after the organization and served from 1881 to 1885; William Shelton, 1885-1888; N. R. Sanborn, 1889-1892; R. B. Mahoney, 1892-1894; Rutherford Brett, 1895-1899; T. T. Thompson, 1899-1900; G. W. Sherman, 1900-1901; Lanham, 1902-1903; L. S. Ewton, 1904-1908; F. H. Funderburk, 1909-1910; L. A. Hurst, 1910-1913; A. P. Moore, 1914-1918; T. Riley Davis, 1920-1924; George L. Ridenour, 1925-1926; Bunyan Smith, 1927-1929; H. D. Burns, 1930-1931; V. Floyd Starke, 1931-1938; H. G. Bennett, 1939-1941; E. E. Deusner, 1941-1945; Joe Harting, 1946-1948; W. W. Harrison, Dec. 5, 1948 to June 1, 1951.
†† Our present pastor, Bro. J. C. Parrish, came to us as pastor on July 1, 1951.
†† Since he began his pastorate, the church has had one hundred and eighty-five additions. One hundred and twenty-two of these have been by baptism.
†† In this length of time, the church has given $14,710.75 to missions. The Lottie Moon offering alone for the year 1953 amounted to $1,110.47.
†† In December, 1951, through the efforts of our pastor and our Associational Missionary, and active mission church was established at Sullivan's Bend, and during these four years much good has been accomplished there.
†† The church through its missionary sociaties during the years 1951, 52, 53, and 54, sent two students through Harrison and Chilhowee Academy. One of these students, Bro. Clint Davis, received his call to preach during a revival meeting being conducted in our church since our present pastor has been with us. Bro. Clint is now a student in Belmont College, and our church is still aiding in bearing his expense.
†† Bro. Nat McKinney answered his call to preach during the pastorate of Bro. W. W. Harrison. Bro. McKinney is now our very efficient Associational Missionary.
†† Bro. Braxton Sams, another young preacher who has gone out from our church, accepted his call to preach during Brother Starke's ministry here. Our church is proud of these three young ministers.
†† Within the last four years the church kitchen has been finished and equipped with an electric stove and water heater.
†† All the basement rooms have been painted. The nursery was moved from the basement to the main floor, and furnished with beds, chairs and chests. An amplifying system has been installed.
†† A beautiful and convenient pastorium has been erected, and all the church debts have been paid.
†† The Training Union attendance has increased from 25 to more than a hundred in average attendance. The Choir has also been built up to one of the best, and a new Hammond organ has recently been purchased.
†† In many respects, the last four years have been very prosperous ones for the church. During its comparatively short life this church has been loyal to the Great Cause for which it stands.
†† Today it gives the warm hand of welcome to all who come into its services of worship.
†† We give God the glory for all the good that has been accomplished in this, our church, and we pray that we may ever be humble, consecrated and dedicated to the Lord's work, pressing forward in the future to greater achievements for Him than we have ever accomplished in the past.