History of Cedar Grove Baptist Church

<[Portions of this history was transcribed from original manuscript of church minutes by Carol Krodle, Greenville, Texas, 1985.]

This area of Hunt County. known as Sikes or Sikes Grove had two schools:  Mount Bethel School to the east, and Meadowview School to the west. The Mount Bethel Community had a Methodist Church. There was not a church in the Meadowview Community.  In the summer of 1896, the Meadowview Baptist Church of Christ was organized. The first service was held July 5, 1896, in the Meadowview School. A presbytery was formed consisting of Elder J.M. King, Elder J.M. Wilkerson, moderator, Elder A.C. Anderson, and Brother J.B. Shepherd, clerk. The Articles of Faith and Church Covenant were approved.
Although the original manuscript of church records has been lost, among these first members is believed to be the Jim and Ida Williams family. The first pastor was J. M. King. In May 1898, the present land was donated by or purchased from Mark and Billie Mitchell; it was known as the Cedar grove, because of the numerous Cedar trees on the property. The church unanimously voted for the site, and to secure title for same. In August 1898, members voted to change the name of the church to Cedar Grove Baptist Church.

This is the original church building. It consisted basically of one large room with pews and a raised platform on both the east and the west ends. There was a room on each side of the platform at the west end. During the late 1940's walls were built around the platform at the east end, creating two new rooms. These rooms were used as sunday school classes. Department stores in Dallas were removing ceiling fans in favor of central air conditioning. The church purchased four ceiling fans for cooling during the summer. A revival meeting was held every summer. The pews and piano were moved outside under the cedars where services were held nightly.

Small, rural churches were unable to afford to pay a pastor to preach full-time. Pastors often worked at two churches simultaneously, preaching on alternate Sundays. Some pastors at Cedar Grove during the 1940's and early 1950's included Rev. Dayo J. Williams, Rev. James T. Hudson and Rev. Peck Williams.  In 1953, Rev. James C. Nance was called as the pastor.  He was a young man with a military service background.  He was newly married and expecting his first child.  After a year or so of part time service (shared with Cash Baptist Church), the church voted to call Nance as a full-time pasor.  He remained as pastor for almost fifty years.

The church decided it was time for a new facility. In 1957, original building was torn down. In order to afford the cost of the new building, members volunteered to assist with the removal of the building. While the men took the building apart, the women removed nails from the old boards. The recovered material was used to construct the new building at a considerable savings. The new structure featured six classrooms, a baptistry, indoor restrooms, central heat and central air. New pews were purchased to complete the package.