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Celeste Centennial
History of First Baptist Church of Celeste

The First Baptist Church of Celeste will celebrate her Centennial on Sunday, September 6, 1987.

Soon after the "birth" of the town of Celeste on April 19, 1887, the First Baptist Church was organized and the first building, a two-story structure, was built on South Third Street. The Masonic Lodge was permitted to meet in the upper story. In 1907, a disastrous fire burned the building, but the congregation continued Sunday School and Church services in the Central Christian Church and later in a vacant store building downtown until 1910 when a larger building was erected on the he same site at a cost of $5,000. This building consisted of one large sanctuary space with no Sunday School rooms. The baptistery had to be raised each time baptizing occurred. A few years later a small Sunday School annex was added on the north side of the church with three Sunday School rooms divided by curtains.

Old timers can remember only five of the charter members, being Mr. and Mrs. Mart Compton, Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Friddle, and Pate Taylor. Other well known names of members during the early 1900's include: the W. W. McMichael family, the Enzo Ewing family, Peck and Esta Harrison, Mrs. Ada Braly, Mrs. Fannie White, Mr. and Mrs. Harley Blankenship, Mrs. Lowrey Glasscoe, the John Thompson family, Mrs. Lucy Patterson, the R. M. Blankenships, the W. C. Jackson family, Robert Lewis Jones family, and the Tom Clarks.

In the very early days Sunday School was conducted every Sunday, but church services only two Sundays each month. The pastor would come on Friday for prayer meeting and business meetings on Saturday morning. It was during these early times that the illustrious George W. Truett was pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas and his younger brother, Jim Truett, was pastor of the Celeste church, commuting by train from Whitewright on weekends for the pastorate. In 1933, Sunday School enrollment had increased to two hundred ninety, church membership to two hundred eighty-five, and forty-two baptisms were recorded.

The first Woman's Missionary Union was organized in 1898 with twelve charter members. Mrs. Casey was chosen president and Mrs. Lewis was secretary. The Reverend Hy. B. Pender was pastor at this time. The names of some of the leaders of the organization during these early years were Mrs. G. B. Norris, Mrs. Ada Braly, Mrs. N. Z. Stephens, Mrs. Ellen McGuire, Mrs. Carrie Witt, Mrs. E. L. Ewing, Mrs. C. E. Patterson, Mrs. E. L. Cardwell, Mrs. Raymond Conine, and Mrs. W. L. Glasscoe.

In the early 1900's, a Baptist Young People's Union was organized which was later called Training Union.

The church's first parsonage was built in 1920 on the corner of Sanger and Eighth streets at a total cost of $2,000; the building lasted until 1960 when a new parsonage was built on South Fourth Street, nearer to the church, and is in use now,on the One Hundred Anniversary of the church.

Probably the greatest conversion of souls was in the late 1940's, following World War II, in gratitude for God's grace in sparing America and ending the war.

In 1949, we bought the abandoned McCloud School building, dismantled it and used the lumber of build a nice two-story Sunday School annex west of the main building. It was joined to the building by a large recreation room constructed at the same time with a kitchen on the north side. In 1954, under the leadership of the Reverend Earl Allen, we did an extensive remodeling of the sanctuary, replacing the two side entrances with one nice large center concrete front porch and relocating the baptistery behind the pulpit.

Most of the pastors since 1887, listed approximately chronologically include: J. M. Price, H. T. Money, H. B. Pender, J. A. Caraway, J. T. Gillespie, J. L. Truett, B. F. Fletcher, W. B. McDaniel, S. T. Gideon, Bob Layman, Bill Reisor, Curtis Smithson, Bobby Renfro, Ken Cole, Dale Hill, Charles Upshaw, and Mark Edworthy.

The most recent major construction began in 1970 with the erection of the present church facility. The newest complex contains educational and worship facilities for two hundred fifty people. The present Fellowship Hall and nursery were added to the structure in 1975 and the note was retired soon after the construction. The church purchased a mobile home in 1985 and place it on the lot across Cockrell Street to house the Associate Pastor of Youth/Music. The church is now actively involving all ages in the following activities: Sunday School, Church Training, Booster Band, Children's Church, Pastor's Pals, Girl's Auxiliary, Royal Ambassadors, Woman's Missionary Union, Brotherhood, Youth Wednesday Night Live, monthly rest home services, and numerous other service activities.

The church stands poised on this threshold of her second century with grateful hearts for her heritage and a quickened spirit for the heights that she shall reach. The stirrings of renewal, attested by a record Vacation Bible School and a growing contagion among members, spark a vibrant hope for the future of First Baptist Church. She shall continually endeavor to Exalt the Savior--Equip the Saints--Evangelize the Sinner. "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3: 20 - 21)

The long awaited Centennial Celebration is finally arriving this Sunday, September 6, 1987. This memorable homecoming will include Sunday School at 10:00 AM, a Victory Service at 11:00 AM with Dr. Jimmy Allen preaching, a Dinner-on-the Grounds at 12:30 PM, and a Testimony Service at 2:00 PM. In this afternoon service, we will hear several former pastors and members speak of their years at Celeste. The community is invited to attend this exciting celebration.

Celeste Centennial Celebration
September 4 & 5
Schedule of Events
Friday, SEPTEMBER 4, 1987
 7:00 PM--Little Miss Celeste Pageant, Middle School Auditorium
Saturday, SEPTEMBER 5, 1987
  8:30 AM--Gather at Softball Field for Downtown Parade
  9:30 AM--Flag and Capsule Ceremony, City Hall
  9:30 AM--Mayor's Proclamation
10:00 AM--Parade Begins
11:00 AM--Cloudline Fox Hunt Demonstration, Cloudline Farms
12:30 PM--Pie Eating Contest, Downtown
  1:00 PM--Opry House Band
                   One Hour Matinee, Opry House, Downtown
                   Field Events Begin, Ball Field
  3:00 PM--Opry House Band
                   One Hour Matinee, Opry House, Downtown
  5:00 PM--Best Dressed Contest, First Bank
  5:45 PM--Founding Father's Dedication, First Bank
  6:00 PM--Centennial Songfest, Bank Parking Lot
                   Cub Scouts, Pledge of Allegiance
  8:30 PM--Street Show and Dance
                   Featuring the Second Wind Band
ALL DAY EVENTS  (8:00 AM until ?)
    Museum Pieces in Downtown Windows    
    Celeste Centennial Pub
    Downtown Booths (Concessions, Souvenirs, Crafts, Etc.)
    Buggy Rides, Covered Wagon Rides, Stagecoach Rides
    Tug of War, Cow Chip Throw, Frog Jumping Contest, Egg Toss, Volleyball, Washers, Horseshows

(Advertisers: Hennessy Boots and Saddles, Dean's Cafe, First Bank (the schedule of events), and Riverside-Terra Chemical)

(September 3, 1987, The Wolfe City Mirror, p. 5)

*(Mart and Sarah A. Compton lived at 211 - 218, Precinct 2, Hunt County in 1900. Their children, all sons, then were James, Lemmie, Harrison, Monroe, Vester, and Lester, ranged in ages from fifteen to five. James, 15, was born in Georgia. Lemmie (sp), 12, was born in Texas. Mart and his parents were born in Georgia. Sarah was born in Georgia, but her parents were born in North Carolina. Since the second son was born in Texas, this family was in Texas before November of 1888. Peggy McCarley researches her line and I believe Theda said the family settled out Cloudline Farm way. Some of their neighbors were John Evans, John Cloud, John Luna, and Henry Fritz.

In 1900, James A. Friddle was living on Pearl Street at household 99 - 99. He was forty-two and born in Texas. His parents were Tennessee natives. Mattie was his wife; she and her parents were Kentucky folks. Their children were Henry C., James L., and Buena M. Buena married Dode Davis. Some of their neighbors were Edward and Sophia Croft, Sarah Shields, George Fields, and George Brown. In 1910, they were still living on Pearl Street, but with an extra mouth to feed, Mona. The older children were listed as Carl, Lloyd, and Beuna. Next door neighbors were Christopher C. Perrin on Locust Street and John Rodgers on Pearl. James (Jim) and Mattie are on the 1920 and 1930 census reports for Celeste.

Pate Taylor, another of the charter members of First Baptist was living in Celeste in 1900. His wife was Justiva. Married for eighteen years, they had no children. They were at household 266 - 272. Both Pate and Justiva were from Tennessee--as were their parents. Next door were Hudson, Taton, Osborne, Brownfield. P. G. Taylor is listed on the 1920 census. His wife's name is Tina (so was her given name really Justina?)

It may be the spelling, but the only W. W. McMichael to show up for Hunt County was in 1930 at 184 - 187. This well-known Celeste family's matriarch was Gertie Ewing McMichael who was our oldest citizen during the Centennial. She was the longest church and city secretaries. I don't know the year ranges, but I doubt if anyone will "break her records." Their children in 1930 were Ewing, Roy, Louise, Ella Zoe, Beulah M., Betty R., and Nell. Mr. McMichael gave Texas as his place of birth. His parents were from Mississippi. Mrs. McMichael and her parents were born in Tennessee. He was a merchant in a department store. We know that Mr. and Mrs. McMichael continued to have more children. I probably can't add them all, but, for sure, Jimmy and Frances.

Right next door were William and Mary E. Ewing. They and their parents were from Tennessee. Are these the parents of Gertie?

Enzo Love Ewing was eight years old in 1880. He was born in Texas and living in Hunt County. Ewings show up in Hunt County in 1860 and might be relatives. James Ewing is at house hold 166 - 166 and Enzo is at household 167 - 167 in 1900. Enzo is married to Emma L.; they have one child, daughter Gracie O. It seems to read that Enzo is a "chicken peddler. Enzo was born in Texas; both parents, Tennessee; Emma was born in Arkansas; her father, Tennessee; her mother, Mississippi. Some neighbors were William Marshall, John W. Short, and Thomas Kerr. In 1920, Enzo (shows Eggs) is delivering the mail as he was in 1910. Emma's middle name must be "Lillie" for that is the name used on this census. No children are listed--they are only 48 and 43 years of age. Next door are James O. and Ella Ewing, Beulah McGuire, Bob Eastwood, W. O. Tub. I was told that Enzo Ewing lived on the lot just southeast of the school's administration building on South Fourth Street.

Peck Harrison was thirty-eight in 1920. He was born in Texas. Both of his parents were born in Tennessee. Esta Yeager was his wife. She and her father were born in Texas. Her mother was from Arkansas. In their household are Robert Adams, Frances Adams, and Fannie Yeager. Both Peck and Esta were working at the drug store--he was a manager and she was a bookkeeper. Neighbors were Tom Mulkey, Stella Green, Mattie, Cole, Clide (?) Witt, and Jake Dyer. A cousin, Claudia Cowley, researches this line of Yeagers. I believe Peck and Esta at household 231 - 251 were living on West Sanger in the house that has the historical marker. If they were not living there in 1920, they will. In 1930, James Harrison was at 120 - 122 with Esta and Francis, 17. The mother, Fannie, 76, was also in the household. He was a salesman at a department store.

In 1920, Earl and Ada B. Braly were living at household 202 - 218. He was born in Texas and was making the living as a real estate agent. She was born in Texas, but both parents came from Mississippi. Their children were Dorris (a son), Francis, and Benjamin. Ella V. Gregg was living with them and is shown as his mother. Ella is from Mississippi; so, she must be Ada's mother. Nearby are the Ramirez, Virgil and May Jones, Lewis Berry, and Edgar Medlin. Mrs. Ada Braly was active in the Thursday Club.

Fannie E. White was living by herself in 1930. She was born Mississippi; her father, Georgia; her mother, Alabama. In 1920, she is living with her two sons, Charles who carried the mail and Edward. Their father was from Missouri. Jim and Mattie Friddle are neighbors as are Lem Mickler and Harley and Hattie Blankenship. In 1910, Fannie E. White was living on Fifth Street with her children Charles E., Ellen A., Maury S., and Edward J. Next door was Dr. John F. Harris. In 1880, Charles E. White was living with his parents. He was born in Missouri; his father, Virginia; her mother, Tennessee. In 1900, Charles is thirty-nine, living with his family on Fifth Street. He is a physician. I believe Fannie to be Fannie Roach from Kingston.

Mr. and Mrs. Harley Blankenship are at household 36 - 40. Both Harley and Hattie were from the Volunteer State, so were their parents. Ruby Jo was seven. In 1910, Harley was living on Kingston Street. He and Hattie Blankenship had been married for eight years. Only Irene, 5, had been born. Next door was Richard Blankenship; and wife, Malie B.; and girls Louise, Johnnie R. No doubt Richard and Harley were brothers. E. Blankenship is how, Harley is listed in 1930. Ruby is seventeen. We know that Ruby marries Lem Warren in the future. They have Jerry, Joe, Jack, and Sarah. It is only about twenty miles or so from this 1930 location, but Jack, Sarah, and Ruby live near each other in Greenville in 2007.

In April of 1910, the W. Lowghby (Lowery) Glasscoe family was living on Cockrell Street at 225 - 226. He was born in Arkansas. Parents were from Alabama and Arkansas. At this time he was the precinct constable. It shows that he was widowed. Living with him are Byrd, and Estelline, Letha, only five. In 1920, he is listed under "Erie" Glasscoe. Bert is twenty-four and Merle is fourteen. Herman White is listed as a son, also fourteen. Other children are Mozelle, 6, and Willie Ruth, 3. Erie shows his place of birth as Georgia; his father, South Carolina; his mother, Georgia. Next door is a R. Blankenship and wife, Molie, and daughter, Johnnie. In 1930, Mr. Glasscoe is registered as William Glasscoe. His wife is Era. Mozelle, Willie Ruth, and Guy are the children still at home. His lists his parents' places of birth as he did in 1910. He was contracting to make his living, but I couldn't tell what!

John Thompson and his wife Dora were at household 167 - 174 in 1900. They had been married for seven years, had two children and two had died. He was from Tennessee and Dora was from Georgia. Neighbors were McClure, Birtus Mathews, Jackson, and Greenwood. John J. and Dora A. had John W., Eunice, Vincent J., and Clayton E. in 1910. A Sam Thompson lived a few farms down the road. A brother? Mr. Thompson was managing the gin in 1920. Johnny, Eunice, and Vince were in the household. What happened to Clayton?

In 1910, Earl Patterson was living with his wife, Lucy (Casey) on Fifth Street at household 140 - 140. Their two sons, Casey and Ralph were in the household. These boys would graduate from Celeste and eventually make distinguished doctors. Mr. Earl was a retail merchant in a dry good store. Earl Patterson was also listed on the 1920 census. If my memory serves me correctly, he was killed between Celeste and Greenville (near Greenville) in a car wreck. "Miss Lucy" was a school teacher.

I have already mentioned, Richard Blankenship. His middle initial is "M."

In 1910, W. C. Jackson was living at 100 - 100 household on Fourth Street in Celeste. His family included Lydda Z., his wife, and W. C. and Lottie, the children. I believe this is the family that produced "Our Godfather," Decker Jackson. Mr. Jackson was a salesman in a grocery store. They had been married for four years. Jacob Keith and Duncan Kennedy were neighbors. I want to say the Jackson house still stands and is where Katie Marie Griffis last lived in Celeste. In 1920, Will Jackson was a house carpenter in Celeste. His family had grown to include Jalaska, Wintan (?), Mildred, and Ellen. Next door was Jack Stone and their large family. In 1930, The children were added by Roy, Ruby, James, and Frances. He was still building houses.

I had previously posted Postmaster Robert L. Jones, with wife Bertha, and children Francis, Dorrace (?), and Ouida in 1930. Other neighbors were John Jobe, Lige Jackson, and Luther Pollard. Does anyone know Robert's father's name? I might be able to find him in an earlier census.

Tom C. Clark, 52 - 52, was sixty and had been married for twenty-four years in 1910. He and his parents were natives of Tennessee. He was married to Alice, 40, who had given birth to three children. Alice and her parents also came from Tennessee. The children were Frank, 21; Albert, 18; and Cindy, 4. David Sumrow, John Powell, and Will C. Powell were neighbors.

In 1900. George W. Truett, 33, was a Baptist preacher in Dallas. He was born in North Carolina as were his parents. His wife was Josephine, 28. They had been married for six years and had one child, Jessie J., a daughter born in August of 1897, in Texas. Josephine was a Texan. In 1920, George W. Truett was at 5105 Live Oak in Dallas. Mary, 15, and Annie Sallie, 13, had joined the family. In 1910, the family was at 287 Bryan Street in Dallas, The children's names were spelled Jessie J., Mary, and Annie F.

I could not get the page to open, but James L. Truett, 46, born in North Carolina was living in Whitewright, Grayson County, in 1900. James L. was shown on the 1930 census on Cedar Street in Whitewright, Texas. I think they had been married for about fifty years. He was the minister of the Baptist Church.

There was at 227 - 285, a H. B. Pender, 36, who was a Baptist minister. He was in Texarkana, Texas, in 1880. His wife was F. A. E., 33; and the children were M. J, 12, female; A. R., 9, female; J. W. P., 8, son; H. E., and H. B., 1, son. The didn't move to Texas until J. W. P. was born. There was a Herman B. Pender, 86, from North Carolina living in Dallas in 1930.

On Marsalis Street, in 1900, Newburn Stephens lived at household 55 - 55. He was born May of 1870, was thirty year old, married during the year. He was from Mississippi as were his parents. He was a druggist. His wife's first name was Alice. While she was born in Texas, both her parents were from Alabama. Alice was born in October of 1874. She had no children. Charles Stephens, George Norris, Francis B. Norris, and Greenville K. Cheatham were neighbors. They were living on Fourth Street in 1910. In the ten years of marriage they had had Lois, 8, and Newburn Z., Jr., 8/12. Alice had had five pregnancies. If Charles was his brother and he probably was, Charlie had moved to 3701 Henry Street. He was a traveling drugs salesman.

Charlie McGuire's wife was Miranda E. They were living in Celeste in 1930. Charlie was listed as a house carpenter. I have not been able to find a Mrs. Ellen McGuire.

I could not find a Carrie Witt. Mrs. E. L. Ewing is Mrs. Enzo Love Ewing. If Earl Patterson is C. Earl Patterson then Mrs. Patterson would be Lucy Casey.

If Mrs. E. L. Cardwell is Mrs. Edgar Cardwell, then her first name was Nora. They were living in 1930 at household 145 - 147. Mr. Cardwell was a house carpenter. Their children were Weldon, Oleta, Edgar L., Jr. We know this family as the grandparents of George and Oleta Cardwell Hackney's children.

Also on the 1930 census were Raymon (Raymond) Conine at 185 - 188. His wife's name appears to be Eula. Their children were J. C., Luedale, Margaret, Milton R., and Dorothy. He had the Ford car dealership. Next door was Dr. P. A. (?) Pearson.

As to the list of preachers since 1887, Earl Allen needs to be added before S. T. Gideon. Mr. Gideon is Rita's father and was her during the fifties and sixties. Rita was our classmate, a 1962 CHS graduate. Who followed Mark Edworthy? All I can remember is Brother James Ralson.

Someone needs to update as to the addition of the Stapleton Fellowship and Recreational Building. The new parsonage on the corner of Marsalis and Third streets. What else?)

In 1900, Christopher C. Perrin, 51, is listed under "Perrine." Ella, 30, is also listed. They have been married for ten years without children. In the household is Nellie Lawrence. I think the designation is "adopted daughter." She was born in February of 1884, 16, is single. She was born in Texas; her father, England; her mother Texas. Mr. Perrin is a landlord.

Submitted by Sarah Swindell

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