First Baptist Church of Emory

In 1880 the Baptist Church was located in front of the M.S. Pierson residence. ("Father had a Blacksmithing Contract for the Railroad Crew when the MK&T Track was Laid", The Rains County Leader Pioneer ed., August 11, 1939).
In 1904 the pastor of the Baptist Church in Emory was L.E. Masters; preaching was held every Sunday morning and night; Sunday School at 9:30; prayer meeting Thursday nights. (The Rains County Leader, January 15, 1904)

In the winter of 1909 "the Baptist church extended a call to Rev. D.W. Garvin of Cumby for half of his time at a salary of $300 a year." (The Rains County Leader, February 5, 1909)  Two months later the congregation purchased land on the northeast corner of the public square, where the church is currently located. "The members of the Baptist church have bought a 116-foot strip off the south side of the W.C. Whittle block, northeast of the public square, for a consideration of $400.00. A 25x90-foot lot on the corner belonging to Dr. L. Faulk is included in the lot, which he very generously donated to the church. This gives the church a lot 116' wide and 252' long upon which they propose to erect a nice house of worship and a parsonage. A proposition is on foot to sell the old church to the Christian people, who have no house of worship.  It will be a good deal for both churches, if it can be effected, as the Baptist can well afford to take considerably less for it than it cost rather than to move it, and it gives the Christian people an opportunity of a lifetime to secure them a house of worship. The Leader would be glad to see the deal consummated, as it would give the town another church building." (The Rains County Leader, April 9, 1909)

Fundraisers by the ladies of the church were common activities.  During the winter of 1909 "the ladies of the Baptist church cleared about $30 on their oyster stand last Saturday evening."  (The Rains County Leader, February 26, 1909)  Late that summer, "the Ladies' Aid Society of the Baptist church will give an ice cream supper on the beautiful lawn at the home of Mr. and Mrs. E.L. Allen tonight (Friday). Everybody is invited to come out and spend the evening. (The Rains County Leader, August 27,  1909)  "The ladies of the Baptists' Aid Society requests the LEADER to announce that Miss Eloise Campbell of Greenville will recite at the Baptist church Friday night, September 24th, the proceeds to be used for the church. Everybody invited to attend. (The Rains County Leader, September 24, 1909)

"Rev. D.W. Garvin, pastor of the Baptist church in Emory, tendered his resignation last Sunday to take effect the first of October 1912. Bro. Garvin was called to the pastorate of the church about three and a half years ago. The change was due to the fact that he wanted to visit a sick relative in North Carolina at once. (The Rains County Leader, August 23, 1912)

Revivals, often referred to as "camp meetings" were held annually. Prominent Baptist ministers were secured to serve during these special meeting. "The Baptist camp meeting at the railroad tank will begin July 2nd and continue two weeks.  Dr. J.M. Carroll of Waco will be present and preach during this time. (The Rains County Leader, May 26, 1905)  Four years later "the members of the Baptist church in Emory are arranging the details for a big camp meeting in Emory to begin August 8th.  It is proposed to make this one of the biggest things in the way of a camp meeting ever held in Rains county and to this end Christian people of every denomination are invited and earnestly solicited to take part in the meeting. Rev. Geo. W. Truitt of Dallas, one of the ablest preachers of the Baptist denomination in the State, will be here a part of the time during the meeting, and other able preachers will be secured to assist in the meeting. A large arbor will be prepared for the meeting and arrangements made for the comfort of several hundred visitors. (The Rains County Leader, June 25, 1909)  "The Baptist church in Emory has decided to hold its protracted meeting in the Spring this year. Rev. J.M. Harder of Plainview, state evangelist, has been secured to conduct the meeting. (The Rains County Leader, March 22, 1912)

In December 1915 The Christmas tree at the Baptist church was a success Christmas eve night, participated in by the Methodist and others. It was the purpose of those in charge to have a bag of nuts, candy and an orange and apple on the tree for every child in the town, and we believe they accomplished their desire. That is the real Christmas spirit and that is why we believe it was so satisfactory to everybody - the children in every family in town was remembered. Superintendent Tackett was in charge of the program, which was short.  Prayer was offered by Rev. Esterling and the welcome address by little Miss Vernie Lee Muskgrove, 4 year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs.Lon Muskgrove. This youthful speaker was all that could be hoped for when it comes to speaking, and the crowded house was immensely pleased. And they could not refrain from cheering - just a little bit. Next was a song by the card class, and it was good, too. An illustrated recitation by Miss Mavis Pirtle and 12 girls from the intermediate class was entertaining. Santa Claus then made his appearance and the presents were distributed. The packed house was very orderly and the hour spent very pleasantly. (The Rains County Leader, January 7, 1916)

Dr. D.Y. Bagby of Lone Oak was pastor of the Baptist Church in 1916. "Services at Baptist Church: Sunday school at 9:45 a.m., led by Supt. T.N. Tackett. Preaching at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. by Dr. D.Y. Bagby, the pastor. At the morning service the subject will be "Christian Education". There will be no collection publicly taken. At night the pastor will discuss "Preparedness". In this night service prophecy will be brought to bear upon the present war conditions in Europe. Everybody invited to all these services. Prayer meeting Friday night at 8 p.m. Come. (The Rains County Leader, March 3, 1916) Several months later "at the close of the series of meetings at the Baptist church at the Wednesday night service, the pastor, Dr. D.Y. Bagby, offered his resignation to become affective at once.  (The Rains County Leader, September 1, 1916) A regular pastor was not called until Rev. W.T. Rouse of Memphis, Texas, moved to Greenville and was unanimously called for half-time pastor in Febuary 1917. (The Rains County Leader, February 9, 1917).  He accepted the call previously extended to him two week later.  Rev. W.T. Rouse had accepted a chair as one of the teachers in Burleson College at Greenville as well as served the local church in this territory for half of his time as pastor. (The Rains County Leader, February 2, 1917) Rev. Rouse pastored the Emory Baptist Church for only seven months. In September of the same year the Baptist church of Emory at a conference extended a call to Rev. M.T. Tucker of Greenville for two Sundays in the month. (The Rains County Leader, September 7, 1917)

Singing schools were held annually in the churches of the county during the latter part of the summer. "Our Baptist revival starts Saturday night before the 1st Sunday in July. Everybody put their hands to the wheel and push along. Also, our singing school will start July 16th. The school is already subscribed for and free for everybody to come. That is my understanding about it. The committee is Jim Kennemur, C.R. Covington and A.C. Ivey, and Prof. Ray Leach will be the teacher. He is a good Christian man and an extra good singer." (The Rains County Leader, July 6, 1917)

Rev. L.E. Lamb, pastored the Baptist church in Emory in 1926.(The Rains County Leader, July 30, 1926) At the close of the year Rev. John M. Wright of Ft. Worth was called as pastor of the First Baptist Church in Emory; he accepted the call was here Sunday, December the 5th to fill his appointment. (The Rains County Leader, December 3, 1926)

The T.E.L. Class of the Emory Baptist Church met in regular session Tuesday evening, January 10, 1933, with Mesdames S.C. Duffey and M.S. Roach. The house was called to order by the President, Mrs. G.A. Wynn. Followed by the singing of the Class song. Mrs. Seaton read the First Psalm for our devotional.  The following officers were elected for the new year.
President, Mrs. Maude Seaton;
1st V.P., Mrs. Karl Snodgrass;
2nd V.P., Mrs. S.C. Duffey;
Sec.-Treas., Mrs. H.D. Garrett;
Reporter, Miss Peggy Arnold.
A rising vote of thanks was extended to the retiring officers.  The business session was dismissed with prayer. The social hour was enjoyed with several unusual games and contests and prizes awarded the winners. Delicious refreshments were served to 18 members and 4 visitors. The guests departed at a late hour, each expressing her thanks for having spent such a pleasant evening. The Class meets Feburary 7, 1933, with Mrs. R.T. Pearson and Miss Peggy Arnold as hostesses. (The RainsCounty Leader, January 20, 1933) Edgar Hurst served as Pastor (The Rains County Leader, February 3, 1933)

Easter services will be held at the Emory Baptist church Sunday April 16th, 1933. Every one is invited to attend. A union program will be presented as follows:
Prayer - Rev. Edgar Hurst
Song, "On Calvary" - Choir
Hail the Day - Tommie Tackett
Easter Day - Isabell Mitcheltdee
Take Him Down From the Cross - Mozelle Yancey
Risen - Frances McKay
Song, "Old Rugged Cross" - Choir
Easter Morning - Bobby and Bill Henslee
Easter Dawn - Jimmie Allen
Song, "I know Its Spring" - Junior Choir
The Awakening - Helen and Bill Tackett
An Easter Message - J.W. Giles
Story "A Glad Butterfly" - Gene Allen Reeves
Song, "A Little Girls Walk" - Emma Lee Nabors
Easter Bells - Rob Wilson
A Wonderful Story - Mary Fay Tarbutton
Resurrection - Barbara Jean Nabors and Earliene Henslee
The Joys of Easter - George Roach
Song - Hilton Henslee
All Little Ones Love Easter - Martha Lois Fricks
Children's Praise - Jimmie Skidmore
So Changed - Dalton Henslee
Solo - Mrs. F.S. Alexander
Sermon - Rev. Hurst
(The Rains County Leader, April 14, 1933)

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