Churches in Rains County



Bright Star Church
 (info. from article by Elaine Nall Bay for "Looking Back..." July 30, 1996)

Old church records indicate that prior to 1929 Bright Star Baptist Church was called Locust Prairie.    Records show that the old Bright Star was built in 1900 and the land was given or sold by Mr. Burns.  The original building was a combination school and church.  In 1920 the old building was torn down and moved up the road about 2 miles and then known as McCord's Chapel.  Church services for Bright Star were held in the 2-room school from 1920-1925.  In 1925 a 2nd church building was built under the leadership fo Bro. Humpry, on a site just north of the present church building.  Men went in wagons to Pine Mills for the lumber; some of the names associated with this era are C. Eads, Millard Murdock and Roy Sadler.  This building was used by the congregation for worship until 1964. Construction on the current building began May 1964 and the building was dedicated 03 Aug. 1964.

Pastors : Rev. Fincher, 1929                        Bro. Benton
                Bro. Humpry                                 Bro. Hammond
                Bro. Edger Hurst                           Bro. Joe Alvis Strebeck
                Bro. Billy Eads                              Bro. D.B. Asforn
                Bro. Brown                                   Bro. Brady Bruce
                Bro. Clayton                                 Bro. Jimmy Tarrant
                Bro. Robert Wyman                      Bro. Gerald Blanton
                Bro. Robert Lee Burns                  Bro. Dale B. Osborn
                Bro. Quattlebaum                          Bro. Rod Skelton
                Bro. Alton Patton                          Bro. Wayne Wolfe
                Bro. Robert Stovall                      
                Bro. Earl Kernes

Officers : J.W. Williams, trustee, 1934
                 C. Eads, trustee, 1934
                 Earnest Evans, trustee, 1934
                 Nezie Woodson, church clerk, 1934
                 Edgar Hurst, moderator, 1934

Christian Church - Emory, originally the Christian Church in Emory

Clarks Chapel Church of God  (also known as Flats Church of God)
   (info. taken from 1997 article in Rains Co. LEADER)

Est. August 12, 1917

In 1916 the Bishop, Workman and Proctor families moved to Rains Co. from Tennessee, where the Church of God had its headquarters.  During the winter of 1916 Rev. George T. Brouayer came to Rains Co. & held a 2 weeks revival in the Point theater building.  He returned in the summer of 1917 with Rev. W.F. Bryant to hold another revival, which was held under a large grove of trees on the Flats school yard.  The Church of God was organized on Aug. 12, 1917, with 21 charter members.  The land was donated by Bro. & Sister Robert Rabe; the first church was a small frame building, located across the road from the school; it had a roof, dirt floor, and no ceiling.; the lumber for the building was cut by Cell Cole and the building was built by Bro. McClendon and others.  In 1938 W.E. (Buddy) Mitchell built the first parsonage.  A new sanctuary was begun in 1989 and the first service was held in it on Easter Sunday 1990.

Pastors :
Elbert Akin, 1947
O.A. McBride, 1958
Tommy O'Neal, 1970
Bro. Taylor, 1972-1974
Charles Moore, 1986

Officers :
Lillian Eskue, church clerk - late 1920s
Jessie Swain, church clerk - early 1930s
Bessie Ivy, church clerk for 35 years
Paul Cason, church clerk - late 1970s
Edith Trimble, church clerk - 1980-1997

Colony Church of Christ

County Line Baptist Church --- Established in early 1930's.  Charter Members:  Mrs Lizzie Lennon Lee, Henry and Rose Etta Ely Pippin, Tommy and Annie Ely, Ruth Lee Gilbert, Henry and Easter Ely Bryant, Mr & Mrs WW Gilbert, Mrs
Zula Pippin Green.
Pastors have included:  Willie Kernes, Lee Bloodsworth, Alvah Barnett, Otis Barrett, Rev Taylor, Rev Lechner, Jimmie
Shedd, William Potts, Troy Martin, and Ray Crumton

Daugherty Baptist Church
 (info. taken from HISTORY OF RAINS COUNTY)

IN 1875 Baptist Church of Christ at Bethel #2, Rains Co., was organized, meeting in homes until Jim Garrett donated land for a school; then the congregation met in the school building.  S.B. Redwine ordained to the work of the Gospel Ministry on August 25, 1887.  C.H. Lennon, J.N.H. Copeland, and J.T. McLeroy, Presbytery (DR 7/311) In 1909 the church reorganized into the Daugherty Baptist Church of Christ.  In 1922 the congregation voted to erect a building for worship services.  The building committee consisted of A.L. Bruce and J.T. Ely; Henry Pippin was the lead carpenter.   The building was dedicated 14 Jan. 1923.  Shorly thereafter the building burned so the school house was used once again.  The building committee consisted of Sam Mitchell, John Ratliff & Oden Edwards.  The new building was dedicated April 1924.    After a storm damaged the building in the early 1970s, it was decided to build another building, which was dedicated April 1974.  The building committe consisted of Cleon Spradling, Fred Blanton, Erma Lee Daugherty & Arlie Holman; the finance committee consisted of Oscar Blanton, Valeria Groves, Walter Potts, Thurman Cooke & Willie Barnett with Henry Dougherty as lead carpenter.

Pastors :
J.W. McLaughlin, 1909
J.M. Parkins, 1922
Bro. Hammond, 1973
Billy Smith, 1978


Dunbar in the 1930's. Seems the old Dunbar school was across the road to the South of the church. The existing bulding is Dunbar church's 2nd building, this one having been built in the mid to late 1950's (apparently my Dad helped on the construction here as well as in Smyrna). Personally, I remember attending church there with my Grandmother in the late 50's early 60's; the minister at that time was "Bro. House."
contributed by Tim Johnson

Elm Baptist Church - FM 514     Information or history anyone?

 (info. taken from RAINS COUNTY HISTORY)

This church began in the Willow Springs community around 1860.  The church moved to Emory around 1904; they met in a brush arbor until a frame building was built.  In 1980 2 original members of the Willow Springs congregation were still members of Emory Church of Christ; they were Bud, aged 98, and Sadie Hutchins, aged 91.  Church records show the congregation was organized 14 July 1913.  The frame building with a potbellied stove served the congregation until about 1949 when a building constructed of rocks hauled from Milsap, TX, was erected.  During the construction of the building, the congregation met in the school auditorium.  Land was purchased on Hwy. 69 and in 1970 the present building was dedicated.

Pastors :
Joe Millican, abt 1949

Elders :
G.W. Alexander, 1913
J.D. Hipp, 1913
W.T. Rainwater, 1913
Pascal Wiliams, 1913

Deacons :
J.E. Alexander, 1913
F.M. Ingram, 1913
S.J. Stuart, 1913

Emory Assembly of God - Hwy 19 S - does anyone have a History of this church?

Emory Baptist Church - northeast corner of the square

Emory Church of Christ - Highway 69, Emory

Emory United Methodist Church     Hwy 19 North

Records are not available for the establishment of the church, but Mrs. Lela Ballew's letter dated 1944 to a friend, stated that she had heard her mother speak of the time before she was married, in 1868, of riding on horseback 12 miles from Hooker Ridge, Rains Co. to Emory for preaching at the Methodist Church.  During their first years the congregation met in the old Masonic Hall located on the Emory square.  In 1889 a building was built for worship services in 1889.  The 1894 tornado destroyed the building and all its contents; the bell which hung in the belfy was the only object saved; a new house of worship was built in 1895.  In 1944 the wite frame church was damaged by another storm and a new brick building was built.  This building was dedicated 16 Sept. 1945.  In 1962 & 1963 the educational buidling was added.

Pastors :
John C. Randall, 1873
J.W. Beckham, 1889
Dr. S.S. McKenney
Frank E. Luker, 1915
Howard K. Williams, 1945
Hiram L. "Doc" Jones, 1980

Board of Stewards : Sam Braziel, 1945, Sam Cain, 1945, J H Houser, 1945, Gordon Hughes, 1945, W M "Pete" Rodes,
1945, Mrs Alvin Waller, 1945

Names of founders inscribed on windows :
Tom & Fannie Weatherly
Captain Cain
Sam Cain, (son of Capt. Cain
Leo Edwards

Teachers of the "Card Class":   (which took its name from the brightly colord catechism cards given to small pupils each Sunday) :  Mrs. Emma Edwards, Mrs Rosa Edwards, Mrs Nellie Adams, Miss Lutie Wells, Miss Lou Woosley,
Miss Irene Cox, Mrs Lewis Waller, Miss Bertha Gray Allen, Miss Ada Cain.

Superintendents of church school : J.H. Bradford, G D McKay, Woodrow Henslee, Horace Houser, Alfred Little,
Carl Waddle, Mrs Lillian Berzette (1920's & 1930's), C P Henslee, Sam Cain, Frank Ashburn, G B Jordan, H O Pennal,
Gordon Hughes, Lester Dodson, W J Wheatley, James Graham, Paul Spence, Don Sockwell, Linda Moody, and Buster

First Baptist Church of Emory
(info. taken from HISTORY OF RAINS COUNTY & Rains County Leader) (photo from 1988 Rains Co. LEADER)

Emory Baptist Church is the successor of 2 former church's in Emory - Salem Baptist Church and First Baptist Church of Emory.  The first sanctuary of Salem Baptist Church was a 1-room frame building located on a lot conveyed in 1858 in Springville, Wood Co.  The building had 2 entrances, one for males & one for females.  In 1910 W.C. & Maggie Whittle conveyed the lot where the present church is situated to Salem Baptist Church.  A second sanctuary was build and was in used until Oct. 1937, when it was destroyed by fire.  The name of the church was changed to First Baptist Church between 1909 and 1913, dissolving the old church on Feb. 5, 1915 and organizing with 40 memebers on Feb. 19, 1915.  In 1938 a new brick building with 7 Sunday School rooms was built.  In 1952 an educational building was added.  In 1965 another educational building was added and in 1969 the sanctuary was enlarged.  In 1977 Memorial Hall was built.

Pastors :
D.Y. Bagby, 1915

Fishermans Baptist Church - Hwy 19 S
This church began as a mission outreach, located on the east side of the square in Emory, in the early 1970's - First Missionary Baptist Mission. Members were Pauline & Thurman Asbill, Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Fenter. The property on Hwy. 19S was purchased in the early 1980's.
Members through the years have included:
Clifton & Juanell Dennie, Claudie & Neel Kennimer, Walt & JoAnn Stoll, Jean Vinson, Ray & Elaine Bay, Emily Looney, Charlotte Busby, Darrell Prather, Vernon & Mae Fenter, Rita Briggs, Mr. & Mrs. James Oler, Mr. & Mrs. James Martin, Mr. & Mrs. G.W. Prather

Ray Bay, 1975-1979
Roy Prather
Bro. Ramsey, retired 2003

Freedom Church of God - FM 514

 (info. from RAINS COUNTY HISTORY; *note - this church no longer exists)

This church existed during the 1890's in the Pilgrims Rest community, located about 1 mile north of the Pilgrims Rest Baptist Church.  In 1911 this church was moved to a new site across the road from the Pilgrims Rest Church.  In the early 1920's the church was once again moved 1 mile south, near Hwy. 59.  The name was then changed to McCord's Chapel.  The church was disbanded;  the building was sold, torn down and moved away.

Jacksonville Church - Jacksonville Community Hwy 19 N

Lynch Baptist Church
Point Texas
Oganized in January 1949, with Rev Otis Barrett as Pastor.  Sec & Treas. Mrs Mattie Horton; Sunday School Supt. Oscar
Passons; Bible Class, Mrs Tom Harris, Teacher; Sec & Treas Lloyd McKinney; Asst Teacher, Neely Stockton; Teacher
Senior Class, Kenneth Herring;  Assistant Teacher, Lloyd McKinney; Teacher Junior Class, Mrs Hellin Moss;

Oak Grove Church of Christ ---- Map
Cason TX
The Oak Grove Church of Christ was the only house of worship in the Cason Town community. Some of the families who attended were Carter, McWaters, Ray Shepherd, Jesse & Homer Hayden. The congregation would string lights outside during the summers in order to conduct revival services. About 1953 the church site was moved and a church building rebuilt on FM47 at the water tank. Later the church was abandoned and the congregation attended church services at Point Church of Christ. ---Paul Cason, Feb 22, 2003 at RCGS meeting

 (info. taken from HISTORY OF RAINS COUNTY)

Records of this church's organization do not exist but charter member Mrs. Mary Melton Taylor recalls the church being organized Aug. 1878 during a brush arbor revival meeting.  The church was organized by Rev. A.C. McKay; some charter family members were McKay, Harrison, Hines, Melton Horsley, Taylor, Dyer, Magee, Gatlin, Garrett, Johnson, Gainey.  During the early years, services were conducted in the old school building with brush arbors being built for summer revivals.  Baptistmal services were usually held at the Dyer or Yandell gin pools.  On 07 Jan. 1881 A.R. & Molly Cornelius deeded 1 ac. to G.W. Melton, W.P. Harris, charter deacons of the church.  On 02 Mar 1895 W.R. & Julia M. Shultz deeded 5 ac. to Pilgrims Rest Church; on 13 June 1897 a resolution was adopted to build a church house.  The lumber was brought from Pine Mills and the church was ready to be occupied Oct 1897.  Mrs. Lillian L. Dyer deeded 1 ac. to the church on 16 Oct 1954.  A new building was completed Dec. 1971 with Odell Wilson, Bobby Kile, B.N. Stokes as building committee and Jimmie Lee Franklin, Bobby Kile, and Billy Smith appointed as trustees.

Pastors :
Gaston Hammond, 1971

Men ordained into ministry at Pilgrims Rest :
D.T. Sutherland
J.S. Jackson
W.F. Weems
J.M. Spencer
Wesley Hathorne, 1942
Luther Melton, 1942
Amos Matthews, 1942
L.C. Allen, 1942
Billy Smith, 1975

Deacons :
J.A. McKay
J.T. Pierson
J.R. Bell
Horace Holmes, 1980
Homer Martin, 1980
James Prather, 1980
Jimmie Smith, 1980

Point Baptist Church - picture of new church (built 1990), and picture of the old church which is now used for church services for the Spanish speaking population.

Point Church of ChristHistory and pictures

Point Union Church - Pictures or history anyone?

Point United Methodist Church

New Church at Point
The members of the Methodist church at Point are erecting a church house at Point located on the South part of town, near Mr. ?.J. Rabb’s. The size of the main building is 42 feet long and 32 feet wide but it has two wings 8 feet wide and 16 feet long which really make the building 48 feet wide in the center. The trustees say they are not following style so much as convenience, but doubtless this will make an attractive as well as a very convenient house of worship. The building will cost about $2500 when completed and will reflect credit on the thriving and hustling citizens of Point. Messrs. Ernest McFadden and Clarance McKnight are the contractors for the carpenter work. (The Rains County Leader, January 24, 1913)

Point Pointers
The new Methodist church is under construction by Messrs. Ernest McFadden of Point and Clarence McKnight of Greenville. We hope to have it completed in the near future. (The Rains County Leader, January 31, 1913)

Rains County Leader.
May 9, 1913
Rev. Edwards, the pastor of the M.E. church at Point, tells us that they have ordered seats for their church, which cost them $465. They are individual seats. The date for the dedication service will be announced soon.

Prairie Grove Baptish Church - Does anyone have history?

Prospect Baptist Church

This church is no longer in existance.  The building still stands on the same grounds as the Prospect Cemetery, located halfway between Emory and Point.  A non-denominational congregation currently uses the building for services.
Old Records

Smyrna Church
(article, 08 Oct 1987 Rains County LEADER)

Recorded in Rains County Deed Records is a deed from W.N. Motes and his wife M.A. Motes gave 2 acres of land to the Smyrna School District #9 on 05 Aug 1883, to be used for public free school purposes.  Mrs. George Bishop gave the community its name, naming it for Smyrna, GA, from where they came.  George Bishop helped build the original school and church buildings.  In the early 1900s the original building burned.  During 1902 the poeple in the community started another church building; Jim "Blackie" Kennemer and George Cochran cut the logs; W.J. "Joe" Kennemer hauled them to the Northcut Saw Mill where Bill and John Northcut sawed them into material to be used in the building.  Millard Vincent was the carpenter and overseer of the building.  The new building had 2 stories; the upper room was used for lodge meetings and the lower for church services.  The 3 doors in the building faced north, south and west; the rostrum faced south.  The stairway was in the northeast corner of the building in a small room which was used for storage.  The building was heated by a large wood-burning stove.  The bell in the bellfry was rung to announce the "happenings" at the church before telephones.  A deed dated 09 Jan 1909 gave 2 acres of  land to W.R. Cochran, G.W. Bishop and F.M. Motes, Trustees of the Smyrna School District #9 by  County Judge O.H. Rhodes.; the deed stated that is was understood and agreed that the land would be used for church and cemetery purposes by all religious denominations.  Minutes from 28 Aug 1910 show J.H. Passons as preaching at the church and a letter granted to Sister Kate Ivie; John Ivie, Lee Bullard, Allen Barker, & Henry Covington were elected as messengers to the association.  Azrue Kennemer was the last official secretary listed in the church record books.  In 1938-39 the upper room was removed, the rostrum moved to the west end, and two doors were in the building, facing east and south.  During the 1950s there were no regular services at the church.  In 1958 the church committee and members voted to build a new building; Berry Johnson was the builder.  David Shiflet donated 1 ac. of land to the Smyrna Cemetery in Aug. 1985.  Church services were again organized in 1986 with Rev. John Hope as minister.

Rains County Leader
April 16, 1909
I wish to remind the church that our Fifth Sunday meeting commenced Thursday night before the 5th Sunday in May at White Oak church, three miles southwest of Emory. Come everybody and make this a success.
R.D. Campbell, Missionary   (does anyone have info on this church-----Elaine Nall Bay says she has never heard of it)

Willow Springs Church - Does anyone have information or history of this church?

Willow Springs Mennonite Church - The group is from Gray's Prairie Mennonite Church in Scurry. They held services occasionally at the Rose Community Center over the past couple of years (only three or four services). They held their first service in their new facility on or about June 16th 2004.

Woosley Baptist Church
(info. from article in Rains County Leader, Oct. 1989)

Older people believe the church was organized around 1890 although written records date back to only 1947.  Records show that in May 1950 the congregation voted to tear down the old school and build a new church.  The dedication for the new building was Nov. 25, 1951.

Pastors : Thomas Dement                      Bro. Allen              B.R. Mullins
                 Bro. Eaves                               Bro. Reid                Bro. Collier
                J.M. Parkins                             Willie Kernes        Clyde Passons
                Otis Barrett, 1954-1960           Doyce Nutt            Loyd McKinney
                Hubie Bradbury                      Bro. Williams
                Bro. Bradford                          David Taylor

Deacons : Leon Shelton, 1951
                  Todd White, 1951
                  V.V. Davis, 1951

1951 building committee : Charlie Callaway, Clyde Passons, Raymond White,
Everette Taylor & V V Davis.

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