150th Anniversary
1833 - 1983

Church booklet provided by Virginia Buck.


Built in 1833


Built in 1962

Information for the history of the First Baptist Church of Grantsville
was researched and compiled by the following members:

1833 - 1983
Mrs. Alan Burns
Mrs. Hagan T. Francis
Mrs. Nelle White

1933 - 1963
Mrs. A. G. Burns
Church Clerk

1963 - 1973
Roy Stump
Glen Fowler
Mary Umstead

1973 - 1983
Mrs. Kathryn S. Robinson


Published: Spring, 1983

- Page 1. -

Grantsville, WV

1833 -- 1982

     In the year 1810, a group of Christian men and women gathered themselves together at the home of Alexander and Hannah Huffman for the purpose of holding religious worship. These meetings continued from time to time until February, 1833, when it resulted in the organization by Rev. James W. B. Tisdale of the Bethlehem Baptist Church, one mile above Grantsville, with the following persons constituting its original membership:

Alexander and Hannah Huffman
Joseph and Katherine Bennett
Robert and Elizabeth Bennett

     Soon after the organization was effected, Joseph Bennett and Robert Bennett were ordained Deacons, and on March 17, 1833, Rev. A. J. Garrett was called as pastor of the church.

     October, 1833, the church voted to hold prayer meetings once each month, having the meetings half the time at the home of Cornelius Vannoy and the other half at the home of Joshua Smith.

     A committee composed of Robert and Joseph Bennett, Absolom Stump* and Alexander Huffman was appointed to draw up rules and regulations for the church government. Six rules were presented by them and accepted by the church.

     August, 1834, T. Bennett, Alexander Huffman, Absolom Stump and Robert Bennett were appointed messengers to the Association.

     The first record book for the church was bought from Richard P. Camden of Weston, West Virginia, for the sum of $1.00. A collection was taken for the pay of the book and at the same time a collection was taken for the purpose of buying wine for the church for communion services.

     September 12, 1835, letters of dismission were granted to the following members living on Steer Creek in order that they might organize a church: Absolom Stump, Margaret Stump, Michael and Elizabeth Stump, John and Mahala Selvy, Jacob and Jane Stump, Felix and Mary Norman and William, Sarah and Elizabeth Boggs.

     August 13, 1836, the church decided to hold a communion service November, 1836, and quarterly from that time on.

     Up until this time, the Bethlehem Baptist Church was in the Union Association and July 10, 1839, they requested dismission from the Union Association in order that they might join the Broad Run Association.

     Rev. Mathew Maddox was called as pastor July 20, 1839.

     Rev. A. C. Holden was called as pastor September 18, 1842.

*Great-great-grandfather of Kathryn Stump Robinson.

- Page 2. -

     Letters vere granted September 23, 1843 to the following members living on Tanner Fork in order that they might organize an independent Baptist Church: Francis Vannoy, Mary Vannoy, William Bennett, Mary Bennett, B. G. Vannoy and George Fling.

     April 10, 1844, the organization first took into consideration the building of a meeting house and the following committee was appointed to choose a site and devise plans for the building: J. Smith, Joshua Smith, McFarlan Ball, Job Westfall, and Alexander Huffman. A site for the church was selected on the lands of Joseph Bennett on top of the ridge near the public road and the size of the building was to be 26 x 22 ft. It was later decided, however, to change the size of the building to 24 x 30 ft. Alexander Huffman was appointed to superintend the building of the church house. Subscriptions were taken to provide funds for the building by Joseph Smith, John M. Westfall and J. J. Bennett.

     July 10, 1844, Joseph Smith and Jonathan J. Bennett were appointed deacons.

     Rev. John Bennett was called as pastor November 15, 1845, and was also called July 17, 1869, and July 12, 1873.

     Rev. Daniel Huffman, sone of Alexander Huffman, was called as pastor July 14, 1849, and also January 2, 1875.

     October 18, 1851, John N. Johnson and John M. Westfall were chosen deacons.

     July 17, 1852, Joseph Smith was called as pastor.

     Jonathan Smith, a former member of the Bethlehem Church, had assisted in the organization of the Flat Fork Baptist Church at Looneyville, WV, and June 17, 1854, a council from the Bethlehem Church was appointed to sit in council with the Flat Fork Baptist Church for the purpose of ordaining Jonathan Smith to the ministry. Jonathan Bennett and Joseph Smith composed the committee. Jonathan Smith became one of the outstanding Baptist ministers in the state in his time, working in a wide field and effecting organizations of many new churches. He was granted license to preach by the Bethlehem Church August 16, 1851.

     October 14, 1854, the church withdrew from the Broad Run Association and became a part of a newly organized Association.

     The Big Bend Baptist Church was organized April 1860, Mary Jane Bennett going from the Bethlehem Church at the time of its organization.

     A Baptist Church organized at the mouth of Tanner Fork December, 1867, and letters were granted to John Riddel and Martha Riddel to join with that organization December 14, 1867.

     October, 1868, a committee was appointed to select a new meeting house in the town of Grantsville. The committee was composed of J. Smith, James W. Johnson, and Alexander Huffman.

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     May 10, 1873, a resolution was passed whereby the Sunday School, which was organized June, 1858, at Grantsville, be re-organized and sustained as the Sunday School of the Bethlehem Church.

     Alexander Huffman had served the church as clerk for a period of forty- six years and November 1, 1879, Peter Johnson was elected clerk.

     January 2, 1880, J. W. Pell and A. J. Barr were appointed deacons.

     Up until October 30, 1880, no pastor had been paid more than $50.00 per year for his services for one fourth time. On this date, Rev. J. M. Wood was called as pastor at a salary of $75.00 per year.

     November 6, 1886, a committee composed of four ladies was appointed to solicit money for the purpose of buying a bell for the church. The committee was composed of Sada Scott, Lellia Stump, Mahala Huffman and Emma Westfall. R. L. Marshall was later added to this committee.

     February 4, 1888, a committee was appointed to superintend the building of a church house in the town of Grantsville, the committee being composed of William Barr, J. W. Pell, and A. H. Stump, and February 2, 1889, Lemuel Huffman and William Dulin were appointed to assist the committee. April 5, 1890, J. F. Griffin and Absolom Huffman were appointed deacons. November 1, 1890, Rev. William Burns was called as pastor of the church, and he was also called November 25, 1893, and September 24, 1905. Altogether, Rev. Burns served the church for a period of fifteen years. He died while pastor, June 20, 1910.

     July 9, 1892, a committee was appointed to meet with other churches at Walnut Grove on Grass Run, Gilmer County, for the purpose of organizing an independent Baptist Church.

     Rev. M. B. Stump was called as pastor June 10, 1893.

     March 24, 1894, Rush Run Baptist Church was organized by this church and the Mt. Pisgah Church.

     The new Bethlehem Baptist Church at Grantsville was dedicated on the fifth Sunday in July, 1894, according to the following resolutions:

"Whereas, in the year of our Lord 1833, there was organized near this place a regular Baptist Church and named the Bethlehem Baptist Church with Alexander and Hannah Huffman, Joseph and Katherine Bennett and Robert and Elizabeth Bennett charter members; and whereas, it has pleased Almighty God to prosper, build up and broaden the labors of those brethern requiring the erection of a new and commodious house for worship in the bounds of said organization, therefore:

Resolve that on the fifth Sunday in July, 1894, at 10:00 o'clock and at the new church building at Grantsville, erected for the use of said Bethlehem Church to convene for the formal dedication of same.

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Resolve that the descendants of the charter members be especially invited for reunion and to assist in the dedicatory service.

Resolve that Levi J. Huffman be invited to preach the dedicatory sermon.

Resolve that an invitation be hereby extended to all who may desire to be present on said occasion."

     The organization was moved from Old Bethlehem to the Bethlehem Church at Grantsville October 27, 1894.

     April 28, 1895, letters were granted to the following members for the purpose of organizing an independent Baptist Church at Enon:

J. H. Johnson - Kate Morris - Mary Johnson - Fannie Morris - Absolom Huffman - Zona Marshall - Edith Huffman - S. T. Burns - Margaret Huffman - J. B. Huffman - E. J. Sturms - W. D. Burns - W. F. Dulin - H. H. Bland - Virginia Dulin - Porie Ann Bland - F. W. Burns - C. M. Kelley - R. L. Marshall - Hannah Osborne - Hannah Marshall - Matilda Johnson - Evaline Fogle - Virginia Johnson - Susana Johnson - Mary Jane Johnson - Betty Morris - Jacob Johnson - Brown Campbell - Harriett V. Wilson - C. E. Burns - Verna Harris - A. J. Huffman

     June 2, 1895, McClellan Barr was elected deacon.

     Lemuel Huffman was ordained deacon August 15, 1895.

     A council was appointed for the organization of a Baptist Church at Big Root (Brooksville Church) April 23, 1898.

     Rev. A. S. Kelley was called as pastor September 22, 1900.

     Rev. Geo. A. Burdette was called as pastor April 25, 1903.

     Rev. M. B. Stump was called as pastor March 26, 1904. Rev. Whit Stump was called as pastor July 23, 1910.

     During the years of 1912 to 1914, the church assisted in the ordination to the ministry of Harley J. Francis, Chenoweth Stalnaker and W. D. Burns.

     March 24, 1917, O. J. Dulin and J. N. Cunningham were appointed deacons.

     April 13, 1919, a committee was appointed to erect a church parsonage and the building was erected that year.

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     Rev. J. Smith Dye who is the grandson of Rev. Jonathan Smith was called as pastor. He was also called August 23, 1924.

     June 21, 1919, C. A. Witt was received as a deacon in the Bethlehem Church having served as deacon for several years in the White Oak Baptist Church. Sunday, July 10, 1921, A. G. Miller, F. V. Johnson, and A. B. Harris were ordained deacons.

     Rev. N. B. Hamric was called as pastor December 26, 1922.

     Rev. M. P. Lowe was called as pastor April 7, 1927.

     Rev. N. H. Bartlett was called as pastor October 25, 1930.

     October 24, 1931, the following members were ordained deacons: Harper Burns, Harry Miller, and Bernard V. Elliott.

     The following members of the Bethlehem Church have entered the ministry: Jonathan Smith, Daniel Huffman, John Bennett, Levi Huffman, Joseph Smith, B. W. Smith, J. W. Taylor, J. Albert Smith, and Asa Harris, Jr.

     Following is a list of members who have served the church as clerks:

Alexander Huffman 1833-1879
Peter Johnson 1879-1896
J. W. Pell 1896-1919
Oral C. Hathaway 1919-1920
A. B. Stutler 1920-1921
Mrs. W. J. Mathews 1921-1923
F. S. Hathaway 1923-1925
Russell L. Hathaway 1925-1927
J. A. Francis 1927-1928
M. S. Gherke 1928-1931
Mrs. H. T. Francis 1931-

     Mrs. H. T. Francis is a great granddaughter of Alexander Huffman who was the first clerk. She is the daughter of Mahala Huffman Fowler, who was the daughter of Absolom Huffman, son of Alexander Huffman.

     On the fifth Sunday of July, 1933, exactly thirty-nine years from the date of the dedication of the new church building at Grantsville, the Bethlehem Church celebrated its Hundredth Anniversary. Former pastors who were present and took part of the program were: Rev. J. Smith Dye, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Elkins, WV; Rev. N. B. Hamric who is retired and now lives at Simpson, WV; Rev. M. P. Lowe, pastor of a number of rural churches in Roane County including the Flat Fork Baptist Church, and who resides at Spencer, WV; and Dr. A. S. Kelley of Parkersburg, WV, Secretary of the West Virginia State Mission Board.

     The only living former pastor other than those mentioned who was not present for the Hundredth Anniversary celebration was Rev. Whit Stump of Russett, WV.

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     Song -- Bethlehem Baptist Church Choir

Address of Welcome -- Pastor Rev. N. H. Bartlett

Response -- Rev. M. P. Lowe

Vocal Duet -- Dedicated to the memory of the invisible audience by Mrs. O. E. Jackson and Mrs. Harry Smith

Address -- Rev. J. Smith Dye

Song -- "On the Rock of Ages Founded" dedicated to the church proper by male quartet composed of L. J. Morris, Arlan G. Burns, Oral C. Hathaway and Ralph Morris

Address -- Rev. N. B. Hamric

     At the noon hour a basket dinner was enjoyed by approximately 350 people. In the afternoon, the program continued as follows:

Devotional -- Rev. Asa Harris, Jr.

Reading of Church History -- Bernard V. Elliott

Roll Call -- Church Clerk, Mrs. H. T. Francis

Song -- "Never Grow Old" by children's quartet composed of William and Mary Lea Burns, children of Mr. and Mrs. Arlan G. Burns, and grandchildren of former pastor, William Burns; and Hatzel and Allen Kemper, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Roy J. Kemper.

Address -- Rev. M. P. Lowe

Song -- "Amazing Grace" dedicated to the memory of the six constituent members who organized the church one hundred years ago and to those who taught them the right way of living. By ladies quartet composed of Mrs. O. E. Jackson, Mrs. Harry Smith, Mrs. Hagan T. Francis and Mrs. L. J. Morris.

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     Upon the occasion of the Hundredth Anniversary, a poem was written by Fredrick E. Kellar, M. D. of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an uncle of Grace Louise Kellar who recently became a member of the Bethlehem Church. The poem was written to the tune of "Jerusalem the Golden" and follows:


We've battled on for Jesus
For even hundred years,
We follow where he leads us
And cast away all fears
Against crime and dishonor
Against both sin and wrong,
We strive that we may honor
His name in deed and song.

We revere the memory
Of loved ones gone before,
Treasure left for you or me
Example to adore,
Their truth, their sense of duty,
Their valor in all strife,
Whose names now glow in beauty
Within God's book of life.

We'll battle on for Jesus
Another hundred years,
And follow where He leads us
With cherished hopes, not fears
May Thine own spirit give us
A vision that will last,
And guide us on dear Jesus
As in those years not past.

     Written for and dedicated to Frederick E. Kellar, M. D., Bethlehem Baptist Church, July 24, 1933.


     The foregoing information was compiled by a search of the old church records by the following members of the Bethlehem Baptist Church:

Mrs. Arlan G. Burns
Mrs. Hagan T. Francis
Mrs. Nelle White

- Page 8. -

     In the year 1933, marking the 100th Anniversary of this Church, a history was compiled to cover that period. The following report is a continuation of that history, from 1933 to 1962, as taken from minutes of the Church. The following served as Church Clerks during this period:

Mrs. Hagan T. Francis
Mrs. Margaret Hosey
Mrs. Gladys Stump
Mrs. Arlan G. Burns


     Rev. N. H. Bartlett was Pastor of the Church in 1933. The church budget for that year was set at $1,300.

     Deacons ordained in 1934 were Brothers C. A. Witt, Asa Harris and Harper Burns. Brother Asa Harris, Jr. was ordained to the ministry in August of that year.

     In 1936, Brothers Lloyd Wright and Earl Ferrell were ordained as Deacons of the Church, and Brothers Herbert Hayhurst and Hagan Francis elected Trustees.

     Rev. N. H. Bartlett, having served the church for 8 years, resigned to accept another call. February, 1937, the Church called Rev. Fell R. Kennedy. July of that year J. Walter Stalnaker was ordained to the ministry.

     March, 1939, Rev. Kennedy's salary was raised to $1,200 annually.

     September 26, 1939, a motion by Mrs. A. G. Burns, and seconded by Mrs. Roy J. Kemper, proposed that the Church venture upon a project of a new Church building. The motion was approved. Upon a motion by Bernard Elliott and seconded by A. G. Burns, the pastor, Rev. Kennedy, was authorized to appoint the necessary committees to begin promotion of the building project. A motion was passed to combine the general church fund and the general Sunday School fund, the balance of which, after all expenses of the Church were met, was to go into the building fund. Rev. Kennedy appointed the following committees: H. T. Francis, L. J. Morris and Harry Holliday. A committee of O. C. Hathaway and H. F. Rothwell was to contact and confer with architects in getting plans and prices.

     A motion made on September 2, 1941, by H. F. Rothwell, seconded by Russell Hatfield, that the building of a new Church be delayed until some future date. The motion carried. Amendment made later to the motion, that emphasis still be placed on giving to the building fund.

     In February, 1942, the Calhoun County High School was destroyed by fire. August 2, 1942, a request from the Board of Education was presented before the Church, asking the use of the Church as temporary school rooms. Permission was granted for them to use the basement portion of the Church.

     The mission quota in March, 1943, as asked by the American Baptist Convention, was $200.00.

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     At a regular business meeting, September 26, 1944, the Bethlehem Baptist Church of Grantsville, voted to change their name to the First Baptist Church of Grantsville. The reason for the change being another church of the same name in the area. The motion for change passed unanimously.

     April 15, 1945, a petition, signed by Mrs. Mary Lea Elliott and Virginia Lee Board, was read to the church, asking for Rev. Kennedy to be called as full time Pastor and that his salary be raised to $150.00 per month. A motion was made by Mrs. A. G. Burns that this recommendation be accepted and approved by the Church. Motion carried and Rev. Fell R. Kennedy became the first full time Pastor.

     July, 1945, Brothers Harry Rothwell, Russell Hatfield and J. B. Law were ordained as deacons.

     Rev. Fell Kennedy presented his resignation to the Church on May, 1946, stating he felt a call to another field of labor. It was with deep regret the Church accepted his resignation.

     Upon recommendation by the pulpit committee, Rev. LeRoy Keeney of Charleston, was voted upon and unanamiously called as Pastor. His year to begin September 1, 1946, and his salary to be $1,800.

     The Church approved, March 3, 1948, the appointment of Brothers Bernard Elliott, A. G. Burns and Coda Morrison as trustees of the Church.

     July, 1948, Brother Watt Stump and his wife Lydia, resigned as caretakers of the Church. They had served the Church faithfully for 30 years.

     Rev. LeRoy Keeney submitted his resignation to the Church on January, 1949, to accept a call to the Highlawn Baptist Church.

     March 23, 1949, the Church called Rev. Howard L. Underwood to serve as Pastor, salary to be $2,650.

     December 7, 1949, the Church borrowed $1,500 from the Calhoun County Bank to construct a garage for the parsonage.

     The Church approved a motion to present each new member coming into the Church by baptism with a Bible.

     July, 1950, Brother C. A. Witt made a motion that the Trustees and Deacons submit plans for repairs or addition to the present building. Motion carried.

     A motion was made on April 2, 1952, by Mrs. Mary Ann Barrows, seconded by Mrs. Greta Roberts, that a new building committee be appointed and that all previous building plans be cancelled.

     A list of prospective Deacons was presented to the Church on May 28, 1952. From this list Doyle Elliott, Harry Holliday and Glen Fowler were approved. Brothers Corel Poling and Shirley Hosey were elected to serve as Trustees.

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     April 30, 1952, Brother Clyde Dotson, Chairman of the Planning Committee, reported that Dale Riddle had drawn plans for a new Church building. Motion was made to view and consider this report at the May, 1952, called meeting.

     June 3, 1952, a motion was made and seconded that the plans submitted by Dale Riddle be accepted and Mr. Riddle be given the contract to build the Church at a cost of $55,000. The moderator was authorized to appoint necessary committees. A contract was to be drawn up by the Building Committee, Trustees of the Church and Mr. Riddle, subject to the approval of the Church. Trustees serving at this time were: H. T. Francis, A. G. Burns, Herbert Hayhurst, Corel Poling, Shirley Hosey and Coda Morrison.      October 29, 1952, a motion was approved to buy new seats and pulpit chairs for the sanctuary. A committee composed of Brothers A. G. Burns and Clint Hannah, Sisters Mae Elliott and Ruby Stump selected 19 pews and 3 pulpit chairs at a cost of $2,246. The noney to cover these to be taken from the building fund. Later a matching pulpit was donated. The old furniture was sold to the Willow Island Baptist Church and the money applied to the general fund.

     Following a suggestion by Rev. Underwood, and approved by the Church, the Sunday evening services through August, 1953, were combined with the Knotts Memorial Methodist Church and to be held alternately at these Churches. This proved to be a rich Christian experience for both Churches.

     July 26, 1953, the Church ordained Brother Harry Holliday and Doyle Elliott as Deacons.

     August, 1953, the Pastor appointed Mrs. A. G. Burns and Mrs. Gladys Stump to revise the membership of the Church.

     At a Sunday morning service, September 15, 1953, Rev. Howard Underwood submitted his resignation to accept a call to the Mullens Memorial Baptist Church, Belpre, Ohio.

     October 14, 1953, Rev. William Taylor was unanimously called as Pastor, his salary set at $3,000 and $200.00 allowance on his moving expense.

     Rev. Taylor not to start his pastorate until December, the following interim Pastors served the Church: Rev. J. Smith Dye, Rev. Foster Tuttle and Rev. Dotson.

     A Homecoming Day was observed on September 12, 1954, which proved to be a day of inspiring Christian fellowship with many former Pastors and members attending. Brother A. G. Burns prepared beautiful special music for that day, this being his last service to-attend. His death came suddenly, at his home, on September 18. Brother Burns served as director of music for 22 years.

     March 30, 1955, the Church approved a motion to build a Church annex. A motion was made and approved for the cancellation of all previous building plans and that present building fund be used for construction of the annex.

     Ordination of Brothers Russell G. Stump and Glen Fowler as Deacons was held on July 29, 1955.

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     July 31, 1957, the following Trustees were put on record.at the County Clerk's office: Robert Elliott, J. Russell Stump, Irvin McClain, Len Earl, and Richard Lancaster.

     The dedication of the new Educational Unit of the Church was held on September 1, 1957. Much credit should be given to the untiring efforts of Rev. Taylor and the volunteer laborers of the church membership and community. Estimated cost of the building was $40,000. Dr. Hugh Pickett was invited to speak at the dedication, but passed away suddenly. Rev. Asa Harris, Jr., a former member of the Church, was invited to speak.

     March 26, 1958, a new building committee was appointed for planning on the building of a new sanctuary: Brothers Harry Holliday, Glen Fowler, Russell Hatfield, Robert Elliott, Irvin McClain and Len Earl.

     Rev. William Taylor submitted his resignation on May 4, 1958, to accept a call to the Simpson Creek Baptist Church, Bridgeport, WV. The Church accepted his resignation with regret.

     Brother Hall Nicholas was ordained as Deacon on June 8, 1958.

     July 2, 1958, Rev. Archie Showen was called to be our Pastor. His salary was to be $3,800 and moving expenses. The Showens were well received and immediately a great revival was held. 31 new members were received into the Church by Baptism. November 27, 1958, a son was born to Rev. and Mrs. Showen, named Timothy Paul, the second child to be born to a Pastor while serving our Church. The first was Michael Taylor, son of Rev. and Mrs. William Taylor.

     December 30, 1959, the following Trustees were approved: Roy Sturms, Olin Gherke, Ralph Nicholas and Emmitt Johnson. Two were recommended as Deacons: Brothers Corel Poling and Thurl Proudfoot. At this meeting, the Church voted to give Rev. Showen authority to appoint a new Building Committee which would contact an architect to present plans for the new Sanctuary Building. No action was to be taken except by approval of the Church. The following were appointed to serve: Donald Morris, Chairman, Mrs. Gladys Stump, Glen Fowler, Harry Holliday, Thurl Proudfoot, Corel Poling and Irvin McClain.

     On February 3, 1960, Donald Morris, Chairman of the Building Committee, reported they had met with Mr. Martens of Charleston, and presented tentative plans for the new building. Blueprints for the building would cost $1,800. The building was to be designed to be 5 feet wider and 60 feet longer than the former plans. A beautiful brochure was printed and distributed on March 30, 1960, showing the plans and all relative information.

     Following a report from the Building Committee and the Finance Committee on August 31, 1960, it was decided to be of the best interest of the program, to delay the tearing down of the old building until Spring, 1961.

     December 28, 1960, Rev. Archie Showen, offered his resignation to the Church, to accept a call to the First Baptist Church of Weirton, WV. 68 new members were added to the Church during Rev. Showen's ministry.

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     February 1, 1961, specific rules were approved and adopted concerning the use and abuse of the Church; it was established that permission for public use of the Church must be approved by the Trustees and verified by the Church.

     Rev. F. Eugene Brown of Hico, WV, was called as Pastor of the Church at the February 8, 1961, called meeting. His salary was approved at $3,800, car allowance of $300, M. & M. benefits and his expense of moving to Grantsville.

     June 28, 1961, Rev. Brown appointed the following committee to revise the present Constitution and By-Laws of the Church: Roy J. Stump, Chairman, L. L. Ball, Mrs. A. G. Burns, Irvin McClain, Mrs. Gladys Stump, Thurl Proudfoot and Mrs. Barbara Anderson.

     A report given November 1, 1961, stated we had at the present time $22,418.34 in the building fund. Donald Morris, Chairman of Building Committee, entered a motion that the Church use the Broadway Plan of financing the Church building. This constituted the selling of $50,000 of bonds, ranging in denominations of $50 to $1,000 with interest to be paid at 5%. The bonds to be retired completely in 14 years, at the rate of $100 per week from the Church. The motion carried and plans were made to begin this program. The Church accepted and approved the report of the Constitution Revision Committee at this meeting.

     April 8, 1962, the Church authorized Donald Morris, Chairman of Building Committee, and Glen Fowler to complete and sign the contract with the Gunn Construction Company to build the new Church Sanctuary and adjoining construction.

     After much prayerful planning, the bonds were sold and demolition of the old building was begun. April 29, 1962, ground was broken for the new building.

     And now, this December 16, 1962, our dreams and hopes, dating back to 1939, have been fulfilled. Rev. Brown has worked untiringly since coming to us 18 months ago, but many Pastors and many members have sacrificed through these years to make this beautiful Sanctuary possible. As we dedicate this building today, may we fulfill our true mission by going out to win the lost and dying to Christ. May His peace rest upon us, and use us everyone, to His glory.

Thy will was in the builder's thought,
Thy hand unseen amidst us wrought;
Through mortal motive scheme and plan,
Thy wise eternal purpose ran.
O Father, design these walls to bless,
Fill with Thy love their emptiness;
And let their door a gateway be
To lead us from ourselves to Thee.

(John G. Whittier)

Written and submitted by:
Mrs. A. G. Burns
Church Clerk

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     1963 began with Reverend F. Eugene Brown as Pastor. During the year, the Church began sponsoring a basketball team, finished paying for the new piano and sold 3 old pianos. A record budget of $18,342 was approved for 1964.

     Open house at the parsonage on January 1 got 1964 started. In April, Mrs. H. T. Francis was given permission to buy chimes for the Church.

     Family Week was observed in May by having a business meeting and picnic at Cooper's Park with the Boy Scouts preparing the meal.

     A food committee was formed to take food into families in case of death. A special meeting was held to buy a fan for the sanctuary.

     The Boy Scouts wanted to have a spaghetti supper for fund-raising, but their request was refused since no paying meals were allowed served in the Church.

     A program of cottage evangelism was begun. Plans were made for the coming year to include the first observance of May Fellowship Day. The Willing Workers Class laid carpet in the Sanctuary.

     In September, Rev. Brown resigned. In November, Rev. Clyde Murdock held a revival and the same month our Church was invited to the ordination of Rev. Warder Stump, Jr.

     Reverend Clyde Bush began 1965 as Pastor. He held a revival the week before Easter. Gladys Stump was appointed chairman of "Hostess to the Church." May 12 was layman's Sunday and during the summer vespers were held on the lawn or in the church basement as the weather determined.

     A new lawn mower was purchased for the Church and the phone book listing was changed to "First Baptist Church" so people could find it more easily. For the first time the Church began paying social security on the janitor - Holly Vannoy.

     Rev. Clyde Murdock held a revival the last week in November with the emphasis on winning youth. Services were begun at Bennett Rest Home in December.

     The State Convention appointed Reverend Bush to represent our Church in the processional and pageant at Parkersburg High School, since our Church is over 100 years old.

     A Baptist Mission was begun on North Side in January of 1966. Our Church voted to join in a county-wide religious census. A kindergarten to be held in the Church was discussed and a committee was appointed.

     Bernard Elliott was appointed Deacon Emeritus. The Willing Workers Class built cabinets in the Church kitchen. In November, Rev. Al Crocker held a revival.

     In 1967 a memorial plaque was erected with 24 names on it. Ruth Pell Mackay presented the Church with hymnbooks in honor of her son, Pell Miller. Ross Perry was proposed as a Deacon in July.

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     The youth asked permission to print a paper. They were allowed to, but it must first be edited by the Pastor. The parsonage stairs were carpeted, and we decided to enter the World Mission Campaign.

     1968 brought many changes to our Church. Joe Wilt was employed as the first paid organist of the Church. Rev. Hugh Summers was to hold a revival before Easter, but after one night became ill, so Rev. and Mrs. Iner Basinger held one in September. Ross Perry was ordained as a Deacon in August.

     The hall of the education building was tiled. We paved the street and parking area beside the church. Books were purchased for the Junior High Choir. We began sponsoring Little League baseball. Dr. Fidel Rodriquez was given permission to rent the parsonage until his housing was ready. Rev. Bush resigned in November, so the parsonage was empty.

     During the month of December, groups from the high school sang each Sunday morning. In the spring of 1969, Rev. Dwight Lowther became Pastor, and he was offered $5,200. A weekly ad was begun in the Calhoun Chronicle announcing our services and special events. Rules were posted for the use of the social hall. Members were urged to help pay on a new roof for the parsonage. The Deacon's fund was reinstated.

     Fellowship suppers were begun in 1970 to be held the last Sunday evening of each month. These were held in the Church basement during the winter months and at Mt. Zion Park in the summer. Easter Eve Communion was observed in 1969. Sunday evening services were discontinued for the summer.

     Rev. Clifford Johnson held a revival in April. Junior Round-Up was begun for graded school children in Thursday afternoons after school. The parsonage was insulated.

     Many physical improvements were made to the church in 1971. The ladies made baptismal robes for the Church use. An electric typewriter was purchased for the Church office. Indoor-outdoor carpeting was purchased for the parsonagl kitchen. A fireplace was built in the social hall.

     Mrs. Dessel Barnes was employed as a permanent baby-sitter for the nursery. A new speaker system was purchased for the sanctuary. Filmstrips and a projector were purchased for use by the Sunday School.

     Sydney Sugg and Glen McEndree were proposed as Deacons, and our Deacons and Pastor attended the ordination of Rev. Ralph Blankenship in May. In June a Church homecoming was held. The King's Messengers of Charleston were featured singers. The Pastor's salary was increased to $6,000 and the budget for 1972 was set at $20,000.

     In 1972, the Church entertained the 25th Anniversary meeting of the Little Kanawha Association. The Church began sponsoring Brownies. Air conditioners were purchased for the parsonage. Rev. Lewis (Bucky) Ferrell held a revival.

- Page 15. -

     In 1973, the building note of the church was paid so it was decided to have a 140th anniversary celebration and note burning on September 30. Joe Law was proposed as a Deacon. A new vacuum cleaner was purchased for the Church and railings were installed at all stairs on the outside. Civil Defense declared the Church basement a disaster area shelter. The piano in the Fellowship Hall was refinished. Rev. Lewis (Bucky) Ferrell held a revival the last week in March.


     At the business meeting held on January 2, 1974, a motion was made and and seconded to carpet the nursery, the kindergarten, and the pastor's study. Motion carried.

     March 6, 1974, the Forward Together Fund goal was set at $2,800.00 over the next 3 years.

     The Board of Deacons and Trustees met with Harold Wilson and Orvan Glen Buck and agreed that the First Baptist Church would sponsor Troup #39 Boy Scouts of America.

     Rev. Al Crocker held revival meeting April 28 to May 6, 1974. Bible School was held June 10-15, 1974.

     On June 5, 1974, Dianne and Joe Law, Roy Stump, and Mary Stump were appointed as Nominating Committee to appoint church officers.

     On July 3, 1974, the following delegates to the Association were appointed: Corel Poling, Velma McEndree, Rev. Lowther and Eula Sinnett. Alternates were Jenene Arthur and Mrs. Lowther.

     The Church Homecoming was changed to October 6, 1974, at which time Joe Law was to be ordained as a Deacon.

     On July 31, 1974, Russell and Mary Stump resigned as janitors. Glen Fowler recommended that Ruth Wood be hired as janitor and paid by the hour.

     In October, 1974, Rev. and Mrs. Lowther were appointed to serve as delegates to the Convention on October 15-17.

     In December, 1974, the 1975 budget for $20,000 was presented and accepted. The church voted to buy Christmas gifts for Joe Wilt, Dessell Barnes and Ruth Wood, the only paid helpers in church.

     Rev. Lowther and Glen Fowler were selected to attend a Chrismatic Convention in Pittsburgh on May 19-24, 1975, with the church paying expenses.

     The 1975 Bible School was held on June 9-13, and Rev. Al Crocker was invited.

     A new water fountain was installed in the basement during the summer of 1975.

- Page 16. -

     On December 14, 1975, a special business meeting was held at the Sunday morning worship service for the purpose of accepting the 1976 budget. The budget was explained and accepted by the church.

     February 4, 1976, the church voted to install a new ceiling in the fellowship hall.

     The Little Kanawha Baptist men's fellowship met at our church the third Monday in March.

     Evangelist Jake Boggs was here April 12-18, 1976, for evangelistic meetings.

     June 16, 1976, the mission budget was increased by $100.00 per month. This was to be sent to a personal missionary in Japan (the Springer family).

     The 1977 budget was presented to the church and accepted on December 1, 1976.

     The Junior High Congress was held at our church on March 4 and 5, 1977.

     The church voted to pay half the expense of youth to State Youth Convention on April 29 to May 1 for grades 10-11-12.

     A fellowship supper was held June 26, 1977, to honor Rev. Clyde West, whose 90th birthday was June 25. The Young Adults were in charge of the program and dinner.

     The Baptistry was repaired and renewed this year.

     The 1978 budget was presented and approved on January 4, 1978.

     The l45th Anniversary was discussed and it was agreed to have it in September or October, 1978. Rev. Lowther was to contact Senator Robert Byrd to see he could speak. Rev. Bill Taylor was scheduled to have Sunday morning service.

     On April 5, 1978, Rev. Lowther's resignation, effective April 16, was discussed. The resignation was not correctly submitted. The church voted not to accept it. Rev. Lowther's only comment was "Praise the Lord."

     Dessell Barnes was hired as baby sitter in the nursery during revival meeting.

     On April 14-15, 1978, two men from our church were invited to go to Parchment Valley for Leadership training - Bill Graham and Joe Law were nominated to attend.

     Dessell Barnes and May Tanner are now cleaning the church.

     On July 5, 1978, the Young Adult Class changed their name to the Rev. Clyde West Class.

- Page 17. -

     A workshop was held on July 12, 1978, to work on the Church Roll. The following were contacted: Mae Elliott, Grace Hathaway, Greta Roberts, Lennie Marshall, Lillie Poling, Lelia Rose, Gladys Gainer, and Elma Barnes.

     Bill Graham was given a license to preach on October 4, 1978. New equipment was purchased for the nursery this year.

     February 14, 1979, Dessell Barnes resigned as nursery attendant, and the Evaluation Committee was appointed to evaluate the Church Roll.

     On March 7, 1979, it was announced that new carpet was put in the parsonage, and the church voted that the pulpit chairs be re-upholstered.

     April 22-29, 1979, Bill and Ann Rinderknecht held a meeting.

     On May 2, 1979, Rev. Lowther's resignation, effective May 28, was accepted. The church agreed to waive the constitution to permit his leaving when he needed to.

     Rev. Harold Huffman was named Interim Pastor and Moderator on June 6, 1979. The church agreed to pay $460 and $100 expense to Rev. Huffman.

     June 27, 1979, the church constitution was amended by a committee which includes the church clerk, one representative of the W. M. S., Men's Fellowship, B. Y. F. Fellowship Guild, Board of Christian Education, Board of Trustees, and the entire Board of Deacons.

     Thurl Proudfoot's resignation from the Deacon Board was accepted on June 27, 1979. He was made a Deacon Emeritus, and a certificate of recognition was presented.

     Rev. Brent Franco was called as pastor in a special meeting on November 21, 1979.

     A New Year's Eve sing was held with the Board of Christian Education in charge of the program.

     On December 5, 1979, the Fell Kennedy Class presented a petition to renovate the four restrooms in the church.

     The First Baptist Church sponsored a Little League basketball team. The team was named the Saints, the colors were blue and white, and the coach was Doyle Hupp.

     On January 2, 1980, there was a discussion on the Parchment Valley Project. The church accepted a goal of $3,600 to be paid over a period of three years. These shares were to be paid by individual subscriptions.

     The installation of Rev. Brent Franco was January 27, 1980. A revival meeting was held by Rev. Franco March 30 to April 6, 1980.

     William Harry Graham of Grantsville was ordained into the ministry in a service held in the First Baptist Church of Grantsville April 13, 1980.

- Page 18. -

     April 27, 1980, five new candidates for deacons were voted on. These men were Tom Justice, Bill Law, Jennings Nicholson, Jim Babitt and Hatzel Kemper.

     Rev. Franco asked that a Youth Revival be held in August and that a church revival be held in October.

     A Sunday School Picnic was held at Parchment Valley on July 13, 1980.

     The Billy Graham movie, "Never Alone," was shown on September 21, 1980. The Men's Fellowship was organized with 18 to 20 men present on December 3, 1980.

     On December 3, Jennings Nicholson asked to be taken off the Deacon Board so others could serve.

     March 4, 1981, Hatzel Kemper asked that his name be removed from the Deacon Board Probation.

     The Father & Son banquet was held March 27 with Dave Vanhauser and Don Zeitz from Fellowship of Christian Athletes from WVU as speakers.

     The church sanctuary was airconditioned this Spring with the educational building and parsonage to be done later.

     Church revival was held April 27, 1981, with Rev. Houston Booth.

     June 3, 1981, Bob Law donated to the church a TV system, filmstrip projector, air conditioner and furniture. This furnished the new class room over the garage.

     On August 28, 1981, the church purchased a 55-passenger Chevrolet bus.

     The Sunday School Picnic was held at Cedar Creek Park on August 30, 1981.

     September 27 to October 1, 1981 - Youth Revival with surrounding churches taking part. The pastors of these churches did the preaching.

     On October 7, 1981, Harold Robinson was named as Chairman of Ushers to replace Hall Nicholas. Dennis Boggs was named Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

     October 26 to November 1, 1981 - Church Revival with Rev. Cecil Butcher as guest speaker.

     November 4, 1981, John and Roanna Stump were named Chairman of Family Life.

     Rev. Brent Franco submitted his resignation October 18, 1981, to be effective November 8, 1981.

- Page 19. -

     In 1981, the Board of Trustees spent $1,200 on repairs on the parsonage as follows: carpet in 3 rooms, new hot water tank, new bath tub, etc.

     January 6, 1982, the resignation of Jim Babitt from the Deacon Board was read and accepted. Lennis Johnson requested a license to preach. The motion carried unanimously.

     January 10, 1982, a special business session was called for the purpose of voting to call Rev. Douglas Eades as pastor. He was ordained in November, 1981. He is 39 years of age, married and has three children, ages 9-7-3. The clerk was instructed to write to Rev. Eades inviting him to come as our pastor.

     February 3, 1982, the clerk read a letter of acceptance from Rev. Eades. The church allowed $2,000 for personal moving expense.

     February 3, 1982, in granting a license for Lennis Johnson to preach, a period of time was not specified. Roy J. Stump moved and Roger Propst seconded we specify a three year period. The motion carried.

     March 17, 1982, the clerk was authorized to write a letter to Rev. Harold Huffman, Ordination Chairman, requesting a council meeting for the interrogation of William Lennis Johnson prior to his state recommendation for accreditation.

     March 31, 1982, a gift of $150 was given to Lennis Johnson to buy books needed for his ministry.

     June 2, 1982, there are two revivals planned. There will be a Youth Revival in August and Church Revival in October.

     June 16, 1982, Rev. Douglas Eades called a special business session to vote on the Deacons proposed to begin their years proving. The names of John Stump, Joe Lancaster, Mitchell Nicholas, Dennis Boggs, and Roger Propst were proposed. It was duly moved and seconded that they be accepted.

     July 7, 1982, a ramp has been installed, and the parsonage for been air conditioned.

     August 4, 1982, a railing has been ordered for the ramp, and bids were being taken to re-roof the church. A new amplifying system has been approved for the use of two microphones and cassette adaptor.

     September 1, 1982, the trustees reported that they had three bids on the roof. The unit for the amplifier has been received but not installed.

     October 6, 1982, the trustees reported that their new chairman was Tom Law. The bid for the roof has been awarded to Lancasters by the end of October. The Deacon Board recommended that we give the Pastor each fifth Sunday off, effective January 1, 1983.

     December 1, 1982, the Deacon Board reported that a Lay-Speaker group is being formed. Letter will be sent to Associational churches when they are available.

- Page 20. -

PASTORS FROM 1833-1982

Rev. A. J. Garrett - 1833-1839
Rev. Mathew Maddox - 1839-1842
Rev. A. C. Holden - 1842-1845
Rev. John Bennett - 1845-1848
Rev. John Stump - 1848-1849
Rev. Daniel Huffman - 1849-1852
Rev. Joseph Smith - 1852-1853
Rev. John Stump - 1853-1869
Rev. John Bennett - 1869-1871
Rev. John Stump - 1871-1873
Rev. John Bennett - 1873-1875
Rev. Daniel Huffman - 1875-1880
Rev. J. M. Wood - 1880-1890
Rev. William Burns - 1890-1900
Rev. A. S. Kelly - 1900-1903
Rev. George A. Burdette - 1903
Rev. M. B. Stump - 1904
Rev. William Burns - 1905-1910
Rev. Whit Stump - 1910-1919
Rev. J. Smith Dye - 1919-1922
Rev. N. B. Hamric - 1922-1924
Rev. J. Smith Dye - 1924-1926
Rev. M. P. Lowe - 1926-1930
Rev. N. H. Bartlett - 1930-1936
Rev. Fell Kennedy - 1937-1946
Rev. LeRoy Keeney - 1947-1949
Rev. Howard Underwood - 1949-1953
Rev. William Taylor - 1953-1958
Rev. Archie Showen - 1958-1960
Rev. F. Eugene Brown - 1961-1964
Rev. Clyde Bush - 1965-1968
Rev. Dwight Lowther - 1969-1979
Rev. Brent Franco - 1980-1981
Rev. Doug Eades - 1982-

DEACONS FROM 1833-1982

Joseph Bennett - 1834
Robert Bennett - 1834
Jonathan J. Bennett - 1844
Joseph Smith - 1844
John N. Johnson - 1851
John M. Westfall - 1851
J. W. Pell - 1880
A. J. Barr - 1880
J. F. Griffin - 1890
Absolum Huffman - 1890
McCellan Barr - 1895
Lemuel Huffman - 1895
Olin J. Dulin - 1917
J. N. Cunningham - 1917
C. A. Witt - 1919
A. G. Miller - 1921
F. V. Johnson - 1921
A. B. Harris - 1921
Harper Burns - 1931
Harry Miller - 1931
Bernard V. Elliott - 1931
Lloyd Wright - 1936
Earl Ferrell - 1936
Harry F. Rothwell - 1945
Russell Hatfield - 1945
J. B. Law - 1945
Holly Vannoy - 1947
Doyle Elliott - 1953
Harry Holliday - 1953
Glen V. Fowler - 1955
Russell G. Stump - 1955
Roy J. Stump - 1957
Hall Nicholas - 1958
Corel Poling - 1960
Thurl Proudfoot - 1960
Ross S. Perry - 1968
Sydney Sugg - 1971
Glen McEndree - 1971
Joseph (Joe) Law - 1973
Jim Babitt - 1981
Bill Law - 1981
Tom Justice - 1981
John Stump - 1982
Joe Lancaster - 1982
Mitchell Nicholas - 1982
Dennis Boggs - 1982
Roger Propst - 1982


Alexander Huffman - 1833-1879
Peter Johnson - 1879-1896
J. W. Pell - 1896-1919
Oral C. Hathaway - 1919-1920
A. B. Stutler - 1920-1921
Mrs. W. J. Matthews - 1921-1923
F. S. Hathaway - 1923-1925
Russell L. Hathaway - 1925-1927
J. A. Francis - 1927-1928
M. S. Gherke - 1928-1931
Mrs. H. T. Francis - 1931-1951
Margaret Hosey - 1952-1953
Gladys Stump - 1953-1957
Nora E. Burns - 1957-1971
Mary Umstead - 1971

Page 21
Click Here


Men's Sunday School Class

Women's Sunday School Class

J. W. Pell Y.M. Bible Class Band

Ruby Stump, Groundbreaking, 29 Apr 1962

Dedication of Cornerstone.
Corel Poling, Don Morris, Rev. Eugene Brown, Holly Vannoy

Watt Stump,
Groundbreaking for Educational Unit, 1 Sep 1957