Central Baptist Church
Friday, May 24, 2013
Central Baptist Church was organized on April 1, 1900. Previous to that time its membership formed a part of old Bethlehem Church. The old Bethlehem building had fallen into such a state of decay that it was thought impossible to repair it. It was then decided that a new building should be constructed. Where this new building was to be located was the matter that brought about the separation of the two bodies. The majority voted to build to the north, at the present site of Bethlehem Church. But there were those who felt that this took the church too far from their home community and so were conscientiously unable to go with them. So after Bethlehem had abandoned the old building and had moved into the new home, there was a smaller group who continued to use the old building, maintaining a Sunday School and occasionally having someone to preach for them. They took the name of Spring Creek Baptist Mission.
In December 1899, S.P.DeVault, a student at Richmond College, was sent out to see what could be done. His investigation showed that there was a need for a church in that community. On January 21, 1900, an Ecclesiastical Council was called with Bethel, Bethlehem, Oak Grove and Second Branch churches represented. The matter before the council was the advisability of organizing a church. The following recommendation was made: "We recommend that the Spring Creek Baptist Mission be organized into a church when it shall have 25 members with letters.
Carpenters donated their time and labor to the task and in a short time a beautiful church building was ready for use.
The recommendation was passed unanimously and on April 1, 1900 the necessary 25 members had been secured and Central Church was duly organized with S.P. DeVault as its pastor. Five acres of land was donated and lumber was donated and hauled to the mill and back to the site for the church.
The original building of the Central Church was an attractive but simple wood structure with steeple and some painted glass windows. In 1958 the church adopted plans to build a new sanctuary. The meant, of course, tearing down a building, which served gloriously for 58 years. Rather than have the building moved and decay in another location the building was demolished and put to rest on the hill where it was born. The present sanctuary, seating approximately 700 people, stands on its site today . The parsonage was completed in 1948 and has housed past pastors until 1979. Today it serves as the administrative building where staff and support staff offices are located.