Churches of Miller County

A History of Miller County, Missouri
By Gerard Schultz, 1933

The Baptist denomination is represented in almost every town and rural community in the county. The present Baptist churches in the county have been organized in the following order: Iberia, 1843; Blue Springs, 1844; Hickory Point, 1849; Brumley, 1855; New Salem, 1868; Green Ridge, 1868; Tuscumbia, 1891; Eldon, 1892; Olean, 1894; Ulman, 1897; Bagnell, 1898; Central, 1900; Glenwood, 1901; Union, 1902; Mount Carmel, 1904; Elm Springs, 1913; Henley, 1927.

The oldest Baptist church in the county which was continued as an active congregation until today is the Iberia Baptist Church or, as it was first known, the Big Richwoods Baptist Church.

Blue Springs Church was organized by Reverend Thomas McComb. The Brumley Church was started under the direction of Reverend William McCubbin. (The charter members were George Francis Payne, William and Catherine Presley, Serepta, and Mary F. Hawkins, Jacob and Mary McComb.) Green Ridge Church was founded by Reverend John Blackburn, Rocky Mount by Elders T. Howell and J.R. Jones and Deacon C. Tyndall, Flatwoods by J.M. Houston, David McComb, and J. M. Brockman. The charter members of this church were Senator Thomas Scott, W.S. John, Susan, Margaret and S.F. Carroll.) The Aurora Springs Church was organized by Reverend E.M. Lumpkin, who with Reverends W.D. Jordan and N. Allen founded the Spring Garden Church. (The charter members of the Spring Garden Baptist Church were E. M. Lumpkin and family, H.L. Moles, L.S. Wadley, J.N. and Malinda Dooley, and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Cook.


In the year of 1881 Aurora Springs, being a thriving community, incorporated into a town with a population at around 700 people. It became known as "The Great Samaritan of the West", a renowned health and pleasure resort in Missouri. This was mainly because of the springs that gave refreshing cool water.

During the fall of 1882 a group of Baptist led by E.M. Lumpkin met and organized what was then known as the First Baptist Church of Aurora Springs.

Charter members of the church were: C.T. Cunningham (Deacon), Mary Cunningham, Nannie Caufman, N.J. Caldwell, Basha Caldwell, Lucy Gouge, and Marguerite Colvin. The members elected Edd Lumpkins to be the first pastor. The new church met in the basement of the City Hall and became known as the First Baptist Church of Aurora Springs.

In 1883 a new church building was erected by the Presbyterians and the Baptist started holding their meeting's in this building every forth Sunday. In 1884 John Cowen built a church building for the Methodist that was located where the present Aurora Springs Baptist Church parking lot is now located. Since the Presbyterian Church had become crowded, the Baptist rented the new Methodist church building and continued to meet every fourth Sunday.

The First Baptist Church of Aurora Springs met in the Methodist Church until the 1915 when the building was purchased from the Methodist. The building was used for worship until the present church building was built.

Aurora Springs Baptist Church Sponsored a mission West of Brumley during the 1960' s, known as the "China Ridge Baptist Mission". The Church has licensed and/or ordained 18 men to the ministry over the years.

In 1900 the Church applied to the Concord Association for a letter of dismissal so that the Church could join the Miller County Association. The Church had belonged to the Concord Association since 1882. The letter was granted and in 1901, The First Baptist Church of Aurora Springs became a member of the Miller County Association. Sometime during the year of 1921, the First Baptist Church of Aurora Springs became known as the Aurora Springs Baptist Church. When a Union Sunday school was started in 1884, it was not accepted by adults and the men did not attend. This put financial stress on the Sunday school making it necessary to incorporate the Sunday school with the church. The church treasurer then handled all the finances of the school and church. It was also during this time that the men sat on one side of the church and the women and children sat on the other side.

In 1936, Allen Vernon, Bill Towns and Edgar Vernon were appointed as a committee to locate property for the new church building. Two lots, located just north of the old church building, were purchased in 1937. The building was completed and dedicated on September 17, 1938. The old building was dismantled and the lumber used in the construction of the new building.

The first parsonage was purchased across the road west of the building in 1945. In 1946 the first education building and baptistry was constructed. The present parsonage was constructed in 1957. The last major construction occurred in 1982 when the auditorium and basement were enlarged and remodeled. This added more seating and another Sunday school classroom.

Over the history of the church there have been 32 pastors:
Edd Lumpkins, L. Maples, J. Hue Robinson, Green, W.G. Scrivener, David McCombs, S.O. Burks, T. Cornett, J.N. Henderson, J.T. Cornett, T.H. Baughman, Todd, D.G Neville, Roy Martin, W.G. Self, W.L. Howser, C.E. Hedrick, J.S. Hicks, D.S. Scrivener, N.E. Williams, C.S. Vaught, Earl Throgmorton, Frank Smith, Gail Bearman, Everett Dane, Carl Curtis, James Marshall, Howard James, August Williams, Bob Stevenson, Bill Martin and Ernie Buscher.

By Rev. Wendell Estill and F.S. Brooks

Organized in 1898 with 18 charter members, Bagnell Baptist served a mostly rural community. Various buildings have served the church in the town of Bagnell, then on old Highway 54 in Mead's flats and since 1970 at its present site about one-half mile north of Bagnell Dam at the intersections of U.S. 54 and Highway "W".

Two brothers, John and Jim Northrip, along with their wives, were instrumental in organizing the church and the building of the first church in Bagnell, high upon a hill. In 1915 a new building was built in downtown Bagnell mainly through the efforts of John Maryland, pastor at that time and Albert Thompson. A big flood in the 1930's covered all of that building except the church steeple.

On May 10, 1949, excavation began for a new church to be located on Mead's flats. With the aid of volunteer labor, the church was able to hold worship services in the building only six weeks later.

Twenty years later the decision to build a new four lane highway near that building prompted another move. In 1969 it was decided to move the existing building to the new location. This was done by dividing it into three sections. Services were held in a Quonset hut at the present location until a completion of the new auditorium. The complete facility was dedicated in March 1971.


Barnett Baptist Chapel was organized on October 5, 1969, and held the first service on the same day in the building formerly occupied by the Assembly of God Church, located at the intersection of Maple and Second Street.

Nineteen members from nine Baptist churches made up the fellowship, which conducted a full scale program from its beginning. Charter members of the Chapel who also served as the Chapel's first officers include: Desta Kidwell, Guy Kidwell, Fern Bunch, Evelyn Bonnett, Rose McKinley, Agnes Howser, and Eula Pope.

The Chapel conducted its first baptisms October 19, 1969. They were Marina Marriott and Barbara Wry. The first revival was held later the same year in November. Three were received as members during the revival. The Chapel's first Vacation Bible School was conducted during June 1-5, 1970.

A building fund was established in February of 1970 to purchase the building and property the Chapel was using. Full payment for the property was on June 17, 1970.

The chapel voted to constitute as an autonomous chapel and member of Miller County Baptist Association in August of 1970. In March of 1971 the Chapel voted to construct an addition to the existing building, with the dedication of the new fellowship hall held in October of the same year.

In 1975 the Chapel voted to purchase the neighboring land and building to be used as a parsonage. The Chapel was fortunate to receive very good, used pews from the Blue Springs Baptist Church and in turn gave the old pews to Ozark Tabernacle Assembly at Cole Camp.

The Chapel voted to change its name to Barnett Baptist Church in January of 1989. The Church was incorporated the same month and elected its first board of directors. The parsonage was sold in February.

For several years the Church prayed for some land to build a church on, with very little response. In November of 1993, Margaret Jones announced that she would not sell the church any land but would give the church two acres on Hwy. 52, in her parents' name.

Pastors who have served Barnett Baptist Church: Tommy Bunch (1969-1975), Richard Salmons (1976-1978), Bill Helvey (1978-1979), David Griffith (1980-1981), Tommy Bunch (1981-1985), (1986), Lloyd Sands (1987), George Duckworth (1987-).


This photograph of the Barnett Church, donated by Sylvia Ramsey Long, was taken in 1907. The church was located in the Little Bear Creek area near a post office named Blackmer. The Barnett School, closed in the mid 1930's, was close by.

 Barnett Baptist Church (Old)
Barnett Church Revival Meeting

The donor tells us that the photograph was taken at the close of a revival meeting which ended with a basked dinner. Among those identified is Katie Henderson, the baby in the back row in her father's arms and grandfather Ramsey with the long white beard in the next to the back row.

Pastor Simon Peter Cox is in the front row in a dark suit, holding a bible. He was the son of Thomas Cox who was from Virginia. According to Mrs. Long, Simon Peter Cox served as pastor of various country churches for over 50 years, holding revivals and different positions in the Miller County Association. After losing his sight, he moved to Kansas City, MO to be near his children. He passed away there and is buried in Washington Cemetery in Independence, MO.


Blue Springs Baptist Church was organized on April 1, 1844. Worship services were held in homes for the first four years. Some of the first members were Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stark, John Conner, Sarah Conner, Jane Wadley and Nathan Cooper.

The first Church building was erected in1 848 and was constructed of logs. Tom and Billy Conner took ox teams to southeast Missouri to get pine lumber for the floor and ceiling. The trip took almost three weeks.

In 1899 the old log building was replaced by a frame building which served as the place of worship until the early 1950's.

One highlight of the church happened December 5, 1940, when 51 people were baptized in Blue Spring Creek. A five week meeting was held in August and September, with three baptisms, followed by a week in November of the same year.

The church had dinners under the big burr oak tree in the church yard before the basement was constructed.

The present church was completed in 1953. Dedication services were held on March 21 of the following year. The building was paid for in 1954.

The following have been ordained or licensed to preach from the Blue Springs Church: D.F. Vaughn, W.W. Bunch, Ray Conyer, Willard Brewer, Tommy Bunch, David Bunch, James Bunch, Eddie Vernon, Ronnie Stark, Jerald Nelson, David McDowell, Ed Teal, Larry Polly and Glenn Hammond.

On April 24, 1994 Blue Springs celebrated their 150th anniversary with special services held after the morning worship. Many former members reminisced about past years at Blue Springs.

Pastors who have served Blue Springs Baptist church over the years include:
J.S. Mahan (1912), S.P. Cox (1923), R.A. Wood (1926), L.V. Webb (1928), W.W. Bunch (1929), R.A. Wood (1930), Robert Sandfort (1934), L.V. Webb (1936), Davy Vaughn (1937), James DeLong (1940), Stevenson (1942), James DeLong (1942), R.A. Wood (1942), Gibhardt (1943), Ralph Blair (1944), Willard Brewer (1945), C.A. Morgan (1947), Henrey Knight (1947), Tommy Bunch (1948), S.E. Barker (1949), L.V. Webb (1950), Charles Cox (1952), James DeLong (1954), Eddie Vernon (1955), Roy Martin (1958), Tommy Bunch (1961), E.M. Hay (1966), James Eager (1968), Jerald Nelson (1971), Howard James (1972), Al Greathouse (1975), David McDowell (1976), Harvey Moad (1979), Charles Cox (1979), Ed Teal (1980), Dale Langley (1984), Randy Smith (1985), Glenn Hammond (1986), Ron Behrens (1987), and John Shifflet (1994-).


The United Baptist Church of Christ at Union was organized in 1855 by William McCubbin after holding a series of meetings in homes along the Grand Auglaize Creek in the southern Miller County.

Charter members of the new congregation were George Payne, Frances Payne, William Hawkins, Catherine Hawkins, Presley Hawkins, Sarepta Hawkins, Mary Hawkins, Jacob McComb, Mary McComb, Alfret Devore, and Elizabeth Devor.

It remains unknown when the congregation built their first meeting house. Minutes from the 15th annual session of the Osage River Association of Baptist Churches states that the meeting was held at the Church at Union in the summer of 1859, so evidently the building had been constructed prior to this date. History indicates that a frame meeting house was built in 1889, which probably replaced the original building (probably made of logs). The church house was located up the Mill Creek valley from that stream's juncture with the Grand Auglaize, approximately one-half mile east of the little crossroads that would later become the village of Brumley.

The Church at Union was a member of the Osage River Association of Baptist Churches for many years. In 1883 the association apparently began having difficulties and the possibility of dissolving the association was apparently on the agenda of the annual meeting. The association did survive; however, in 1889 the delegates from the church of Union were given instructions to consider the propriety of organizing a new association out of the Osage River Association to embrace all the churches in Miller County and to be called the Miller County Association. The name officially became the Miller County Association of Baptist Churches in 1891.

On March 22, 1890, Samuel Burks proposed that the name of the church be changed from Union to Brumley. The proposal was not acted upon until May of 1890 and was defeated. Rev. Burks amended his motion to simply add the name of Brumley to Union. Again the motion was defeated. The matter did not come up again until November 21, 1891, when R.B. Carnett was in his first month as pastor of the church. The name was changed at that time from the United Baptist Church of Christ at Union to the First Baptist Church at Brumley.

By 1882 the church structure built in 1866 along Mill Creek was in very bad repair. Church records state "the church failed to meet on account of the house not being in suitable condition to hold meeting in". In February of 1883 the congregation decided to build "our church house at the town of Brumley, agreed to build a frame 40 x 2411o Records indicate that the new building was completed by the fall of 1883.

The growth of the congregation in the late 1890's quickly made the new structure obsolete. On December 14, 1901 a building committee was appointed to select a building site and erect a house of worship and also dispose of the old house and lot. On May 22, 1904 a new concrete church house was dedicated at a special service. The total cost of the building was $1,723.60 and is the building still serving as the main auditorium for the Brumley Baptist Church. Over the years many have been called from the Brumley First Baptist Church for Christian service. The first called were charter members of Brumley Baptist, William Hawkins and Jacob McComb.

Many interesting events have happened over the years. In early years of the church, due to great distances to travel and the available transportation, services were conducted only one weekend per month. Services would begin on Saturday morning and run all day, start again Sunday morning and run all day Sunday. If attendance was good and more interest shown then worship would continue on Monday and run into the week, day and night, until folks simply had all the "religion" they could stand.

Church membership was considered a serious commitment. A wayward member guilty of such atrocities as "swearing" or "card playing" were confronted and dealt with promptly. If reconciliation wasn't forthcoming rather quickly, then it was "out the door and see you later. II A letter would be granted and church membership had to be sought elsewhere. More serious "crimes", such as "dancing" or "lewd conduct or behavior", were dealt with more severely. Fellowship would be withdrawn without a letter of dismissal (called exclusion) meaning, sooner or later, if membership was desired with another Baptist congregation, the "crime" would have to be confessed in order to receive the letter allowing acceptance.

In 1908 the church reported a total membership of 172 members. In 1911, what started as a two week revival, resulted in a month long revival. Religious fervor gripped the community and spread throughout the area like "wildfire". At the conclusion of the meeting, a total of 96 new members had been added to the church roll.

When the new church was built in 1904, a belfry was not part of the plan, so on September 25, 1909 a committee was appointed to "superentend" the building of a belfry. The belfry was built in 1909 and still greets worshippers as they approach the church from the north.

The following have been pastors of Brumley Baptist Church:
Jacob McComb (1871), Samuel Burks (1875), J.M. Hibbs (1877), S.H. Lane (1880), J.J. Burk (1882), Samuel Burks (1884), T.J. Zumwalt (1888), Samuel Burks (1889), E.L. Hawkins (1890), R.B. Carnett (1891), W.E. Sears (1900), James Bandy (1901), James Brown (1904), E.L. Hawkins (1908), G.W. McClellan (1909), J.S. Mahan (1912), Jesse Brown (1914), W.C. Self (1916), James Brown (1917), W.O. Scrivner (1919), Simon Cox (1920), W.S. Birge (1921), Roy Martin (1923), J.S. Mahan (1925), Genry Gillenwaters (1926), Ray Robinett (1927), William Bunch (1929), G.L. Jackson (1934), Virgil Manes (1938), Bill Williams (1940), William Mihlfeld (1941), Ray Schwart (1942), Willard Brewer (1943), Billie Scrivner (1946), Clyde Faulkner (1947), Willard Brewer (1947), Charles Carr (1949), Neil Terwilliger (1950)k, Frank Manes (1952), Marvin Davis (1956), C.R. Morgan (1957), Keith Huffman (1959), Donald Gardnerds (1961) , Donald Gardner (1961), Eldon Smith 1963), Keith Millis (1965), Ronald Teare (1969), Selby Graham (1971), Paul Martin (1974), William Rosen (1977), Lloyd Patterson (1981), Charles Caldwell (1982), David Williams (1989).

The current pastor is Rev. Vernon Arthur. Pat Irwin is Sunday school Director, Flora Wall, Music Leader and Delores Plemmons, Pianist.

 Central Baptist Church, 1952

Circa 1952
Included in the picture: Clarence Russell, Cecil Apperson, Lloyd Green, Tommy Green, Helen Green, Darrell Apperson, Dave Martin, Harley Jenkins, Dessie Cox, Erma Jenkins, Charles Cox, Mallory Skiles, Betty Cox, Shirley Apperson, Doris Martin, Lucille Jenkins, Florence Green.


In 1895, Eldon had a population of about 400 people and had three churches, Methodist, Congregational and Christian. There were a few Baptist people living in Eldon, but they did not have a church house or organization. Included among these people were Mr. and Mrs. David McComb, Mr. and Mrs. F.M. McCasland, Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Lumpkin, Mr. and Mrs. J.A. Roark, Mr. and Mrs. William Austin, Mr. and Mrs. H.A. Snyder, Mr. and Mrs. E.A. Snyder, Mrs. Jasper Kelsay, Mr. and Mrs. George Kelsay, Mr. and Mrs. C.A. Lester, Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Carnett, Mr. and Mrs.Fred Bealer, Ellen Pruitt and May Musser. These were the charter members of the church.

The charter members met in the Methodist Episcopal Church in the fall of 1895 and organized what is now known as the First Baptist Church of Eldon, Missouri. Early records indicate that the church was first called the Eldon Missionary Baptist Church. The congregation met the second Saturday and Sunday of each month at 11:00 a.m. and had one protracted meeting a year for a rental fee of $1.00 per month. The first protracted meeting was November 21, 1985. In 1902 the wording of protracted meeting was changed to revival meeting. Four delegates were elected to the Miller County Baptist Association at the August meeting; E.M. Lumpkin, H.A. Snyder, Wm. E. Austin and May Musser. E.M. Lumpkin was chosen as pastor for the remainder of the 1895.

In December 1895, block number 17 was purchased. The location was west of what was formerly the junction of the Rock Island and Missouri Pacific Railroads. A committee was appointed to make arrangements to build a new church.

In June 1896, the congregation voted to buy the Presbyterian Church at Aurora Springs, and by October, the note was paid in full. After the foundation was completed the church house was moved and was dedicated in June 1897. The total cost of the building was $1,000.

Sunday school was organized in July, 1897. A pastor was elected every year at the same time officers of the church were elected. The pastors were elected half-time. W.A. Pipkin became the first full-time pastor in 1906.

 First Baptist Church of Eldon, 1909
First Baptist Church of Eldon, 1909

The Miller County Association first met at Eldon First Baptist Church in 1907. The district had a tent which was set up for these meetings.

During a tent revival, which began June 6, 1906 and ended July 11, 1906, 56 decisions were made. There were eight baptismal services during this time. In March 1907, a building committee was appointed. They reported that the existing building was in no condition to be moved and that an entirely new building could be erected for a little more than it would cost to move and remodel the present building. Property was purchased at 2nd and Pine. Services were held at the City Hall until the new building was completed. The building was dedicated debt free on February 23, 1908. In 1909 an addition was built for Sunday school purposes, making the total cost about $7,000.00.

On Sunday morning, March 22, 1914, the church building caught fire from some unknown cause and was totally destroyed. Only a small part of the furniture was saved.

On the following Wednesday evening the church met at the City Hall and appointed a building committee. The committee recommended the construction of a brick building on the old site which would cost approximately $10,000.00. On September 19th, the doors were thrown open and in the evening of that date all other denominations dismissed services, and joined First Baptist Church in a jubilee service. The new building was dedicated debt free.

The church auditorium was remodeled in 1947. In 1950 the congregation purchased a building on Grand Avenue for a chapel. It was sold in 1955.

A three-story educational building addition was added in 1954. In 1970 an addition was added on the educational building. The auditorium was renovated the same year.

In 1986 plans began for a new sanctuary. A three year program was launched called "Together We Build", a program developed by the Southern Baptist Convention. The program began with a banquet which many describe as one of the outstanding events in the history of the church. The banquet was a two hour worship service and celebration when over 340 members and friends joined together to eat, talk, think and pray about the proposed building.

The dedication service for the new sanctuary was March 12, 1989. More than 600 members, friends and guests attended the dedication. On the day of dedication, the service began in the old sanctuary and midway through the ceremony, the congregation moved to the new sanctuary. There was much excitement among those who attended as the new sanctuary was occupied and placed in service. The entire building program came to $1,100,000.00.

The old sanctuary was converted into Sunday school space until the day when the old building will be torn down and a new fellowship hall and Sunday school space can be provided.

Eldon First Baptist Church has been blessed over the years by sending many of its members into full time Christian service. These include: Bob Buster, Dan Cochran, Don Currence, Pat Engle, Ron Jesse, James Hackney, Brent Helton, Don Howren, Richard Kay, Steve Jones, Burnett Magruder, John Mathews, Ron Mosley, Arnim Ray, Jimmy Resa, Marcia Richardson (Jones), Jon Singleton, Lahoma Singleton (Martin), Bob Scrivner, Beverly Brown Skiles, Jan Turner (Currence), and James Wright.

Pastors who haved served at Eldon First Baptist Church are:
E.M. Lumpkin (1895-1898), J.H. Rody (1898-1899), Jehu Robinson (1899), J.A. Francis (1899-1900), J.W. Williams (1901-1902), D.P. Row (1902), David McCombs (1902), J.G. Barker (1903), W.A. Bruce (1905-1906), W.A. Pipkin (1906-1907), A.G. Hendrix (1907), H. S. Thornhill (1907-1912), T.M. Estes (1912-1915), W.W. Pruitt (1915-1916), J.R. Blythe (1916-1918), Floyd Rogers (1918-1920), G.N. Magruder (1921-1926), J.W. Bays (1927-1928), J.A. Roper (19291936), David Jones (1937-1941), Alvin Lee ( 1941-1942), C.E. Hendricks (1942~1943), J.E. Brown (1943-1946), Malcolm Younger (1947-1966), James Ryan (1967-1970), Don Wainwright (1971-1980), James Westmoreland (1981-1984) and Randall Bunch (1984-present).

By Peggy Smith Hake

A few years ago I made mention of Elm Springs Baptist Church in a newspaper article and after publication, I had a letter from Herbert Kidwell of Eldon, MO. He wrote me a wonderful letter telling about his knowledge of the old church.

His father, Elmer Kidwell (1879-1962), bought the land where the old church was located in 1908. In 1980, Gail Kidwell, a cousin to Herbert, owned the same land. There was a log building on an acre of land when Elmer Kidwell owned the property. Later, the old log building was moved and used for a barn and storage shed. Mr. Kidwell said that when it was being used as a church, the log building was very primitive with only dirt floors.......the old church was used for a barn for quite sometime but eventually it 'rotted down' and is no longer in existence.

I can find no history of Elm Springs Baptist Church except it was in existence in 1913 per "Schultz's History of Miller County". It was mentioned, along with other Baptist Churches that existed in 1913 in Miller County....there was no history given, only a brief notice. I suspect there may have been an earlier church, so it may have been revived about 1913 and probably was still in existence as late as 1931.

Elm Springs Baptist Church was located in what is known today as "Bear Creek Country" in Glaize Township, south of the Osage River. Actually it was built a short distance from Little Bear Creek, which flowed northward until it reached the Osage. The county road, which passes nearby today, is called Oak Bend Drive.

Elm Springs Church has not existed for over 70 years as far as I can determine. Among the earliest Baptist churches in Miller County were two that I have some information about. They both have a rich history. One was the United Baptist Church of Christ in Richwoods Township, north of Iberia. It was organized in the early 1840s. The other was Old Gilgal Baptist Church, organized about the same time era near Little Gravois Creek in the Old Bagnell area. I would venture a guess that early settlers in the area of Elm Springs Baptist Church may have once attended Old Gilgal on the Gravois because it would have been located just a short distance north and across the Osage River.

While looking at a 1936 map of Miller County, I located a school called Elm Springs School in almost the same location as the old church. I would presume the area was probably called Elm Springs for quite sometime and when a school was organized, the name "Elm Springs" was given to it.

From the description Herbert Kidwell gave me of the church about 20 years ago, I doubt the old church building was used as a school. It was not suitable or usable for either a school or a church by 1936.

By Peggy Smith Hake

"Old church is now a vague memory"......The first church organized in what is now Miller County was called the United Baptist Church of Christ at Gilgal. The folks were often referred to as 'hardshell Baptists" and sometimes called 'primitive Baptists'. Gilgal was the first church of record in Miller County but actually there was an earlier church organized in 1834 by the Methodists. It was located in the Big Richwoods of eastern Miller County and was called Smyrna, an old log structure.

The year was 1835 and a few pioneer families decided a church was needed for their spiritual needs. On the first Saturday in October 1835, a group of pioneer fathers met at the home of William Sarter/Sorter, who lived on the Saline creek near present-day Tuscumbia. After worship services, the men went into a business meeting and organized a church under the presbytery consisting of Elders Cornelius McLaughlin, Lewis Shelton, and Andrew Kingery. The first members of Old Gilgal were Brothers William Sarter, William Brockman, John M. Bartlett, John Brockman, Ebenezer Vernon, Andrew Salsbury, Silas (a colored man) Thomas Sarter, David W. Johnson; Sisters Delila Sarter, Lucy Brockman, Elizabeth Bartlett, Nancy Brockman, Nancy Sarter, Sally Bennett, Sarah Sarter and Mourning Johnson.

David Johnson was appointed as the church's first clerk and Ebenezer Vernon was the first treasurer. Deacons chosen included John Brockman and John M. Bartlett. It was agreed at this first meeting that the church's communion season would be the months of May and October. In December 1835, while meeting in the home of one of the members, the church agreed to build a meeting house at or near a well-known spring. The spot they chose was where the Gravois creek empties into the Osage River near present-day Bagnell. The building, constructed of logs, was built on a flat at the bottom of a hill where a small branch enters the Gravois at its mouth.

In those days, the men and women obeyed the rules of the Elders very arduously. They told the men to sit on one side of the church, the ladies on the opposite side and that is exactly the way they attended church! Guess who had care of the children??

The congregation began to increase in number. Among the first to place membership after organization included Elizabeth DeGraffenreid, Sims Brockman, Andrew Kingery, Peter Sarter, Zebulon Loveall, Sarah Spurlin Loveall, John Walker, Fanny Loveall Walker, George O. Morris, Sarah Vaughan, Jonathan Loveall, Obediah Vaughan, Patsy Sarter, Jesse R. Johnson, and many more.......over the years other families began attending including the Feeneys, Albertsons, McCombs, Sutleffs, Burnetts, Buchanans, Freemans, Wilcoxs, Coys, Wyricks, Burris', Carrolls, Records, Davis', and others.

Pastors who ministered at Old Gilgal between 1836-1863 were Andrew Kingery, Snelling Johnson, George O. Morris, John Brockman, and William B. Karr. Some of the church clerks were David W. Johnson, Sims Brockman, Joseph L. Cotten, Thomas Scott, and William C. Brown........October 1863 is the last record of attendance at Old Gilgal, twenty eight years after its organization. Many of the old members can be traced to other churches where they helped carry on the work of the gospel in the county including Aurora Springs, Eldon, Blue Springs and others.

This old church has been of special interest to me because among its earliest members were some of my ancestors....the Sarter/Sorters and Lovealls. The Sarters came from South Carolina and the Lovealls from Maryland. The Sorter/Sarter family were of German descent and the Lovealls were of English ancestry. They settled as neighbors in Equality Township in the early 1830s. There were several marriages performed between the families during this era of time and the children carried the name forward to new generations.

The Sorter and Loveall families moved on westward just prior to the Civil War. There are a few descendants left in Miller County today and I am among those few. It has been interesting following these ancestors from England and Germany; through the Revolutionary War in Colonial America; and on into the new states of Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and finally into Miller County in the early 1830s. Here they homesteaded, built one of the first grist mills on the Saline creek, and then helped to organize the first church of record in Miller County...Old Gilgal on the Gravois.

by Peggy Smith Hake

In 1899, Isaac Tinsley, P. Admire, and William Howser, who were designated as trustees of the General Baptist Church at Concord, in Miller County, deeded a parcel of land to D. C. Bear, Thomas Brown and Charles M. Sooter who were trustees of the Christian Church of Miller County. Now this bit of information is by no means an earth-shaking fact but what I learned about this transaction proved to be very interesting..........

In consideration or $1.00 paid by the Christian Church to the General Baptist Church, they were given this acre of ground and the privilege of using this land for a church home that was to be erected on the site. The Christian Church had to guarantee the Baptists that when their church was built then the Baptists would have free use of the building on the third Saturday and Sunday of each month.

One further stipulation to the agreement was that the Christian Church had one year to get their church house built on the site or the lot would revert back to the former owners.

The Concord Baptist Church was organized about 1884 and for years they had conducted their worship services in private home or in favorable weather, they had an old brush arbor constructed near the site of an old graveyard on the acre of ground that I mentioned before.

In 1904, the trustees of Concord Baptist Church brought a lawsuit against the Christian Church and declared the transaction of 1899 as invalid because they had not erected the church they had promised by 1901. In the meantime, Isaac Tinsley, one of the original trustees of Concord Baptist Church, with five other citizens of the community, erected a church house on the said lot with aid contributed by other citizens of the area.

So, the three trustees published and declared under sanction of their solemn oaths that they were not duly authorized by the said church to make that original conveyance of the property to the Christian Church or any other persons. With this statement, they re-claimed the property for the Concord Baptist Church.

Today, you know this old church and its adjoining cemetery as the Gott Church which sat aside Highway C about midway between Ulman and Brumley.......the old church is no longer in existence, but the cemetery remains within sight of the highway.


On Saturday, October 4, 1868, a group of Baptists met at Hite's Chapel Methodist Church and organized a Baptist Church, called Hite's Chapel Baptist Church. The new church appointed H.B. Roark as clerk, Carroll Neville moderator and A.H. Roark was chosen to be ordained as a deacon. The first trustees were W.J. Neville, A.H. Roark and John Denny.

Charter members and members who joined Green Ridge Baptist Church during the remainder of 1868 include: Carrol Neville, H.B. Roark, Thomas G.(last name unknown), A.H. Roark, Margaret Bagby, Mary Comer, Emily Jackson, Addison Wingate, Ruth Wingate, Rachel Roark, J.N. Pipkin, Matilda Pipkin, Daries Neville, Lucy Denny, John Simpson, Jane Simpson, Mary Wilhelm, Malinda Neville, Jacob Gilleland, John Denny Jalah Harvey, Sarah Denny, Lucinda Harvey, Sarah Shockley, Seany Roark, Thomas Denny, Harvey Neville, John Reynolds, Minerva Reynolds, Lydia Comer, Jessey Bagby, Elizabeth Walker, Eliza McClure, Elizabeth Wingate, Lydia Etter Alexander Wilhelm, Lewis Currence, Carrol Shockley, Permelia Wingate and Joseph Currence.

April 4, 1869, the church made plans to build a log church building on the lot were the present church stands. The land for the church was donated by Wm. (Buck) Taylor. The congregation met for the first time in the new church on the 4th of May in 1870, although according to records the building was not totally finished. In 1879 it was voted to finish the church house. Seats were purchased from Mt. Herman at the cost of $30.00.

The church has an interesting history. From its beginning in October, 1868, it was known as Hite's Chapel Baptist Church. After the congregation built their own church house in 1870 it was to be "thereafter know as Green Ridge Baptist Church". However all meeting reports begin with the words "United Baptists of Christ at Green Ridge". This practice continued until 1906 when church reports simply stated, Green Ridge Baptist Church. Green Ridge joined the Miller County Baptist Association in July, 1893.

The first disciplinary action was taken in December, 1869, excluding a member for joining a church of different faith. Other members were disciplined for dancing, card playing, swearing, drunkenness and gambling. There also seemed to be much changing back and forth of membership by letter, so action was taken to require all members to give a reason for desiring a letter before a letter was granted.

In the early years the church didn't call an evangelist to preach revival meetings, but continued services after Saturday morning and throughout the next week. E.M. Lumpkin of the Concord Association was the first evangelist called to hold a revival in 1881. In August of 1887, the church investigated the cost of rebuilding or repairing the church house. It was decided to build a new building. According to tradition, the church house was torn down following the services one month and the new house was ready for the regular services the following month.

In 1963 the church voted to provide adequate classrooms by constructing a basement, which was completed in 1965. The basement provided 4 classrooms, 2 restrooms and a kitchen. The larger area of the basement was used as an auditorium until the new building was erected.

In December, 1966, the church discussed building a new church house on the basement located next to the existing church. The plans were completed and approved early in 1967. The congregation was able to move into the new church during the week of December 10th. Much work was donated by members and friends. Many gifts of money were received from friends and businesses outside the membership of the church, making it possible for the church to be debt-free. The seats, which were purchased in 1932, were refinished by members and moved into the church. The cost of the building, including furniture was approximately $22,000.00.

In 1970 a long porch supported by four white columns was added to the front of the church house. A spire and bell tower was placed on the roof. A bell was purchased and installed in memory of Jim Cato, a friend and co-worker of pastor Cellis Crum.

According to church records, James Williams was the first to be licensed to preach in November of 1887. In October, 1892, the church licensed Robert Hood to preach, and in March the following year he was ordained to the ministry. Lawrence Nevils was ordained to the ministry by Green Ridge on March 9, 1958.

Pastors who have served Green Ridge:
Carrol Neville, John Jones, Thomas Howell, Robert White, George Toll, David McComb, R.P. Scott, Joe Amos,J.G. Barker, J.A. Francis, A.J. Hensley, W.W. Brown, W.L. Howser, S.J. Neal, D.W. Williams, John Mahan, C. E. Hedrick, W.A. Bruce, Alva Stark, J.L. Hicks, Wilson Allee, Jehu Robinson, J.E. Simms, Thomas Greene, Hibbs, S.O. Burks, R.L. Hood, Lowell Maples, H.W. Allee, J.S. Laws, A.Paul Thompson, Wm. Bollock, Wm. Merriman, J.D. Gilliam, Lester Gibhardt, William Brewer, Wm. Huffman, Jack Borden, James Gex, Lowell Foster, Jack Hymer, John Rollins, Jack Amos, Lawrence Nevils, C.R. Morgan, Wm. Beard, Cellis Crum, Roy Sparks, Austin Tipton, Selby Graham, Clark Sands, Robert Hoskins and Leslie McAdoo.


On April 12, 1840, ten people met to organize what is now the Hickory Point Baptist Church. However, the church did not organize until December, 1840, because of not having a moderator at the April meeting and due to other unavoidable circumstances. G.O. Morris served as the moderator and Ruben Short was chosen to care for the church for the first six months.

The charter members of Hickory Point Baptist Church were: James McCubbin, William McCubbin, Ruben Short, William Reed, Z.W. McCubbin, Margaret McCubbin, Mary McCubbin, Sophrona McCubbin, Elizabeth McCubbin and Cynthian McCubbin.

In 1845 the church agreed to build a meeting house. This house was built approximately one-half mile northeast from where the church now stands. It was to be built by subscription for the United Baptist Church of Christ (Hickory Point) and other denominations not conflicting with set days of worship. By 1849 all subscriptions not paid were declared null and void and new subscriptions were made. In June 1866 the church voted to build a meeting house for the Baptists alone, but at their next meeting reconsidered and voted to build a house for other orthodox denominations as well. The site was selected and a log building was completed in 1873 on the south side of the cemetery. In the late eighteen hundreds a building committee was appointed and in 1896 the first frame building was erected at a cost of less than $300.00, with a lot of donated labor.

The first minister to be ordained by Hickory Point Baptist Church was William McCubbins in March of 1843. Z.W. McCubbins was given a license to preach the same year. Brian Herzog was ordained to the ministry June 20, 1993 and Robert Etherton was licensed to preach December 26, 1993.

 Hickory Point Cornerstone
Hickory Point Baptist Church was originally constituted as the United Baptist Church of Jesus Christ of Richwoods. The last minutes written from the United Baptist Church was written in October 1883. Other readings of the minutes leave out different parts of the name and simply say "the Church at Little Richwoods." The Miller County Baptist Association minutes lists "Little Richwoods" as hosting the second associational meeting in 1846. The name was finally changed to Hickory Point Baptist Church.

During April of 1842, when Hickory Point Baptist Church was two years old, members raised 75 cents to help pay the expense of the Cole County Association at Mt. Gilead. This could very well be the first missionary offering from Miller County. In 1843, 27 new members were added to the congregation, two of which were black sisters and another black sister was added later. In May of 1843 a petition was made by one member to extend an arm of the church to the Glaize. The petition was granted, and became a mission point. This could well be the beginning of the Brumley Church, for many members from that community received letters of dismissal, with the minutes not stating where they went. In 1847 the church voted to observe the ordinance of foot washing, it is not know how long this was practiced.

During the year of 1849 the Alexander Campbell Reformers came and the church suffered a significant split. The records indicate that about one third of the member' names are marked "excluded" and those remaining are marked "transferred", which could mean they started all over. There are also many names marked "excluded" through the years for various reasons of unchristian conduct such as profane swearing, dancing, getting drunk, contempt of church, non-attendance, horse racing and fighting.

The only time the church has ever been closed for more than one month was from April 1864 to August 1865. Minutes state that all male members were in the United States service.

During February 1949 a building fund for a new house of worship was started, and during a revival in April 1955 walls were poured for the basement. By late fall the old building was torn down. During the construction period the church met in the old Watkins store owned by Ross Livingston. The first services in the new church house were conducted the Sunday before Christmas of 1955. In November 1976 work started on a basement for a parsonage and the house was completed during April of 1977. In 1983 thirteen new classrooms were added to the west end of the church.

Pastors serving the Hickory Point Baptist Church over the years are:
Ruben Short (to care of church), (1840), G.O. Morris (1841), J. Brockman (1846), Z.W. McCubbins (1846), William McCubbins (1850), Z.W. McCubbins (1853), William McCubbins (1854), Ruben Short (1862), G.O. Morris (1864), Jacob McCombs (1865), H. Odon (1869), Owen Burks (1870), Jacob McCombs (1871), William Payne (1872), Benjimine Castleman (1874), Matthews (1874), Jacob McCombs (1874), Henery Odon (1876), Owen Burks (1877), J.M. Hibbs (1882), W.H. Payne (1883), Lewis Castleman (1885), William Payne (1888), I.A. Jordon (1891), W.E. Sears (1892), R.B. Carnett (1895), H.B. Carnett (1895-1905), Tom Carnett (1905-1907), J.M. Bandy (1908-1915), R.B. Carnett (1915-1924), W.L. Houser (1924-1926), H.L. Gillenwaters (1926-1928), Harry Zumwalt (1928-1942), Lester Gibheart (1942-1943), Johnie Schnider (1943-1945), Freddie Lewman (1945-1946), Bill Scrivner (1946-1947), Clyde Faulkner (19471948), Clyde Riddle (1948-( 1949), Neil Terwilliger (1949-1953), Charles Cox (1954-1958), Delbert Ketner (1971-1972), Sam AlIens (1972-1976), Elmo Terry (1976-1977), Dave Judson (1977-1980), Clinton Stockton (1980-1981), Jack Simon (1982-1984), J. Barry Pennington (1985-1988) and Larry Etherton (1988-).


Bill Pritchett saw the need for a Baptist Church in the area, so F.B. Smith, Miller County Missionary, was contacted and plans began. The first meeting was held in the old Number 70 School building in 1962. The new mission was sponsored by the First Baptist Church of Iberia. In October of 1962, ground was purchased for a building site and work began on a 30' by 60' basement. The mission began meeting in the new structure in 1963.

On November 10, 1968, the mission was organized as the Honey Springs Baptist Church, with the help of C. Roberson. Charter members of the church were: W.C. Pritchett, Gladys Pritchett, Rose Pritchett, James Pritchett, W.E. Pritchett, Janet Pritchett, Helen Nichols, Layman Duncan, Sarah Duncan, Elmer Karr, Gladys Karr, Lenard Russell, Lou Russell, Jess Pritchett, Shirley Pritchett, Judy Robinett, Emerson Allee and Myra Allee.

A new auditorium was finished May 21, 1972. Honey Springs had the first deaf ministry in the state of Missouri in 1976, with seven enrolled in the ministry. Pastors who served the mission were: Jess Stone, Marvin Davis, C.R. Morgan, Enloe, and Frank Shuler.

Pastors who have served Honey Springs Baptist Church include:
Charles Caldwell 13 years), Bill Larsen (1982-1983), Glen Stenhouse (1983-1984), Willis Horton (1985-1988), Arthur Gormley (1988-1992), and Herb Mathews (1992-).

Rex Freeman is currently the pastor and Nina Wilson is Sunday school Director.


The Iberia First Baptist Church was organized in 1843 as the Big Richwood Baptist Church of Christ. At the time of organization there was no building available except a small log house known as Smyrna Church. The log house was also used by other churches in the community and served as a school house for a couple months during the year. Before the Civil War, the First Baptist Church held revivals in brush arbors or in homes.

In the years preceding the Civil War, dissension arose among the different denominations using the old Smyrna Church. As a result, the Baptists decided to erect a building of their own. In March 1858 a small tract of land was purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Tucker, which is now part of the Iberia Cemetery. The church house that was erected on the new site was also of hewn logs. The congregation was known locally as the Sulky Baptist Church. The church remained at this location until May 1885 when it was decided to move into town and build a new building. The erection of the building was begun at once and, since very little money was available, the majority of the work was done by donation. The new building stood on the site where the Nazarene Church now stands and was completed in 1886.

Articles of Incorporation were granted the church on August 22, 1888. Shortly after the church was incorporated, the town was incorporated under the Village Law and named Iberia. The church, in keeping with the village incorporation, changed its name from Big Richwood to First Baptist Church of Iberia on October 5, 1889.

In June of 1950 the church again decided to go into a building program to remodel the old church house and add an educational wing. The building was completely remodeled inside and out, including the installing of the memorial windows, and was dedicated on November 9, 1952.

In 1977 the church purchased land on Highway 17 north of Iberia. On November 22, 1977, a ground-breaking was held to build a new parsonage on the new site. In 1984 the church voted to begin a new construction fund for the purpose of building a new worship center. By early 1987 the construction fund had reached $75,000.00 so a building committee was selected for the construction of the church.

The ground breaking for the new building was held on Sunday afternoon in July of 1988. The new building was started in late July. The Church was blessed to have a group of 20 men from Eastmont Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama, who call themselves "Carpenters for Christ." The men took a week vacation and paid their own way to help build the church. It was estimated that they contributed $50,000.00 in labor. Much of the additional work was done by volunteer labor from church members and friends under the supervision of Charles Prater.

The Sunday school was able to move into the education wing of the new building on February 5, 1989, and on Father's day 1989 the first service was held in the new sanctuary. The Dedication Service was held on Sunday, September 17, 1989. A dinner was served at noon with several of the former pastors in attendance.

On October 28, 1989, an auction was held to dispose of all fixtures and furnishings from the old building that were not needed in the new building. On January 7, 1990, the First Baptist Church and Church of the Nazarene held a joint service at which time First Baptist gave the site of the old building to the Church of the Nazarene as it joined their property. Shortly after the old property was turned over to the Church of the Nazarene and while in the process of being torn down, fire completely destroyed the old building.

First Baptist Church of Iberia has had the privilege of helping establish two missions. The first, known now as Honey Springs Baptist Church, was established in November 1963 and the St. Elizabeth Baptist Fellowship was established in October 1990.

The current pastor is Rev. Glen Golden.

By Tammy Witherspoon

On Oct. 31, 1904, the congregation of the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church of Christ met for the first time at 12 p.m. The building site for the church was donated by Lawson Thacker and D.F. Slavens. Ten people came forward and offered themselves as charter members of the church. They were: Rev. J.M Henderson, Lawson Thacker, Alice Pruitt, Nancy Pountain, Harriette Lowery, Mrs. H.J. Henderson, Henry Jenkins, Mary Jenkins, E.M. Stark and Sarrah Brown.

The church has seen its share of changes throughout the years. In a business meeting in 1920, the church declared dancing and card playing to be a public offense to the church and the cause of Christ. Any member allowing either offense to be carried on in their home or engaging in either offense was to be dealt with as a public offender.

March 25, 1922, which was Easter Sunday, was declared "Egg Day". Proceeds from eggs gathered were given to the home for aged Baptist. Looking at the books from 1938 will show the fortunes of the church improving. They had enough money to be able to employ a janitor at a salary of two dollars a month.

On January 23, 1943 Mt. Carmel voted to build a basement and move the church building to the spot where it is now located. $3000.00 was borrowed from the Bank of Eldon to complete the building and for redecoration. A well will drilled in 1958 and a pump installed for water in the church. A serving counter was added to the kitchen the next year. A note burning was conducted on November 5, 1960, making the church building debt free.

On October 27, 1998 six members and the pastor met at the church to discuss closing the church doors and dispense with the church corporation. The reason for this was there were only seven or eight people who regularly attended the church. The members who attended the meeting expressed the desire to give the church property to the Miller County Baptist Association.

On Sunday, January 10, 1999, a last dissolution service was held at the church. The Reverend Louis Elseman led the service. Doris acted as song leader with Wilma Admire as pianist. Joe Wood led a prayer and Curtis Beach gave a history of the church and made a presentation of the church property to the Baptist Association.

Mt. Carmel Baptist Church pastors:
J.M. Henderson (1904-1906), John Mahan (1906-1907), J.H. Baughman (1907-1908), John Mahan (1908-1909), W.L. Houser (1909-1910), J.M. Henderson (1910-1914), E. Thacker, (1915-), John Mahan (1915-1916), E. Thacker (1916-), S.P Cox (1917-1919), J.M. Henderson (1919-1921), Charles Hedrick (1922-1925), J.M. Henderson (1926-1927), David Vaughn 1928-), W.E. Connor 1929-1930), R.A. Wood 1931-1933), W.L. Howser (1934-1935), David Vaughn (1936-1938), G.O. Hickey 1939-), W.L. Houser (1940-1941), Will Williams 1942-), Chester Lindsey (1942-1943), Wm. Boleck (1943-1944), Ralph Blair (1944-1945), Luther McReynolds (1946-), E.L. Painter (1946-1948), C.E. Young (1948-1949), Frank Smith (1508-1952), Neil Terwilliger (1952-1957), J.V. Roberts (1957-1960), L.E. Johnson (1960-1966), Louis EIseman (1966-1971), Charles Foley (1971-1972, James McDonold (1972-1976), C.R. Morgan (1976-1981), Delbert Admire (1982-1983), George Cox (1983-1991), Louis EIseman (1991-1999).


On December 12, 1872, a group met at the Mt. Herman School House and organized the Mt. Herman Baptist Church. The group elected B.I. Berkley as the first pastor. The church was to meet on the first Saturday of each month. Mt. Herman became a member of the Miller County association in 1892. Prior to that time the church was a member of the Concord Association.

Early church records do not mention the names of the charter members. However, the following are the names of the congregation taken from very early minutes of the church and it is assumed that the list names several of the charter members. The members listed are: John Jordon, W.M. Robertson, B.I. Berkley, Sam Hunsaker, J.C. Smith, John VanHoosier, Susan VanHoosier, Robert Hix, Ellen Hix, Susan Jordon, Nathaniel Wyrick, Sarah Hunsaker, Elizabeth Wyrick, C. Stofel, W.J. Vernon, Elizabeth Hix, Kathy Shadwick and Adaline Vernon.

In July of 1873, a committee was chosen to select a site for the church building. A committee was also chosen to solicit funds for the building. Soon the committee reported there was $233.90 in the Building Fund. A motion was made to build a church house 32 feet wide, 50 feet long and 12 feet high. The site committee reported on a location on the John Long place "at or near the fork in the road". A deed and abstract dated February 17, 1874 shows that one and one half acres (more or less) was purchased from John and Nancy Long at a cost of $10.00. Jesse Teren donated sufficient lumber to frame the building. It is not recorded in the minutes as to when the building was completed.

Over the years many members of Mt. Herman Baptist Church have been called to full-time Christian service. The minutes indicate that the following were ordained to the ministry by Mt. Herman: H.V. Nelson (1932), Lindley Enloe (1942), Jack Bordon (1948), and Jack Sanders (1958).

Many interesting things have happened throughout the history of Mt. Herman. Minutes indicate that in 1884 the church employed Henry Van Hooser to clean, furnish water and wood for the church for $1.70 per year.

It is reported that in 1890 "there was much unrest during this time and many members were joining the Camelites". Exclusions for members having Play Parties and Dances, Larceny, Fornication, Heresy and language unbecoming of God's children was common.

In 1929 a committee was appointed to see after the members that were "walking disorderly". The church adopted the following resolution: "Whereas there has been unbecoming conduct in the church-be it resolved that here-after we will prosecute to the extent of the law any or all persons guilty of creating a church disturbance in any manner whatsoever in or near the church".

The church building was used by the school in 1935 after the school building burned. The school was responsible for cleaning the church. During the canning season that year the Ladies Aid canned food for the Old Folks Home.

After parents had been visited to get their approval the year before, Vacation Bible School was held for the first time in 1945. The school had an average attendance of 19. The next year the school had an average attendance of 43. The church went to half time the same year.

In 1903 a special meeting was held to consider building a new church house. It was decided to build on the same site and by a vote of 12-5 it was decided to build the new church the same size as the old and use all the good material from the old. In 1904 the church decided to build a cement building but this was again reversed when it was voted in 1906 to rescind all former action in regard to building and the building treasurer was instructed to pay back all money given for the building. Finally after much changing and voting, the church voted to build on the old site. The new church building was built and was dedicated in 1906.

In 1958 it was voted to build a basement and move the church building onto it. The basement was dedicated in September.

In 1984 a twelve by forty foot addition was built to the West side of the church building consisting of two classrooms, a pastor's study and storage room with classrooms below.

Mt. Herman records indicate that the following pastors served the chruch over the years:
B.J. Berkley (1873), Nathaniel Wyrick (1877), R.C. White (1880), W.D. Jordon (1883), J.D. Watson (1888), John Maxey (1889), Jehew Robinson (1890), Nathaniel Wyrick (1892), J.H. Roddy (1894),David McCombs (1895-1900), W.D. Scrivner (19021903), J.L. Moon (1905), John Calwell (1905), Tommie Cornett (1907), J.A. Calwell (1907" D. McCombs (1908), Hensley (1909), Henderson (1911), Hensley (1911-1912), Birge (1918), Elmer Thacker (1920-1922), Charley Hedrick (1923), Alvie Stark (1924-1925), Charlie Hedrick (1926), Robert Wood (1928), G.B. Case (1930-1936), D.F. Vaughn (1937), James Lamb (1938-1940), Harry Zumwalt (1940), Alvie Starks (1940), J.W. Brewer (1942), Lindley Enloe (1945), J.W. Hackney (1947-1948), Jack Borden (1948-1949), Lindley Enloe (19491951), Fred Crigler (1951), C.R. Morgan (1952-1957), Jack Sanders (1959), Selby Graham (1959-1970), Louis EIsman (1971-1976, James McDonald (1976-1982), Lloyd Patterson (1982-1983), Ed Teal (19831985), Lloyd Patterson (1985-1986), Jim McDonald (1986), Louis EIsman (1987), Danny McNeal (1988-1989), Don Deauxion (1989), H.J. Quinn (1989-).


The missionary Baptists of Olean met on Saturday evening, April 21, 1894 to organize a Baptist Church in Olean. The council consisted of Brethren from Clarksburg, Rock Enon, Greenridge, Mt. Herman, Spring Garden and High Point. Elder J.T. Baker, Missionary of the Concord Association, announced the purpose of the meeting and was chosen chairman. Elder W.L. Cornett preached the sermon, his text being 1 Peter 2:2 and Ephesians 3:21. The theme was "The Church of Christ and its development". Charter members, (members of other Baptist Churches) being, Mrs. Missouri Gilleland, Mrs. Victoria Currence, Addison Walser, Thomas Starling, Dora Starling, Kittie Mode, Mary J. Skelton, L.R. Campbell, Mary E. Roark, William Mosher, Nettie Moser, Mollie McCann and Harriet Campbell. Those from Greenridge who helped organize the Church were R.L. Hood, Pastor Lemuel Agee, B.D. Roark, and William Roark, Deacons. Names from the other churches are not known as records were not available until 1898.

The original church building was a hexagon shaped wooden building with one room, seating about 250 people. Classrooms were made by using a system of wires and curtains. Electricity was added to the building in 1928.

 Olean Hexagonal Baptist Church - 1895-1943

On July 2, 1907 the church voted to ask Concord Association for a letter of dismissal so the church could unite with the Miller County Association. The letter was granted and Olean Baptist Church joined the Miller County Baptist Association. The first delegates to the association were L.F. Agee, W.H. Burris, J.C. McSpadden, R.G. Atkins and D.B. Taylor.

The first mention of a woman's organization was 1912 when mention was made of Ladies aid. The Women's Missionary Society was formed in April 1927, with Mrs. Earl Wiser President.

The church went to full time preaching in 1946. Before that services were held twice a month and sometimes only once a month.

Brother Arnim Ray's first pastorate was at Olean Baptist Church and he was also ordained by the church. Glen Walker was the first person he baptized and Roy Lane was the second.

On March 24, 1948, under the leadership of Ernest Waite the church voted to enter into a building program. Naomi Walker Cain donated 1 1/2 lots for the new building. A building committee was appointed consisting of J.A. McMillan, Chairman, Heaton Haynes, and Roy Lane. A finance committee was also appointed with Royce Rebstock, Chairman, along with Glen Walker, Howard Arney, Clarence Herquith, Anna Hahn Stella Haynes and Brooks Miller.

The new (present) church was built of sandstone hauled from the Willard Kelsey farm in the Hickory Point community. Glen Knoch was in charge of construction aided by several volunteers. Dedication was held June 27, 1948 and the debt was paid in 26 months. Over the years the Baptistry, bathrooms, water and other improvements have been added, some purchased by the Church and some donated as memorials. The latest addition is the handicap ramp which was built by Mark Barry with some assistance from the men of the church and community.

On September 1, Alton Hendricks was approached by Julian Crane asking about donating the bell from the old church to South Africa. Sam Upton, from the Aurora Springs Church serving in Malawi, wrote telling of the need. People there had no watches or clocks, so the bell was needed to call people to worship. The Church voted to send the bell and did so at a cost of $186.00. Hopefully the bell still rings and sends out a call for all to come and worship the Lord.

On November 7, 1973 Robert Barry suggested a Community Thanksgiving service. Brother Ray, Interim Pastor at the time, contacted the Pastors of the Olean Christian Church, Greenridge Baptist Church and Mt. Herman Baptist Church. The service was held at the Christian Church with a full house in attendance. This tradition continues today, with the inclusion of Mt. Pleasant Christian Church, and always has a capacity crowd.

In May of 1969 the Church held a 75th Anniversary Celebration and in July of 1988 a re-dedication service was held to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the present Church. On June 26, 1994 Olean Baptist Church held the One Hundredth Anniversary of the organizing of the Church.

Pastors who have served over the years include:
W.T. Tate (1898), Jehr Robinson (1899), J.G. Barker (1900-1902), W.A. Bruce (1903-1906), J.D. Watson (1907), W.W. Brown (1908-1909), T.R. White (1909), S.J. Neal (1910-1913), Y.G. Hanks (1914), S.J. Neal (1915), W.S. Birge (1916), J.W. Callaway (1917), W. S. Birge (1917-1918), George Baker (1918-1919), J.T. Osborn (1920-1921, F.K. Cook (19221924), T.J. Deakins (1925-1927), H.W. Gadd (1927-1931), W. Harry Zumwalt (1931), B.F. Dinwiddie (1932-1934, H.W. Allee (1934-1936), A.I. Jones (1936-1937), C.C. Hatcher (1938-1942), H.W. Allee (19431945), Ralph Blair (1945), Arnim Ray (1945-1947), kErnest Waite (1947-1949), Glen Taylor (1949-1953), Hugh Trotter (1953-1954), Joe Roberts (1954-1957), Charles Cox (1957-1962), S.R. Sherman (19621967), Donald Craig (1967-1968), Paul Latimer (1969-1971), Ron Gross (1971-1972), Arnim Ray (1973-1974 Interim), Fred Coonce (1974-1975), John Butts (1975-1978), Charles Cox (1978 Interim), David McDowell (1978-1980), Doug Shivers (1980-1982), Roy Williford (1983-1986), and Dennis Martin (1987-present).

By Gaylord Strange
 Pleasant Grove Baptist Church
Pleasant Grove Baptist Church

The Pleasant Grove Church came into being as a result of Benjamin Conner, a deeply religious man and a Baptist minister. Around 1909 he felt that God wanted him to build a church house for there were none close by. The people were holding their services in the Pleasant Grove School, which was a small log building. It wasn't large enough for everyone to get in who came to the services. Most everyone he talked to didn't think he could do it, for he was an old man at this time and was recovering from a broken hip. Still he insisted that the Lord wanted him to build a church and that was just what he intended to do.

During the late 1800's Benjamin Conner had been making his living traveling throughout the area on his horse Selim selling books. So, to raise money to build the church he got on his old horse, took all the books he could handle and started on his round selling books and soliciting donations. He took the donations and the profit from the books he had sold and bought the material to build the church house. Other people in the community donated their time for the labor. When the money he had gotten was gone, he would mount Old Selim with his books, make another round and buy more material for the building. He kept doing this until the church was finished.

The building was 24' x 32' with native oak framing, hued logs 7" x 8" for floor sills and pine siding. It was finished on the inside with lath and plaster and a pine floor. It had two rows of benches with an aisle down the middle with some seats placed on each side of the pulpit. Three windows were put on each side of the building with a door in the front nad a door and window in the back of the building. It had two hanging lamps in the middle aisle that would pull down to light then raise back up so people wouldn't hit their heads entering the building and a wall lamp by each window on the side. In the center of the building was a wood stove for heat. IT was a very nice looking building inside and out.

It was named the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, because it was built near the Pleasant Grove School. But it and the school also became known as The Hog Waller Church and School. It was started by a group of young men from across the river making fun of it. There was a spring branch nearby that had a pool of water in it about waist deep where the preachers did their baptizing. It was good clear water, but down stream from there were some mud holes where the hogs would wallow. So the boys started calling it The Hog Waller Church.


At the request of a number of brethren and sisters living in the Horseshoe Bend area, a quorum consisting of Elder E.M. Lumpkins of Spring Garden Baptist Church, Benjamin Conner, Joel Cooper, Jacob Cotton of Blue Springs Baptist Church, A.J. Wood, W.S. Robertson and Elders S.J. adorn and John adorn of New Home Baptist Church, met and organized by appointing Bro. E.M. Lumpkins, chairman and W.S. Robertson, secretary. The council proposed to organize a Baptist Church.

The name chosen by the council was Antioch Baptist Church. The names of the members were listed and two deacons were chosen and were ordained by the council. A Sunday school was organized. Offerings were usually one cent for each member.

On Saturday, August 3, 1902, the Antioch Church convened for worship. After services the church was called into a business meeting session for the purpose of changing the name from Antioch to Riverview. This seemed an appropriate name because of its location. The location was on Horseshoe Bend Road (now HH) about two miles from U.S. Hwy. 54, just across from the cemetery. The site was on the high bluff overlooking the Osage River Valley. In the late 20's and early 30's many of the residents were relocated because of the construction of Bagnell Dam and the valley becoming part of the Lake of the Ozarks. Union Electric offered to buy the land where the church was located. On September 20, 1931, a vote to sell and relocate was defeated. Finally, on April 16, 1932, the congregation voted to sell the church property for $4000.00. A building committee was selected. The present location (2 acres) was purchased for $50.00 per acre. The committee provided plans to build a 32 x 40 foot brick building.

In the period between 1906 and 1930, the church grew in strength and membership. A strong Sunday school was maintained and in the late 20's a BYPU was organized. Between Christmas and New Year was the annual revival time. The song services of this period are worthy of mention. Dillard Moulder taught a series of singing schools during the period, with notable results. Riverview became known as a "Singing Church."

Approximately 253 members were enrolled in Riverview Church prior to the building of Bagnell Dam.

The parsonage was built in 1945. In the late 40's a basement was added to the church and in 1950 an education building was built. The present auditorium and other additions were made in 1964, and the building was completed in November of that year. Additional classrooms and a fellowship hall were added in 1981. Starting in 1993 the church engaged in planning a new building program which will include education space and an auditorium.

Riverview currently has a resident membership of approximately 500, with an average Sunday school attendance of 230. In addition to the regular Sunday schedule of services, Riverview has an RA and GA program, Baptist Women's organization, a music ministry that includes 3 choirs, a bus ministry, and a children's worship ministry.

Since 1932 pastors who have served at Riverview are:
W.W. Bunch, J.W. Jefferies, Robert Sandford, Willard Green, W.L. Long, W.W. Collier, N.E. Williams, W.W. Elliot, O.E. Martin, Jo Cyrus, Johnny Sconce, George E. Cox, Donald Reed, and the present pastor Michael B. Parris.


When Rocky Mount was a small village with at least one general store, two blacksmiths shops, a drug store and a post office, a group of Christians became concerned about having a Baptist Church in the village.

During March of 1870, under the leadership of J. W. Williams and J. K. Jones a meeting was held at the Cotten School near Rocky Mount for the purpose of establishing a church in the area. J. H. Williams was appointed to make a list of names desiring the formation of a church. The group met in April 1870 at the Liberty Methodist Church for the purpose of being constituted into a church. J.H. Simmons and B. F. Cotten drew up a church covenant, articles of faith and the rules of decorum.

The charter members of Rocky Mount Baptist Church were: T.G McClure, Mary E. McClure, J. H. Simmons, Alcy Simmons, Sarah Ann Simmons, James H. Tindell, Tennessee Tindell, Samuel B. Tindell, and Lawson Thacker.

The newly formed church met at the Cotten and Rocky Mount School houses and at the Liberty Methodist Church. The congregation finally secured an interest in the Liberty building by helping pay for repairs. After the Liberty Church was sold at a public sale the congregation voted to build another building which was completed around 1890 near the present church site. The church began as a member of Concord Association and in August 1893 joined the Miller County Baptist Association.

The early church history indicates that discipline was very strict, not tolerating non-support, drunkenness, immorality, dancing, card playing, cursing, fighting, non-attendance, attending play parties, or other conduct contrary to scripture.

Rocky Mount Baptist Church was known as the United Missionary Church until 1905, at that time it became known as the Rocky Mount Baptist Church.

The first Sunday school for the Union Church was in 1877. Sunday school for the Rocky Mount Church was organized January 12, 1941. The first Vacation Bible School was conducted in 1942 and the following year Training Union was started. WMU began in 1956.

There are many incidents to remember throughout the years. In 1928 Easter Sunday was designated as "Egg Day". The congregation was expected to give the price of the eggs laid that day to the Old Folks Home in Ironton. In 1922 a quilt was made and 10 cents was charged for each name placed on the quilt. The quilt was then sold and the money was used to redecorate the inside of the church building. Electricity became available to the church in 1947 and modern plumbing in 1956. In 1957 live animals were used on the stage in the church for the Christmas play. In 1977 an automobile accident resulted in a car crashing into the basement of the church building.

In 1947 the bell tower of the church was used as a lookout fire tower by the Conservation Department. The bell from the old church is now in the present building and is used weekly for services, and on New Years Eve at Watch Night Services, and various other occasions throughout the year.

The present building was constructed in 1956. Many additions to the building have been made over the year, the latest completed in 1993. In 1972 the church purchased the old Simmons property and furnished a parsonage for the pastor. September 11, 1980 the church borrowed $8000.00 to build a new parsonage.

Over the years the church has had over 40 pastors. The first pastor was Tom Howell, followed by; David McComb, J.E. Simms, J.W. Williams, W.L. Cornett, A.J. Hensley, R.A. Wood, John L. Wood, Willard Brauer, Thomas Bunch (1947), J.L. Mode (1949), Kenneth Carpenter (1958), Selby Graham, C.R. Morgan, Roy Martin and present pastor Dan Duckworth (1979-).


Spring Garden Baptist Church was organized on May 12, 1883, at Locust Mound, Miller County, Missouri. Charter members were: John Lumpkin, J.N. Dooley, Malinda Dooley, Henry Cook, Mrs. Henry Cook, E.M. Lumpkin, Mary Lumpkin, Mattie Lumpkin, J. Ivy Lumpkin, E.B. Lumpkin, Sally Lumpkin, H.L. Moles and L.S. Wadley. The organization was assisted by Rev. N. Allee and W.D. Jordan, E.M. Lumpkin as presbyter, and W. A. J. Farmer (assisting Deacon of Hickory Hill Baptist Church). N. Allee was elected moderator and L.S. Wadley was elected secretary. H.L. Moles, J.N. Dooley and E. M. Lumpkin were appointed to draft the rules of decorum. N. Allee gave the first sermon.

May 14, 1883, the new church met for the second time and elected officers. H.L. Moles was elected trustee and commissioned to find a location for a church house. The church met again on May 17, and H.L. Moles reported the location of a church site in the town of Spring Garden. A committee was appointed to raise money to build a church house. The church would be called the First Baptist Church of Spring Garden.

The new church house was dedicated on Christmas Day in 1883. After the dedication, a three week revival was held, with 31 new members added to the church.

On January 29, 1884, the building committee reported indebtedness on the building of $50.00. It was decided to borrow the money to payoff the bill.

The Miller County Baptist Association annual meeting was held at Spring Garden Baptist Church on August 1, 1884.

During February of 1893, ten years after organization, Spring Garden elected W.W. Sutton pastor, with a salary of $400.00 per year. A revival meeting was started immediately, which lasted until March 13. There were 60 additions to the church: 43 by baptism, 3 by letter, 3 by relation, 4 restored, and 7 on promise of letter. The four that were restored had been members excluded for dancing, drinking and cursing. One-hundred and twenty-one members were added to the church in the first ten years.

In February of 1897, the pastor appointed a committee to devise a plan for repairing the church house. Also during this month, the Lumpkin family was given permission to install the stained glass window in the south end of the church in memory of their father.

The Miller County Baptist Association again held the annual meeting at Spring Garden on September 3, 4, and 5, 1906. People from other parts of Missouri carne by rail on the Rock Island Railroad to Etterville. Local men met them and brought them to the church.

Spring Garden Baptist Church became part of the radio ministry in January of 1953. The pastors of Miller County Baptist Churches and the missionary of the association took turns delivering the message for 15 minutes each weekday morning at 7:45 over KRMS.

After many repairs to the old church house over the years, it was decided that the time had come to construct a new building. Nina Looten donated one acre of land to build the new building. At the homecoming reunion, Sunday, June 8, 1986, it was announced that there was $1,1333.00 in the building fund, and when $3,500.00 was reached that the church would start to build.

After church and a basket dinner March 29, 1987, the land was surveyed and the new building was discussed. It was decided to accept the recommendation for a 50' by 50' building. Money was borrowed from the Citizens Bank of Eldon to buy materials for the building. A gift of $3,700.00 from the Oldham Little Church Foundation of Houston, Texas was received for the building.

The first services in the new church building were held on November 27, 1988. Dedication of the new church building took place on November 12, 1989. At that time $24,484 had been spent on the building, with only $7,580.25 left to pay.

Pastors who served Spring Garden Baptist Church from 1961 to the present time are:
Kenneth Carpenter, John Rollins, Rev. Hufstedler, C.R. Morgan, Louis Elseman, Bill Helvey, James McDonald and Hi Tiffany.


Spring Valley Baptist Church was organized March, 1886, with the following as charter members. W.W. Hoskins, J.B. Hoskins, J.A. Henley, J.B. Henley, A.T. Henley and Henry VanHooser.

The land for the old Spring Valley Church was a gift by S.W. and Minerva Cox and the church was built on the land. In 1960 the property was sold and the church bought the old Spring Valley School house at the corner of Hand BB. The school had two rooms and a full basement and the church was able to move to the new location in 1961.

In 1988 construction started on seven new classrooms, two restrooms and a pastors study with a connecting personal day and sleeping room combined for the pastor and wife. In March of 1927, Spring Valley held a great revival which lasted three weeks. According to records, there were seventy-four people saved and Baptized on March 26, 1927, following the revival. Spring Valley still baptizes in a creek or in a small lake when the weather permits. In 1940 Spring Valley Church had the first Easter Sunrise Service in the area. One of the very first Vacation Bible Schools held in the Miller County Association was held at Spring Valley Church in 1939.

Ministers and missionaries who have been called from Spring Valley Baptist church are:
Wm. Mihfield, D.O. Hickey, Earl Allen, Larry Polly, Cellis Crum, Bill Helvey, Gene Watts, and Robert Hoskins.

Pastors who have served Spring Valley Church:
Earl Allen (1886), A.J. Henley (1907), J.S. Connors (1913-1914), D.M. Williams (1919), T.D. Green, L.E. Maples, J.W. Williams, David McCombs, J.M. Henderson, D.W. Williams, W.L. Houser, Clarence Smith, Carl Porterfield, J.A. Broyles (1924-1926), George Hickey (1930-1932), Virgil Barnard (1934-1938), Lamb James (1939), William Mihfield (1940), Richard Smith (1944), Ted Davis (1948-1949), James Gex (1953), Cellis Crum (1954-1966), Dennis Woolbright (1967), Larry Polly (1970), Tom Siddell (1971), Jim Moad (1973), W.H. Allison (1974), Billy Potter (1975), Bill Helvey (1977-1978), George Cox (1979-1980), Jack Simon (1981), Randy Trumbo (1983-1985), Cellis Crum (1986-).


A small group of Christians met on February 23, 1885 for the purpose of organizing a Baptist Church in Tuscumbia, Missouri. These men were: David McComb, who was elected moderator for the meeting, W.F. Karr, elected Secretary, R.B. Cornett, Z.T. McCubbin and J. F. Got t. The following were presented as charter members: Meria Bacon, Alice Burris, C. A. Burris, Fannie Burris, Martha Burris, W. M. Burris, Irene Cox, Lena Fisher, Bird Kelsay, Rosa Kelsay, Calodona Lawson, Nancy Lawson, Ellen Matthews, Albert McCubbin, Minnie Starling, Fannie Williams and Henry Williams.

At the regular business meeting August 10, 1895, the Church voted to send delegates to the Miller County Association of Baptist Churches, and to send a letter requesting admission into the Association.

In November 1895 a site was chosen for the first church house. A lot was selected in Clark Addition where the church was built and was dedicated on Sunday, October 10, 1897. The church was erected at a cost of $1,205.00 of which $1,140.00 had been paid.

On December 5, 1956 a committee was appointed to purchase lots for a new building site. Four lots on highway 52, opposite the town cemetery, were recommended and purchased. The first revival in the new church house was conducted in July of 1960. During the summer and fall of 1975 an addition was built on the church to serve as Sunday school rooms. Burning of the note for the main church building and the ceremony of ground breaking for the new Sunday school rooms took place at the same time. In the fall of 1976 the balance of the note was paid for the Sunday school rooms and some additional lots were purchased.

Lay members Alva and Ruby Vaughan volunteered to serve as missionaries in Africa. They left in December 1979 and served for 16 months in Kenya.

The following served as pastors at First Baptist Church of Tuscumbia:
R.B. Cornett (1895), W.W. Cornett (1985), Chester Lindsey (1941-1942), Frank Chase (1942-1945), J.D. Gilliam (1945), C. W. Turner (1946-1949), McCoy (1949-1950), Robert Todd (19521956), LeRoy Tolliver (1956-1957), George Huffman (1958-1960), Lon Brown (1961-1962), Robert Steveson (1962-1965, Berman Grant (19651968), Claude Stevens (1969-1971), Tom Schauffler (1972-1973), Russell Hyatt (1973-1975), Ted Stone (1976), Robert Edwards (19761977), George Cox (1978-1982), Tom Nelson (1982, interim), Harold Williams (1882-1985), Tom Nelson (1982, interim), Robert Nuckolls 1986-1988}, Wes Herwick (1988-1990), Don Bilbary Jr. (1990-present)


Ulman Baptist Church was organized August 13, 1897. The organizers were: W.H. Payne, R.B. Cornett, E.M. Lumbkin, George Woolsey, and Jesse Gott.

On August 14, 1897 a church building site and property deed was obtained. At this time there were twenty charter members. A meeting room was rented from Ernest Clark, the local hotel owner, for the sum of one dollar per month.

A business meeting was held September 30, 1897 and Ed Clark was hired to build a church house of the sum of six hundred dollars. An offering was taken at this time and the sum of $120.00 was raised for the new church house.

The church building was completed and dedicated on May 26, 1901. The furnishings for the church consisted of pews, chairs and carpet cost $ 123.91. An organ was purchased February 1902 for $39.10. A belfry was completed in December 1903, and a sexton elected to take care of the ringing of the bell.

August 30, 1911, a revival meeting was started that lasted for twenty-five days. It was conducted by J. M. Bandy and Albert Sutton. This revival resulted in 82 additions to the church, many by baptism, and some by transfer and statement.

Within the early established church there was a practicing committee on discipline Sometimes the hand of fellowship was withdrawn from some members for the following offenses: drunkenness, dancing, profanity, and covetousness. In order for a member to regain full fellowship, he had to ask for forgiveness and the church voted to either re-instate or reject his request. This action was sometimes referred to as "churching a member." This practice is very seldom carried out in the church today, although it is still provided for in the church constitution.

Early pastors were elected on a yearly basis and their salaries voted on and approved each year. Many were hired on a quarterly or half-time basis. Recent pastors have been bi-vocational, requiring them to work at a job as well as pastor the church, with services held each week. At the regular business meeting, February 6, 1966, a discussion was held about remodeling the old church or trying to locate a new building site and build a new church. It was decided it would be more logical to build a new building, since the original site had no space for parking cars, no well or classrooms.

On March 26, 1967 a new site was selected and acquired. A set of church building plans was ordered from the Missouri Baptist Building Fund on February of 1968. The construction began in May 1968 and the congregation moved into the new building in October 1968. The money required to build the new church was largely borrowed form the Missouri Baptist Building Fund, on a fifteen year loan. The loan was paid off with a note burning ceremony in April 1983. The church was dedicated July 27, 1969.

The flat roof on the fellowship room was replaced by a gable roof in 1984. The most recent improvements to this area have been laying new carpet, enlarging kitchen area, installing new cabinets, sink, stove, microwave, refrigerator, and serving cabinets.

The following pastors have been licensed and ordained to preach by the Ulman Baptist Church: Simon Cox, ordained in 1911 and Mark Kessler, ordained in 1984.

Pastors who have served Ulman Baptist Church:
E.M. Lumpkin (1897-1904), R. B. Cornett (1904-1905), E.M. Lumpkin (1905-1906), W.E. Scrivner (1906-1908), E.M. Lumpkin (1908), Albert Siton (19081909), S.J. Neal (1909), E.M. Lumpkin (1909-1910), J.M. Bandy (1910-1913), W.E. Self (1913-1914), S.P. Cox (1914-1916), J.S. Conner (1916-1919), W.S.Berge (1919-1920), Sylvires (1920) interim, W.S. Berge, (1920-1923), T.F. Simmons (1923), W. Mustain (1923- 1924), S.P. Cox (1924-1927), C.D. Manes (1927), D.S. Scrivner (1927-1928), W.H. Zumwart (1928-1930), W.W. Bunch (1930-1932), G.O. Hickey (1932-1933), G.O. Hickey (1941-1942), Gebhart (1942-1946), Howard Karr (1946-1948), Merle Bandy (1948-1953), F.M. Maness (1953-1954), Charles Cox (1958), Gerald Harrison (1958), Tommy Bunch (1959-1961), Louis EIseman (1961-1962), Charles Cox (19621963) interm, Kenneth Gray (1964-1967), Donald Gardner (1968-1970), Charles Cox (1970-1977), Eldon Myers (1977-1980), Billy Helvey (1981-1982), Greg Huddleston (1982-1984), Mark Kessler (1984-).

Rev. Tom Abbott is currently the pastor and Bud Dilley, Sunday school Superintendent.

By Peggy Smith Hake

The United Baptist Church of Christ in the Big Richwoods was organized as early as 1843, but it was not until the 6th of March, 1858, they were conveyed an acre of land on which to build their church house. Samuel P. and Melvina Tucker donated this one-acre plot of ground to the Trustees of the church. The five trustees named in 1858 were Reuben Short, James Bowlin, Pauling Gardner (my great, great grandfather), Alvis Dunkin/Duncan, and William R. Right/Wright. In the deed, it states that the Tuckers in "Christian benevolence and good will" donated this one acre of land to the United Baptist Church Church of Christ for a "public place of worship and a cemetery for the use and benefit of the neighborhood".

Sometime prior to December 1840, a man named Creed T. Biggers entered this 40-acre tract of land and he patented the land in 1840. He kept it for only a short time and sold it to Oby D./Obadiah and Caroline Dyer. The Dyers were in possession of the acreage for 13 years when they sold it to William and Louisa Burks. In 1857, the Burk's sold 28 acres east of the branch that ran through the plot to Samuel and Mary Melvina Tucker. The small branch was a tributary of the Rabbit Head Creek, which ran in a northeasterly direction. The following year, 1858, Samuel and Mary Tucker donated a one-acre parcel to the Trustees of the United Baptist Church.

A small church was built on this one-acre plot near the burial site of Elijah Dyer, son of Haman and Frances Dyer, born in Virginia in 1786. Elijah was buried there on 27 November 1841. He was one of the early pioneer homesteaders in the Iberia area for he had entered and patented 40 acres of land, about one-half mile west of this cemetery, in 1838.

Today, part of his original land is included in the northeastern portion of Iberia's city limits. The grave remains on the same site today and can be found approximately 100 feet south of the South wall of the Iberia City Cemetery. The church was still on the same site in the 1880s and the cemetery at that time was referred to as the "Sulkey Cemetery". My great, great grandfather, Pauling Gardner, one of the original trustees, was buried there in 1886 and in his burial records I found the name of the cemetery recorded as "Sulkey Cemetery".

NOTE: I have heard the legend that the church and cemetery were called 'Sulkey' because of the attitude some of the members had toward one another. That would probably be another interesting story if the proof could be found!

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