Pine Ridge Baptist Church History
The principle sources of this brief history are histories prepared for the 50th and 75th Anniversary celebrations of Pine Ridge Baptist Church, with additional material at the end.
Pine Ridge - circa 1974
On July 13, 1924, sixty-five members of the Pine Ridge Sunday School, which was begun in the late 18O0's, met in the Pine Ridge School for the purpose of organizing a church. The Reverend J. w. Nobles, pastor of Poplar Springs Baptist Church of which a majority of the sixty-five present were members, served as moderator of the organizational meeting. The name, Pine Ridge Baptist Church, was agreed upon by those present. The Church Covenant and the Declaration of Faith were also adopted. B.S. Pace, J. F. Perry and T. E. Hinnant, Sr. were elected deacons. C. J. Tant was elected Church Clerk and with no further business the first meeting of Pine Ridge Baptist Church adjourned.
On July 26, 1924, at the close of the worship service, which was led by the Reverend Raleigh Sherron, the Church was called into conference and the Reverend J.A. McIvor was called as the first pastor of the Church. The time for preaching was set for the first Saturday and Sunday of the Month. At this time the services were being held in the Pine Ridge School. Under the leadership of Reverend McIvor, the Church began to grow. Several members were received by letter and twenty were baptized on September 6, 1924. Following the baptism, R. A. Perry was elected Church Treasurer and W. M. Pearce, E. A. Moody, W. J. Perry and K. M. Mullens were elected Trustees of the Church. On October 4, 1924, J. F. Perry, W. J. Perry, B. S. Pace and K. M. Mullens became the first delegates to the association. On December 6, 1924, the Church approved the following budget for 1925: One-half of the total collection for the pastor's salary; one-fourth for State, Home and Foreign missions, Christian Education, Old Ministers Relief and hospitals; and one-fourth for a Building Fund. J. F. Perry, B. S. Pace, T. E. Hinnant, Sr. and C. J. Tant were elected as delegates to the State Convention. On August 2, 1925, the first Woman's Missionary meeting was held. On September 5, 1925, Reverend J. A. McIvor resigned after a short, but fruitful ministry.
On December 5, 1925, the Reverend S. L. Lamm was elected as pastor for the coming year. The Church continued to grow under the leadership of Reverend Lamm until he resigned on September 3, 1927, to enter the Seminary.
On October 2.3, 1927, the Reverend S. N . Lamb was called as pastor of the Church and served until his resignation in September of 1928.
On October 6, 1928, the Reverend J. L. Coley was called as pastor. He served only four months.
On March 2, 1929, the Reverend E. G. Willis was called as pastor. A list of eight rules and regulations were drawn up and submitted to the Church on August 2, 1920. [NOTE: This is surely an error. The 1999 history relates that the date was 1930, but it could also have been 1929.} These rules which consisted of such concerns as financial support of the Church, discipline for adultery, profanity, drunkeness, manufacture or sale of alcoholic beverages, stealing, gambling and disrupting the harmony of the Church. A violator of one of the rules would be visited first by a committee and then he would be subject to church discipline for his conduct. The rules were adopted by the Church. Reverend Willis resigned on September 6, 1930.
On Septemper 6, 1930, the Reverend Charles B. Howard was called as interim pastor to serve until a pastor could be called. A Baptist Young People's Union was organized in March of 1931.
On October 3, 1931, the Reverend Guy Moore was called as pastor. On February 18, 1934, the Church voted to buy the brick structure in which its services been held since its organization in 1924. The sanctuary and class rooms of our present building are a part of that structure. Reverend Moore resigned in March of 1937.
On September 7, 1937, the Reverend William H. Poole was called as pastor. Reverend Poole resigned in October of. 1939.
Dr. A. Paul Bagby supplied until October 6, 1940, when the Reverend Carl Lewis was called as pastor. On December 3, 1940, the brick school building and the grounds surrounding it were purchased from Franklin County for the sum of $500.00. Reverend Lewis resigned in July 1941.
In September of 1941, the Reverend Ralph L. Cannon was called as pastor. During his ministry one wing of the old structure was torn down and the present entrance constructed. The inside of the sanctuary was also remodeled. Reverend Cannon resigned in November of 1943 to enter the Armed Services as a Chaplain.
In January of 1944, the Reverend M. A. Pegram was called as pastor. A budget of $1,765.00 was adopted 1n 1945. It was set up as follows: Pastor's salary $600.00, other salaries $25.00, incidentals $50.00, other objects $100.00, Cooperative Program $100, orphanage $100.00 and $730.00 to complete the building. In 1946 the Church agreed to pay $60.00 per year toward the salary of an associational missionary. In June of 1954, the Church voted to build a Nursery. In October of 1954, the resignation of Reverend Pegram was regretfully accepted. Reverend pegram had served the church faithfully for nearly eleven years, the longest period of service of any of its pastors until this day. Under his leadership the Church was very progressive in its vision of its role as a servant of God.
On November 21, 1954, the Church voted upon recommendation of the deacons to build a parsonage and to form a field with the Poplar Springs Baptist Church. This would put Pine Ridge in a two-church field rather than a three-church field.
On January 30, 1955, the Reverend W.R. Lolley, who was already serving as supply pastor, was elected as pastor. A five-room parsonage was completed that year. The Junlor class room was remodeled and the windows in the sanctuary were replaced with stalned glass. A new roof was put on the church in 1956. Reverend Lolley resigned on April 6, 1958.
On June 15, 1958, the Reverend Earl Thomas Hardin was called as pastor. An organ fund was begun with the couples class donating $400.00. The organ was purchased shortly after this time. Reverend Hardin resigned on September 6, 1959.
On October 25, 1959, the Reverend James B. Sides, the present supply pastor, was called as pastor of the Church. The church pews and one-hundred ten Baptist hymnals were purchased at this time. In 1961, a Biblical Recorder Club was organized with twenty members. Further remodeling of the building was done by improving the class rooms. In 1962, the sanctuary was air-conditioned. Reverend Sides resigned in June of 1964.
On June 12, 1964, the Reverend Gerald Bagwell was called as pastor. On January 24, 1965, the Church voted to have services on the fifth Sundays, thus becoming a full-time church. A recommendation of the deacons to build a fellowship hall was also approved on the same day. On December 19, 1965, the Fellowship Hall was dedicated and the first meeting held in it on December 22, 1965. In February of 1966, eight tables and one-hundred chairs were purchased for the Fellowship Hall.
Out of concern for the youth of our community, a paved tennis court was built. Reverend Bagwell resigned on November 20, 1966, and preached his last sermon for us on December 25th.
On January 8, 1967, the Reverend Ellis G. Fulbright was called as pastor. In June of 1967, a tape recorder was purchased to provide our shut-ins with a closer relationship to the Church. A new roof and an air conditioner were added to the parsonage. Swings and see-saws were constructed in 1968 for our smaller children. A gift of $200.00 was accepted in February 1968 to begin a Baptistry Fund. A complete census was begun in 1968 to bring our church rolls up to date. In March of 1969, a goal of $3,200.00 was set for Harvest Day, September 21, 1969, to remove the debt on the Fellowsh1p Hall an a note burning service took place on that day. Reverend Fulbright resigned and preached his final sermon at Pine Ridge on May 10, 1970.
Brother Bobby Boykin was licensed to the Gospel Ministry in 1970. On June 21, 1970, the central heating and air conditioning was added to the church building and the fellowship hall.
On August 10, 1970, the Reverend Marion E. Patton was called as pastor. In 1971 the baptistry, picture and drapes were installed. Funds for recreational improvements, a piano for the Fellowship Hall and grounds beautification were begun. On August S, 1973, Reverend Patton resigned as Pastor.
On August 26, 1973, the Reverend Charles H. White was called as pastor. In June of 1974, the tennis court was resurfaced. The church is presently in search of a piano for the Fellowship Hall. Plans for ihe immediate future are aimed at a new roof for our church and the youth are actively involved in raising funds for a church activity bus.
During a period of fifty years Pine Ridge Baptist Church has grown from sixty-rive members to well over two-hundred members. She has advanced from meeting in the local school itself into a church building containing a fellowship hall with good recreational facilities.
This brief history was prepared by the Reverend Charles H. White from a previous history prepared by the Reverend Ellis G. Fulbright.
In 1975 we purchased our first public address system at a cost of $230.00. We had our first reading and review of a proposed Constitution and By-laws for our church in October 1975.
In September 1976, the Reverend Jerry Benfield was called as pastor. New Sunday school classes were started for 7th & 8th grade boys. Reverend Benfield resigned on September 24, 1980.
In 1978 we remodeled our bathrooms and put crush and run gravel in our driveways. In July we purchased a new Allen organ and chimes at a cost of $4400.00.
New carpet in the sanctuary and vestibule and artificial turf on the porch was purchased at a cost of $1951.00, in August, 1979. We also resurfaced the tennis court at a cost of $540.76.
In June of 1980, we remodeled the parsonage and added central heat and air.
In January of 1981, the Reverend Bob Mullinax was called as interim pastor. New choir robes were purchased. In February, 1981, the Reverend Maxwell Hill was called as our pastor. Reverend Hill served until May of 1986. Reverend William Pool was called in June of 1986 to serve as interim pastor. In September of 1986, the Reverend John Fishbaugh was calls as pastor. He served until July of 1989. In 1986(?) we had a major renovation of the sanctuary.
In November of 1989, the Reverend David Higganbotham was called as pastor and served pine Ridge Baptist Church until March of 1993.
October of 1990, new front steps, a handicap ramp, and walkways to the fellowship were added.
In 1991, we added 4 new classrooms and enlarged and remodel(sic) the bathrooms.
August of 1993, the Reverend Mark Perko was called as pastor. He served until January 5,1997. The Reverend W.C. Barham, Jr. was called as interim pastor and accepted a full time position in September, 1997. Reverend Barham is still serving as pastor at Pine Ridge at the present time.
In January of 1995, a new puppet ministry was started. Our youth and a few adults participate in this ministry. In 1995 we replaced the roof on the church.
In 1997 anew van was purchased.
In 1998 we added two new bedrooms, a bath to the parsonage, remodeled the kitchen, added carpet, siding, and new windows at a cost of $53,000.00.
In the past years we have had many donations made to our church. These donations of money, and memorial funds have enabled us to enhance the beauty of our church, allowed us to give scholarships to graduating seniors that are members of Pine Ridge Baptist Church, and increase our knowledge with the new library. To each of you that have given so generously, we thank you.
During a period of seventy five years, Pine Ridge Baptist Church has grown from sixty-five members to 189 at the present time with 59 being non resident members. We have seem (sic) much progress since 1924. The property was purchased for $500.00 and is now valued at over $500,000.00.