…..A rich heritage of history combines to establish new hopes for the future. Celebrating their 130th year…..
Tay Lachance, Editor
PHOTO CAPTION: The BAPTISMAL for Charleston Baptist Church members took place at the Hatchie River in 1922. The members included (l to r) Cathleen Cothran, Edna Cole, Etta Earl Smith, Cornelia Brammer, Nettye Wright, Leta Waddell, Greta Johnson, Gertrude Floyd, Elizabeth Williams, Elaie Smith, Elizabeth Jacques, Ada Combs, unidentified, Mrs. Waddell E. Smith, Vivian Byars, Willie Richardson, Carrie Campbell, Paul Wright, Ernest Huggins, Elbert Waddell, Farris Waddell, Paul Davis, Otha Huggins, unidentified, Carol Bourne, Sadie Smith, Alline Cole, Fay Morrisett(?), (first name not given) Davis, J(?) Deverell, Roy Morrisett, Virge Williams, Bill Boarne, Franke Boarne, John Alfred Williams, Sam Archer, John Wesley Glover, Reginal Huggins, Herman Dowdy(?), Leslie Wright, Brook Faulk, Grady Williams, Rob Bourse, Robert Jesse Williams, Embry Davis, Hubert Cothran, Garl Byars, Bladyes Davis, Richard Deverrell, Herschel Cothran, Mayberry Waddell, Morgan Lee Dowdy, Lancry Waddell, Mack Smith, Rob Cranford, unidentified, Jim McIntyre, Madison Campbell, Bob Bourne, Jess Sanders, Morgan Dowdy and O. A. Utley, pastor.
Charleston Baptist Church celebrates 130 years!
“This is an exciting time to be a part of the Charleston Baptist Church family! as our 130th anniversary approaches. I have been increasingly aware of how the past and the future are meeting to create a dynamic present for our congregation. The rich treasury of experiences that make up the history of our church has shaped us and given us a heritage of strong values that we can celebrate and God can use. The hope that God is giving us for the future of His church in this community is a powerful force moving us to pray and take steps of obedience that will make our ministry purposeful and effective in our unique setting. As we worship God as a family of faith committed to a life of integrity and compassion, God will open doors to new opportunities, meaningful relationships, and a bright future.”
—- Pastor Paul K. Moore
The Charleston Baptist Church will celebrate its 130th year this Sunday. There will be many special activities to enjoy and members, former members and the entire community is invited to attend. Jerry McDivitt will be the guest speaker. After the 11 a.m. service and dinner, the choir will give a special musical presentation.
Rev. Moore has been the pastor at Charleston Baptist Church since 1985. He and his wife, Linda, have four children, Davie, Laura, Jonathan and Cannon.
Other staff members are Reed Fleming, music director, Lynn Sorrell and Mary Bacca, pianists, and Curtis and Amy McCoy, co-youth directors.
The Charleston Baptist Church had its origin in the early 1800’s, three miles from its present location. It was discovered by one source that the original church had been named New Bethel. The first written membership roster was recorded in 1868, and showed a membership of 90 persons. In 1872, a church was built at the present location.
In 1922 a total of 65 persons were baptized that year in the nearby Hatchie River.
As with the rest of the nation, Tipton County suffered immensely during the Great Depression of the 1930’s. It was at this time that Pastor J. E. Bell volunteered to work for a while without the benefit of salary. Many of the church members showed their appreciation to him by sharing the meager goods they had, such as chickens, homegrown vegetables and livestock.
On May 7, 1933, a tornado ripped through the small community, killing many residents of the area as well as Church members. The church itself was completely destroyed by the devastating tornado. The members rose to the occasion with much determination and rebuilt the church with volunteer labor. Church services were held in the building that same year.
In 1937, electric lights were installed and in 1949, the first Vacation Bible School was held. Rob Bourne was contracted to build the present church building and several members of the church volunteered to help. Dedication of the building took place Nov. 25, 1951.
Charleston Baptist Church offers a myriad of activities for children, youth, and adult women and men.
the missions program has taken many members to all parts of the world as well as travel in the United States. In 1997 several church members traveled to Mexico where they built a playground for the community children. In 2000, Pastor Paul Moore traveled to Portugal and in 2001, Laura Lee Moore traveled with the Tennessee Baptist Commission to Brazil. This summer, Miss Moore went to St. Louis, Mo., where she had the opportunity to do missionary work with AIDS patients and inner city children. On Sept. 20, 2020, a lady’s prayer retreat was held at Paris Landing, offering more opportunities for the church members to share their faith.
Missions at the church include Baptist Men, Baptist Women, Teen Missions and Mission Friends. Hettie Rice is the WMU president and Neal Clayton is the Brotherhood director.
The youth at Charleston Baptist Church have many exciting activities being presented. The co-directors, Curtis and Amy McCoy, have established a Wednesday night worship and prayer time. On Friday nights the activities include fun and games as well as Bible study and worship. A youth praise team has been developed that often lead worship in music for the youth group. They have performed at Sunday morning services as well as Sunday night.
The youth group has done several community service projects and will assist with the Senior Kaleidoscope Health Fair on Oct. 18 at the Senior Center in Covington. Other activities have included ministry and witness work on Beale Street, they lead a youth revival in Ripley, and ministered through music at an assisted living center and at the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home in Bartlett. In the community, they planned a community wide celebration which included “mud-volleyball” as one of the activities.
In 1998 and 2000, the Tennessee Baptist Convention State Speakers Tournament had winners from Charleston Baptist Church. Each year the church has had Bible drill winners in the Children’s State Tournament or the Youth Regional competition.
Children’s ministry has “Terrific Tuesday” during the summer months and the group enjoys water play and field trips to the zoo and other interesting places. Recently, they participated in a Sept. 11 remembrance service and dressed as American characters such as Abraham Lincoln, Betsy Ross and others.
The women’s ministry group has been participating in Bible Studies, Prayer Partner events and a quilting group.
Future has opportunities
Charleston Baptist Church continues to grow and thrive in its ministry. Last summer, they had the largest attendance at Vacation Bible School in 20 years. Their attendance at church services has increased over 14 percent in the last year.
Mrs. Moore, the pastor’s wife, added her summation of the church and its invigorating efforts in the community, as well as with their own church family, and said, “God is pouring out his blessings in our church. We are seeing prayers answered every week.”
Revival begins on Sept. 29, 2002
A revival will be held at the Church beginning with the 130th Anniversary celebration this Sunday.
Morning worship at 9:45 a.m. and again at 11 a.m.
A group photograph will be made after the 11 a.m. service and then members are encouraged to have dinner in the Fellowship Hall. Afterward, the Choir will make a special musical presntation.
Revival will be Monday, Sept. 30 – Thursday, Oct. 3 and will begin at 7 p.m. Jerry McDivitt will deliver the message and Reed Fleming will lead the music.
There will be no 6 p.m. service on Sept. 29, due to the Great Commission Rally which will be held at First Baptist Church in Covington.
[The Covington Leader, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2002, Section B, Family Living]