Church History: 1885-1961
HISTORY OF NINE FORKS BAPTIST CHURCH
FROM 1885 TO 1961
COMPILED BY MR. W.W. MULL
READ AT HOMECOMING JUNE 4, 1961
In the year 1885 a number of Christian people decided that in order to better serve the Master and to further His kingdom, a church was needed at this place.
Therefore, these people came together on May 1, 1885, and now affected the organization of a church which was called Nine Forks. The council consisted of the following ordained ministers:
Rev. D.C. Freeman, Cross Roads
Rev J.M. Stuart, Mountain Grove
Rev. Geo. W. Singleton, Easley
Rev. J.T. Singleton, Marietta
Rev. Thomas Looper, Peters Creek
G.F. Robinson, Cross Roads
T.P. Looper, Cross Roads
McElroy Jamison, Cross Roads
J.T. Childress, Cross Roads
Miles Singleton, Peters Creek
Henry Williams, Peters Creek
E.A. Kelly, Ebenezer
W.O. Turner, Cross Roads
J.C. Heaton, “ “
J.L. Freeman, “ “
A.J. Looper, “ “
W.L. Fendley, “ “
J.M. Freeman, “ “
J.W. Julian, “ “
J.T. Julian, “ “
John Julian, “ “
James T. Robinson, Cross Roads
W. Alonzo Julian, “ “
W.C. Dacus, Oolenoy
W.M. Jones, “
Solomon Looper, “
R.P. Watson, Ebenezer
Bennet Freeman, “
M.W. Bridges, Marietta
Jeremiah Julian, Forestville
E.C. Howard, Pleasant Grove
A.J. Friddle, Peters Creek
Rev. D.C. Freeman preached the organization sermon. He was, also, called as pastor of the new organization. J. Tyre Looper and J.P. Robinson were elected deacons. J. Tyre Looper was elected clerk and J.P. Robinson was elected associate clerk.
Charter members of the new church were as follows:
J. Tyre Looper
Mrs. Fannie Griffin
Mrs. Susan Hunt
Mrs. L.F. Hunt
Mrs. Elizabeth Looper
Miss Dora Hester
Miss Ellen Talbert
Mrs. Martha Looper
Mrs. Mary Robinson
Mrs. Ida Julian
Mrs. Harriet Hester
Miss Emma Hester
In 1935, out of the twenty-three charter members only five were living and only four were members of Nine Forks.
During this period of fifty years the church was served by nineteen different pastors. They are as follows:
Rev. D.C. Freeman
Rev. E.J. Mullinax
Rev. W.G. Mauldin
Rev. B.E. Grandy
Rev. J.T. Singleton
Rev. S.E. Welchel
Rev. B.P. Mitchel
Rev. H.E. Hill
Rev. F.T. Cox
Rev. Charles D. Garner
Rev. J.A. Howard
Rev. Harry S. Lawhorn
Rev. M.C. Looper
Rev. R.J. Joiner
Rev. W.D. Hammott
Rev. D.P. Montgomery
Rev. J.W. Bass
Rev. J.D. Bowen
Rev. Ralph W. McKinney
The Church was served by five men as clerk and treasurer during this period of time. J. Tyre Looper was chosen at the organization of the church. He served until December 1889, at which time J.P. Robinson was elected and he served for twenty-nine years.
James A. Robinson was elected in March 1918. He served until October 8, 1933. This was a period of fifteen years. Henry Aiken was then elected. He served until February 1935. N.B. Williams followed him as clerk and treasurer.
During the pastorate of Rev. C.D. Garner, the question of a new building began to arise. An effort was made to change the location of the church to Dacusville. These plans not being put into effect, the matter was dropped for a while.
In 1928, the question was revived and early in 1929 some very definite steps were taken to start a new building. Timber was cut and lumber was sawed in the early spring. In the summer of that year, the building was erected. The labor was given mainly by the members of the church. Some others helped too. From the time the new building was erected, there was a long hard struggle to pay off the debt incurred in building. The debt was a source of much worry and heartache to a large number of the membership. The great depression came just as the first promised payments were due.
In December, 1934, however, the last installment was paid. The note marked paid in full was brought home. So, in 1935, the building stood, a little unfinished but free of dept.
In 1936, Rev. T.B. Lanham of Pickens, S.C. was pastor. N.B. Williams of Dacusville served as clerk and treasurer. J.A. Robinson was Sunday School Superintendent. Mrs. John Anderson was president of W.M.U. The church felt the need to finish the church building inside. Members gave timber for this work and also timber to make the new pews. The timber was hauled to Pickens where it was cut and dried. Then it was returned to the church property. The work was done with free labor, including the making of the pews which are now in the Sunday School rooms. There was a total of 161 members and 115 enrolled in Sunday School. The pastor’s salary was $230 annually, an Increase of $130 over the previous year.
In 1938, the church called Rev. Lucius Marion as pastor at an annual salary of $234. However, there was $4256 for ministerial help and supply. There was a total of 157 members. Mr. N.B. Williams was still serving as clerk and treasurer. William Friddle was Sunday School Superintendent and J.A. Robinson as choir leader. During Mr. Marion’s ministry there was an addition of two Sunday School rooms across the back of the church. The upstairs rooms were finished leaving the basement incomplete.
In 1941, Rev J.A. Hunnicutt was called as pastor at an annual salary of $400. Nine Forks gave $30 to the Cooperative Program. J.A. Robinson was Sunday School Superintendent and W.J. Robinson was clerk. Brother Hunnicutt served as pastor for four years. In 1944 there was a total Sunday School enrollment of 66 with an average attendance of 32. There was a total membership of 136. The pastor’s salary had been increased by $450 annually and a total of $115 was given to the Cooperative Program.
In 1945, Rev. Coman Brown was called as pastor at the same salary. Total membership including non-resident members was 128. Guy Simmons was elected Sunday School Superintendent. Total enrollment then was 70 and there was a average attendance of 56. Gifts to the Cooperative Program equaled to $75. In 1946, the total enrollment was 48 with an average attendance of 34. In 1947 the total enrollment was 83 with average attendance of 40. The pastor’s salary was Increased to $480 annually.
The next pastor was Lyman A. Rich. There were 61 enrolled in Sunday School with an average attendance of 35. The total church membership was 141. Gifts to the Cooperative Program were $20. Brother Rich, also, had an annual salary of $480.
Guy Simmons was Sunday School Superintendent. W.J. Robinson was clerk and treasurer. Training Union was established for the first time since 1944. T.J. Hip was elected
In 1950, Rev. C.B. Smith was called as pastor at a salary of $500. This was an annual salary. There was a total membership of 95 including non-residents. This was a loss of 66 members since 1936. Total gifts to Cooperative Program were $47. Guy Simmons was Sunday School Superintendent. There was a total of 90 enrolled In Sunday School. Lake Looper was elected as treasurer and W.J. Robinson was clerk. By 1952, under Mr. Smith’s leadership, enrollment increased to 115, an increase of 20, and Sunday School enrollment was 53. The pastor’s salary had increased to $780 annually. Gifts to the Cooperative Program were $46.
In 1953, Rev. George Case was called as pastor at a salary of $840 annually. There were 109 members including non-residents. Lake Looper was elected Sunday School superintendent. Sunday School enrollment was 62 and there was an average attendance of 40. W.J. Robinson became church clerk. Brother Case served 2.5 years as pastor here. Under his leadership a vestibule was added to the front of the church at a cost of $1,275. The pastor’s salary was $1,320 annually. During his pastorate, the membership increased to 114.
In 1955, Rev. Milton Parker was called as Pastor. Lake Looper was Sunday School superintendent and treasurer. Guy Simmons was clerk. The total church membership was 111 members including resident and non-residents. Much progress was made during the eighteen months that Brother Parker served as pastor. The Church saw the need of building a pastorium. It was built at a total coast of $8,500 including the well. Of this amount $7,000 was borrowed from Easley’s Home Builders Loan Association. The church also completely supported their pastor for the first time at a salary of $2,240 annually. This was an increase of $920 in one year. Total enrollment In Sunday School was 78 with an average attendance of 53.
In 1956, the church called Rev. Norman Bell as pastor. Carl B. Turner was Sunday School Superintendent, Lake Looper was treasurer and Guy Simmons was church clerk. At the time of Brother Bell’s call the following men were serving as deacons.
J.A. Robinson, Chairman
Carl B. Turner
These were on permanent status.
In 1957, there was a need for more room so the two incompleted basement rooms were completed at the approximate cost of $350. The labor was free, given by the men of the community. Mrs. Lake Looper was elected clerk in 1957 and is serving at the present time.
In January 1958, the church saw the need of instituting the rotating system of deacons. This was done and on March 1, 1958, Mr. Lake Looper, T.J. Hipp, J.A. Robinson, and W.W. Mull were elected for 4, 3, 2, and 1 years respectively. By June 30, 1958, the Lord had blessed our church with an increase in membership of 137. The Sunday School enrollment was 110 with an average attendance of 64. Again there was a need of room because God had blessed our efforts. The members of the church gave timber and with some free labor and some hired, we built the south wing of our educational building leaving the basement incomplete. On March 1, 1959, Mr. Roy Ogle was elected deacon to replace Mr. W.W. Mull who had rotated off. Also, Mr. Lamb Crowe was elected to fill the unexpired term of Mr. T.J. Hipp who had moved to another church.
In 1959, our Sunday School enrollment had increased to 143, and there was a need for still more room. Our church membership had increased to 152 because God had so wonderfully blessed. Plans began to be formulated for not only Sunday School rooms but also for much needed repairs to the church. While in the process of plans for this, the church voted in January 1959 to install a hot air heating system. This was done at a cost of $2,006. Upon investigation of the cost of repairing the old building, it was found that the cost would run much higher than first anticipated. It was finally decided to completely remodel the old church, plus adding the needed Sunday School space. The deacons and pastor were appointed as a building committee. They secured Mr. Calvin Summey to draw up the plans. Mr. Jack McConnell submitted the lowest bid at $21,500. During the planning stage of our building program, one of our deacons, Mr. J.A. Robinson, died. Mr. Lamb Crowe was elected to complete his unexpired term plus four additional years. In the summer of 1960, the plans were complete, the money for building was secured from Home Builder’s Loan, and the contract was let to Mr. McConnell about the last of October.
Construction began in December of 1960, and the building was completed in April of 1961. The church building had been completely renovated inside and out, adding two rest rooms just inside the front door to the left, a modern nursery to the right of the front entrance, six Sunday School rooms, Baptistry and a steeple. New church furniture was added at a cost of $2,354.30. Choir accommodations were added also. While the auditorium was being renovated the church used the school at Dacusville. We were able to have our first worship service in our new church on Easter Sunday, 1961. This was a Sunrise service of the entire community including Dacusville Methodist, Peters Creek Baptist, and Jones Hill Church of God.
Our church membership as of June 4, 1961, is 172 members. 136 are enrolled in Sunday School. The annual pastor’s salary is $3,380. Our church has made much progress in the last decade. There has been an 81 percent increase in membership, a 100 plus percent in Sunday School enrollment, 700 percent increase in the pastor’s salary, 750 percent in the total giving. There has been eight young people to surrender to full time Christian service. On December 4, 1960 we licensed one preacher, Mr. Herman Nodine, to preach the gospel. At the present, we have one young preacher among our membership. He is Brother Roan Powell.
Brother Bell resigned effective June 15, 1961, as pastor of this church to do mission work in Potsdam, New York.
History of Nine Forks Baptist Church from 1865 to 1961
Complied by Mr. W.W. Mull
Read at Homecoming June 4, 1961
Church History: 1962-1985