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 Jefferson County Illinois


History of First Baptist Church of Woodlawn

First Baptist Church of Woodlawn
Pastor: Derek Downs
Submitted By: First Baptist Church of Woodlawn

Brief History
As the new village of Woodlawn began to grow, many Baptists located to the new village. Some of the new residents were members of the New Hope (Webb) Baptist Church. Due to the fact the church was five miles away with a frequently flooding creek between Woodlawn and Webb Church, Thomas Dale and Seth Derickson called a presbytery together and organized the independent United Woodlawn Baptist Church. on Saturday, October 28th, 1871. In 1952, the Church changed to a Southern Missionary Baptist Church and in 1977, the Church incorporated as First Baptist Church of Woodlawn.

At first, the church met in various homes. A log church building was built in 1876 next to the road on the north side of the cemetery. Andrew J. Ferguson, Sr. donated the land for the church site and the land for the I.O.O.F. Cemetery. Services were held on one weekend a month; two services on Saturday and two services on Sunday. Baptisms occurred in Charles Carroll's pond, about three miles NW of Woodlawn.

In 1887, John Watkins, Sr. purchased the land for a new church building for $30 and deeded it to the Church. A new church building was built in 1887, at the site of our current parking lot. The original log church building was sold in 1888 for $27.25.

In 1987, the Church bought an acre of ground in hopes of someday building a new church building.

In 1997, the Church moved into the present building.

In 2002, the Church paid off the note on the new million dollar plus building.

Bits and Facts

1901 .... The Pastor was paid $2 per month.

1904 .... The Pastorís "salary" was raised to $5 per month and two sextons were paid $0.25 per month. Sextons serves as janitors and bell ringers.

1917 .... The Church received their last $1 per month electric bill.

1942 .... Paid $2 for someone to watch over the Church property on Halloween Night.

33 different men have served as Pastor of First Baptist Church of Woodlawn. Four of those men served more than once, with Bros. Payne and Hay serving three different times. Bro. Apgar has the longest pastoral tenure, serving 11 years as Pastor

Joseph T. Payne 1886
Calvin Richardson 1886 - 1887
Joseph T. Payne 1887 - 1891
W. W. Hay 1892 - 1894
Joseph T. Payne 1894 - 1894

W.W. Hay 1895 - 1896
F.W. Carsten 1896 - 1897
J.R. Kelly 1897 - 1899
W.W. Hay 1900 - 1901
Charles E. Hunt 1902 - 1904

Jessie Sneed 1904 - 1905
Leban L. Estes 1906 - 1910
G.W. Syfert 1910 - 1916
J.B. Maulding 1916 - 1917
C.C. Mitchell 1917 - 1918
H.A. Meyers 1919 - 1920
Cyrus W. Maulding 1920 - 1927
M.C. Holder 1927 - 1928
Cyrus W. Maulding 1928 - 1930
Bird Green 1930 - 1932

Frank Hooker 1932 - 1933
E. Virgil Hails 1934 - 1935
William A. Gray 1935 - 1936
E. Virgil Hails 1936 - 1936
Leslie This 1936 - 1937
Everett Apgar 1937 - 1948
Kenneth Hardway 1948 - 1950
Paul Cravens 1950 - 1951
James L. Feaman 1951 - 1957
Homer W. Farris 1957 - 1959

Wayne York 1959 - 1963
Carter Smith 1963 - 1965
Ron Burnett 1965 - 1970
A.L. Cox 1970 - 1977
Denny Sneed 1977 - 1984

Gene Auxier 1984 - 1994
Ron Maharrey 1994 - 1994
Roger Lipe 2001 - 2006
Derek Downs 2006 - Present

Events and Happenings

1910 .... 47 People were baptized into the Church during a revival led by G.W. Styfert.

1924 .... The Church experienced "The Great Revival." A six-week revival led by Cyrus Maulding and M.C. Holder resulted in 73 baptisms and many other converts.

1924 .... The Ladies Aid, which raised a large sum of money through quilting, bake sales and ice cream suppers, asked for and offered to help fund a basement for the Church. The basement was dug out 38 years after the auditorium had been built.

1936 .... Pastorís salary raised to $12.50 per trip. Services were held one weekend per month. The Pastor would come to Woodlawn on the Saturday before the 3rd Sunday of each month and hold four services: Saturday afternoon, Saturday night, Sunday morning and Sunday night.

1942 .... Moved into full-time preaching and ministry service, with two services each Sunday

1948 .... Sunday evening Training Union was established with Ruth Harlow as its first director.

1951 .... During Pastor Feamanís pastoral term, he insisted member tithe and not hold bake sales or ice cream suppers to raise money to pay the pastor.

1954 .... Pastor called for an indefinite period of time. Up to 1954, pastors were called annually.

1995 .... Ground broke for new church building. A $3000,000 loan was take out to pay for the building with the volunteer group Carpenters For Christ providing much of the labor for free. The entire note was paid off in November 2002.

2002 .... Begin Awana youth program on Wednesday evenings. Awana membership began at 22 boys and girls and rose to 112.

2003 .... Started Mission at Baker Street Baptist Church. Baker Street chartered as an independent Church in 2005.

2004 .... 85 people came forward to make a profession of faith during a revival lead by Bro. Brady Weldon.


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