New Hope "Webb" Baptist Church
The exact date the church was organized is not known. It is on record that New Hope Church hosted the annual Baptist Association meeting in the year 1858. Since all original records and church minutes were destroyed in a fire prior to 1862,the exact date of establishment and charter members are not known. Charter members are not known, but early names include: Williams, Hill, Frost, Reynolds, Henson, Spencer, Modglin, Roberts, Gardner, Driver, Bryant, Fuller, Webb, Marshall, Greer, McMillion, Watkins, Fiser, Ranes, Champ, Weatherford, Holtsclaw, Piper, England, Ferguson, Uhles, Mellott, Dodson, Talbot, Stover, King, Jarren, Bough, Riley, Moore, and Prosise.
The church is presumed to have existed for quite some time prior to this date. The first minutes on record are in the year 1862; New Hope had no pastor at that time. Messengers to the association were John Waller and William Spencer. New Hope membership numbered sixty-one. Early members of the church helped organize the Woodlawn Baptist Church in 1871 and later Drivers Baptist Church in 1893. Many members moved their membership to these churches nearer their homes.
The church's first building was of log structure located in the northeast corner at the intersection of the Boyd and Richview roads six miles northwest of Mt. Vernon. At that time it was described as the "Crossroads" or "Homer Piercy's Barn Lot". In 1872, this land was deeded to the church for as long as it was remained of worship, said land would revert back to Williamson C. Webb and/or his wife Mary M. Webb. Those serving as trustees for the church were Issac Hill, William P. Fiser, and John W. Watkins.
In November 1879, the church voted to build a new framed building of wood near the original log church. The committee appointed Joseph T. Payne, J. R. Driver, H.J. Holtsclaw, John W. Watkins, and Williamson C. Webb. The carpenter chosen to build the church was John Willis of Centralia Road. The fact that the church still stands and is in use today is a tribute to his tremendous talent and ability.
In April 1880, it was voted by the church to move the new church returning the land and log church back to Williamson C. Webb. The church's first building was of log structure located in the Northeast corner at the intersection of the Boyd and Richview Roads, six miles Northwest of Mt. Vernon. On the 27th day of November, 1872, this land was deeded to the church where it would remain property of the church as long as it remained a house of worship. In the event it ceased to be a house of worship, said land would revert back to Williamson C. Webb and his wife Mary M. Webb. Those serving as trustees for the church at this time were Issac Hill, William P. Fiser and John W. Watkins.
In August 1889 a vote was taken to move the church one and a half miles northeast near the switch at Webb Station. (At that time Webb was a thriving village with business places, a railroad and station. The Jacksonville Railroad ran from the Louisville and Nashville Railroad at Drivers, north and westerly through Webb and Boyd to Jacksonville. The "Jack" railroad was torn up, starting early on a Sunday morning in 1902.) On December 26. 1889, Williamson C. Webb (his wife, Mary M. was deceased by now.) deeded the land in the town of Webb to be the property of New Hope Baptist Church forever. The building was moved then to it's present location.
In 1936 old schoolmates of the first Webb school (which stood in the woods north of the present church on the Rome-Shiloh township road) organized a homecoming to be held at the church. The organizing committee was Eldridge Webb, (son of Williamson C. Webb), Walter Greer and Frank Walker.
Electricity came to the church with the coming of Rural Electrification in 1938 along with an all purpose road in the 1940's. In 1942 a new roof was placed on the church and a beautiful hardwood floor was laid in 1943. In 1950 concrete steps, sidewalks, insulation and a new ceiling were added. In 1954 under the leadership of pastor L.A. Adams the church voted to build and educational building of eight rooms. An oil furnace was installed replacing the old coal stove which sat in the middle of the room. This project was completed the same year debt free.
In 1959 new pews and pulpit furniture replaced the original furniture. Under the leadership of pastor Dale Brookman in 1961, the church voted to build a new entrance to the church. A vestibule nursery and classroom were added, heated by electricity.
In 1966, new roofing, storm doors, and a speaker system were added.
In 1967 paneling was added to classrooms in the educational department. New carpeting and paneling were also added to the auditorium. In August 1968, a new gas furnace, central air conditioning, and aluminum siding were added. On August 29-30 that year New Hope church hosted Salem South Association's 115 the annual session. Moderator was Elder Frank L. Trotter with Br. Melvin Chambliss bringing the annual sermon and Bro. Dale Brookman serving as alternate for sermon. There were 341 in attendance.
The church sponsored Bro. Dale Brookman for a crusade in Jamaica in 1971. 1977 brought a new fellowship hall with capability to use it for classrooms as the church continued to grow. Remodeling of the church continued in the 1980's with installation of stain glass windows, lowering the ceiling, refinishing the walls, reading the pews and new carpeting. In 1987 the fellowship hall was doubled is size and a kitchen and bathroom added. The church parking lot was asphalted and sealed in 1991. A new roof was put on the church and a home-bounded tape ministry began.
The church was resided in 2001.
New Hope Baptist Church has seen many changes over the years from preaching once a month in the early years to bimonthly in the 1940's and in 1953 went to have a full-time pastor as is the practice today. The church is an active member of the Salem South Association, supporter of the Carmi Baptist Children's Center and Angel's Cove maternity center in Mt. Vernon, as well as contributing to the state and foreign missions. New Hope takes a real interest in the needs of the community and round about by helping with the Disaster Relief Program and the Carpenters for Christ organization.
The church host an annual Homecoming which was established in 1936 on the first Sunday in September.
New Hope Baptist Church's continued growth is evidence that God still touches hearts and changes lives today. May his love, mercy, and grace continue to bless this church. Visitors are welcome.
Sunday School 10:00 Worship service 11:00 Sunday evening 6:00 Wednesday evening 7:00
Previous Pastors Thomas J. Burton 1866-1872 B.D. Esmon 1872-1877 Joseph T. Payne 1878, 1881, 1883-1884,1904-1908 (First minister on record to be ordained in the church-year 1878. Called to pastor that same year, salary $60.00 per year, later increased to $100.00 per year) J. H. Murray 1882 W. W. Hay 1885 Cal Richardson 1886, 1891-1899 Enoch Beal 1900 Elder Prints 1901 Sirus Butler 1902-1903 Ambrose Harshburger 1909-1910 Elder Hall 1911 Frank L. Karn 1912,1915-1916, 1938-1940 J. B. Hall 1913 Paris D. Tittle 1917 J. L. Jordan 1918 C. H. Calvin 1919 D. L. Mooney 1920-1921 Raymond Walker 1922 W. J. Anderson 1923-1924 R. H. Page 1925 J. D. Burton 1927-1928 Bird Green 1930-1931 Clarence Greer 1933-1937 E. J. Cravens 1941 (died while still Pastor) Raymond Pierce 1942 Cyrus Maulding 1943 David Goddard 1944 L. A. Adams 1945-1949, 1954 Paul Callias 1950 Melvin Chambliss 1951 Byford King 1952 Gene Auxier 1953 Melvin (Buck) Larson 1955-1956 Virgil Barr 1957 Joe Sledge 1958 Douglas Cox 1959-1960 Sam McCoy (supplied after Bro. Cox resigned) Dale Brookman 1960-1976 Allen England 1976-1981 (died while still pastor) Steve Chambliss 1981-1983 Richard Mays 1983-1986 Ron Trotter 1986-1991 Alan Smith 1991-current
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