|Franklin History Book - The Baptist Church
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The Franklin Baptist Church was organized on June 30, 1887, by a council of nineteen people. Those present were Jacob Boyer, Francis Mayfield, William Haynes, C. M. Hocking, George W. Rice, C. Belk, James H. Daniels, George Hart, Nancy B. Hart, Nancy Polly, Martha Hocking, Margaret L. Mayfield, Margaret Haynes, Menerva P. Bonds, Sarah Samples, Willie Hart, and Mollie Hart. Elder W. W. Hay was elected moderator. A charge was given to the new church by elder G. W. S. Bell. Elder A. Jones served as clerk.
The new church wasted no time in organizing its building program, and at the next business meeting, on July 14, 1887, the moderator appointed a committee consisting of George Hart, C. M. Hocking, and William Haynes to procure a lot for the church building. The committee reproted at the next meeting that a contract had been made with the building association on the Reinbach block. Brothers George Hart, Frank Mayfield, and William Haynes were elected trustees. The first three services were held at the Christian Church. The Baptists then moved their place of meeting to the skating hall until thier new church building was completed.
In March 1890, Rev. J. P. Spainhower was called as pastor. Each time the church met, more members were added to the roll. William Jackson and Manuel Jolly were elected as the first deacons on August 2, 1890. Each year the church sent delegates to the annual meeting. It was knwon as the Central Association at that time.
The Franklin Baptist Church dedicated its first building on the present site on October 30, 1892. Rev. Bell preached the dedicatory serman. William P. Hart was the moderator, and William J. Jackson served as clerk. In December 1937, the building burned down. The members then moved their meeting place to the Schaaf building on the northeast corner of the square. Rev. William Edwards was pastor at this time.
In March of 1948, the Clayton Point School House was purchased and moved to the church property. The members met here while conducting a building program to renovate the school into a more suitable place for worship. Oscar Moore and Robert Shirley were deacons at this time. By November 1951, the mortgage on the building was cleared. Rev. Carl Wanke was pastor at this time, and Harvey Smith was the church clerk. A dedication service was held in July, 1953, with Rev. Kenneth Day as the main speaker. The building had been transformed from a school house into a church, but improvements were still being made. A new gas furnace was installed. The basement was redecortaed, restrooms installed, and a lighted sign for the church yard was furnished by the Methodist Church. Brother Frank Wheeler was pastor at this time.
In 1972, the church began another extensive remodeling program. Rev. Robert White was the pastor, and Harvey Smith, Enneth Rees, John Roach were the trustees. Sunday School rooms were built and also a choir loft. The sanctuary was carpeted, and the walls were panelled. An air conditioner was installed, and a church organ was purchased. With the completion of the major improvements, a dedication service was held on Sunday, September 17, 1978. Rev. Larry Werrier was the pastor. The present pastor is Rev. Clarence Anders.