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Blue Ridge Church with the Tabernacle to the left.

Blue Ridge Church with the Tabernacle to the left.

Annual Blue Ridge Homecoming & Blue Ridge Cemetery Association Meeting will be next Saturday, April 18, 2009. Business meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m and will be followed with a picnic lunch, visiting, and cemetery decorating. Any donations for upkeep would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in donating leave a comment and we will email more info to you.

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Pictured are brothers Danny and Mikel Craig installing the steeple.

Pictured are brothers Danny and Mikel Craig installing the steeple.

This Sunday April 5th, Providence Baptist Church will dedicate their new steeple during the 11 am worship service. The church is also providing a fellowship lunch after the morning services. The steeple was installed in January. Funds for the steeple were provided by an anonymous donor.

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evantfbc

Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church was the third church organized near Langford Cove/Evant. Rev. Noah Turner Byars organized this church on 12 April, 1877, in the home of Mr. and Mrs. George Washington Griggs  who lived in Hamilton County about six miles northeast of the present town of Evant. In addition to Bro. Noah Turner Byars and Mr. and Mrs. Griggs, other adults present were Mr. and Mrs. Dave W. White and Mr. and Mrs. Donahue.  In 1848 Byars was the first missionary appointed by the Texas Baptist Convention.

The Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church participated in the organization of the Hamilton County Baptist Association on 4 July, 1877, at the Cottonwood Springs SchoolNoah Turner Byars was an itinerant preacher who traveled from one settlement to another holding “protracted meetings” and organizing churches. As the congregation outgrew the Griggs’ log cabin home and a brush arbor, and then a church building were erected about three or four miles west of the Griggs’ home. The first pastor was likely Presley O’Keefe, who also taught school in Langford Cove.

In 1885 Sweet Home Baptist Church built the first church building in the town of Evant. Being paid for by subscription, the church was dedicated by Dr. R. C. Buckner on the second Sunday in May, 1892. Since services were held only once a month, the Baptist congregation shared their building with the Methodist congregation.

In 1913 the name of Sweet Home Baptist Church was changed to Evant Baptist Church.

llen Boone DeHart pastored this church from September 20, 1931, through August, 1935. Some of those who became members during his ministry were: Mrs. Josh Massingill, Mr. Charlie Massingill, Mrs. Monroe Smith, Miss Vollie Perkins, Mr. William McDonald, Miss Bernice Kinsey, Miss Jessie Massingill, Mildred DeHart, Doris Jean Sawyer, Iona Frasure, Van Dean Winters, Charles Curtis Longmire, Lawrence Lane, Mr. Putman Sawyer, Robert Norman Hamilton, Troy Massingill, Mrs. Mary Penson, Miss Fay Massingill, Mr. Charlie Huell, Mr. Happy Stewart, Mrs. Joe Griffis, and Mrs. John Henry.

P. W. Springfield was the first full-time pastor in 1943. His salary was ninety dollars a month plus rent and utilities. During his ministry an educational annex and baptistry were added. A second annex was added in 1948.

fbc_1In 1955 a new brick building was built with 7760 square feet. The first service in the new sanctuary which seated 300, was held on 2 October, 1955, when Billy Butts was pastor.

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Early pastors of Sweet Home Baptist Church were:

  • Presley O’Keefe–1878-1879
  • D. I. Haralson–1881-1886, 1886
  • D. W. White–1887, 1890–1897
  • G. W. Herrington–1888
  • J. C. Combs–1889
  • W. N. White, 1898
  • Pinkney Hawkins, 1899

Early church clerks were:

  • W. B. Wright–1881
  • J. W. Brooks–1882–1883
  • S. C. Smith–1884, 1886
  • S. E. Smith–1885
  • J. R. Carter–1887–1891
  • P. H. Young, 1892–1894
  • James White, 1895
  • J. R. White, 1896–1897
  • R. S. Griggs, 1898
  • A. T. Stamp, 1899

Early messengers to the association were:

  • 1878–D. W. White, J. W. Howard, and W. N. White
  • 1879–D. W. White, J. W. Howard, and J. P. Murphree
  • 1881–D. W. White, and J. P. Murphy; Elder D. W. White and W. B. Wright
  • 1883–W. B. Wright and D. E. Eliott
  • 1884–D. W. White, W. B. Wright, and George Griggs
  • 1885–D. N. White and W. B. Wright
  • 1886–D. W. White
  • 1887–Elder D. W. White, A. J. Culpepper, and J. W. Maness
  • 1888 and 1889–D. W. White
  • 1890– D. W. White, S. E. Smith, A. J. Culpepper
  • 1891–D. W. White, T. W. Kirkland, J. R. Carter
  • 1892–D. W. White, P. H. Young
  • 1893–D. W. White, W. N. White, P. H. Young, J. R. White
  • 1895–D. W. White, W. N. White, Dr. R. L. Howell, P. H. Young
  • 1896–D. W. White, W. N. White, J. T. White, P. H. Young
  • 1897–Rev.’s D. W. White, W. N. White, W. M. Howell, Brethren G. H. Singleton, P. H. Howell
  • 1898–Rev. W. N. White, Brethren P. H. Young, J. A. Sheffield, R. S. Griggs, G. H. Singleton
  • 1899–A. T. Stamp, P. H. Young, E. B. White, and Rev. W. N. White.

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Circa 2003 by Rev. David Keith

Circa 2003 by Rev. David Keith

On Saturday before the fourth Sunday in March, 1878, Carlton Baptist Church was organized. T. M. Byers was the moderator and J. M. Evans was church clerk. The first pastor was Rev. R. M. Cumbie and the first deacons were Dewey Pierce, J. A. Rowland, Martin Jones, and Joe Hicks. J. A. Rowland was the first Sunday School superintendent.

Charter members were F. M. and Mary Carlton, R. M. and Mollie Cumbie, W. J. and Nancy Hicks, J. M. and S. J. Evans, J. R. and Martha J. Nix, J. P. Nix, C. A. Miller, James Nix, Callie Center, William Miller, Bettie Smith, James S. Carlton, Cynthia Pierce, Drewry Pierce, Nancy Pierce, Napoleon Pierce, Penelope McCarty, and James S. McCarty.

R. M. Cumbie was born 1 January, 1849, in Barber County, AL.  Converted at the age of 20, he was baptized by D. B. Burt into the Damascus Church.  He came to Texas in 1870 and was licensed by Concord Church of Henderson County.  Cumbie was ordained by Carlton Baptist Church on the third Sunday of November, 1881.

Carlton Baptist Church was admitted to the Comanche Baptist Association prior to 2 September, 1881, when Carlton hosted the Comanche Baptist Annual meeting.

No rain fell in Hamilton County from January, 1886, until August 31, 1887; hence severe drought conditions prevailed.  The Saturday morning session of the Comanche Association  in September, 1887 adjourned to the river bank for a baptismal service.  Sixteen of those baptized were from Carlton.

On 3 December, 1885, R. M. Cumbie, Drewry Pierce, H. L. Lynch, J. E. Stringer, J. H. Everett, and J. T. Cumbie, Trustees of Carlton Baptist Church purchased for ten dollars from W. C. Murphree and wife, D. A. Murphree, a tract of land on which to build a church house.

The first church was a one room structure. Carlton Baptist Church was admitted into the Hamilton County Baptist Association on 14 August, 1891.

Interior of the auditorun taken around 1997.

Interior of the worship center taken around 1997.

Early pastors were:

  • J. H. Vinson, 1891–1895
  • J. H. Cunningham, 1896–1897
  • J. T. Beam, 1898–1899
  • T. P. Speakman, 1901

Early church clerks were:

  • J. C. Finley, 1891-1900
  • W. McKenzie–1901

Early messengers to the annual association meeting were:

  • 1891–W. Graham, F. M. Richburg
  • 1892–W. Graham, J. W. Porter, F. M. Richburg, James Wilson McKenzie
  • 1893–J. H. Vinson, A. Boatwright, F. M. Richburg
  • 1894–J. N. Adams, J. W. Richburg
  • 1895–Warren Graham, James Wilson McKenzie, J. N. Adams, B. G. Richbourg, J. H. Vinson, J. W. Porter, Randolph Hunter “Randall” Gibson
  • 1896–F. M. Richbourg, J. C. Finley, Warren Graham, J. W. Porter, Randolph Hunter “Randall” Gibson
  • 1897–A. L. Fisher, James Wilson McKenzie, A. G. Bingham, Rev. Warren Graham
  • 1898–James Wilson McKenzie, R. Adams, V. B. Mitchell, J. M. Adams, Sisters Lou Mitchell and Orelia McKenzie
  • 1899–Revs. Randolph Hunter “Randall” Gibson, J. T. Beam, Warren Graham, and Brethren J. M. Adams, James Wilson McKenzie, F. M. Richbourg, W. S. Fisher
  • 1900–James Wilson McKenzie, Rev. Warren Graham, J. A. Rowland, Sister Orelia McKenzie
  • 1901–J. T. Gibson, James Wilson McKenzie, J. A. Rowland, J. W. Richbourg, Randolph Hunter “Randall” Gibson, M. L. Gibson

A new church building was completed in September, 1917 by J. L. Thompson. This was the last building Mr Thompson built before his death. The first couple married in the new church were Rev. Clarence Allen Morton and Miss Hallie Adams. The baptistry was added in 1945. On 25 October, 1953, an educational building was dedicated. The parsonage was remodeled in 1977.

More About Carlton:

See more ABC Wednesday.

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epis-ch1

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church began in 1868 in the home of Mrs. E. D. Bell. Among the first itinerant Episcopal Clergymen who came to Hamilton was Bishop Gregg in 1873. In 1874 The Right Reverend Alexander C. Garrett of the Missionary District of North Texas scheduled regular visits to Hamilton several times each year. Services were later held in the Presbyterian Church–the first church in Hamilton to build a church building.

In 1888 a Ladies Guild was formed. The first project of the guild was to raise money to build a church. Major C. W. Cotton gave the land on which the church was built in 1891 using the Carpenter Gothic style of architecture. E. R. Williams, John L. Spurlin, and S. D. Felt comprised the building committee. By 1896 the finishing touches on the building were completed and Bishop Garrett came from Dallas. St. Mary’s is the oldest church to remain on its original location in Hamilton. Rev. Father Ronald Baker, Vicar, rebuilt and installed an antique Estey pipe organ and presented the organ as a gift to the church at his ordination service about 1985. to consecrate the building. In 1950 an Austin stone Parish House with an auditorium, kitchenette, Sunday School rooms, and pastor’s study was added at the east end of the original church building.

Ernest Robert Williams was Sunday School superintendent for more than twenty years. Mrs. S. D. Felt was organist and choir director for twenty-seven years. Mrs. J. T. James was president of the Ladies Guild for twenty-four years. Some other members have been Cecil B. James, Dr. Charles C. Baker, Jr., M. Brents Witty, Mrs. Katherine (Baker) Witty, Mrs. Nora Katherine (Henderson) Teague, Robert Miller, Malcolm G. James, John C. Latham, Calvin Thomas, and Mrs. Flora Emma (Briggs) Blitz — ECW

More About St. Mary’s Episcopal Church:

Be sure to visit the That’s My World! blog.


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Front view of the church.

Directions: From the southeast corner of the courthouse square in Hamilton (intersection of Hwy. 36 and Bell Street) proceed east (toward Gatesville) 3 blocks.  Turn right (south) on Reagan Street which will also be FM 932 & FM 1241.  After 5 blocks FM 932/1241 turns left on Standefer Street for one block and  right on S. Dempster Street.  Four block later FM932/1241 turns left (east) and leaves Hamilton.  Almost a mile out of Hamilton FM 932 turns left to Aleman and FM1241 continues straight.  Stay on FM1241 about 3.5 miles.  Watch for a church-shaped sign (across the road from a tall faded-pink water tower) pointing to Blue Ridge Baptist Church.  Two gravel roads join FM1241 at this point. The west portion of the Blue Ridge Cemetery will be on the left side of the road. Take the gravel road on the left and proceed east to the end of the road.

The Blue Ridge Baptist Church was organized 10 July, 1880, as the Blue Ridge Missionary Baptist Church of Christ and my great-grandparents, James Lemuel Grisham, Sr. and his wife Margaret Amanda Jones Grisham were among the charter members. When Margaret Amanda Jones Grisham died 18 November, 1936, she was the last remaining charter member. Other charter members were William Robert Richey, Sarah Ann Wright Richey, and likely W. S. Stephens.

Church Deed

Church Deed

Apparently Blue Ridge was admitted to the Hamilton County Baptist Association in 1880 (one of only two years for which associational minutes are not available.) This church has the last remaining tabernacle (which was built in 1912) in Hamilton County. On 24 January, 1891, a lot was purchased from John Hannah Brown for the sum of ten dollars. (Hamilton County Deed Records, Book 6, Page 172.) On 30 April, 1892, James William Massie was given a contract to build a church building by the building committee which was composed of John Hannah Brown, Christopher Columbus Powell, James Marion Allen, L. P. Foster, and E. A. Willis. Massie would be paid $100 on 1 November, 1892, and fifty dollars in work. He was to construct a 44 ft by 26 ft building within three months. In 1923 the church was remodeled with a south wing added so that the building was “T-shaped.” A Delco power plant was added at this time to provide lighting. Electricity was added in 1939. A Sunday School room was added on the east side in 1976. In 1988 the Texas Baptist Men built a fellowship hall with a kitchen, bathrooms, and water.

Blue Ridge Church with the Tabernacle to the left.

Blue Ridge Church with the Tabernacle to the left.

My father, Robert Verne Crain, was a deacon and treasurer in this church for many years. My mother, Clara Elsie Fergusson Crain, taught the ladies Sunday School and was Church Clerk for many years. I was church pianist during my years of high school

More About the Blue Ridge Community:

More About Blue Ridge Baptist Church:

See more ABC Wednesday.

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Baptist work in Hamilton began in the fall of 1873. Hamilton Missionary Baptist Church was admitted to the Leon River Association the following year. The church met in a school until 1882 when it begin meeting in the Presbyterian Church building. FBC’s current property on S. Bell Street was purchased in 1888. In 1896 FBC began constructing its first building. — DEH

Origninal FBC Hamilton Building

Origninal FBC Hamilton Building

Built in 1896-1897

Built in 1896-1897

Constructed of native stone by James Malcolm “Jim” Tomlinson. When this building was destroyed by fire  on 6 February, 1924, the Baptists met in the courthouse until a brick building could be completed in 1925. — ECW

Donated by

Donated by George Morrow Carlton after the eath of his wife Fronia in 1921. Mr. Carlton’s second wife, Mrs. Marcie Wysong was organist for many years.

South side of building. Auditorium was on the second floor.

Building was completed in February, 1925 and burned 27 May, 1970. South side of building. Auditorium was on the second floor.

Southwest Corner of building.

Southwest Corner of building.

The current FBC Building was dedicated August 1971

The current FBC Building was dedicated August 1971

The  Seth & Mabell Moore and  John Crea McCaleb  Youth and Family Life Center

The Seth & Mabell Moore and John Crea McCaleb Youth and Family Life Center was decicated March 31, 1996.

More About FBC Hamilton:

Be sure to visit the That’s My World! blog.

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