Brief History of Faith Baptist Church

By Randy Williams

February 5, 1998 

Faith Baptist Church was organized as a Southern Baptist Church in 1988. The Vision of this church and it's members was to be, "not just another Baptist Church, but a different Baptist Church." Let us explain. 

In 1988, most of our charter members were longtime active members of West End Baptist Church in West Point, MS.  In that year, a fire broke out before a Thanksgiving Banquet and destroyed the church.  Rev. Jimmy Carr was pastor.  We had insurance to cover the loss of the building (about $400-450,000) but the loss was devastating to many.  Where would we meet and worship?

Oak Hill Academy of West Point, MS. was very gracious and allowed West End Baptist to use their facilities until a new church could be built.  A very important question came up as we began to consider rebuilding.  Where do we rebuild??  There were two main opinions:

  1)  Rebuild on the existing site

   2)  Rebuild on a "new" site

                          For some, there was no question, the church was to be rebuilt on the existing site.  This decision went beyond just constructing a building, it tied in with many of the members family heritage or roots. Generations of families had grown up, been baptized, married and died at West End. Many families had close emotional ties to the church and the surrounding community.  There was community pride in living on "the other side of the tracks".  Once a thriving little community with many homes and families, the area had become more and more industrialized.  Families had moved to other areas of the city and West End Baptist had ceased to grow. Yes, many events that happened in that old church, but there were also many events that had ceased to happen.


Baptisms and people coming to Jesus as their personal Savior had become rare occurrences. West End had ceased growing.  Industry was moving closer and closer. The Church and it's members appeared to be going through routine;  being religious, week after week after week.  It appeared we were in decline but in fact.........just existing.  There were few people being born again and baptized.  In reality it was not just West End, but  ALL the Southern Baptist Churches in Clay Co.  That year only 28 people were baptized in ALL of Clay County.  Were the churches in our area fulfilling the "Great Commission" given to us by our Lord?  NO!


Other members saw the “church burning” as a gift of God.  It was not a tragedy but a blessing from God.  We were given a "Blank Check of Opportunity" as some would call it.  It was an opportunity to step out on Faith, a time of change, a time to get back to "True Worship", not routine.  God was going to replace an aged, inefficient structure with a new, modern Worship Center at little or no cost.  But would rebuilding the church on the existing site achieve what HE desired most; that lives would be changed by Faith in Jesus Christ in Clay Co.?  Would a church built on the existing site fulfill God's purpose (telling and proclaiming that through Faith in  JESUS the World might be saved)????  Instead of rebuilding a "new facility" and going back to our "stale, dead, religious routine", we wanted to  investigate the possibilities..........possible alternative locations where the Church would be in the public/community eye.  Where God could be God and touch/change peoples’ lives!  God was giving West End Baptist another chance, an opportunity to step out on faith (like Abraham and Moses), to be righteous instead of religious, and living instead of dead.   With such differences of opinion, a church vote was recommended.  The vote was taken, West End Baptist would be rebuilt on the existing site.  We were disappointed that a review/analysis of ANY other possible building sites would not be considered.  So there was a decision within our fellowship that GOD had given us a VISION to do HIS work in Clay County. Other Southern Baptist Churches were not doing it.  We would have to step out on Faith, as Abraham, as Moses, we would have to leave the fellowship of West End Baptist and begin a "new work".

  Leaving West End Baptist was tough......tough because we had fellowship, developed close friends,  we had experienced Christian love, and many had come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.  But our call from God was not based on "emotion or nostalgia", it was based on a call, a vision from God to NOT be another Baptist Church, but be different!!  Set apart for serving God!  Some may misunderstood our decision as being "sour grapes" regarding the vote on alternate building sites, as trying to be "uppity" (better than others), but it was not.  It was strictly based on "a Vision", on doing God's work.  So we left those we loved to begin the new work.

  Our first obstacles were:  (1)where do we meet and (2) where is the money going to come from?  In Scripture, both Moses and the children of Israel left Egypt for the Promised Land, God provided with blessings.  So God provided and blessed each congregation.  We remained at Oak Hill Academy, West End moved to the Old Gibson Building until the new church could be built at the existing site.  God blessed West End Baptist with a energetic young pastor, Bro. Terry Partin who helped lead his congregation into a building program.  West End became energized, drew close together, sought God's face and became renewed.  Many families became involved that had never been involved.  The Holy Spirit was at work and many people came to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.  Life had come back to West End Baptist!  No more routine, no more stale worship. Praise God!  Isn't God good?

He blessed our congregation by providing "manna" to pay the bills, to support our pastor and do God's work.  We met to decide a name for the new work, the new church. It's name was suggested by Allen Wood and approved by vote: 

Faith Baptist Church

Why?  Because this fellowship of believers had stepped out on "Faith" to follow a vision God had given them!  We had left with no money, only "HIS VISION".  We looked for land, a possible building site, but could not reach terms.  Then 6-acres of land, with a home, was available on East Churchill Road.  It belonged to Lloyd Taylor who offered it to us for sale.  It was beautiful!  We met the terms.  God had provided, over and over, God had provided!! (We found out later, through the Golden Triangle Mission Board in Columbus, MS., this area has been considered for some time as a possible site for a mission church).  Isn't God Good? Isn't God Great? He will provide if we will trust him, obey him, if we will wait on him, and submit to his Majesty! 

So with the land and home provided by God, we would need a place to worship. God provided again and again.  God allowed us to find 3-double wide trailers at the Assembly of God Church in Columbus that had been used in their building program. We purchased them for about $9,000 dollars. They were set up behind the existing church.  We requested a mobile chapel from the Mississippi Mission Board, which was funded by the "Margaret Lackey State Mission Fund".  It was provided and set up.  We lacked a piano.  Mrs. K. Dill was led to buy a new one.  We lacked pews and hymn books, they were donated by a West Jackson Baptist Church in Jackson, MS. God continued to provide again and again.  

A Building Committee was elected with Police Chief Bill Ladd elected as chairman.  The committee visited other building sites, talked with contractors, architects, obtained costs, and eventually brought a blueprint to the church.  The design was for a church that would seat 300-350 people.  But we only had about 100 members!!  Would it not be better to build a small church, the size of our membership?  No, this decision, like others was based on Faith that God would provide, and the Vision that Clay County would be reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  This church would be filled!! Yes, this like other decisions, was made by Faith

With blueprint in hand, a loan had to be secured for the construction of the new church.  Interest rates and legal aspects of construction were investigated under the leadership of our Chairman of the Deacons, Clyde Woodson.  Darellene McNeel worked with others to investigate the possibilities.  Trustees were nominated and voted by the Church for approval.  They were designated to sign the church loan.  A loan was finally obtained through Perry Green at the People's Bank and construction began.  Dolphus Young  helped oversee the construction phase by Henson Construction Co.  Marcelle Ingram, Odean Middleton, and Gloria Sims were part of the building committee and helped select colors, carpets, and fabrics.  Rock Redmond helped selection of the pews and Keith Middleton helped with the electrical wiring.  Finally, the construction phase was complete. 

Afterwards, a dedication service was held for the church.  We were dedicated as a Southern Baptist Church and  a member of the Clay Co. Baptist Association by Rev. Mitchell and Rev. Jimmy Carr.

As you can see, God has been at work!!!  God has given his people a vision, a vision you may now share, a vision of which you can be a part.  Is he working in your life?  We encourage you to be active, energized, committed in your daily walk with Jesus Christ.  We also encourage you to be active, energized, and committed in your service to Jesus through a local Bible-Believing Church. If you are led by the Holy Spirit and live in the Clay County, Mississippi area, we would like you to consider joining us in this Vision.  According to the Bible, God has given you spiritual gifts and talents to be used in his service.  If you don't know what gifts you possess, ask your pastor. He will help you.  But most of all, find them-----Use them in God's service! The walk of Faith is often a very bumpy road;  fun, fellowship, enjoyment, but sometimes it can be disappointment, sorrow, and discouragement.  Walk by Faith, not by appearances or circumstances!  May we Minister to you, you minister us!!  May we continually Love one another and strive to be in "one accord".  We thank God for the opportunity to share with you "HIS VISION".