Lafayette Baptist Church
Lafayette Methodist Church
Lane Tabernacle CME Church
Lester Memorial Presbyterian Church
Little River Baptist Church
Little River Church of Christ
Locust Grove Baptist Church

Lafayette Baptist Church
    A council of brethren: S. P. Fogy, J. G. Bow, F. W. Carney, T. E. Tiler and R. N. Barrett met in the Methodist meeting house on July 19, 1889, to assist in the organization of a Baptist Church.  Rev. S. P. Fogy was elected moderator and R. N. Barrett, clerk of the council.  "After a devotional the names of those wishing to enter the organization were enrolled and their letters read."  The church covenant and articles of faith of Russellville Baptist Church were adopted. Bro. James Thacker was elected deacon and Rev. W. Barrett was called as “pastor for one half of his time”.
    On August 4, 1889, another meeting was held at which time application was made for membership in Bethel Association. Soon, a committee was appointed “to secure subscriptions for buying a lot and building a house”. For $100.00 the committee secured a lot formally owned by the Presbyterian church. A committee was appointed to secure someone to build; soon building began.
    After pastor Barrett resigned, Bro. A. C. Dorris accepted for half time services at a salary of $175.00 per year. On March 22, 1891 in a business meeting it was decided to have a ‘circle meeting” on Saturday before the fifth Sunday in May. Dedication of the church was to be the main business; however, no mention is made later as to the outcome. It may have been that a disturbance in the pastor’s home brought about changes. “His daughter had eloped with her boyfriend, a Mr. Thacker. “ In later years, 1933-1935, to be exact, A. A. Thacker, son of the couple served as pastor of this church.
    It seems there must have been quite a struggle during this time as different pastors served for only short periods of time.
    In November, 1953, the church became full time. A two story frame house was purchased to be used as a pastorium in 1957.

Pastors since 1923 have been:

J. F. Fuqua 1923-1925 Olen Sisk 1948
Clifton Bridges 1926-1929 Milburn Chester 1949-1954
E. E. Johnson 1930-1931 Leon Goodley 1955-1956
J. J. Jenkins 1932, 1933,  John Ashby 1957-1958, 1959
A. A. Thacker 1934, 1935 Warner Bumgardner 1960, 1961
C. A. Ladd 1936-1940 J. G. Mitchell 1962
J. C. Busby 1941 W. B. Ladd 1963-1968
J. R. Christian 1942-1945 Omer Murphy 1969-1971
Orvis Wyatt 1946 McKinley Moore 1972-
C. A. Hunt 1947

Lafayette Methodist Church

La Fayette Methodist Church had a pastor dating back to the year 1836, the same year the town of La Fayette was incorporated. The only records available from 1836-1852 are the listing of the fourteen pastors.
In 1852, a two story frame building was built by the Dutch builder, Dan Umbenhour. The outstanding feature of the building is the beautiful bell tower with its onion shaped dome. The lumber for the building came from the Thomas Elliott farm and was sawed there.
The land on which the church was built was bought from Cowan Lodge 98 for twenty dollars. Adjoining land was purchased from Martha Lycan in 1943 and William and Laura Fleming in 1953.
The Bible on the pulpit was a gift from the Presbyterian membership in the year 1851. It was published in 1851 and was translated from the Original Tongues.
In January 1984, the membership received notification that the Kentucky Heritage Council had awarded the Church a Kentucky Landmark Certificate.
In March 1984, the Church received a bronze plaque from the Department of Interior which reads: “This property has been placed on the National Registry of Historic Places by the United States Department of Interior.”

Family Histories of Christian County 1797-1986
Reprinted with permission ©1986 Christian County Genealogical Society
©William Turner  ©Jim Killibrew

Lane Tabernacle CME Church

Lane Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, at the south-west corner of East First and South Vine Streets, is a small church in size only. In its dedication to the service of God and man it is huge.
The church was established by several members of Freeman Chapel CME church in order that there might be a Methodist presence in the rapidly growing eastern section of Hopkinsville.
During the annual conference of 1892, the as-yet unnamed church was admitted into the then West Kentucky Annual Conference and named Lane Tabernacle Colored Methodist Episcopal Church, in honor of the presiding bishop, the Rt. Rev. Isaac Lane. The word “colored” was later changed to “Christian” to avoid any suggestion of exclusiveness and to keep the initials C.M.E.
Services were held in the homes of the members; in a grocery store; in a renovated residence and under a “brush arbor” in warm weather. The first permanent meeting place was built in 1898 of logs donated by a sister - CME Church, Hawkins Chapel on the Greenville Road and hauled to town by ox-teams. Members did moat of the work and the building faced Vine Street. Dedicatory services were held on the second Sunday in September 1898.
The building contained a specially built Altar, chairs instead of pews; a pump organ; a pot-bellied stove and beautiful stained glass windows, one of which was given by Bishop Lane, himself. There was also a bell in the belfry given by one of the charter members. In 1958, an ambitious re-building program was begun and the first phase, the sanctuary now facing First Street, was dedicated on June 1, 1957 and the second phase, the education building was dedicated the first Sunday in June, 1977.
Lane Tabernacle is known for its outstanding program of Christian Education. In the beginning many children of the area regardless of denomination attended Sunday School at Lane Tabernacle because parents feared for them to cross the railroad alone. The fact that members of Lane Tabernacle have been placed on committees, elected to head departments and asked to act as resource persons on the district and Annual Conference levels of the church, attests to their efficiency.
In six years Lane Tabernacle will celebrate its centennial but it will continue to give the same honor and glory to God and service to man.

Family Histories of Christian County 1797-1986
Reprinted with permission ©1986 Christian County Genealogical Society
©William Turner  ©Jim Killibrew

Lester Memorial Presbyterian Church
The Lester Memorial Presbyterian Church is located on Barkers Mill Road, at St. Elmo, Kentucky. The church was named after Robert Fountain Lester, the Father of Mrs. Charles E. Barker. It was organized in 1904 by the Presbytery of Muhlenburg in connection with the Southern Presbyterian Church, with a membership of seventeen from the surrounding community. At the time of its organization, the congregation had no church building, but had met for worship from time to time in a school house on the farm of Mr. Charles E. Barker.
The congregation depended upon visiting Ministers for preaching until about the time of the formal organization of the church, when the regular services of the Rev. W.L. Nourse D.D. of Hopkinsville, Kentucky were secured. Immediately upon organizing, the congregation was detennined to build a house of worship of their own. They were successful in their efforts and erected a frame building, attractive in appearance and beautiful inside finishing, seating about 200 persons.
On May 25, 1958, dedication services were held for the new Sunday school rooms and fellowship hall that had been added on.
In July of 1984, additional Sunday school rooms and storage rooms were added. This new addition was dedicated on December 2, 1984.
As of January 1986, we have 62 active members with Dr. Duane Forderhase as our Minister.

Family Histories of Christian County 1797-1986
Reprinted with permission ©1986 Christian County Genealogical Society
©William Turner  ©Jim Killibrew

Little River Baptist Church

    Serving for at least two years as a “wing” of Red River Church of Adams, Tennessee before being constituted in 1804. Little River is the oldest church of any denomination in Christian County.
    A log structure, located on the opposite side of the spring from the present church-house, was used both as a meeting-house and as a schoolhouse. It has not been determined when the present building was built; however, Robert McLure deeded one acre of land to the church in 1817. This new building was not completely enclosed, and members often furnishing their own chairs, came anyway.
    At first the church was a member of Cumberland Association, but in 1808 it joined the Red River Association, It became a charter member of the Little River Association in 1813 and gave its name to that organization. In 1827 Little River was the only church in the area with a membership over one hundred and the largest financial contributor of any association reaching from Tennessee to Southern Illinois.
    The church continued to grow at a rapid rate with a total membership of 165 in 1833. Many of these early members were immigrants from Virginia and the Carolinas. That same year sixty-seven persons were baptized, two excluded, and two members restored. During this time Alexander Campbell’s teachings became quite controversial. The association was divided on the missionary question, but Little River remained a strong supporter.
    Many churches were destroyed during the Civil War, but by God’s grace Little River not only survived, but retained many of the “coloured” members even after the abolishment of slavery in 1865.
    The congregation met in their church for the first time in seven months in June, 1893, as the church building had been undergoing extensive repairing and remodeling. Among other things, the columns were removed and a self supporting roof was added to modernize the structure. Services were conducted at Pee Dee Methodist Church throughout the renovation period. A rededicatory sermon was preached by Rev. John C. Rust of Bardstown, Kentucky.
    Church growth stopped in the late 1800's with the total membership gradually falling to a low of 76 by 1932, with only about half that number attending. During 1897, preaching services were changed from two to one Sunday a month; and it was not unusual to discontinue service for the winter months.
    Things went from bad to worse. The church lagged farther and farther behind with payment of the pastor’s salary, and it became necessary to borrow money from a local bank in 1925 to pay this overdue obligation. Two years later it was decided to have no preaching through January, February, and March in an effort to terminate the indebtedness. The depression years took their toll on an already divergent financial situation.
    Oddly enough the Woman’s Missionary Union was organized in 1914 and flourished during those hard days. They found means by ‘donating hens, hosting parties, and pledging money from all eggs laid on Sundays”. They made quilts, rolled bandages, served as Sunday School teachers, and instigated church irnprovements.
    Little River labored on and the attendance slowly began to climb again by 1940. Electricity was obtained in 1948. That same year saw Little River’s first Vacation Bible School as a joint effort with the Pee Dee Methodist Church. The 1950’s brought even more favorable financial days.
    New ideas and organizational changes took place from 1958 through the early 1960’s. Attendance was on the uprise; and Little River became a full time church. A budget was established with percentages going to the Co-operative Program and Home Missions. An educational building was added to the existing 39x60 feet auditorium.
    In March, 1965, the church started another major remodeling effort to be launched in proper sequence over a five year period of time as the church deemed itself financial able.
    Among the church pastors were John Mallory, John W. Kelley, E. Vaughn, A. W. Meacham, C. H. Gregston, J. T. Barrow, C E. Perryman, J. S. Pate, L. L., Spurlin, J. S. Dotson, Owen Williams, E. G. Stephen. Homer Coleman, P. A. Warland, J. F. Fuqua, J. T. Lewis, J. J. Jenkins, Owen Herndon, George Cox, Phillip Missick, and Lonnie Walker.
    Brother Meacham pastored Little River 37 years and during his Lifetime baptized over four thousand persons, more than 20 of whom became ministers.
    The church lost one of its most beloved pastors in the death of Bro. Lonnie Walker in June. 1971. Andrew Humphries, "a young preacher of promise’, is the present leader.

Little River Church of Christ

Little River Church of Christ is the oldest rural church of Christ in Christian County, dating from August 3rd, 1886. The land, one acre, was given by George W. Massie, a charter member, for fifty dollars. The indenture was entered into March 25, 1886 between G. W. Massie and Joshiah Gray, L. A. Lowry, F. W. Elgin, G. B. Thompson and J. R. Willis to have and to hold and their successors in office forever.
Sunday school was organized before 1894 by J. W. Gant from Elkton — Superintendent: Josiah Gray; Teachers: F. W. Elgin, M. V. Graves, S. Willis, E. J. Graves (also clerk), M. W. Elgin.
There were approximately 50 members in 1886 and 144 in 1894.
Pleas of the restoration movement to go back to the Bible; believe, practice and teach only what is written in its inspired pages, led the church of Christ to be in existence in the Little River community. Honest people believed that sowing the seed of the Kingdom (Luke 8:11) would produce only Christians. Preaching of the Word enabled the church to avoid the unscriptural introduction of instrumental music that took place in many places about the turn of the century.
Adjacent land was purchased for a minister’s residence in the 1950’s. In 1962, the present brick building was completed. Building committee composed of: Frank Rawlins, Arthur Lacy, Wesley Hunt, Carl Clem, C. D. Cohoon, Charles Jenkins and Johnny Mathis.
Elders serving 1920 to 1970’s: Richard McRae, Reuben Dickerson, Bob Price, John Overby, Will Eaton, Ross Lancaster, Abner Crabtree, Johnny Mathis, Louis Denton; Deacons: Jim Cobb, Dudley Rose, Arthur Lacy, Frank Lancaster, Shirley Kirkman, Louie Denton, Jack Jenkins.
Preachers proclaiming the gospel of Christ: W.B. Wright, D. C. Cochran, H. C. Ford, M. N. Northcross, F. M. Smith, W. L. Butler, J. M. Armstrong, S. M. Jones, S. H. Hall, Paul Slayden, C. B. Thomas, W. D. Dorris, J. A. Harding, L. K. Harding, W. L. Karnes, Andy T. Richie, Thomas Rose, E. P. Watson, William Parsons, Homer Daniel, Elvis Huffard, 0. L. Carnahan, Tillman Taylor, J. C. Davidson,
Charles Rouser, Dewey Shaw, and Raleigh Wooten.

Family Histories of Christian County 1797-1986
Reprinted with permission ©1986 Christian County Genealogical Society
©William Turner  ©Jim Killibrew

Locust Grove Baptist Church

    On July 30, 1842, ‘seven ministers (Robert Anderson, John Hubbard, E. Vaughn, Thomas Watts, Thomas Keene, James Pendelton and Bro. Fletcher) with thirty-one christians met agreeably by appointment” to organize a new church. Elder Anderson acted as moderator and later was elected as the first pastor. Letters of dismission were presented from United Baptist Churches and Articles of Faith were drawn up. The church was united by the church covenant and James Clark, the clerk, “prepared rules of decorum for the government of the church in conference”. These conferences were held each fourth Saturday. James Clark was also directed to “write for the inspection of the church a letter to Bethel Association asking to be admitted a member of her body by the name of Locust Grove Church”.
    A protracted meeting beginning August 6th, of that year was very successful—twenty-nine members were added to the church, two by letter and twenty-seven by baptism. These added to the original list constituted the charter members of the church.
The church directed C. M. Tandy "to procure a pulpit and seats” for the meeting house which was a log building.
    Robert Gary and John Young were selected to serve with James Clark as deacons.
The church unanimously caled R. T. Anderson as pastor at an annual salary of $150; and he served in that capacity from 1843 until 1847.
    As early as May 1843, ten dollars was given to the “Home Missionary Fund”. Two slaves, belonging to Nathan Adams, became the first colored members received into the church. Johnson Radford and Sister March were soon followed by six others.
    Colored brethren were permitted to hold prayer meeting after dismission of the congregation on the fourth Sunday of each month.
    Soon after the completion of the meeting house in 1845, church disciplinary measures were begun for changes ranging from misdemeanors to immoral conduct. Other actions declared detrimental and often leading to exclusion were: dancing; selling and/or making alcohol beverage for any purpose other than medicinal; and joining another denomination”
    Those leaving the church to join other denominations could procure “certificates of good standing—if warranted”.
    A special prayer meeting and time of fasting was held one Wednesday in July, 1852, ‘that God would avert from the county the awful SCOURGE OF CHOLERA and send gentle rains for she parched earth”.
C. M. Tandy was the first superintendent of Sabbath Schools.
    Statistics show that by 1856 there were ninety-nine white and sixty-one colored members. Therefore the church decided to ‘consider the propriety of building a new meeting house of sufficient size at this place to accommodate the congregation that assembles”. A subscription was circulated to raise $300 before the building was started. The building committee was requested to “have the new meeting house enclosed and the inside finished during 1858”.
    Further statistics show eighty-nine white and one hundred six colored members. During 1863, while the Civil War was in progress a resolution was adopted “excluding those colored members who had absconded from their owners and were lost from sight”.
    Other colored members showed inclination to worship by themselves, but they were considered “in disorder until such time as a meeting house would be built and their letters called for”. When the church role was revised in 1872, three colored members remained. Mary Wood was dismissed in 1878 by letter and Mary Davie and Mary Mack Mason remained members until their decease.
    The terrible Lukas storm of 1890 damaged the building extensively.
    One pastor served both Locust Grove and South Union in 1906 and he resided in a house owned jointly by them. Locust Grove sold her one-half interest in this house to South Union (July 1918) in order that South Union could go full time.
    Electric lights were installed in the church September 11, 1938.
    During December, 1938, annual call was established. However, in the 1950’s it was agreed that this practice was unfair to both the church and her pastors.
    During these years membership and attendance declined until on October 23, 1949, a meeting was called to discuss ‘the advisability of continuing with such a small group, or to disband the church entirely and sell the property". The deed stipulated that the land was: “to be used for a church forever”. Vote was taken and lost by three votes as a unanimous vote was required.
    John Curtis, the incoming pastor, offered: “to preach full time on half time pay”. Through united effort the church began to grow again.
    As was the custom in many churches, a middle petition divided the seating areas—men sat on the left; women and children sat on the right. Until pre World War I days, only sweethearts and newlyweds transgressed this custom.
    Progress brought about remodeling and an educational building was added in January, 1960. A pastorium was completed and the pastor, Nacy Sanders and his family, moved in during February, 1964.
A love gift from the Booker estate allowed new seats and wall-to-wall carpeting to be installed in 1970. At this time spittoons, unused for years , were also sold.

Pastors since 1923 have been:

E. W. Coakley 1923-1932, 1933 Harold Waitman 1949
T. R. Allen, Jr. 1934-1937, 1938 John Curtis 1950-1953
J. D. Herndon 1939-1940 Clint Adams, Jr. 1954-1956
W. E. Fusselle 1941-1942 Tom Roll 1957-1958
Paul O. Hale 1943-1944 Logan Wright 1959-1960
J. Niles Puckett 1945 Richard Tapscott 1961-1962
John R. Christian 1946, 1947-1948 Nacy Sanders 1963-

All rights reserved.
Return To Christian County Index