New Barren Springs Baptist Church
New Ebenezer Baptist Church
New Palestine Baptist Church
Newstead Presbyterian Church

New Barren Springs Baptist Church

    It was a desire to have a local place of worship which led to callIng a meeting June 16, 1869, for the purpose of establishing a Baptist church in the Dogwood vicinity. Minutes of the United Baptist Church of Christ at New Barren Springs say: “at that instance the brethren and sisters in the neighborhood of Dogwood Chapel call a Council inviting a Presbytery”. Elder Jim W. Spurlin was appointed Moderator, and Elder J. T. Barrow was selected to be Secretary his records recall. Forty-three members of the new organization joining at this time were reported by the secretary, “twenty-seven by letter and sixteen by relation”.
    The presbytery on examination considered them orthodox, and proceeded with constitution. A Church Covenant, Abstract of Principle, and Rules of Decorum were adopted after being read. “Organizing prayers were offered by Elder J. W. Spurlin and Charges to the Church were given by Elder J. T. Barrow, and Sisters from sister churches”. Bro. S. H. Myers was selected to serve as clerk and a motion was made to petition Bethel Association for membership in that body. This church was located on the right side of Dogwood Lane about one mile from the present church site.
    It is interesting to note that tee rules of decorum noted: “When members fail to attend their church meeting, unless providentially hindered, they may be dealt with as the Church thinks proper”.
    A sizable gap in the church’s history has resulted because records from 1869 to February 1890 were lost. However, we do know that In 1890 Spurlin offered his resignation. The Church burned in 1891, and the following is a quote from the old minutes’

“In October, 1891, the Church met on Saturday before the second Lord’s Day at the place where their house of worship formerly stood and amid the smoky ruins of their house, their pastor conducted services. W. R. Oates, G. W. Clark, J. B. White, and S. H. Myers were appointed to select a site, raise funds, and build a house of worship. Bro. J. H. Cavanah and W. R. Oates were appointed to see the trustees of Dogwood Chapel and try to get permission to hold services in their schoolhouse until we can rebuild”.
    Minutes show permission was granted to use the schoolhouse until the building was completed in 1892. It was not dedicated, however, until May, 1896 when Rev. J. N. Hail delivered that sermon.
    The United Baptist Church of Christ changed its name to New Barren Springs Baptist Church in 1902. Since December, 1909 it had been recorded as New Barren Springs Missionary Baptist Church.
    On February 8, 1956, a committee consisting of: Rollie Owen, Rupert Francis, Rodman Duval, Buster Scott, and Pastor Olen Smith was appointed to investigate building plans and financing procedures for a new church building. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on Sunday afternoon May 13, 1956; and first services were conducted during September of 1957. It was dedicated on October 7, 1962 with Bro. Hecks conducting morning services and Bro. Charles Treadway bringing the dedicatory message.
    A pastorium was completed in 1966 on a plot of land given to the church by the remaining members of the Dogwood Woodman of the World Organization.
    Bro. Bowlin preached a trial sermon on February 23, 1972, and requested ‘that the church not vote right away concerning his call, but wait until the church could objectively evaluate him as pastor’. The church complied and voted to call Bro. Bowlin on February 23, 1972.
    There was a called business meeting Wednesday, June 21, 1972, for the purpose “of determining the need for a new addition to the church, which would include: a baptistry, inside restroom;, choir loft, etc.. Unanimously the church voted to build this addition.
    A building committee consisting of: Eugene Killebrew, L. C. Tucker, Clayton Tucker, Jim Gresham, Lloyd Deason, Buster Scott, and the pastor was appointed.

The following have served as pastors:

J. W. Spurlin 1869-1890 W. E. Powell 1926-1928
G. C. Smith 1890-190 J. J. Thomas 1930-1932
P. E. Herndon 1891-1892 J. H. Coleman 1933-1936
B. F. Hyde 1893-1897 J. T. Parker 1938-1940
Alex McCord 1898-1898 W. E. Powell 1941-1943
J. H. Coleman 1899-1900 W. E. Hicks 1944-1946
B. F. Hyde 1901-1906 J. E. Craig 1947-1951
J. W. Page 1907-1908 Carl Stewart 1951-1955
J. P. Cleavenger 1909-1912 Olen Sisk 1955-1958
E. W. Moss 1913-1914 Carl Stewart 1958-1961
T. T. Powell 1915-1918 Ira Suiter 1961-1964
Edgar Pendley 1918-1919 Leslie Williams 1965-1966
E. W. Moss 1920-1924 Robert Stamper 1966-1971
T. T. Powell 1924-1925 Will T. Bowlin 1972-


New Ebenezer Baptist Church

    Accurate accounting for the years prior to 1880 is difficult It is understood before the present church house was built in 1880, that there was close-by an old log church which, presumably, was the original “Ebenezer Meeting House”. This would indicate that the church was in existence a long time before 1880. Just when the original organization took place is not known, but a copy of an old deed dated August 27, 1874 and signed by J. B. Carpenter states: “conveyed to Spurlin H. Henderson, Elijah D. Henderson and Orin Henderson, Trustees for the Baptist church in the neighborhood of Ebenezer Meeting House, two acres of land in Christian County on the waters of Pond River, including a house lately built and known as Ebenezer Meeting House”. The original of the deed was dated February 17, 1821; and it provided “that if there ceased to be a church on this land and same was disbanded”, it was “to revert to the said James Vaughn”. We may be reasonably sure, therefore, that Ebenezer Church was first organized prior to 1821, later disbanded, reorganized about 1874, disbanded again, and reorganized in 1880.
    One of its early pastors was the Rev. Issac Barrow, grandfather of the late James Barrow.
    When the church was last disbanded some of its members joined Old Hickory Withe Church in Todd County. (This is not to be confused with Hickory Withe Church in Christian County near Crofton, now known as Macedonia Baptist Church.) Other members joined Allegree and Oak Grove Church (near Britmart) both located in Todd County. About 1880 the church again was reorganized and the present building erected. Between 1880-1890 Rev. Cal Meacham; Rev. A. C. Davis; Rev. Clifton Dorris; and a Rev. Goodwin served consecutively as pastors, but no other information is available.

Pastors serving since 1900 were:

J. H. Coleman 1 year F. W. Cooper  11 years
J. P. Cleavanger  4 years Elmer Morris  3 years
Rev. Arlisle  3 years J. E. Craig  10 years
T. T. Powell  4 years  Raymond Harris  3 years
R. A. Thomas  1 year Howard Lyon  2 years
B. W. Thornsberry  3 years  J. E. Craig  15 years
William Turley  5 years Elmer Morris  3 1/2 years
T. T. Powell  3 years Homer Laster, Jr.  5 month

    Annual Reunion Day, better known as Old Folks Day, originated the second Sunday in October, 1944, in honor of Mrs. Lou Ella Harned, better known as “Aunt Lou Ella’, who taught Sunday School there for fifty years. She taught the Sunday School ‘as a whole that day’.
    During the years 1942-47 the church building was completely remodeled A choir room was built; the two old doors in front were exchanged for one big double glass door; concrete front steps were added; a full concrete basement was finished; and a furnace was installed. Approximately ten years later two Sunday School rooms were added. In 1969, eight Sunday School rooms, pastor’s study, two restrooms, and a full basement under the new Sunday School rooms were added.
    Reading the minutes covering the past seventy-two years instances were found where members were ‘disciplined’ for various violations of church rules: using profane language, dancing, quarreling among themselves, and non attendance of regular church service’. The rule excluding any member absent from four Saturday business meetings in succession has been repealed. However they were always given an opportunity to answer the charges before action was taken, and many were forgiven.

New Palestine Baptist Church

    Palestine Baptist Church had its historic beginning when the people in the Boyd community around the old Boyd schoolhouse felt the need “to worship and to religiously educate their children”. They began to hold preaching services and Sunday School in the schoolhouse in 1894.
    Feeling the need of a permanent place of worship, Walter Boyd donated land on which to construct a church building. Mr. Frank Fuller, evidently a carpenter, was the leader in the building of the church with donated lumber and labor.
    There have been two buildings on this site destroyed by fire. Since the records from the beginning until 1925 were burned, the information covering that period is sketchy and mostly from memory. According to members: “services were held once a month—on Saturday afternoon and Sunday”. The following pastors served during this time: J. H. Clevenger; a Rev. Duncan from the Seminary; L L. Spurlin; J. H. Maddox, who surrendered to preach and was ordained by the church; J. T. Spurlin and a Rev. Hammock. Most of these preachers came to Crofton “by train and were met by members of the church on horseback or by buggy”. Salary for these men is not known, but some members recalled: “the offerings were taken and sometimes there was as much as forty-five or fifty cents given.”
    “West Palestine” met in the old Woodman of the World Lodge located next to Harmony Grove Cemetery just off the Bash Road. The exact date is unknown; however, the pastors of West Palestine were: Howard Lyons, Willis Stewart, and J. J. Thomas. At this time “Old Palestine” was still meeting separatively, but it soon burned. The story concerning this fire is very interesting. It seems that a fire started on the roof. Some of the men went to a home near-by and returned with a tub of water. Just as they got to the church yard a handle broke off and the water spilt on the ground. Instead of going after more water, they decided to just let it burn.
    In December, 1932, people began again to meet in the old Boyd schoolhouse for church services. The congregation was called together on September 2, 1935, to decide what to do. Thirty-five voted to rebuild the old church and forty-two voted to stay at Boyd schoolhouse. “New Palestine” was the name selected for the church at this time.
    In 1939, under the leadership of Bro. Howard, the members of these two churches merged and bought a building from the Christian Church. This building burned soon afterwards; in fact, no services were ever held in it as some rags ignited while they were remodeling and redecorating. The only tangible thing surviving was the name. Following the fire, services were held in a “brush arbor” located on the east side of the Dawson Road on the church grounds. Later, they met in Mr. William McKnight’s barn on the same road. Apparently the church was rebuilt, as a deed was recorded in November, 1948.
    On October 10, 1955 it was voted to have full time preaching services. The first addition to the back of the original church was begun in 1950, but this work was not completed until February, 1956.
    On July 21, 1957 the church voted to buy a house and adjoining property from Bro. Hershel Maddux for a parsonage.
    From 1960 to 1965 much remodeling and beautification of the church and parsonage took place. A new brick parsonage was completed in 1971.

Pastors since 1925:

J. H. Maddux  Feb. 1925 -Dec. 1925 Hal Jenkins  Aug. l953 - Oct 1956
J. J. Lewis  Apr. 1926 - Dec. 1926 Billy Hancock  Feb 1957 - Sept. 1959
William Clark  Jun 1927 - Dec. 1927 Robert Haire  Dec l959 - Oct. 1960
W. J. Stewart  Nov. l927 - Oct. 1931 L. L Terrell  Nov. 1960 - June 1963
J. T. Spurlin  Jan. 1932 - Dec. 1933 Fred Richardson  Oct l963 - May 1967
J. J. Thomas  Feb. 1933 - Jan. 1939 Jimmy Pogers  Aug. 1967 - July 1968
Howard Lyon  Oct. 1939 - May 1940 Charlie R. Simmons  Sept. 1968 - April 1970
Jack Downs  Nov. 1948 - July 1951 Charles G. Simmons  Sept.  1970--
John Curtis  Aug. 1951 - July 1953

Newstead Presbyterian Church

The Muhlenberg Presbytery met 15 Apr. 1858 and granted a petition from Eddin Morris, Sallie Morris, Alcyone Whitlock, Melissa Freeman, Maria F. Whitlock, M.A. Steele, L.A. Steele, J.W. McGaughey, Edward Bradshaw and Jane Bradshaw all members of the Hopkinsville Presbyterian Church to form a church at Newstead of the “Old School Tradition.” These members were joined later by Lucy B. Withrow, Dr. J. F. Dangerfield, Pattie A. Gary, Emilie Hatchet and M. N.  Roach.
On the 29th day of May 1858 a committee, Rev. F.G. Strahan, Elder Thomas Green from she Hopkinsville Church, and Elder W.W. McKenzie from LaFayette Church (later called McKenzie Kirk) met with the congregation at Newstead and formally organized the church. Edward Bradshaw, formerly an elder in the Hopkinsville Church, and Dr. MA. Steele were confirmed as Ruling Elders, Eddin Morris and John W. McGaughey were confirmed as Deacons,
In 1859 several new members were added to the church rolls when the McPhersons arrived in the community from Lewisberg, Va. (later in West Virginia), The first black church member, Sanford Davis, was added to the church in 1168.
The church cemetery was located by the church and is the final resting place of many who worshipped here or lived nearby. In 1902 a half acre was deeded from John D. and Ann Clardy to A.M. Henry, T.G. Gaines and E.M. Jones as trustees for a cemetery to be located next to the church cemetery. The last burial in the cemetery was for Lacy Whitlock in October 1940.
The church continued in this location until 1936 when trustees A. Brunson, Jr. and Charles Clark purchased land from the heirs of Dr. B.A. Caudle. The old church was torn down and rebuilt on the Caudle lot which is located sear Newstead (Country Boy’s Store) on Highway 117 (formerly the old railroad bed).
The first minister was Rev. F.G. Strahan followed by George Fraser, Thomas A. Bracken, Samuel Magoffin Luckett, John Calvin Tate, (who served this church for over fifty years), Solon T. Hill, Dr. John Goff, Glen A. William, Robert Wiley Hardy, Evert A. Cremer, Franklin P. Smith, A.J.
Van Wyk, Leslie B. Crane and Paul M. Watson. Many other ministers have given loyal and dedicated service to this church.
A Ladies Missionary Society is first mentioned in 1889. One of the first projects of the Society was the support of a young female student in Miss Annie Randolph’s school in Japan. In the mid 1930s, the Society tried to locate this student, Na-Ks-San or her descendants. The current organization is now called, “Women of the Church.” The last elected officers were: Sally McCain McReynolds Noel, president; Mary Lou McReynolds, V.P.; and Helen Brame, secretary-treasurer.
Shortly after the church was relocated to Highway 117, the U.S. Government commenced a Resettlement Farm Program in the vicinity. Dr. Fit. Clarke, a former member, and resident of Lexington, Ky., financed a church bus to bring many of the community newcomers to church.
New Sunday School rooms were dedicated 30 Oct. 1949. The rooms were built from a surplus army barracks under the direction of Rev. R.W. Hardy. The addition added five rooms with the use of movable partitions. The rooms were named in honor of Kate Edgar Whitlock Wallace and two of her daughters; Julia McGaughey Wallace and Mrs. Tom “Lucy” Wallace. Kate Whitlock Wallace was the first infant baptized in the old church when it was first organized. Sara Clarke Wallace, another daughter of Miss Kate’s has continued the Wallace tradition of service to Newstead Church. Miss Sara has been active in all elected offices of Women of the Church and participated in many Vacation Bible Schools. Miss Sara continues to take an active interest in the Church. The Wallace women devoted many years to Newstead Church and are lovingly remembered.
The Eddin Morris family in early days devoted their talents and means to the church, and the Morris legacy has seen Newstead through some lean years. Later Lizzie Cox Atkinson, Dr. F. H.  Clarke, and Mrs. Tom “Lucy” Wallace left generous bequeaths to the church.
On 28 Sept. 1958, a centennial celebration was held with former pastor, Solon T. Hill of Memphis, Tenn., filling the pulpit. Many former members and descendants of earlier members were present. Robert H. “Bob” McGaughey, grandson of charter member John W. McGaughey, presented a history of the church. Mrs. A.C. Cornelius presented a history of “Women’s Work of a Century.” Mrs. Norma Riley Brunson, Mrs. Russell Hester, and Mrs. Harry Young were soloists with Miss Julia Henry pianist. Rev. A.J. Van Wyk was host pastor. A Basket Lunch was served to 180 guests.
Newstead continues to he an active and vital face in the community. The current elders are J.R. “Bob’ Brame, Noble Noel, AC. Cornelius, Paul Noel, Elton Noel, R.E. Gilliam, Jr., and Garner Rogers. Noble Noel is Sunday School Superintendent and Treasurer of the Church. J.R. “Bob” Brame is Clerk of Session. Rev. Paul M. Watson continues to fill the role of pastor.

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

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