Histories of The General Baptist Churches - of the
Union Association 1953
The Old Building
The New Building
DIXON GENERAL BAPTIST CHURCH
The Dixon General Baptist Church was organize din 1895 by the Rev. T. A. H. Laslie, following the famous Laslie-Hall Debate, which was held at Little Zion Church. The Rev. Laslie came to Dixon, where he engaged in a very successful revival. he was assisted by Rev. Barbee, Presbyterian minister. As a result of their efforts, there were united with the General Baptist Church about twenty-five members, of whom two charter members are now living, Mrs. Bud Ramsey and Mrs. Sophia Wilhite.
The earliest authentic record that we have was recorded in the minutes of Union Association in 1902, listed as church clerk, was Mr. W. T. Drury, with church property valued at $200.00. This amount consisted of a sum collected by subscription from its twenty-five members and other interested parties for the purpose of purchasing a lot to construct a church building. At that time there was only one church in Dixon, known as the Union Church, in which worshipped all denominations, namely Methodist, Presbyterians, Missionary Baptist, Christian and the General Baptists.
By the church records of 1908, the membership had in creased to forty-five. As our church grew and prospered and seeing the need for a separate and adequate building. Rev. Laslie undertook the task of a building program in 1909. The church was completed and dedicated by the Rev.. J. R. Edwards, of Owensville, Indiana, Mary 10, 1910. Many will remember the gala occasion, how Rev. Edwards, through his usual wit and humor secured with great rapidity the lacking funds to clear the church debt. Many faithful members have left behind lasting memories, chief among these are Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Russell, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Waggener, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Wicks, Rev. and Mrs. A. B. Stone, Mrs. Sarah Page, W. T. Drury, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Polley, and Mrs. P. J. Asher. Among the earlier living members of our first church are Mrs. Bud Ramsey, Mrs. Sophia Wilhite and J. C. Thomasson.
The deceased former pastors are Rev. T. A. H. Laslie, Rev. J. F. Bumpus, Rev. C. R. Kinnin, Rev. L. L. Todd, Rev. Taylor Winstead, Rev. A. B. Stone, and Rev. Ernest Y. Laslie of Union Association, Rev. J. R. Edwards, Rev. A. D. Baker, and Rev. R. M. Barrett, all of Indiana.
With the passing of time, changes naturally take place, and we were again faced with the need of building a new church. As in former days, we found a faithful group of members assembling to formulate these plans. On April 2, 1939, this group, consisting of the Rev. Bayne Wilson, pastor, Brother Joseph Hart, now deceased, Brother Sam Jones, Brother Charles Fortenberry, Brother Elvy Shoulders, Brother F. M. Tapp, Brother J. C. Thomasson, and Brother J. L. Lutz pledged $650.00 to begin operation. Through the efforts of the soliciting committee, Mrs. J. L. Lutz and Mrs. Wallace Harman, both of whom are now deceased, and Mrs. Charles Fortenberry an additional $1750.00 was reported at this meeting.
The cornerstone was laid by Brother J. L. Lutz on June 24, 1939. It became necessary to borrow funds to carry on the work. Through the goodness of Brothers Joseph Hart and Gus Jones, both of whom are now deceased, and Mrs. Grant Davidson, we were able to finance the building by loans. The total cost of the building was $8,368.42, in addition to the unusable material in the old building. Through the efforts of all the church members, interested friends, both local and distant, the full payment of the debt was made with the notes and mortgages burned on the fifth Sunday in December, 1946.
We feel justly proud of our church. Its influences in the community cannot be evaluated. Its first use was for the wedding of Miss Lorene Pearcy, to Mr. Warren Kishline of Mt. Vernon, Indiana, in January 1940. Other weddings have followed. The first funeral was that of Mrs. Walter Whitledge, a member of our first church. The church basement has been used as a social center of numerous civic and Christian activities. We want to take this opportunity to thank publicly all those whose contributions made possible the dedication of our church on June 6, 1948, with Rev. E. Y. Laslie, pastor, delivering the dedication sermon.
Since the date of the dedication numerous improvements have been made on the church building, basement and the grounds. Also, our church program has continuously improved. Our membership has increased to 107 at present, a number of which are inactive members. The interest and enthusiasm of our people is constantly increasing in the work of His kingdom.
We are indebted and indeed grateful to the following living pastors who have influenced and inspired us to greater faith in God, and who have guided us in our sincere desires to uphold the traditions of our forefathers in carrying on the great work that they established in Dixon, viz: Rev. Bayne Wilson, now a Methodist minister; Rev. Nealy Pearcy, Rev.. Charles Polley, and Rev. W. D. Rich.
Rev. Alva Willis, our present pastor, is a consecrated young minister who is graduating from Oakland city College June 1, 1953, and of whom we are justly proud, was elected on February 4, 1951.
Dixon Church had always held services on one Sunday morning and evening each month until April 1, 1951, at which time we began half time work. Then on September 7, 1952, we began full time work.
We have an active Sunday School, Christian Endeavor, Missionary Society and Crusaders, also a Ladies Aid. We have had an annual DVBS for several years, and for the past two summers several of our young people have attended Leadership Training Schools at summer camp.
Our church has held an all day fellowship on the first Sunday in December for a number of years, with dinner in the basement in observance of those members and friends having birthdays in that month, and a gospel song program in the afternoon. also, we have sponsored a "Community Easter Sunrise Service" for the past fifteen years or more, both of these services have been successful throughout the years and anticipated by those who attend annually.
In conclusion we pray God's richest blessings abide upon all who have assisted in any way toward the continued progress of our church. We covet your prayers that we, as a church, may be a blessing in our community and to mankind -- always striving to win the unsaved for the Lord.
* - Source - History of Union Association of General Baptist 1840 - 1953 By
M.D. Mc Donald