The New building
Pleasant Hope Church of General Baptist in Mc Lean County, Kentucky, was organized in 1838, by Elders E. C. McCoy and J. M. Holeman, with eight charter members. This organization took place at the home of John A. Taylor which was destroyed by fire only five years ago. Mr. Taylor gave the land upon which the first church, a log building, was erected in 1842, on or near the site of the present structure. As early as 1855 there is mention made in the records of a committee being appointed to repair the "meeting house." In 1859 a frame building 40 by 50 feet was erected. The work was doubtless delayed by the Civil War, for the church was not plastered until 1865, and completed in 1866. The third building was erected in 1902 and 1903. Oak Grove Methodist Church was used as a meeting place for the congregation while the new church was being erected. This frame structure was dedicated by Dr. W. P. Dearing in October, 1905. In April, 1940, this building was leveled by a windstorm and was replaced the same year by a brick veneer structure which Dr. O. L. Johnson dedicated. Again, the congregation worshipped at Oak Grove during the building period.
Pleasant Hope Church became a member of Union Association in 1842.
Early in the history of the church negroes were admitted as members. A negro was ordained as deacon to minister to the colored members. The last colored member died about 1920.
It appears that in the entire history of the church only ten members have been licensed to preach, the last one in 1874. Three of these, and possibly more, were ordained to the full work of the ministry.
- Rev. Absalom Pearce
- Rev. Daniel Byers
- Rev. Lud Brackett
- Rev. L. P. Whitney
- Rev. David G. Craig
- Rev. J. H. Igleheart
- Rev. Isaac Henry
- Rev. Miles Fraser
- Rev. M. B. Covington
- Rev. L. H. Echols
- Rev. Bird Weaver (who served 13 years)
- Rev. D. L. Fraser
- Rev. W. W. Stone
- Rev. W. A. Miller
- Rev. J. B. Pilant
- Rev. J. F. Bumpas
- Rev. C. R. Kinnin
- Rev. Ed Stone
- Rev. Charles Polley
- Rev. J. C. Gary
- Rev. Frank Brosend
- Rev. W. T. Winstead
- Rev. W. W. Oakley
- Rev. M. L. Clark
- Rev. Rodney Holder
- Rev. Jack Stewart
- Rev. J. P. Burch
Early in the history of the church mention is made of the need of a General Baptist Church in Livermore, Kentucky, but it was not until November, 1913, that Pleasant Hope Church granted letters to eighteen members to organize at Livermore.
some of the early rules of decorum were:
- Members must attend church conference at least once every three months, unless a reasonable excuse is presented to the church. ( In 1858 the time was extended to once in six months).
- Shall not dance or have dancing parties in their homes.
- Shall not use profane language, and the use of ardent spirits to intoxication is prohibited.
- Shall not hunt on the Sabbath.
- Ladies and gentleman are requested to occupy the seats designated for each sex.
- Whittling, whispering, laughing, all disorder is prohibited during public services.
In 1946, this church granted letters to twelve of the nineteen who became charter members of the First General Baptist Church of Owensboro.
At the present time Rev. J. P. Burch is pastor. The deacons are Allen Taylor, A. C. King, C. H. Robinson, Homer Settle, Harlan Howard, and Frank Hinton. Trustees are John Settle, Paul Ashby and Harlan Troutman, the latter being clerk also. Milton Jarvis is treasurer, succeeding Allen Taylor who served twenty-one years in this office.
A parsonage has been built and the church will go to full time work in the fall of 1953. Just back of the church lies a large, well kept cemetery where many generations of Pleasant Hope people have been laid to rest. A concrete pool for out door baptistery has been built on the grounds.
Pleasant Hope Church has always welcomed denominational meetings and has entertained the Association, Sunday School and Christian Endeavor conventions, One-Day Missionary Convention and Ministers and Deacons Meetings number of times. The first Ministers and Deacons Meeting of Union Association was held at this church in 1864.
By Allen Taylor
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