History of First Baptist Church
The First Baptist Church of Walton, Kentucky, was organized on August 8, 1866. A council was held for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church in Walton. Elder A. Kirtley was elected Moderator and L. Johnson was elected Clerk. Those composing the Council were as follows: From Concord Church, Gallatin County: Joseph Ambrose, R. C. Hill, W. C. Alphin , J. G. Clements, A. D. Whitson and Ransom Plunkett. From Crittenden Church, Grant County: A. Carlisle and C. J. Hutsell. From New Bethel Church, Boone County: L. Johnson, L. Norris, M. Stephenson, V. Finnell, F. J. Whitson and B. S. Noel. From Big Bone Church, Boone County: R. Huey, J. C. Riley, O. W. Huey, C. Rice, J. J. Weaver, B. M. Allen, R. B. Johnson and E. Garrison. From Banklick Church, Kenton County: Spencer Falkner. After preparing a Constitution and Articles of Faith, the Council recognized the brethren from the above mentioned churches and the Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, Walton, Kentucky, was organized. F. German was elected Moderator and Lafayette Johnson was elected Clerk. The first sermon was delivered by Elder Robert E. Kirtley, and on the next day, August 9, 1866, the first business meeting was held and admission was asked to the North Bend Association. The first meeting was at the school house near the intersection of Beaver Grade and Stephenson Mill Road. Lafayette Johnson was called as the first minister in August 1866, and served without pay from 1866 to 1870.
The first two deacons were G. F. Northcutt and J. T. Johnson. The first trustees were E. T. Green, John Roberts and John Johnson. E. N. Casey, John Roberts and John Johnson were appointed as a committee to secure a plot of land to build a place of worship. A plot of ground belonging to John Arnold was purchased for $175. The Trustees were to draw plans and get an estimate of cost. This was transacted at the business session in March of 1867. A brick meeting house thirty-six by fifty-four feet was approved. In June of 1867, the Arnold lot was sold and a lot one hundred twenty feet by three hundred feet on Crusie Creek Road (now Church Street) was purchased for fifty dollars and the first church building was constructed. In 1881, the Trustees purchased land from a Mrs. Murphy on the east side of the church to be used as a burying ground. This is now the Walton Cemetery.
The first Home Missions gift of seven dollars and fifty cents was made on October 4, 1867. The first supply of hymn books was six donated by Lafayette Johnson.
A Silver Lord's Supper service was presented to the Church in May of 1878 by Sisters E. W. Lowery, V. Johnson and Mattie Roberts, purchased by them at a cost of eleven dollars. We don't know when or how it was removed from the possession of the Church. In January of 1989, the Church received a letter and photographs from an antique dealer in New York City stating the set was part of an estate being offered for sale to collectors. The dealer offered the set for sale to the Church for $295. The service is now in the display case by the secretary's office.
At the April, 1882, Saturday night business meeting a motion was made to organize a Sunday School. The motion passed and the following day at 9:30 a.m. the first Sunday School was held. In July of 1882, the Sunday School presented a bell which cost $140 to the Church.
In 1896 the Woman's Missionary Union was organized, but sometime prior to that date Sunbeams had been organized under the leadership of Miss Mabel Bagby.
In August of 1911, Pastor Wayman appointed a committee to solicit funds to buy a suitable lot for the site of a new church building. In September, 1911, the Church ratified the purchase of a lot on South Main Street belonging to Miss Lula Jones for $2600. Building plans and specifications submitted by G. P. Nicholson were accepted for the church building to cost, when completed, $12,365.
Rev. A. K. Johnson was ordained August 17, 1912, at the Walton Baptist Church. The last Charter Member, Mary Jane Roberts, died in 1913.
The cornerstone for the new building was laid September 27, 1913. It was dedicated on November 1, 1914. The first nursery was established in 1932, with Frances Roberts (Code) as the teacher. The Church voted to establish a library in its business meeting of January 21, 1941, with a budget of two dollars per month.
In September of 1951, the Church voted to hire a-half days each week for a salary of $15. On October 3, 1951, plans were presented by the Trustees for a new educational building to be constructed. Ground breaking was held on March 23, 1952. This is known as the Nicholson addition.
First Baptist Church sponsored the Beaver Baptist Mission beginning on October 1, 1951. Walton's new church organ was dedicated in 1953, and a kindergarten began in July by a Mrs. Webster. In August of 1957, the Church voted to allow $20 per week for a part-time music director. Wilbur Ferguson was called to fill the position. On June 8, 1960, he accepted the call as the first full-time Minister of Music and Recreation. Several men combined their music ministry with ministries in youth, education and recreation. During the Fall of 1959, the Forward Program of Church Finance was launched for the first time. The budget for 1959 was $38,317. The current budget for the year 2000 is $363,945.
The Church was presented the report of the architect's meeting with the Building Committee regarding the new educational building addition and renovation of the sanctuary in April, 1960, and the contracts were awarded at the March, 1961, business session. Ground breaking services were held on May 7, 1961. The new addition included approximately 40 Sunday School rooms, a new dining hall and recreational area and a modern kitchen. This is referred to as the Tackett addition.
First Baptist Church sponsored two missions in the late 1960s. One was the West Covington Chapel. The other, Grace Mission in Independence, is the present Grace Baptist Church.
In March of 1967, the Church purchased a pastorium valued at $25,000. The house was sold to the pastor, Rev. Kenneth Cole, in March of 1981.
The present sanctuary was voted on by the Church on August 23, 1967, to be built at a cost of $210,000. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on September 17, 1967, and the completed building was dedicated on September 1, 1968. On May 31 and June 1, 1986, a homecoming celebration and note-burning was held when the debt for that building was paid in full.
In January of 1970, the Church voted to employ an organist and a pianist.
After much discussion, action by the Church was taken on August 18, 1976, to have the old sanctuary removed. Three of the stained glass windows and the cornerstones were incorporated in the facing of the Nicholson Educational Building.
The Church ordained Bro. Joe Boone to the Gospel ministry in June of 1982.
The Building and Grounds Committee brought a recommendation to the July, 1987, business meeting that the Church elect a building committee to decide if we should go forward with Section C of the long range plans and also perform the necessary repairs to the existing buildings. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on Sunday, April 23, 1989, and the new addition was dedicated on March 25, 1990. Inclement weather canceled the planned cornerstone placing. After several more weather related delays, the cornerstone was finally put in place on Sunday, August 12, 1990. The actual date of occupying the new addition was June 3, 1990.
In the spring of 1991, Russell and Ruth Hall, who owned the property at 43 South Main Street adjoining the Church property on the north side, gave the property to the Church. The house was renovated and served as the home of Rev. Corky Alder and family until it was demolished in 1996. On March 14, 1993, Rev. Kenneth Cole resigned as pastor to hold his last service on August 29, 1993. Rev. Ward Spencer was elected to serve as Interim pastor on September 8th. At a special called business meeting on December 12, 1993, Rev. E. L. "Corky" Alder, the Minister of Education and Youth, was extended the call to be the pastor. Rev. Mark Schuerman accepted the call to be Minister of Education and Youth to begin serving in June of 1995.
In April of 1996, the Church had the opportunity to purchase the Hiser property, situated on the north side of the Hall house. The Church licensed Paul Anglin to preach the Gospel in August of 1998.
Rev. E. L. Alder resigned as pastor in March of 1999 and Rev. R. Gene Livingood was called to be the Interim. He served until May 7, 2000, which was also the final music service for our Minister of Music, Ron Livingood, who resigned at the April business meeting.
The 1999 Church Letter lists a total membership of 1091 of which 741 are resident members. The value of the Church property is listed at $2,026,237.
Rev. J. Sheldon Hale was called to be our pastor and came to us on May 14, 2000. God has surely blessed the Baptist Church of Walton, Kentucky.
PASTORS OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF WALTON
Aug. 1866 - Feb. 1873 Lafayette Johnson
Feb. 1873 - Nov. 1873 W. C. Jones
Dec. 1873 - Nov. 1881 Lafayette Johnson
Nov. 1881 - Nov. 1883 J. V. Riley
Nov. 1883 - Dec. 1890 Lafayette Johnson
Dec. 1890 - Oct. 1891 David Bagby
Oct. 1891 - Sep. 1892 John H. Fisher
Sep. 1892 - Feb. 1902 George W. Hill
Feb. 1902 - Dec. 1905 T. C. Ecton
Dec. 1905 - Apr. 1908 J. P. Stewart
Apr. 1908 - May 1909 E. L. Andrews
July 1909 - 1912 H. C. Wayman
1913 - 1915 William McMillan
1915 Supplied G. F. Halloway, Dentist
Mar. 1916 - Dec. 1918 Olus Hamilton
Mar. 1919 - 1920 R. L. Shirley
1921 - 1923 D. H. Willett
1924 - 1926 John Davis
1926 - 1927 Clyde Breland
1927 Supplied Rev. Cutts
1927 - 1931 C. E. Brown
1931 - 1932 no pastor
1933 - 1936 T. L. Wooten
1936 - 1943 C. J. Alford
1944 - Mar. 1951 B. C. Garrett (Deceased while pastor)
1951 - 1952 W. H. Burkett
1953 - 1954 C. N. Taylor
1955 - 1967 Joseph R. Tackett
1967 - May 1970 Bill Smith, Interim
1970 Charles T. Saylor
Oct. 1970 - 1972 Jerry Ennis
1972 - 1976 Robert Sheffield
1977 C. R. Daley, Interim
Aug. 1977 - Oct. 1978 Charles W. Minch
Nov. 1978 - July 1979 Isadore Childers, Interim
Aug. 1979 - Aug. 1993 Kenneth R. Cole
Sep. 1993 - Dec. 1993 Ward Spencer, Interim
Jan. 1994 - Mar. 1999 E. L. "Corky" Alder
Apr. 1999 - May 2000 R. Gene Livingood, Interim
May 2000 J. Sheldon Hale
By Ann Leake, First Baptist Church Historian, 2000.
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