History of Baptist Church

As time marches on, with it, it takes its toll. Those of us who follow know only, the path has been laid before us.

In 1869 on a lot donated by Mrs. John Boyer, a member of the 1st Baptist Church, our mother church, a building known as the West Side Mission House was built and some of our pioneers worshipped there.

During 1870-71 a new building, known as McKinley Chapel was built and became the place of worship until 1873 when it was given to our pioneers who felt they needed to organize a church of their own. Under the leadership of Rev. Hawkins and with the support of Rev. John Mabe, pastor of the 1st Baptist church, Mrs. Hawkins, Mrs. Lydia Ousley, Mrs. Cecelia Morrison, M.r & Mrs. Sandy Terry, Mrs. John Cooper, and others, the new congregation was organized.

In 1898 an extension was added to McKinley Chapel, but after the completion, there was a fire and the edifice was burned. Under the leadership of Rev. Wilson, McKinley Chapel was rebuilt. It was after it was rebuilt, under the leadership of Rev. Crusholm, the name of McKinley Chapel was changed to Second Baptist Church. During this time we became a member of the Wood River Baptist District Association, Inc. Prior to this we were in the Northern Baptist Association.

During 1913-14, Rev. Madison was pastor, and with the assistance again of the 1st Baptist Church and other friends and members, the church mortgage was paid off.

From the organization of the congregation, down thru the years we have had some pastors with visions for the church and members who supported them.

1873 - 1885 Rev Hawkins

1885 - 1891 Rev Chambers

1891 - 1898 Rev. Washington, from

1898 - 1902 Rev. Wilson

1902 - 1906 Rev. Bingham

1906 - 1933 the Reverends Crusholm, Watson, Harvey, Jones, Dennis, Madison, Saunders, Gibson, Wood, Davenport, C.N. Miller and Tally, pastored the Second Baptist Congregation.

In August, 1933, Rev. A.B. Collins was called to pastor the Second Baptist Church. Among many accomplishments during his pastorate, the Brotherhood was organized and the Usher Board was re-organized.

In February, 1943, the Church experienced another fire and held services at the Rescue Mission until August of the same year. The Church was renovated once again. Rev Collins served as pastor for 30 years.

In 1963, Rev William Grimes became the pastor of Second Baptist Church. In 1964 there became a need to construct a new building. It was through the Grace of God and leadership of the Pastor and building committee, we began this task. The members of Second Baptist, Organizations and Businesses and Friends of the community sacrificed financially and physically in support of this project. On September 24, 1978, the mortgage burning service was held.

Rev Grimes and the congregation implemented many, many ministries and additions to enhance the worship services under his leadership. Rev. Grimes was called home to be with the Lord after serving this congregation for 29 years.

In 1993, Rev Joseph D. Williamson, III was called to pastor the Second Baptist Church congregation. Pastor Williamson has instituted several ministries to the Second Baptist Church which has caused the congregation to grow physically and spiritually. God gave him a vision to build the Family Life Center and the congregation supported the vision and the Center was dedicated in September of 2002. He also has implemented a Board of Christian Education, which, with his guidance sees that the Spiritual education of the congregation is available to all, especially through the Spring and Fall Christian Education School. There are many other ministries now available to enrich the entire congregation. The Church has been made very handicapped accessible, and emphasis has been on the children of the church, from a nursery being established to the Youth Outreach Ministry and Van Ministry. The many other ministries the Pastor has implemented is reflected in the growth of the church.