By Betty Allison
Mineral Wells Index
In 1937, Bro. Rucker resigned and Pastor T.C. Jordan was elected to serve. In August 1938, a big baptism took place in the Palo Pinto Creek. Among those baptised were Mrs. Inez Collins, James Houx, L.D. Wolf, Lucille Nicks, Neita Sue Fletcher, Weldon Hardman, Ruby Lee Doley, Cleveland Rexroat Jr., Mrs, L. L. Clem, Bobby White, Jean Roye, Joyce Roye, June Blue, Juanita Bean and Bettie Clem.
The Baptist Standard was placed in the home of members. A committee to draw up plans for a new building consisted of Ted Sparling, Howard Rogers, C.C. Boles, Dora Peach and Clara Eaton. The deacons set the wage scale at $1.50 per day for common labor, but most worked for 50 cents per day, or nothing at all. There were those who said, “I don’t have any cash to give but I have a skill and can work.” Herb Cromer wired the entire building as his contribution. Mr. Ed Browder was the head carpenter. His comment was, “I could not see how it was possible to build in the midst of the terrible depression but everyone pitched in and went to work. They pulled together like horses. It was a labor of love.”
August 1940 was designated as “Dollar Day” for the building. A “Birthday Fund” was also established. Every conceivable way was used to raise money. Mrs. Fannie Beaty was commissioned to paint the picture for the baptistry.
Rev. J.B. and Mrs. Adair served the church a short time and resigned to go to Africa as missionaries. (Support was sent to them from time to time).
Dr. Frank K. Means came as pastor in June 1941. Once he came our from the seminary and forgot his razor. The local barber loaned him a straight-edge. He was scared to use it and sure enough, he came to church with a gash on his cheek.
The W.M.U. was very active. One of their activities was to send canned fruit and vegetables to Buckner Orphans Home. Twelve dozen quarts were sent at this time. (There were some good gardeners in Gordon!) Cookies were sent to the Mineral Wells FBC for the soldiers’ social hour.
The dedication of the church building was set for Sunday, June 13, 1943. Eight years of work, prayer and sacrifice culminated in this time of celebration. A church history was placed in the cornerstone. Church membership was 218. All bills were paid, leaving a balance of $77 in the building fund. The cost of the building was $5,730.
In September 1944, the church voted to become full time. Now the people could look forward to services each Sunday.
In February 1948, Bro. Watt held a revival in which Truman Tucker (the professional baseball player I recently wrote about), Mr. and Mrs. Charley Burgett (Harold’s mother and dad), Webb Pierce (Red’s father) and Catherine Pierce (Red’s daughter) were added to the fellowship.
The church voted to pay $15. on Bro. Pearson’s expenses to the state convention in Amarillo and his salary was raised to $200 per month.
The matter of doing home missions among the Mexicans and Negroes at the railroad cars on the sidetrack was discussed. It was voted to invite them to attend our services. The library added 66 new books which make it perhaps the largest church library in the Palo Pinto Association.
In 1950, an educational building was added to the church. Nath Deaton gave the church an electric water cooler. The Lord’s Supper table was made to fit in front of the pulpit. This excellent piece of work was done by Harold Burgett, who had previously made the pulpit. His father, C.W. Burgett purchased the materials for the work.
In 1964, a Baptist youth choir of 20 members was led by Dorothy Gibson and assisted by Mrs. Bill Tyree and Margaret Turner. Pianist were Janice Pitman, Connie Hanna, Margaret Turner and organist Imogene Johnson.
In 1964 property was bought from Dr. Robertson that joined the church property on the north for the site of a church parsonage. A lovely brick four-bedroom, three-bath centrally heated and cooled home was built. Bro. Newberry’s family was the first to occupy the new parsonage. The building of the parsonage was of interest to all ages in the church as the plans were drawn up by two teen age boys – Billy Pierce and David Weidner.
(This takes us through the year 1964 … to be continued).