Southern Baptist Church

Carrington Baptist Church

History of Carrington Baptist Church

est.  1883

Introducing people to Christ.  Growing people in Christ.   Sending people for Christ.

Over 140 years ago in the autumn of 1882, William Duley, a pioneer deacon of Dry Fork Baptist Church, suggested to his pastor Dr. William Henry Burnham, the propriety of establishing regular preaching services at the Carrington School House, making it a mission point. Previous to that time a Sunday School had been held in the community by William G. Hatcher and others.

         Dr. Burnham, never slow to act upon a mission enterprise, at once adopted the plan and began preaching regularly at the Carrington School House. In February and March of 1883, he held a protracted meeting at the schoolhouse, baptizing six people, from Dry Fork Baptist Church, formed the nucleus of the permanent organization with Dr. Burnham as pastor.

         The names of those who formed this new church, the first thirteen of whom were charter members, are taken from the first church records as follows: Mrs. Sallie Chalfant, Miss Ella Chalfant, Miss Cora Chalfant, Miss Nanny Chalfant, Thomas R. Brooks, Nannie Brooks, C.A. Davis, Martin Sacre, J. Clem Dunavant, Malissa Dunavant, William G. Hatcher, Mary Hatcher, Harriet Blackwell, and added by baptism at the first protracted meeting; L.F. Renoe, Mary Smith, Hattie Blackwell, Robert Rogers, Henry G. Turner and Bettie Anne Wilkerson.  Henry G. Turner was elected church clerk and served faithfully and efficiently to the end of his life.

         In the face of many difficulties, plans for the erection of a church went forward. Judge William Carrington, who owned the land, gave one acre of ground on condition that a meeting house be erected. The house was built.

         The first records tell us that the building committee was composed of: Thomas R. Brooks, William G. Hatcher, and Robert Rogers, who later became the first Trustees of the church. Later, C.A. Davis was added to the building committee as the Treasurer, and later the Treasurer of the church.

         The building of the first church house was the result of much self-denial on the part of this little group and its many supporters in the community. John Kirby was the contractor.

The building completed, cost $1,571 and was dedicated on Sunday, December 9, 1883. After singing that good old familiar song "Nearer My God to Thee", Dr. J.M.P. Martin, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Fulton, Missouri read from I Kings 8:27 through 1 Kings 9. Dr. Martin preached the dedicatory sermon, and the prayer was offered by Dr. William Burnham. The remarkable fact of this dedication was that the entire amount of the cost of the building and completion of this church was paid in advance and no collection taken at that service.

There immediately followed a series of meetings at this church by the pastor, Dr. W.H. Burnham, and the little congregation of church members, assisted by Dr. J.M.P. Martin of Fulton Missouri offering the preaching.

         The growth of the church during the succeeding twenty-three years made it necessary to enlarge. As a result, an addition was built at a total cost of $1,438. This building was rededicated on September 17, 1907 by Dr. William J. Williamson, a member of the church, with prayer by Dr. William H. Burnham.

         Worship in this building was continued with renewed faith and many hallowed memories cluster around its sacred walls.

As the storms of life sometimes prove too strong for weak human strength, so the elements of nature may become so powerful that things of wood and mortar cannot withstand the blast. The events of Sunday, May 8, 1927 were extremely vivid, and even yet carry too much awe for strength and destruction of nature to admit discussion here today on the occasion of the joy of achievement. This was never more true than when a tornado destroyed the church.

With insurance and the help of friends, a new church was rebuilt. E.E. Sampson was the contractor, and the cost was $8,000. The new church was dedicated in June 1928 by Dr. Frank Powell. The members  met at Hewitt Lodge Hall in Carrington and faced the future singing "On Jordan's Stormy Banks" as they prepared to rebuild.

         The church steadily grew through the years and was served by many men God sent our way. In 1973 a new basement was built complete with classrooms and a fellowship hall. By the end of the 20th century the church grew so much that an extensive list of improvements ranging from handicap accessible restrooms, a ramp and central air were completed. A beautiful new fellowship hall was completed in the final days of the 20th century with nearly all the work being done by members of the church and as had been the determination of this church, was done with the church remaining debt free.

         In November 2003 work began on a new Sunday School building which brought the new Fellowship Hall and Sanctuary together. Prior to this, congregates had to go outside to get from the Sanctuary to the new Fellowship Hall for activities and dinners.

The new Sunday School/Administrative building was a work in progress for quite some time as all work was done by members and once again, was debt free!  The work was slow it seemed, but by February 2004 the walls were up and inside work could begin. Work continued through 2006 when it was finally completed and available for classroom use. There were Sunday School rooms, a pastoral office, Sunday School office, entryway. There were also two ways to enter the sanctuary from the new building. There were inside stairs down the front hallway and a handicap-accessible ramp to the back of the new building for easier access. There was also an entrance to the basement and the outside play area from the back of the new building.

         Once the new Sunday School building’s outside work was completed and inside work could continue as able, concrete work for the handicap-accessible parking, sidewalk, and entryway under the main entrance to the new building commenced. The task was completed in early 2006. In the midst of all the concrete work, the basketball court was poured and made available for church and neighborhood children to use for many years to come!

         In all these years, Carrington Baptist Church was served faithfully in its pastorate by a high type of Christian Ministry, beginning with W.H. Burnham who served for a total of nine years and four months (at two separate times). He was followed by many other men of God who helped to ensure the future mission of Carrington Baptist Church.

         As the members of Carrington Baptist Church looked to the future, the prayer of King Solomon from I Kings 9 continued to be our prayer as it was in the 1883 dedication:  "I have heard your prayer, I have hallowed this temple which you built and have put my name here forever. I will constantly watch over it and rejoice in it."  No words could better dedicate a church that would outlive the railroad, survive natural disasters, and many other trials, and still be serving the community more than a century later.

         In all those years, Carrington Baptist Church has been served faithfully in its pastorate by twenty-nine men of God, to date; three of whom have served twice. Many were called to fill in as “Supply” and/or “Interim” pastors first as the right person was sought to find the man God would have fill the role as pastor, for such a time as this.

Carrington Baptist Church has long stood for community, servanthood, missions, and sharing the gospel. It will continue to serve in these capacities with love and compassion just the way Jesus would!