Historic Church

Church Name: Judson Baptist Church

Date Founded:

June 20, 1919
County: Putnam Founding Denomination: Baptist
USGS Quad: Scott Depot Condition of church building/grounds**: Excellent (December 2007)
Coordinates: 38.469ºN  81.865ºW Preservation Outlook: Original building no longer present - new structure in place
Maintained by: Property owner Construction: Brick
Property owner: Judson Baptist Church Trustees
Date added to WVCPA register: January 2008  Data Updated: 07 September 2012
Accessibility: Excellent 

** Condition of church building and grounds as observed on the given date - may not be representative of care at other times of the year
Scale: Excellent - Good - Fair - Poor - Abandoned

Click thumbnail photos below to enlarge

Two good photos of the church, probably from the 1930's or 1940's. >>
Photos taken by John Russell Terry and used with permission.

Judson Baptist Church, Putnam Co., West Virginia

Judson Baptist Church, Putnam Co., West Virginia

Judson Baptist Church, Putnam Co., West Virginia

  << Photo of the old church building with what would become the
       basement of the new (present) church behind it to the left.
       Photographer unknown.


Founding members of Judson Baptist Church, photo taken about 1940 >>

First Row: (kneeling) Iva McCallister, (seated): Estella Arrington Maddox, Mary Lou Ball, J.M. Arrington, Opal Clatworthy, Grace Arrington.

Second Row: Mrs. Dent, Edith Mitchell, Mrs. Melbee Beulah McCallister (holding Delmar, born in late 1938 for date of reference), Ezra McCallister, Mrs. Welch, Leona Childers, Sylvia Tincher, Beulah Turley, Peter Ball, Norma Bias, Vinnie Meadows, Everett Maddox, Bethel Bias.

Third Row: Chester Childers, Walter Mitchell, Mrs. Richards, Hallie Bias, [unknown], [unknown], Carl Ball, Bob Clatworthy.

Standing in window: Devotah McCallister

Seated in rumble seat of car in back left of photo: John Phipps, Jr.


Founding members of Judson Baptist Church, ca. 1940

Judson Baptist Church, Putnam Co., West Virginia

 << Great old photo of the old church building before the basement
      was added - as noted, it shows Kenneth Richards on a fine-looking
      horse named Barney. Photographer and year unknown. 

 Present-day (December 2007) photo of Judson Baptist Church >> 

Judson Baptist Church, Putnam Co., West Virginia

Present-day (December 2007) photo of Judson Baptist Church >> 

Judson Baptist Church, Putnam Co., West Virginia

Article published in The Putnam Herald – August 18, 2006about Judson Baptist Church, by local columnist and former pastor of the church, Bill Ellis (reprinted with permission):

Judson Baptist Church has been an anchor on Bills Creek

by Bill Ellis, staff columnist

The most recognized building on Bills Creek is the Judson Baptist Church. According the church records, “The Judson Baptist Church organized June 20, 1919, when a dedicated group of Christian men and women joined together with the Recognition Council represented by St. Albans and Rehoboth Baptist Churches.”

Serving as moderator for that organizational meeting was A.G. Cross. The clerk was M.G. Miller. By a unanimous vote, it was named Judson. As all Baptists know, Adoniram Judson (1788-1850) was the first missionary from the United States to any foreign field. He sailed with his bride, Ann Hasseltine Judson, for India in 1812.

The Judsons served in India for a brief time and then moved on to Burma. He was imprisoned at age 36 in 1824, when war broke out between England and Burma. He suffered intolerable confinement for 21 months.

He was the “inspiring example of missionary sacrifice and dedication” and did not return to the United States until 33 years after launching his missionary service. He left a growing church in Burma of 7,000 members and more than 100 national ministers.

The 12 charter members of the new Judson Baptist Church were: Peter Marion Ball, Estella Arrington Maddox, Curtie Ball Turley, Pearl Miller, James Millard Arrington, Vinnie Ball Meadows, Carl Emory Ball, J.H. Childers, J.L. Henson, Minnie Childers Swartz, Phillip Amos Mitchell and M.G. Miller. The next day, 11 other persons were added to the fellowship giving them a beginning total of 23 members.

At this time, the church had no pastor. J.H. Childers was asked to oversee this small congregation until they could secure a pastor. The church’s history states: “On August 23, 1919, the church held their first ordination for deacons and on September 27, 1919, Rev. G.L. Oxley was chosen as the first pastor at a salary of $100 a year.”

The church began meeting in the old school house on Bills Creek Road. On April 17, 1920, property for a new building was purchased and one month later more land was donated. July 16, 1921, the church borrowed $1,000 to use in erecting a new building in which they had their first service in January 1922.

Many interim pastors have served the church. It was also my pleasure to serve Judson Baptist Church for several months in that capacity.

Rev. H.B. White, Jr., is the church’s 18th and current pastor since May 2005. Roger Hensley, Chairman of the Board of Deacons, says of their pastor: “He is an exciting preacher, full of energy. He is up early, walks four miles five days each week and is regularly in the weight room. He is a big package of high energy.” 

Pastor White says, “Come grow with us. With so many current attempts to discredit Christianity, we must preach the word and truly practice daily biblical Christianity. Let us be found faithful. It will not be easy, but it will be worth it all.”

He and his wife, Jaci, a beautiful lady with a beautiful voice, are looking forward to a continuing ministry with an energized church that believes its best years are ahead.


Photos on this page courtesy of local historian Terry McCallister. 

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 Updated: 07 September 2012