Church has been an anchor on Bills Creek
by Bill Ellis, staff
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
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
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.