High Point Baptist Church (1820/1836-Present)

Established as Double Springs Baptist Church that

was admitted to Mt Pleasant Baptist Association in 1820

 

There appears to be some confusion in the founding of the church.

The History in the 2000 book is the best stated history of High Point Baptist Church.

The 1980 History Book (pages 59-60) states: The first white settlers came to High Point about 1830.

The 1980 History Book (page 72) lists the names of churches & dates of organization for Concord Baptist Association:

High Point 1836: 157 Resident Members; Rod Campbell, Pastor

 

Either the white settlers were in the High Point area before 1830 or this was not the location of Double Springs Baptist Church.

Based on land records, the 1836 date seems more reasonable for the immediate High Point area. However, Double Springs Baptist Church could have

The earliest land records for this area on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management website:

William Brasswell - 1825 Aug 01 to the east of High Point

James Stark - 1831 Apr 01 east of High Point

James James - 1833 Jul 30

John James - 1833 Jul 30

 

From the History of Moniteau County 2000:

In 1820, the Mount Pleasant Association met to admit seven churches into the organization. Double Springs Baptist Church was on of the seven whose membership eventually settled in and around the High Point area. The early church met in the home of its members, which included the families of John James, H. H. Simpson, James James and Hiram Walker.

 

In 1835, John James built a log room onto his home located just north of High Point to serve as a church meeting place. Subsequently, the church held a business meeting in 1844 and addressed two items of business: (1) they voted to change the name from Double Springs to High Point Baptist Church; and (2) they agreed to build a log "meeting house." Again, John James offered a lot adjoining the graveyard located on the north and south line between his farm and the Ratcliff farm. A log building was erected on this site by free labor. Except for a period between September, 1857 through May, 1860, the church met and worshipped in this building until 1883. The church divided during this time over the issue of slavery.

 

In 1883, a new church was erected on the site of the present church building on land located one mile west of High Point and donated to the congregation by Dr. Dunlap. The building was heated by two large stoves and illuminated with kerosene lights. In the 1920s, solid rock hampered the digging of a basement intended to house, among other things, a coal furnace to heat the building. A cave-like opening was left to accommodate the furnace, which was used until 1947. In the late 1930s rural electrification came to High Point, dispensing with the need for kerosene lamps. In 1947, the building was moved back onto a full basement making ten classrooms, two modern rest rooms and butane gas furnace possible.

 

In 1953, the church decided to build on the north side of the building and add six classrooms, a nursery and a furnace room. A gift from the Levi Batty estate made it possible to purchase the siding for the building and a new oil furnace.

 

In April 1956, a site was purchased in the village of High Point in order to build a three bedroom brick veneer parsonage. The Rev. R. C. Reichert and his family were the first occupants of the home.

 

Later, a dedication service was held in 1962 for the redecorated auditorium, which included newly laid carpet, new pews, a piano and an organ. In 1963, the church added a vestibule to the building, and in 1967, the congregation expanded its ministry with the purchase of a tape recorder used to share taped services with the elderly and shut-ins. In 1971, air conditioning was installed in the auditorium of the building and a communion table and pulpit furniture was donated by the estate of Mrs. Bertha Tising.

 

In the church's early years, baptisms were held in nearby creeks and ponds. Sometimes it was even necessary to break ice in order to conduct the services. In later years, the church borrowed the baptistery of neighboring churches. Eventually, in 1974, the congregation added a baptistery of its own. Teresa Walls, daughter of the Rev. Jerry Walls, who pastored the church at the time, was the first candidate baptized in the new baptistery.

 

Major renovations of the present building began in July of 1982 and was completed in March 1983, adding twenty-one classrooms, a fellowship hall, kitchen, nursery and five restrooms. A new Allen organ was added in 1988.

 

In 1990, the former parsonage was sold to Bertie Dutcher and a new parsonage was constructed on a  parcel of land purchased from Lawrence Gaston and located northwest of the church on Highway CC. In 1993, the church established a daycare facility and appointed Regina Wyrick as director of the enterprise. In April of 1995, the church added new carpet, floor covering, upholstery and curtains to the building.

 

On June 5, 1999, began the project of building a new fellowship hall and classrooms. A building team from Georgia came for two weeks plus Missouri on Missions came to help with volunteer labor.

 

Past ministers of the church include Jessee Hickman, N. E. Williams, Rev. Lloyd Johnson, Bill Pettit, Ed Vernon, Rev. R. C. Reichert, Rev. Jerry Walls, Rev. Lee Shaffer, Rev. Rod Campbell and Rev. Don Almond. Rev. Ron Foley currently (in 2000) serves as pastor for the church.

 

Pastors of High Point Baptist Church:

 

William Clark 1854

Wm. Robertson 1855-56-1873

J. W. Renshaw 1860

Carrol Nevil 1861-1868

R. Harris 1869

B. B. Scott 1870 and 1879

T. Howell 1871

B. T. Berkley 1872-74 and 1878

David McCombs 1875

Henry Moser 1876-1877

Ed Lumkin 1880-1883

J. B. Box 1884-87 and 1891

R. L. Sims 1888-1890

George Moore 1892-1894

Ben Sims 1895-1896

David McCombs 1897-1899

W. A. Bruce 1900-1902

W. D. Scrivner 1903-1905

T. R. White 1906-1907

Clifford Cox 1910-1911

S. J. Neal 1912-1913

W. H. Allee 1914-1916

C. H. Stephens 1917-1920

S. M. Petty 1921-1924

T. M. McDonald 1925-1928

N. E. Williams 1929-1931

Elmo Purvis 1932-1933

H. W. Gadd 1934-1937

H. B. Nelson 1938

Gordon Carpenter 1939-1940

Chester Wear 1941

Denzil Albin 1942-1943

L. E. Johnson 1944-1952

Theodore Davis 1953-1954

Allen Emerson 1955

Roy C. Reichert 1956-1964

Howard K. English 1964-1966

Dean Catlett 1967

Jerry T. Walls 1968

Rev. Lee Shaffer

Rev. Rod Campbell

Rev. Don Almond

Rev. Ron Foley

 

 

From History of Concord Baptist Association (Cole, 1973):

In the history of the Missouri Baptists (page 61) Mt. Pleasant Association was organized July 25, 1818. The Mt. Pleasant Association met in 1820 and seven churches were admitted. Double Springs was one of the seven. In the Concord Baptist Association record of the annual meeting, the Association met at Double Springs in 1828 and again in 1838. Double Springs membership lived around High Point. The church met in homes of the members for a number of years, having no house of worship. Some of the first members recorded are: John James, H. H. Simpson, James James, and Hiram Walker. H. H. Simpson settled in the community in 1835. The next year he and his wife were received into the church by letter.
 

In 1835 John James, who lived north of High Point, built a log room onto his home for the church meeting place. The members met in this room until 1844. In the business meeting of that year the church voted to change the name from Double Springs to High Point Baptist Church. At this same meeting the church agreed to build a log "meeting" house. The minutes show the same names on the High Point membership roll as the Double Springs roll.
 

John James offered a lot adjoining the grave yard, located on the north and south line between his farm and the Ratcliff farm north of High Point. The building was log and erected by free labor. The church met and worshiped in this building until 1883. John James gave a road on the east and west line between his farm and Dr. Dunlap's place. Other roads were made to give the people access to the church.
 

Some of the deacons of the early church were Joseph Aldridge, John James, H. H. Simpson, John Raines and Hiram Walker. Rev. Wm. M. Robertson pastored the church from 1854-1857. He received his education at the State University of Virginia. He came to Missouri as a school teacher. He was converted and felt the call to preach the gospel. He proved to be one of the great preachers of his time.
 

In September 1857, the church was divided over the slave question and had no meeting until May 1860. The church then elected Rev. J. W. Renshaw as pastor. On Saturday July 3, 1860 the church met and chose two men as delegates to the Association: John James and H. H. Simpson.
 

Brother B. T. Berkley was ordained to preach the gospel in 1871, and was called to pastor the church in June 1872. Rev. Wm. M. Robertson, a former pastor, held a four week meeting in October of that year. There were 25 additions to the church (17 by baptism and 8 by letter).
 

Rev. Ed. Lumkin pastored the church from 1880-1883. He was a young man just graduated from Spring Garden Academy at Spring Garden, Mo. He held a "protracted" meeting at Prairie Hill school house, two miles south of the church. There were 30 conversions, most of them joined the High Point Baptist Church.
 

After the successful meeting the church voted to build a new church building near the road. After much consideration the building was erected on the present site in 1883. Dr. Dunlap gave the land for the building. The building was white frame with a seating capacity of near two hundred. The same auditorium is being used today (1972). The building was heated with two large stoves and had kerosene lights. As the church progressed they envisioned a furnace and more modern conveniences. The church building had to be moved back in order to have a basement. In the process workmen discovered solid rock. This hampered the digging of the basement and only a cave like opening was left under the west end of the building. This accommodated the coal furnace. Sometimes the water would stand around the furnace making it difficult to build fires. The chill and smoke had to be endured while services were in progress. The coal furnace was used until about 1947. Later the church purchased Coleman gas lamps for lighting.
 

The records of the church are lost from the time the frame building was built [1883] until 1937. However, the Associational minutes of September 13-15, 1921 held with the Friendship Baptist Church, show S. M. Petty as pastor. The clerk was O. W. Simpson. G. A. Simpson was Sunday School Superintendent. The membership was 185. The church property was valued at $1,200.00.
 

By 1938 rural electrification was beginning to spread across the country. At the business meeting on December 17, 1938, Bro. Grant Medlen was authorized to sign for electricity. The money was to be taken from the "light fund" that had been established in case lights would be available. Rev. Nelson pastored the church at this time. In February, he presented his resignation and the church accepted it.
 

Gordon Carpenter was called as pastor. The church was having services only one Sunday each month. His salary was $18.00 per month. Rev. Carpenter appointed a committee to wire the church building and buy light fixtures. The old gas lights were sent to the Baptist Mission on Goat Hill in Jefferson City. Rev. Carpenter held the revival in June 1940. There were 26 additions to the church. In March 1941, the church voted to raise the pastor's salary to $20.00 (when they had it). Delegates to the Association that year were: Mrs. G. A. Simpson, Mrs. Frank Birdsong. Mrs. Bessie Jobe, Mrs. Stanley Miller and Mrs. Eli Wood. The church voted to give one-tenth of the offerings to the Cooperative Program. June 1941, as a result of the spring revival, 20 were added to the church.
 

A call meeting was held on January 1, 1942, the church voted to go to half time preaching. The budget for the following year was set at $776.50; pastor's salary at $480.00. The ladies of the church furnished food and served it at public sales to help meet the expenses.
 

The first Vacation Bible School recorded was held under the leadership of Rev. Densil Albin. On September 13, 1942, the pastor's salary was raised to $25.00 per month. At this meeting a motion was made and carried by unanimous vote to send the following resolution to the President of the United States as a petition (President Franklin D. Roosevelt) "We the undersigned, loyal Americans, supporting to the limit of our ability. your leadership in our present world crisis, greatly deplore the evil influence on our fighting men and war workers by the organized  liquor traffic. Such attack, it seems to us, come in the nature of stabs in the back. Calculated to undermine the morals of our people as a whole, and to cripple our entire war effort. We, therefore, respectfully but very earnestly beseech you to use your authority as Commander in Chief to prohibit, for the duration at least, the sale of all alcoholic beverages within a radius of one hundred miles of any camp or plant engaged in war effort." There were 51 signatures on the petition. Two of our boys, Carl Medlen and Paul Baquet, gave their lives in service of their country.
 

It was a policy of the church to support the Children's Home by sending canned fruit and vegetables. In October 1942, 295 quarts were packed and sent to the home.
 

In August 1943, 13 more were added to the church. The pastor had resigned and the pulpit committee named to secure another pastor. On Sunday evening October 17, 1943 the church extended a call, by unanimous vote, to Rev. Lloyd Johnson. Rev. and Mrs. Johnson came to the church October 10, 1943 from the Baptist Church at Liberty, Missouri. Under his leadership the church went to full time preaching.
 

In 1947 the church launched a building program, a basement was built under the building, making ten class rooms and two modern rest rooms. A butane gas furnace was installed. Building committee: Levi Batty, Coy Baquet and Ralph Hees. There were only two deacons, G. A. Simpson and Levi Batty. On June 15, 1947 four more deacons were ordained: Albert Stockwell, Eugene Watson, Ellis Spencer and Loren Scott.

 

The church had maintained a Sunday School since 1883. Enrollment in 1947 reached approximately 200. The Training Union was organized in 1936 and by 1947 had an attendance of 90. Efforts were made several times for a Woman's Missionary Union. Some of the first presidents were: Mrs. R. C. Reichel, and Mrs. G. A. Simpson. Interest failed and it was not until 1947 that Woman's Missionary Union was organized and soon sponsored all the auxiliaries. The membership by 1948 had reached 307. Brotherhood was organized in 1950 and was active in promoting the R.A.'s. By 1953 the church was giving 20% of all undesignated receipts to the Cooperative Program
 

Two men have been ordained to preach the gospel by the church: Bro. Jesse Hickman 1884 and N. E. Williams in 1922.

Two were licensed by the church: Bill Pettit 1951 and Ed Vernon 1953.
 

On November 15, 1953, the church met in special session to discuss plans for enlarging the building. They decided to build a building 37x50 feet on the north side of the present building. The new addition provided 6 class rooms, nursery and furnace room. Building committee: Coy Baquet, Earnest Dutcher and Albert Stockwell. It was voted to accept as much free labor as could be obtained. The following committee was appointed to solicit funds to finance the building: S. T. Patrick, Loren Scott, Lola Thompson, Lola Simpson, Harry Nickles and Mrs. Bertha Tising. A gift of $3,728.39 from the estate of Mr. and Mrs. Levi Batty made possible the siding of the old building and a new oil furnace.
 

As early as 1951, there was talk of the need for a parsonage, so the pastor could live in the community among his people. On October 7, 1951, the church voted to transfer $500.00 from the General Fund to the Pastor's Home fund and add 10% of all undesignated receipts each month. In December Pastor L. L. Johnson refused a salary increase of $10.00 per week, stipulating that it be added to the Pastor's Home fund. November 13, 1955, the church appointed the fol1owing committee: Dorsey Shad, Milton Papen and Eugene Watson. to select a building site and to draw up plans and estimate cost. April 1, 1956, a lot was purchased in the village of High Point for $850.00. Arthur Jungmeyer, contractor, Russellville, Mo. built the three bedroom, brick veneer with full basement and attached car port at the cost of $10,000.00. A loan of $4,000.00 at 5% interest was secured from the Moniteau National Bank, California, Mo. Each time the interest was due, the treasurer was able to pay the interest and $1,000.00 on the principal. The entire loan was paid by October 1958. Pastor R. C. Reichert and family moved into the new parsonage December 31, 1956. Open house was observed with the burning of the note by Roy Papen and Coly Karr.
 

Three deacons were ordained in December 1959: Earnest Dutcher, Kenneth Porter and Dorsey Shad.
 

The church auditorium was redecorated, carpet was laid, a new piano, organ and new pews were installed. A dedication service was held in 1962. The congregation and pastor joined together in the assembly with gratitude and joy and solemnly dedicated it all to the Heavenly Father.
 

In 1963, a vestibule was added to the church. J. E. Wood was the contractor.
 

The church had an extension Sunday School Department. In 1967, a tape recorder was purchased. The services are taped and taken to the shut-ins and elderly members, weekly.
 

The church gratefully acknowledged the gift of communion table and pulpit furniture from the estate of Mrs. Bertha Tising. Mrs. Tising went to be with the Lord on November 25, 1970 after many years in His service.
 

Three deacons were ordained in March 1971: David Gier. L. R. Martine and Cletus Koerner.
 

Mr. G. A. Simpson, one of the early members of the church served as deacon, Sunday School Superintendent, teacher and board member for many years. The Lord called Mr. George (as he was affectionately known) home on August 5, 1971. The auditorium was air conditioned in 1971.
 

The church membership in 1972 was 293. Total value of church property $39,000.00. Total gifts for all causes $26,036.00. Total for missions $8,376.00. The Lottie Moon Christmas offering for 1972 $1,244.29. Proposed budget for 1973 $20,800.00.
We look forward to meeting the needs of God's people both physically and spiritually until His return.
 

Following is a roll of the men of God who have served our church as pastor: William Clark 1854, Wm. Robertson 1855-56-1873, J. W. Renshaw 1860, Carrol Nevil 1861-1868, R. Harris 1869, B. B. Scott 1870 and 1879, T. Howell 1871, B. T. Berkley 1872-74 and 1878, David McCombs 1875, Henry Moser 1876-1877, Ed Lumkin 1880-1883, J. B. Box 1884-87 and 1891, R. L. Sims 1888-1890, George Moore 1892-1894, Ben Sims 1895-1896, David McCombs 1897-1899, W. A. Bruce 1900-1902, W. D. Scrivner 1903-1905, T. R. White 1906-1907, Clifford Cox 1910-1911, S. J. Neal 1912-1913, W. H. Alee 1914-1916, C. H. Stephens 1917-1920, S. M. Petty 1921-1924, T. M. McDonald 1925-1928, N. E. Williams 1929-1931, Elmo Purvis 1932-1933, H. W. Gadd 1934-1937, H. B. Nelson 1938, Gordon Carpenter 1939-1940, Chester Wear 1941, Denzil Albin 1942-1943, L: E. Johnson 1944-1952, Theodore Davis 1953-1954, Allen Emerson 1955, Roy C. Reichert 1956,1964, Howard K. English 1964-1966, Dean Catlett 1967, Jerry T. Walls 1968, the present pastor.
 

Those serving in the capacity of treasurer: H. W. Short 1912, Pratt Amos, Herman Birdsong, W. C. Hickman, Lucy Simpson Papen, Harry J. Medlen, Ralph Hees, Albert Stockwell, S. T. Patrick, C. B. Karr, Roy T. Kneisly and Earnest Dutcher. Those elected church clerk: H. R. Amos, O. W. Simpson, Dolly M. Parkes Jobe, Marie Miller, Jessie Atkinson, Ruth Vann, Roy T. Kneisly and Bertie Dutcher. Those who have served as Sunday School Superintendents: G. A. Simpson, Ralph Hees, Loren Scott, Marvin Phillips, Dorsey Shad, Kenneth Porter and Cletus Koerner.

 

 

From the August 20, 1935 California Democrat:

 

The following story is relative to disposing of the old building when it was decided to construct the new one:

The congregation met one Saturday afternoon for its last gathering in the old church, held the regular services, transacted such business as came before the body and then went outside and held an auction to dispose of the old structure.

 

John Smith, father of Bean Smith, was the highest bidder. He purchased the building for $50, tore it down and moved such materials as he could use to what is now [1935] the Cecil Hays farm near the Union Christian Church. Logs and other materials in the present barn on that place were originally in the old church house.

 

Ed Lumpkin was the first pastor of the church in the present building and William Robertson the second pastor. T. R. White who was in charge four years probably served longer as pastor than anyone since 1883.

 

The Rev. J. W. Hickman, father of W. C. Hickman, was ordained to preach at the High Point Baptist church and served as its pastor years ago. In more recent times the Rev. Norman E. Williams was ordained there and also served as pastor.

 

The oldest member of the church is Mrs. Mary Pennington. Others among the old members are Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Engelbrecht, Mrs. Mima Medlin, Mrs. Martha J. Dutcher, Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Hickman, Mr. and Mrs. Grant Medlin and Mrs. Elizabeth Reichel.

 

Officers of the church are the Rev. H. W. Gadd of Jefferson City, who is serving on his second year, pastor.

 

Ollie W. Simpson, clerk. Mr. Simpson has served in this capacity about twelve years.

 

W. C. Hickman, treasurer. Mr. Hickman has held this office about twelve years.

 

Deacons are G. A. Simpson, Levi Batty, and W. W. Walker.

 

Trustees are Grant Medlin, C. H. Hickman and H. W. Short.

 

The church is in a timbered spot. A huge oak tree a few feet from its door is as much of a landmark as the church itself. It was a big tree when the building was erected more than 50 years ago.

 

 


 

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