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Milam County, Texas



First Baptist Church - Minerva
a/k/a Minerva Baptist Church

7 Dec 1945 1 Dec 1955

Submitted by Helen Ruth Richards Mortimer
7 February 1984

Believing that greater opportunities for service to the Lord and better possibilities for faster church growth would be gained by the move, the master was brought before Mt. Zion Baptist Church about moving the congregation to Minerva for the natural gas and electricity advantages at the business conference on October 28, 1945. However, the vote to make the move was not unanimous.

The motion, as amended, by D. C. Richards, and seconded, as amended, by A. H. Halberdier, to present the present building (including all equipment except personal possessions) to those members wishing to stay in Mt. Zion Community with the building fund to go to the group of members wishing to move to Minerva. Pastor Ray Riley chose to go with the group wishing to make the move to Minerva.

Deacons were Mr. Halberdier, W. T. Rudder and C. F. Dixon. The sixty-member congregation was formally constituted as a church on December 30, 1945, in the Minerva Schoolhouse. Rev. Bruce McIver was in charge of the service.

Trustee A. P. Brannon, Ira Finch and Andrew J. Jenkins negotiated the purchase of the entire twenty-seven and nine-tenths acres available from Charles S. Terry located between Eddie Edwards place and Miss Mattie Edwards place across from the schoolhouse. Deed to the property was dated January 26, 1946, and recorded February 13, 1946.

A twenty-four by fifty foot warehouse building was purchased from W. H. Fletcher and moved onto the lot chose for the church about three hundred feet off the gravel road, facing east so that it could serve as an Educational Building wing when the new sanctuary was constructed. Much volunteer help from the community-at-large was extended to the new church and its members. First Baptist Church, Hearne, donate some pews. Folding chairs were purchased to fill the rest of the sanctuary area until more permanent arrangements could be made. The first Sunday worship services were held on February 17, 1946. The choir was on a raised platform about eight inches high as was the rostrum where the pastor stood to preach with the piano to the left side and a door at the rear leading to the Sunday School rooms beyond.

Weekly bulletins recount the additions to the membership by baptism and letter, the youth activities and missions organizations meetings, revivals each summer, prayer meetings every Wednesday night, choir practice Saturday nights, wiener roasts, hayrides, moonlight horseback rides, etc. reveal the exuberant enthusiasm toward the future felt by the congregation and in 1948 Vacation Bible School enrolled 51 and the Revival was attended by 102.

Other pastors of the church include Rev. Shirl D. Davidson, Rev. John Henry Cash, Rev. J. B. Perkins and Rev. Robert (Bob) Deaton.

Church Clerks were Miss Helen Ruth Richards, Miss Louise Shelander, Mrs. J. B. Sapp, Rex Bartlett and Mrs. Gib Terry.

Sunday School Superintendents included Rex Bartlett, Mrs. Ralph Hubert and D. C. Richards.

Training Union Directors included Mrs. H. C. Fleming, Johnnie Elsenberg, Miss Louise Shelander, C. F. Dixon and A. H. Halberdier.

Church Treasurers were C. F. Dixon, Mrs. D. C. Richards and Jerry C. Richards.

WMS Presidents included Mrs. Bryan McDonald, Mrs. Claude F. Dixon, Mrs. Gib Terry and Mrs. A. P. Brannon.

The church voted to disband and dispose of the buildings and land on December 1, 1955 and this was handled through First Baptist Church, Rockdale on December 9, 1955 and recorded December 15, 1955.


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