New Hope

Believe, Belong, Become...          One with Christ

Baptist Church

Church History from 1897- 1997

The Church On The Hill

One hundred years ago, Grover Cleveland was president, the civil war had been over for only 32 years and in Eastern Marion County some people met to start a new church.

They met at a place called Center School House about where Judge Bobby Aderholt’s house is now.

The date was October 31, 1897.

The Presbytery, organized by Brother A. A. Gay and I. Estell, declared that the church be known as the New Hope Baptist Church of Christ.

The charter members, according to the original constitution were Robert J. Bailey, Charles T. Bailey, Ellis S. Bailey, Samantha J. Bailey, Leaver Bailey, Emma P. Mize and J. W. Bean.

The earliest record of business other than the original charter of 1897 begins on May 21, 1904 with Brother W. W. Meherg being the moderator.

It is now known where the church met prior to 1912, but in a business meeting on August 17, 1912 the church accepted deeds for building ground from a Mr. Stults and Jim Pearce. The land was located at a place called Underwood Grave Yard.

The first building was located in the extreme northwestern portion of our present cemetery. The building was constructed out of logs and rough sawn planks. The church continued to meet at this location until about the mid- twenties.

It was at this location that in 1915 a great revival was held. Reverend Newt Taylor and Reverend Sam Love were the evangelists and the report was that 101 souls joined the church, most by baptism.

It was also at this time that the church belonged to the Shady Grove Association. The church voted and regularly sent delegates to the meetings.

In the mid-twenties, the old building was wearing out and falling in so a new building was built about where the long picnic tables are at now in the cemetery.

This building was said to be high enough in the back to drive a truck under and low enough in the front to not be able to put your toe. This building was also a wood structure and had a bell in it that is in our present steeple (which still works).

The bell was used to call people from their work when where was a death in the community. There were no backhoes back then, so a team of men would meet and dig the grave with pick and shovel.

This building was blown away in a tornado sometime in the early forties. There aren’t any records during this time, maybe being lost in this storm.

For a while, there was no church building. Exact dates of this storm and when construction began on the present building are not known.

Sometime after World War II, the building we have now was started. It was constructed out of blocks. Some of the left over blocks and planks were used for the first benches.

The church back then didn’t have a baptistry, so area ponds were used instead.

The church joined the Clear Creek Association on September 18, 1947.

The block building was eventually bricked and additional rooms added. Indoor bathrooms and a baptistry was also installed. This church house remained pretty much the same until the early nineties. One Saturday morning someone came to check on something and after opening the front door, they discovered that the ceiling had collapsed down on top of the pews.

After repairs had been made on the old church, it was decided that the church needed some desperate attention.

The church members decided to tear out the old insides and replace all the wooden structure. All that was left was the old block walls. New vaulted ceilings were built, a new floor and six classrooms were put over the fellowship hall.

It is very clear that the Lord has been with and blessed the people of New Hope.

Buildings have changed, as have names and faces, but it still remains the church on the hill.

          ~Excerpt from Centennial Day Celebration for New Hope Baptist Church

Church History from 1997- Present

The church was growing and being blessed but there was no place to expand. In 2002, Burel Stults donated one acre of land and sold the church five acres. There wasn’t enough parking at the church so plans were started to build a new fellowship hall on the new land and later build a new church. Construction on the fellowship hall begin near the end of 2002.

In August 2004, the air conditioner went out. With the new  fellowship hall almost finished, everything was moved in just one week so as not to miss a service.

Construction on the new church building began in the fall of 2009. By March 2011, construction was over and the first service was held on the last Sunday in March and a dedication service on April 3, 2011.

By the end of 2011, more parking space was needed. A lower level for parking was paved over and new stairs were added.

A playground was added with a fenced area and Noah’s Ark in  the summer of 2012. The pavilion was built the following year.

In the spring of 2015 the old church building and parking lot was finally demolished and planted over with grass. The rapidly growing bus ministry needed covered parking for our two buses. A new  parking shed was constructed in the summer of 2015 in the lower parking area.

~Information provided by Cleo McClung

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