Leachville FBC turning 100
Leachville First Baptist Church will celebrate their 100th Year Anniversary with a special service on Sunday, Nov. 8. Services will begin at 10:30 a.m.
Former pastor Dennis Dodson will be the guest preacher. Harvest Day lunch will be served immediately following the service,
Bro. Steve Bailey, the Director of Missions for the Mississippi County Baptist Association, will be giving a prayer of blessing and a representative of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention will be presenting a Certificate of Appreciation.
Leachville First Baptist Church of Leachville, Ark., was organized in October of 1915. The meeting place was the first school house ever erected in Leachville. Later, services were held upstairs in the building once known as the Rodman Clinic.
Reverend Gordon Harris, along with eleven others, organized the church. The charter members were: Mrs. N.J. Hipp, Mrs. Effie Byrd, Mrs. F.A. Creason, Mrs. Fannie Lacey, Mrs. Jim Lacey, Mrs. George Meadows, Mrs. Ben Montgomery, Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Bishoff, and Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Cockran.
The first church building, a white wood framed structure, was constructed in 1916 at 310 South Main Street. Elbert Steed was the builder. Various ministers supplied the pulpit until 1918 when Reverend Latimore was called as pastor. In 1924, Mr. Steed constructed a parsonage next to the church.
The church grew and prospered and in 1948 a new church building was constructed under the leadership of Reverend B.W. Pierce. The original wood frame building was moved to a vacant lot on the corner of 4th Street and Nelson Street. A new two-story, blonde brick building was erected at the same site as the original wood building. The new church building consisted of a sanctuary, a fellowship center, and second story classrooms.
In the 1950's the church continued to grow and a new Education Building was constructed in 1957 under the leadership of Reverend Harold Presley. The Education Building was built adjacent to the church building on the site of the original parsonage. The pastor's home was moved to the corner of 4th and Nelson.
Over the years First Baptist Church has provided housing for their pastors. In the 1960's a home purchased from Mr. and Mrs. John F. Bearden was used as a parsonage. In 1971 a parsonage was purchased on Winchester Road and in 2009 the current parsonage on West 10th Street was purchased.
In 1993, under the leadership of Pastor Jerry Kausler, First Baptist Church began a process of evaluation and prayer seeking the Lord's guidance concerning a new church facility. On Jan. 26, 1997, the church voted to build a new facility. The new church would be located on six acres of property south of downtown Leachville. The building would only be built when the church had raised 80% of the estimated cost. In March of 1997, a Building Committee was appointed. The Building Committee members were: Chairman - Ronald Selby, Charles Cobbs, Deanna Clifton, Ken Eaton, Lloyd Edgin, Snowden Hawkins, Missi Miller, Phyllis McFarland, and Nathan Sanders. Building plans were presented to the church on May 2, 1999. A "Building By Faith" program was started in the summer of 1999 to raise funds for the project and on Dec. 5, 1999, the church held a ground breaking ceremony. The church was built during the year 2000. The first worship service in the new facility was held on April 4, 2001. The building was dedicated to the Lord in a special worship service on May 20, 2001.
In 2015, Leachville First Baptist Church continues to carry out the commitment of the original founders in glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ, sharing the Good News of the Gospel, and serving the citizens of Leachville.