Submitted by Nelle Price Epps
History of the Springfield Baptist Church
The Springfield Baptist Church has stood for years as a sentinel pointing men and women, boys and girls to the ways of the Lord. In the midst of world turmoil, the face of war and strife and at a time when world ideals are crumbling, the members of Springfield have continued to hold high the banner of Christ. As children of God, we stand on the words of Christ who said, “Upon this rock, I build my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” This promise brought together a handful of young people willing to build an earthly tabernacle dedicated to bringing the lost to Christ. Deacon Sam Favors and Pat Watkins signed original deeds. This year’s history will focus on known church officers.
This effort has continued for 123 years with 15 pastors leading the way. Pastors of the Springfield Baptist Church have included:
- Rev. Clemont Sims
- Rev. Jeff Nunnally
- Rev. Charles Walker
- Rev. Joseph Barnett
- Rev. T. H. Street=co-pastors
- Rev. John Gordon=co-pastors
- Rev. John Gordon
- Rev. A. T. Woods
- Rev. John Henry Stephens
- Rev. F. C. Williams
- Rev. W. H. Caldwell
- Rev. N. Mathis
- Rev. Clarence Bishop
- Rev. Troy Waymon
- Rev. Jerry L. Alexander
Each pastor brought something special to the people of God Assembled in this place. Under the leadership of Rev. N Mathis this building was constructed and he led the march from the old church to the new one on March 31, 1963. The Mother’s Board and the Junior Usher Board were established under his leadership. Rev. Mathis died here in this church while bringing the word of God on October 24, 1965. Rev. Mathis was widely known as a devout Christian preacher whose legacy was passed on through his grandson-Rev. Clarence Bishop.
On December 15, 1972, Rev. Troy Waymon became the 14th pastor of Springfield Baptist Church; it was under his leadership that this edifice was remodeled with the Sunday School wing being completed in 1975. Other changes included the establishment of the Step by Step Choir which was combined and later renamed the T. W. Youth Choir. The Deaconess Board was organized and the Youth Department was formally structured along with the Christian Education Department-which later was restructured under the Family and Youth Ministries. At this time, the church began community workshops and the annual church retreat. We were blessed with the friendly and humble spirit of the man of God for 26 years. He stepped from time into eternity on December 19, 1998.
The millennium brought to us our 15th pastor, Rev. Jerry L. Alexander. He has stepped into his rightful place as a leader of God’s children with a desire to reach the young people and incite within a desire to know and serve the Lord. With the support of our pastor and other community leaders, the Technology Center was and is opened to members and other community people.
Other members of our church family who have answered the call of God to go into all the world teaching and preaching the Word of God include Reverends E. D. Thomas, John Pace, Robert Callaway, Hubert Dotson, Terry Huff, Charles Mack, and Gillespie Burton.
Deacons of the Church were and are in alphabetical order:
Deacon Ed Armour**, Deacon Hampton Arnold, Deacon Will Barnes**, Deacon Delana Brown, Deacon Willie Brydie**, Deacon Gillespie Burton, Deacon Bob Callahan**, Deacon Time Cook**, Deacon James Daniel**, Deacon Leroy Dunn, Jr., Deacon Sam Favors**, Deacon Tom Favors**, Deacon Matthew Furr**, Deacon Charlie Grimes**, Deacon Jerry Harper**, Deacon Otis Haynes**, Deacon Michael Hemphill, Deacon Herscherl Henderson, Deacon Grady Hill**, Deacon Ellis Howard**, Deacon Terry Huff, Deacon Leonard Hughes, Deacon David Johnson, Deacon Will Henry Johnson**, Deacon Reese Johnson**, Deacon J. D. McCurry**, Deacon Charles Mack, Deacon John Pace, Deacon Thomas Poyner**, Deacon Will Porter**, Deacon Clemont Ray**, Deacon Grant Ray**, Deacon Mell Reid**, Deacon Duncan Rhodes**, Deacon Karl Rittenberry, Deacon E. Ross**, Deacon James Scott, Deacon George Simms**, Deacon Waymon Stanton**, Deacon Claude Stovall**, Deacon Harold Taylor, Deacon Robert Teasley**, Deacon Marion Terrell, Deacon Tennie Thomas**, Deacon Neal Upshaw**, Deacon Bennie Walton**, Deacon Pat Watkins**, Deacon John White, Deacon Willis (moved), Deacon John Winfrey**
Known Mothers of the Church:
Eula Bell**, Georgia Callahan**, Beulah Davenport (present), Nancy Favors**, Tommie Grimes**, Harriet Johnson**, Mamie Johnson**, Annie Ruth Pace**, Liza Watkins**.
Known Sunday School Superintendents:
Willie Brydie, Homer Dean, Joseph Henry Evans, Charles Mack, Leroy Smith Waymon Stanton, Marion Terrell (present).
Asst. Superintendent: Gillespie Burton
Church Secretaries and Clerks are:
Sis. Gladys Brydie**, Sis. Janie Terrell Bullock, Sis. Sarah Jane Burton**, Sis. Beulah Beulah Davenport, Sis. Yvonne Davenport, Sis. Nora Lee Bell Ellis**, Sis. Dollie Johnson Favors, Sis. Lillie Fears**, Sis. Rosa Gresham**, Sis. Shirley Johnson, Sis. Lola Patrick**, Sis. Clarke Raines**, Sis. Minnie Reese**, Sis. Josie RoebuckTillman.
Sis. Elizabeth Brown, Sis. Sarah Jane Burton, Sis. Beulah Davenport, Sis. Annie Mildred Lyle, Sis. Loretta Scott
In the early years of church history, the youth worked through the Junior Mission program under the leadership of Sis. Minnie Laura Wymbs-the Junior Mission Director, the Sunday School Baptist Training Union and the Junior Usher Board advised by Sis. Daisy Mack. The Youth Department was re-acvtivated with Sis. Carolyn Davenport serving as Youth Director followed by Sis. Yvonne Davenport and now being directed by Sis. Phyllis Sheats with the Youth Support Group headed by Sis. Marvinette Callahan
The following members have gone to rest in the arms of the Lord from March 2001/March 2002:
Sis. Joyce Ballard, Leonard Barryman, Sis., Lola Cox, Sis. Thelma Terrell Crawford, Jessie Dammond, Sis. Geneva Dotson, Sis. Delores Bullock Hopson, Sis. Grace Getter Howell, Earl Von Maxey, Sis. Sandra Maxey, Thomas Poyner, Isnay Sims, Sis. Patricia Ann Sims, Sis. Mary Wise, Stacy Wooten.
Our church history is not by any means complete and this year’s focus has been on present and previous officers of the Springfield Baptist Church, but special thanks go out to Sis. Evelyn Wright, Sis. Doris Poyner and Sis. Janie Bullock
May this church stand in years to come as it has stood for 123 years serving as a Living Testimony or our Savior who died that we might live.