Mableton First Baptist History

Nettie Hembree, 1986

The history of Mableton Baptist Church properly begins with the constitution of Concord Baptist Church, the mother church of the Concord Baptist Association.

When Cobb County was cut out of the original Cherokee Territory in 1832, the m majority of Indians expelled, and the white settlers began to move into the new county from the earlier counties of Georgia (Wilkes, Clarke, Greene, Franklin, etc.), Concord Baptist Church was one of the first churches to be organized. It was an "arm" of the Nancy Creek Baptist Church, established about 1822 in DeKalb County, before white settlers were allowed west of the Chattahoochee River. Services were held at Concord in 1832 with the first recorded conference on October 13, 1832. The Church was constituted June 8, 1833.

The following is quoted from the record of Conference No. 560, Concord Baptist Church, held October 8, 1886:

"Item 4 - Read and received a petition from the Citizens of Mableton and the surrounding community requesting Concord Church to extend an arm to them in Mableton."

This was followed by other conference records leading up to the organization of the church in Mableton.

The new church proceeded with the business of organizing the work prior to its constitution, and made regular reports of its conferences back to Concord Church. The report of February 6, 1887 states that after preaching by W. J. Speairs, the Church elected James M. Glore clerk and A. B. Seay as its first Sunday School Superintendent. Later, on April 3, 1887, a committee was appointed to procure a building site for a Church house. Four members were appointed from the church, and three men representing the community.

On September 4, 1887 there was a called meeting from the Concord Association of ministers, deacons, and brethren from Concord, Mt. Harmony, and Mt. Pisgah churches to organize a church at Mableton. The delegation representing Concord was composed of Deacons J. L. Reed, Sr., W. B. Reed, J. T. Glore, J. M. Robertson, and brethren H. B. Reed, I. B. Seay, G. N. Daniell, F. F. Gann, and P. H. Gann.

The Presbytery gave a vote of approval and they were received as "Mableton Missionary Church of Christ at Mableton, GA." The charter members were:

A. B. Seay
(and wife)
Nancy C. Seay
J. M. Glore
(and wife)
Annie E. Glore
T. A. Glore
(and wife)
Martha E. Glore
J. A. Thomas
(and wife)
Frances L. Thomas
J. N. Starnes Mary F. Glore
G. W. Glore Susan Peek
C. N. Peek Mary Barber
J. I. Seay Sophronia Barber
H. B. Moss
K. H. Thomas
N.E. Seay
E.V. Seay

They first met in a brush arbor back of where the church now stands. They then met in a little school building on the corner of Moss and Church (Lowe) Streets (where the duplex of Mrs. M. D. Capps now stands), until they could make plans for subscriptions for building. The first building was a white frame two-story building, with two doors in front, and one on each side. There was a row of pews in the center, with a row on each side, made of 2 x 3 pine. Oil lamps were on the center posts and walls, with a coal heater in the front of the building. School was also held in the building for a number of years.

Brother W. J. Speairs drew the plans for the first church building. He was the first pastor, being elected October 1, 1887 (having served as moderator of the "arm" or mission) and serving to November 3, 1888. Mr. Frank Daniell, father of A. E. Daniell, gave part of the land on which the original church was built and on which the present buildings now stand.

April 25, 1889, J. H. Williams became pastor, serving until February 25, 1893. Robert Baber (or Baker) was called March 1893, but apparently did not accept. From June 1893 until September 1893, J. H. Standridge acted as moderator. Brother A. J. Coalson was elected by the Church September 1893 and served to December 21, 1895. Brother B. H. Phillips served January 1896 to August 26, 1899. Brother J. H. Williams served from January 18, 1902 to August 15, 1903, and Brother E. M. Hooten served from November 15, 1903 to September 22, 1906.

Sometime during this period, the church which at this time was also used as a school house until the school could be built, first gave the Odd Fellows Organization permission to have their meetings upstairs, then in later years the Junior Order also met there.

Brother Harry Meek served the church as pastor from May 1907 to November 1907; Brother S. T. Gilland from November 1907 to October 1912; Brother B. B. Smith from January 1913 to November 1916 until he resigned. Brother J. S. Bookhart served January 1917 to August 1918; C. N. Peek fro May 1919 to September 1920; Brother F. M. Lacy from November 1920 to September 1925; Brother John Darnell from October 1925 to June 1929. Rev. G. W. Southard served from 1929 to 1941 and at the same time preached at Mt. Harmony Church. He resigned effective February 1941, for full time service at Mt. Harmony.

For many years there was a Christmas tree each year, begun by T. J. Lowe, one of the early citizens of the town. The idea was reluctantly abandoned much later when attendance became too large to handle the crowd of children.

The church used to have an annual 4th of July picnic at Lithia Springs, or Powder Springs. The person usually in charge was Herbert Glore who was Sunday School Superintendent for a number of years. An annual all-day singing with dinner on the ground was also held for many years on the 4th Sunday in May.

On Wednesday April 16, 1931, twelve members of Mableton Church met and organized what was known as Mableton Church Club, with the object of building a new church. Several suggestions were made as to how the money would be raised. On April 25, 1931, the church received report from the newly organized club and the motion to build the church was approved.

In May, 1931, a committee was appointed consisting of T. K. Gresham, P. H. Gann, and J. M. Thomas to see the School Board about getting a deed to the property where the old school house had stood at the back of the church building. In November 1931 the church asked G. H. Dailey to have the fraternal orders using the building to meet with the deacons with regard to tearing down the old building. In December 1931 it was voted to build a new church on the same ground as the old one, using as much lumber from the old church as could be used, and to notify the secret orders of such move, giving them a reasonable time to find other quarters.

At the meeting on February 17, 1932 all the members of the Church Club were made members of the Finance Committee, of which T. K. Gresham was Chairman. Mrs. A. E. Daniell was appointed Assistant Chairman, and Miss Willie Glore was named Secretary and Treasurer. A committee was appointed on January 31, 1932 to build a new church, and the building began. It was done during the height of the depression, but by many donating their time and money, it was accomplished, and on December 29, 1936 the Church was dedicated. The Church extended thanks to the School Board for the use of the school auditorium while rebuilding the church.

The Rev. G. C. Light served the Church from February 1941 to October 1943. Rev. J. H. Knight from 1943 to 1950. During this time a Sunday School annex was built onto the Church building. N. B. Ayers headed building Committee. A pastorium was purchased on Floyd Road. Rev. T. H. Howell served the Church with the leaving of Brother Knight. During that time the old pastorium was sold and one was built on Clay Road. It was first occupied by Rev. Hugh Widick and family who joined us in August 1955. In September of 1957, grading was begun for a completely new auditorium and Sunday School space. Frank Widincamp, Sr. was chairman of the Building Committee. This was financed by a bond sale and the first floor only was constructed, being occupied as a temporary sanctuary in July 1958. It also contained restrooms and a new Intermediate Department. In addition to the construction of the first floor of the building, much progress was made in Sunday School and other areas of the Church during the ministry of Brother Widick, including purchase of property across Church Street for additional parking space. It is believed that the first organized choir was in 1944 when work was done on the choir loft and church approved the purchase of choir robes. In the late 1940's Gene Barber was elected Sunday School Superintendent and served for ten years, not every year consecutively. In a called Conference, September 28, 1952, Miss Martha Hendrix was elected as church secretary. (Believed to be the first church secretary.)

Upon the resignation of Brother Widick in September 1960, the church called Brother Randy Haman from Cartersville. Much progress was made under Brother Haman's ministry, additional space being made by converting the old auditorium into two departments, with two departments being made in the old Church basement, and the Boy Scout Hut moved to the Church grounds and converted into a two-story building for additional Sunday School space. The highest attendance in Sunday School was during Rev. Randy Haman's ministry with in excess of 700 attending on occasion.

When Brother Haman resigned in July 1962, the church called Rev. J. Truman Brown from the First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Georgia. He began his ministry on November 25, 1962. Our church began publishing a newsletter "First Baptist Witness" in 1963 and mailing it to homes of all members.

In September 1964, Rev. J. Truman Brown, Jr. met with the current Building Committee "to plan, finance and build" a sanctuary and additional education space. Much study and planning with the Sunday School Board in Nashville highlighted the strong base laid through the leadership of Rev. Brown. The Church called Rev. Tom Stevenson as Minister of Education and Youth and purchased a house for his occupancy. He began his work with the Church on March 1, 1963. He provided very capable assistance to Rev. Brown.

The church was showing solid and significant growth under their guidance and looking forward to building again to provide for the many people now in the Church and for prospects in the community. Total average attendance per Sunday in Sunday School being 501. The highest attendance in Training Union was during Rev. J. Brown's ministry, which was in excess of 200. Rev. Brown's ministry ended on April 11, 1965.

August 15, 1965, Rev. David B. York became pastor to lead in the final planning and completion of this building program. The Church voted in conference on Wednesday night, June 15, 1966 to secure a loan of $300,000 from the Atlanta Federal Bank for the purpose of constructing the interim sanctuary and educational space, or present sanctuary. Groundbreaking services were held June 19, 1966 after morning worship service.

Thirty thousand square feet of floor space was constructed at a cost of approximately $425,000 including furnishings. The sanctuary was built to seat 900 people. All the new educational space and sanctuary was engineered with centralized heat-air condition. Our previous sanctuary was converted into a new kitchen and fellowship hall, and Adult Sunday School Department. Mr. N. B. Ayers was Chairman of the Building Committee during this time.

As the Church looked to the future, we dedicated ourselves to winning the lost so that a still larger sanctuary may eventually be built where the oldest building (red brick) now stands.

On April 20, 1966, the church voted approval to be known or named Mableton First Baptist Church, Inc., and registered with the proper authorities as such.

The Church purchased the Field's home and property for additional space. On February 15, 1967 approval was made to purchase property and house on Center Street, which joined the Church property for future use. The house was rented until it was demolished and sold.

May 23, 1967 was set aside as Dedication Sunday for the new sanctuary.

On March 15, 1967, the church voted approval to begin a kindergarten for 5 year olds in September of that year, and called Mrs. Inez Smith Russell as the Kindergarten teacher. Nineteen children were already registered and space was made for 6 more. Mrs. Russell came well qualified. She graduated from Northeast Junior College of Louisiana State University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Mrs. Russell has held several positions in church work including Youth Director, Educational Director and Church Secretary. She was employed by the Fulton County Board of Education before accepting the position as Kindergarten Director-Teacher in June 1967. After a few years at our church she attended the University of Georgia for her Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education, driving to and from Athens during the summer months.

The Church voted to purchase a bus on January 17, 1968.

After 5 years of some very effective service, Tom Stevenson resigned as Minister of Education and Youth on May 5, 1968.

The Church had made some gigantic strides in the late 1950's and early 1960's. The membership remained constant, but the attendance and participation dropped some.

May 26, 1968, the church called Rev. J. Robert Craig as Associate Pastor and Minister of Youth. He remained until September 24, 1969 when he accepted a call to become Pastor of Valley Baptist Church in Conyngham, Pennsylvania.

For the 1969-70 Kindergarten term, the church voted approval for more teachers, Betty Trotter and Mrs. Beverly Gillis, along with a part time Kindergarten Secretary, Norma Spence. On September 24, 1969, the Church approved for Kindergarten employment Betty Willoughby, with Pat Townsend, Martha Jones and Shirley Griswell as substitutes.

On December 28, 1969, the church approved for sale the pastorium and educational director's house, and to provide housing allowances to both the pastor and educational director instead. It was brought out at the meeting that this was what most churches were doing at the time.

On January 21, 1970, the Church called Mr. J. W. (Bill) Winchester as Minister of Education and Youth, effective March 1. 1970. Mr. Winchester was serving as Minister of Music at Lithia Springs First Baptist Church. October of 1970 the church approved our licensing and ordaining Mr. Winchester to the Gospel Ministry.

May 3, 1970, tentatively, was the opening date set to re-activate the Church Library. Several persons had been elected in the past to do this, but it never succeeded. Library and Audiovisual Aids have been in the budget since 1966, so there were already Visuals and projectors and over 300 books. Pastor York and Bill Winchester fully supported the Library and gave encouragement to the newly elected library staff who were Mrs. Nettie Hembree, Mrs. Ruth Connor, Shirley Griswell, Gayle Hunter. With a prayer of dedication by Minister of Education, Bill Winchester, the Library was opened May 3, 1970 and has remained active ever since.

Today, Mableton First Baptist has the best Church Media-Library in the Concord Association under the leadership of Mrs. Nettie Hembree and 4 capable staff members, Ruth Connor, Dora Poole, Velma Crawford, a and Nancy Dunn. The Library now has 4300 books, 350 visuals, and 59 pieces of equipment. There is a ChildrenŐs Reading Room, Adult room, Work Room, Audiovisual room, and a Reading Room.

The average attendance in Sunday School at this time was 550, with the enrollment being 1182 and resident membership 1367. Non-resident membership was 120 making a total membership of 1487.

The Church approved Wednesday night supper at 6:00 p.m. for $1.00 for adults and 50˘ for children on August 19, 1970. Supper will be served if at least 70 persons have made reservations by noon of the preceding Monday.

September 15, 1971, the Church employed a Junior Choir Director at $25.00 a month. Until this time, all choirs were under the direct leadership of Mr. Arthur Durand.

Arthur was born in Norcross, Georgia. He graduated from Tech High School in Atlanta, and studied voice with Mr. John Hoffman of Atlanta. He has led Church music since 1946, and was Minister of Music at Western Heights Baptist and Whiteford Avenue Baptist Church in Atlanta before coming to Mableton in November of 1958.

Mr. Durand is now Director of Sanctuary Choir and Director over all Music in our Church, with a paid Director for each choir under his leadership; Cherub Choir - Gina Collins, Carol Choir - Cindy Marshall; Concord Choir - Ruth Floyd; Youth Choir - Vicky Skelton. Before Mr. Durand was called to Mableton, the choirs were led by Martha Reeves Settle (Mrs. B. C.), Jean Widincamp, Elsie Daniell, and Janie Ayres. In 1946, Director of Church Music Department was Mrs. Shearer and Church Chorister was Mr. L. C. Stewart and Mr. Ray Griggs. None of these were paid directors.

The Church Organist is Mrs. Sara Payne. Mrs. Payne is the former Sara Glore and is a native of Mableton, having been a member of our church all her life. Her father, R. P. Glore, was a deacon in our church for many years. She attended elementary and high school in Mableton and also Southern Business University. She received her piano and organ training from local teachers and while in her teens began to play the piano for our church. She continued to do so until the church purchased an organ, which she has played until this date.

The Church Pianist is Mrs. Evelyn Holton. She is a native of Atlanta, and graduated from GirlŐs High School. After finishing high school, she took a secretarial course at Georgia State College in Atlanta. She also studied voice and piano over a period of years from several well-known teachers in Atlanta. Evelyn and James and their two boys, Joey and Bobby, joined our church in 1959. Soon afterward, the church as pianist elected her.

By September 1970, the Kindergarten enrollment increased substantially enough to employ a teacher to substitute for Mrs. Russell's class while she trained the regular 4-year Kindergarten teacher for the 1970-71 year. August 1971, Rev. Winchester, Minister of Education and Youth, resigned to go to Fellowship Baptist Church in Smyrna as Education Director.

The average Sunday School attendance during 1971 remained around 500 and above. Rev. David York resigned effective March 12, 1972. The Church called Rev. Bob Hite as Interim Pastor.

June 11, 1972, the Church called Jerry Daniel as the Associate Youth Director for the remainder of the summer. He worked with ages 12 through Single Adults. He coordinated all activities through the ageŐs group leaders. He attended Baptist College for 1 year and was a junior at he University of Georgia and returned for the fall semester. He had been a youth leader in several Baptist Churches and had begun full time Christian service in Education and Music and had just completed a training session in Youth Work at Georgia Baptist Assembly at Toccoa.

On July 2, 1972, the pulpit committee recommended a call to Rev. Fred Lackey of Westside Baptist Church in Jasper, Alabama. He preached an Introductory Sermon and the Church's vote was unanimous. On July 12, 1972 Deacon Chairman Freeman Poole announced the Rev. Fred Lackey declined the call as pastor.

On August 13, 1972, after the Introductory Sermon, the Church called the Rev. Charles W. Brown. The vote was unanimous.

On September 13, 1972, the church approved the purchase of a three-bedroom house being built at 281 Nickajack Road for a pastorium. At this time, October 1972, the average Sunday School attendance was 640. The average weekly offering was $2,179.07.

At the end of five years of operation, the 1972-73 Kindergarten enrollment increased from 25 the first year to 150 children enrolled in the 4 and 5-year classes. The staff was: 5 Year - Betty Willoughby, Beverly Shoun, Pat Townsend; 4 Year - Jeanette Pike, Gail Noland. The secretary was Gayle Hunter.

In June 1974, our Kindergarten was recognized as outstanding, and was being used by Georgia State University for the student teachers.

In the fall of 1974, the Kindergarten enrollment was 198 and a 3-Year-old Kindergarten was begun 3 days per week. An advanced 5 Year class was also started at this time.

The Kindergarten staff for August 1975 was Mrs. Russell - Director, Gayle Hunter - Secretary, Teachers - Betty Willoughby, Pat Townsend, Beverly Shoun, Gail Noland, Jackie Cooper, Irene Glore, Shirley Griswell, and Laura Smith.

During 1973, the church carpeted the upstairs hallways running from the top of the stairs at the nursery going all the way back to and including the registration room of the Sunday School area.

The fall of 1973 found the church approving the beginning of the Deaf Ministry under the direction of Mr. Wesley Floyd, interpreter. At the same time, a Sunday School Class was created with Miss Lisa Stratton as the first student to initiate the program. (Lisa was a non-hearing teenager, daughter of Betty and Sherman Stratton.)

The Sunday School average attendance for October 1973 was 461. The average weekly offering was $2,438.11. The total receipts on the October Conference report were $12,004.32. The total Kindergarten enrollment was 225.

The upper parking lot was paved in November 1973. The rear of this new parking lot was set aside for a recreation area. In December of 1973, the recreation area was fenced and made into a tennis court. At this time, the basement of the oldest building was carpeted for Sunday School rooms.

March 24, 1974, the church approved sponsoring a mission in the Douglasville area. The name was approved as Arbor Heights Mission and is specifically located on Reynolds Road. On June 16, 1974, the Rev. Tommy Bledsoe was called as its first pastor.

April 3, 1974, Mableton First Baptist Church called Miss Marcia C. Fountain of Dublin, Georgia as our Minister of Youth effective May 1, 1974. She held an AB Degree in Music and Master's Degree in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

A new Church Bus was purchased that same year, along with 18 white baptismal robes. Semi-sheer drapes were ordered for the vestibule windows.

1974 also saw the first special worship service for the 4 and 5 year olds in the Kindergarten area of the building at the same time as the regular 11:00 Worship Service. Mrs. Brenda Nave and Mrs. Russell co-coordinated the service with a rotating staff.

The Church approved the recommendation for a Church Constitution and By-Laws Committee to write a Constitution and By-Laws for the Church.

The October 1974 average attendance in Sunday School was 484; average weekly offering $2,461.00, and the total receipts for October was $12,835.89.

The Church approved the purchase of the house and lot adjoining the tennis court and facing Avery Street.

On May 21, 1975, the church received $4,800 from the Lowe Estate. In appreciation, the church placed a set of World Book Encyclopedias in the Church Library in memory of the L. C. Lowe family.

Arbor Heights Mission Church held its Constituting Service with our pastor, Rev. Charles W. Brown officiating at 3:00 pm on July 20, 1975.

November 12, 1975, we purchased 500 new Baptist Hymnals. The average attendance at this time was 409 in Sunday School. Average weekly offering was $2,324.00 and the total receipts of that month were $13,818.12.

Miss Marcia Fountain resigned effective March 31, 1976 to return to Southwestern Theological Seminary to obtain a Master's Degree in Church Music.

That same month, Steve Echols was called as part-time Youth Director effective May 1, 1976. Steve attended Mercer University in Atlanta and planned to go to Seminary after graduation. He served as youth director at Community Baptist in Smyrna and at Bethlehem Church in Newnan, Georgia. Steve served 18 months and resigned in August of 1977 to attend the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

February 6, 1977 Tony Melton reported that Rev. John Jennery asked the Church not to vote for him to fill the position of Minister of Education. It was reported that in the past year the personnel committee had contacted 17 persons and interviewed 6 for this position.

Rev. Charles W. Brown's ministry was terminated on June 22, 1977 after a lengthy controversy.

Dr. O. M. Siegler was called as interim pastor on July 10, 1977. On August 24, 1977, a call was extended to Rev. Julian Leroy as part time interim Minister of Education effective September 1, 1977. Dr. Siegler said as he viewed the past few months, "he found lean and fruitful results - both. The bright spots were not as fruitful as they should have been, however, the dark spots were not as bad as they could have been."

In October 1977, the average weekly attendance in Sunday School was 322 with an average weekly offering of $2,460.00. Total receipts for that month were $19,201.11.

On September 11, 1977, the Scout Hut was renovated into an Activities building. Games, record players, recording, and piano were placed in it.

Dr. Siegler resigned on November 16, 1977 as interim pastor due to his wife's illness.

The Church started a Sunday School Class for Exceptional Pupils for children and youth on November 16, 1977 under the capable leadership of Mrs. Elaine Ridgway.

Dr. D. J. Evans was called as interim pastor effective November 21, 1977.

On March 3, 1978, Rev. Julian Leroy resigned to become the Associational Missionary for Concord Baptist Association.

The past few months had been significant days in the life of Mableton First Baptist Church. How good it looked to see things moving forward in practically every respect. It was evident that the members were responding to the challenges, which rose up before us, and we accepted the challenges and pulled together to meet them for the sake of our Lord. Leadership and people showed love and friendship as never before and pulled together in unity so as to keep a well-balanced program for the entire Church life.

Beginning with the fiscal year 1978, Kindergarten and Church Budgets were combined - the total budget being $217,212.00. The weekly requirements were $3,567.27.

On April 23, 1978, the pulpit committee recommended the call of Rev. Robert M. Skelton as pastor. He was pasturing the Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia. Rev. Skelton declined the call from our church on Sunday, May 14, 1978.

On May 17, 1978, a Puppet Ministry was begun with the Church approval. It has proved to be a real asset to our Church Ministry with many of our youth in it.

On June 25, 1978, after earnestly seeking God's will for himself, the Rev. Skelton informed the Pulpit Committee that he would like to accept the call if it was still open. Out of 230 votes cast, 98.3% voted yes, and he became our pastor on August 1. 1978.

Bob Skelton was born on September 8, 1940 in Gainesville, Georgia, and attended high school there. He received his A.A. Degree from Truett McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia in 1960 and his B. S. Degree from Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee in 1963. Bob did his Graduate Study in Education at the University of Georgia in Athens from 1964-67, and his Master of Divinity Studies at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Bob served in various positions in different churches in Georgia and Kentucky. He served as Pastor, part-time pastor, and Summer Youth Director before accepting the pastorate at the Garden Lakes Baptist Church in Rome, Georgia.

Bob has also served as a classroom teacher and Coach at the Commerce High School in Georgia, and Gainesville High School. He served as Admissions Counselor at Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee from 1969-70, and Director of Admissions at Shorter College in Rome, Georgia from 1970-71.

For the first six months of his ministry here at Mableton First, the attendance grew from 306 to 348 in Sunday School, and by May of 1979, 42 people joined the first family by baptism and 31 by letter.

Mrs. Skelton is the former Alice Victoria (Vicky) Wood. They have four children - Robert, Jr., Bret, Wendy and Matthew. They reside at 6031 Magnolia Drive, Austell, Georgia.

October 1978, the Sunday School average attendance was 351 with the average weekly offering being $3,477.72. The total receipts at that time were $23,016.40.

The church approved the sale of the pastorium on Nickajack Road in December of 1978.

In January 1979, the Long Range Planning Committee was elected to survey and project the present and anticipated future needs of the Church as it reaches its goal of ministering to the needs of the church and community.

February 21, 1979 saw the church approving the sponsorship of a Literacy Workshop. Out of this workshop emerged an International Sunday School Class. Several classes of International English school were begun on Wednesday morning, headed by Vicky Skelton.

March 21, 1979, a new Sunday School Class began for Couples, and has expanded its membership. Rod and Brenda Nave were elected teachers of this class.

Rev. Steve Coyle was called as Associate Pastor/Education/Youth on March 25, 1979.

On May 6, 1979, the church approved the adoption of a D.A.D. Plan (Dime a Day or Debt Acceleration Depletion). This is a plan whereby the church indebtedness will be paid off in October 1980 or January 1981 if 300 people participated.

The Center Street property was paid in full with funds from the D.A.D. funds in August 1979.

The ministry to the Veteran's Hospital began in the late 1960's when Mrs. Jean Drawdy was doing volunteer work there with Mrs. Lorene Moldaven, a gold star mother. Mrs. Drawdy, being W.M.U. president at that time, evoked it into a mission project that gradually involved the choir or individuals to sing. Today, it is a monthly ministry with a group baking cakes and another group to take them to serve patients and visitors after they present an evangelistic program. Many are accepting Christ as their Savior through this ministry.

The average Sunday School attendance for October 1979 was 365, and the total receipts were $26,295.26.

The Media/Library started a media Newsletter in January 1980 to keep Church leaders and members informed of resources, aids, etc., that are available to them. The Media/Library began taping the worship services when Rev. Bob Skelton became pastor.

Also in January 1980, the Church had a Church Renewal Crusade with Aubert Rose.

Rev. Skelton, Rev. Steve Coyle, and Mrs. Russell began an in-depth study of personal soul-winning called Evangelism Explosion in the summer of 1980. Purpose: to teach this unique way of witnessing and soul winning to our own members.

In July of 1980, "The Youth Mission Tour" went to Vermont where they conducted Backyard Bible Classes, Vacation Bible Schools, made surveys, and witnessed. Rev. Steve Coyle led it.

When the Public School System stared Kindergarten in September of 1980, it caused the enrollment of our own kindergarten to decline. That year we had a 3-year class, 4-year class and 5-year class with a total enrollment of 86.

The receipts for September 1980 were $20,927.87, and the weekly Sunday School attendance average was 344.

January 25, 1981 was the day we burned the note on all indebtedness on our church building. 491 members attended this historic day. Burning the note on these facilities is certainly a victory for our Lord and our Church.

Church approved for the summer of 1981 a "Youth on Mission Tour" to Sandusky, Michigan to conduct surveys, have Backyard Bible Clubs, Vacation Bible School, witness at the Fair, etc.

Storm windows were installed on all windows in January of 1981 at a cost of $7,089.00. Trim and gutter repairs were made, plus painting and fencing to improve the older building's appearance.

April 29, 1981 the church purchased new fire extinguishers and recharged the others. A new central air conditioning system was purchased for the Fellowship Hall and Educational Building above the Sanctuary. The Long Range Planning Committee recommended removal of the Scout Hut to make room for future expansion. This was done. Repair to doors and downspouts on the Education Building were also done.

Six more puppets were purchased and added to our growing Puppet Ministry in July of 1981.

Two more couples classes were organized in Sunday School - Young Married (Co-Ed) couples class led by Mr. and Mrs. James Cass, and Fellowship Couples Median (Co-Ed) Class led by Mr. and Mrs. Chan Garrett in July 1981.

The Church rented a booth at the North Georgia State Fair in August to conduct a ministry similar to the one the youth conducted in Michigan, with singing, witnessing, puppet programs, etc. It was a great success.

The average Sunday School attendance for October 1981 was 338 and the total receipts were $21,605.86.

February 1982, the church continued to make repairs, paint, and make other improvements on the buildings such as carpeting the stairs to the Choir room, new carpet on nursery floors, painting the Sanctuary, etc.

In 1987, Mableton First Baptist Church will be celebrating its 100th Birthday.

Mableton First Baptist, by the grace of God, has grown from 20 charter members in 1887 to 1450 members in April 1982.

The years ahead challenge us to continue to build on the sound foundation of our forefathers. Many have made Mableton First Baptist their church home. These have united with the descendants of charter members to build a great church for God's glory. Let us continue to build for a closer, united, caring fellowship that glorifies God to the uttermost.

The first pastor was called in October 1887. The pastor's names and years of service are as follows:

W. J. Speairs 1887-1888 F. M. Lacy 1920-1925
J. H. Williams 1889-1893 John Darnell 1925-1929
J. H. Standridge June 1893-Sep 1893 G. W. Southard 1929-1941
A.J. Coalson 1893-1895 G.C. Light 1941-1943
B. H. Phillips 1896-1899 J. H. Knight 1943-1950
J. H. Williams 1902-1903 T. H. Howell 1950-1955
E. M. Hooten 1903-1906 Hugh Widick 1955-1960
Harry Meek May 1907-Nov 1907 Randy Haman 1960-1962
S. T. Gilland 1907-1912 J. Truman Brown,Jr. 1962-1965
B.B. Smith Jan 1913-Sep 1913 David York 1965-1972
S. T. Gilland 1913-1916 Charles W. Brown 1972-1977
J. S. Bookhart 1917-1918 Robert M. Skelton 1978-
C. N. Peek 1919-1920 ....

Mableton First Baptist Church History

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