Minutes of the Organizational Meeting
In the spring of 1871 and during the summer following several Baptist families from the Little Bethel Association of Kentucky settled in Labette Co. Kansas about midway between Chetopa and Coffeyville. They were near the Neutral Strip in Oklahoma Territory.
Deprived of church privileges after leaving Kentucky, they began to think of returning to Kentucky or going elsewhere in order to enjoy gospel privileges.
They were visited by Elder F.L. Walker of Oswego, Kansas and after a few meetings it was resolved to consider organizing a church.
They met on February 2,1872, at the home of P.Z. Goodwin. After devotions, Elder Walker was chosen moderator of the meeting and G.H. Goodwin, clerk. A motion was made and carried to organize a church, which was named Mt. Zion Baptist Church. The letters of six brethren and their wives, namely, Peter and Phoebe Goodwin, Lewis and Susan Goodwin, Junius and Carolyn Goodwin, George and Lucy Goodwin, J.H. and Alice Reasor, and William and Millicent Reasor were received.
Brother G.H. Goodwin and Junius Goodwin, who were deacons in Kentucky, were elected deacons of the new church and J.H. Reasor was elected clerk. Each Saturday before the third Sunday in the month was set apart for business meetings. One of the Rules of Decorum read: "It shall be the duty of each member to fill his seat at church meeting days."
In May 1872, Elder Davis was chosen pastor. He resigned in 1873, and Elder Oldam of Coffeyville, KS was called. On August 20, 1873, George Goodwin was ordained to the ministry.
In 1875 Pastor Oldam resigned and Brother George Goodwin was chosen as pastor. On January 19, 1883 at a meeting in the home of J.H. Reasor it was decided that George Goodwin was to be sent to Kentucky to solicit aid in the erection of a church building. The church had been meeting in the Leib Schoolhouse west of Edna and other locations.
The original church was built in the fall of 1883 at Kingston, a small settlement one and one-half miles south of Edna. It was dedicated June 14, 1884 and the name was changed to Kingston Baptist Church.
Brother Floyd was called as pastor in 1886 and in 1887 the church building was moved from Kingston to Edna by the use of oxen and large wooden planks.
Brother Tom Cooper was ordained in 1890 and the Ladies Aid Society brought an organ that year. Brother George Goodwin again served as pastor in 1890. Brother Baxley was called at a salary of $35.00 per month for part time in 1903.
The name of the church was changed to Edna Baptist Church on September 5, 1905.
Both spiritually and materially the church received many blessings since being first organized, and the attendance continued to grow.
On a Sunday in the spring of 1931 a special memorial service in memory of the departed heroes was held with Pastor J. Will Wade delivering the message with special instrumental music by the Sunday School Orchestra. There was only one representative of the Grand Army of the Republic, Mr. Chris Stine, who marched up the church isle followed by sixteen veterans of World War I.
In 1943 during Reverend H.G. Cooper's ministry, a new balcony was built to make more class rooms and all the building was ceiled with celotex.
In the years previous to 1945, the church had been a member of either the Northern or Southern Baptist conventions, but during the ministry of Pastor D.M. Fruits it withdrew from the Northern Baptist Convention and became affiliated with the General Association of Regular Baptists.
Reverend V.F. Cloninger, who presented a radio program from KGGF every Saturday morning, became pastor in 1948. During his ministry the attendance continued to increase and needed space was added to the south side of the original building by attaching three class rooms, one of which added seating capacity to the auditorium. This addition and a grand piano were dedicated for the Lord's use in a special service on Sunday, November 28, 1948 with the message by Reverend H.J. Lacy, pastor of the Oswego Baptist Church.
In 1950 the old Leib School house was acquired to be used for the children's department until an educational building could be built.
In 1958 the church voted to change its name officially to First Baptist Church.
In November of 1960 with Rev. J.C. Ford as Pastor, a number of men gathered to break ground for a new 40 x 80 foot educational building just west of the original building. Much of the labor and some materials were donated by the church folks. Fred and Robert Cooper were the regular carpenters, assisted by several other men of the church. Will and Ted Storm did much of the painting and finishing work with some of the women helping. This building was dedicated March 19, 1961 with guest speaker, Reverend Ralph Davidson, delivering the message.
Both the church, which was being razed, and the educational building were destroyed by fire on April 21, 1971. Church meetings were then held in the Edna Community Building, the Edna School and the church parsonage during the time the new church building was being built. Fred and Bob Cooper were head carpenters. They were assisted by other men of the church and Pastor Monroe Landers.
It was with great pleasure and humble hearts, filled with much praise and thanksgiving, that the church and Pastor Landers extended a special invitation for all to attend the dedication service and open house on Sunday, June 17, 1973 at 2 p.m.
God was truly good throughout the period of construction. Many gave of their time and money, while others labored for the Lord with patience, but all working together to have a debt-free building to be used for God's honor and glory that the Word might go forth, seeking the lost, until the Lord's return.
The dedication message was preached by Pastor Landers, who resigned his pastoral duties in June in order for him and his wife to resume their missionary work in Mexico.
Pastor Don Williams accepted a call to pastor the church and assumed his duties in September, 1973.
In 1975 the church purchased additional parking space, and a new Hammond Organ. Considerable work was also done on the parsonage at that time.
The church continues to grow both spiritually and materially with lost souls being saved, believers being baptized, numerous missionaries being supported.
Pastor Don Williams has now been with us for 23 1/2 years. We continue to be thankful for the preaching of God's Word in this church and strive to be a blessing to the community in reaching souls for Christ.
Submitted by Julie Jack (email@example.com)
Minutes of the organizational meeting of the church. Transcribed as it appeared
in original documents...punctuation, spelling, etc. by Julie
In the Spring of 1871, and during the Summer following several Baptist families from the Little Bethel Association of Kentucky settled in Labette County Kansas about midway between Chetopa and Parker near the Cherokee Neutral Strip.
Deprived of Church privileges after leaving Ky some began to think of returning or going elsewhere where they could enjoy gospel privileges. Before those thoughts had grown to action the necessity was obviated by the visit of Eld. F.L. Walker of Oswego.
After a few meetings it was resolved to hold a meeting on Friday Feb. 2nd 1872 at Bro. P.Z. Goodwin to consider the propriety of organizing a church. After devotional exercises Bro. F.L. Walker was chosen Moderator of the meeting and G.H. Goodwin clerk
There seemed to be an earnest desire to affect an organization, a motion to that effect was made and carried. The Letters of Six brethren and their wives, P.Z. Goodwin, Phoeba Goodwin, Lewis Goodwin, Susan Goodwin, Junius Goodwin, Caroline Goodwin J.H. Reasor, Allice E. Reasor, William Reasor Melicent Reasor, G.H. Goodwin, Lucy A. Goodwin were handed in and read.
A motion was made and seconded to have the Constitution Abstract of Principles and Bylaws adopted by the Bethany Church of the Little Bethel Association of Kentucky and the Articles of Faith and Church Covenant found in the Baptist Church Directory By E.T. (Hiscox?) D.D. of New York both read carried.
Motion made and seconded to adopt the Constitution First read carried, the Constitution found on next page. Moved and sec to adopt the Abstract of Principles first read with the insertion of the words belonging to the Church immediately after the word ordinances in article IX carried page 141 moved and sec to adopt the covenant found in the Baptist Church Directory carried Page 144 Bylaws page 143
Several names being presented the following found by vote to be the choice Mount Zion of Labette Co. Kans. moved an sec to proceed by ballot to elect Deacons which resulted in the choice of Bro. G.H. Goodwin and Bro. Junius Goodwin both having served as Deacons in Ky, Bro. J.H. Reasor was elected clerk. Moved and Sec to have a committee appointed to secure a pastor carried choice resulting in the selection of Brethren Deacons & Bro. Wm Reasor.
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