Tazewell Baptist Church
Pastor: Mitch Burke
Soul Winning Class every Wednesday nights at 6:00 in the Fellowship Hall. Everyone is Welcome!________________
Youth Sunday Every 5th Sunday _____________
Come take a trip with the Happy Travelers _____________
KidzPraise Choir Ages 3+ __________
Giving everybody the opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel
On February 15, 1845, a group assembled in the Tazewell Presbyterian Church and were constituted into the Tazewell Baptist Church. The charter members were: Margaret E. Neil, William Neil, Lucinda McKeehan, Rueben Rose, Daniel Marcum, George W. Rose, Elizabeth Rose, Glovina Marcum, Stephan, and Ray Pain.
The church met in the frame building of the Presbyterian Church until Hugh Graham gave a parcel of land situated near the Old Kentucky Road, east of Russel Creek, on which a building was erected. The first building committee included: H. Graham, Peter Marcum, William. Houston, B.F. Cloud, William Neil, A.A. McAmis, and Benji Sewell. The first pastor was Elder James Kennon. George W. Rose was the first clerk, and William Neil was the first deacon to be ordained. The first trustees were William Neil and G. W. Rose.
In 1863, the enrollment reached 113. However, the church was greatly affected by the Civil War, and did not have regular services for some time. The building was also damaged heavily by the war. The building was never completely restored although some meetings were held there. Baptizings were held in Russell Creek and Mason Springs. The church reorganized as the United Baptist Church of Christ at Tazewell on October 3, 1871.
In 1900, the building was dismantled and moved onto the Old Dickenson Hotel lot, which was given to the church by Mr. H.Y. Hughes. For a time the church was renamed the Catherine Graham Memorial Baptist Church. The first sermon preached in the new building was preached by Rev. C. M. Reid of Middlesboro on December 24, 1902. Rev E.L. Andrews offered the first prayer. A Sunday School annex was built in 1955 during the ministry of Rev. Chester Hall. In 1983 another 1400 square foot of space was added.
In the early 1980's, Rev. Roger Hansard was pastor from 1982 through 1985. In that time the sanctuary was recarpeted a mauve color, and the "Sound of Praise Choir", made up of youth from nine area churches, sponsored by Tazewell Baptist Church, went on a very successful choir tour to South Carolina. In the mid 80's from 1986 to 1991 Rev. Eddie Overholt was pastor. Tennessee Homecoming '86 was a statewide celebration and our church had a project in conjunction with this, inviting all resident, non-resident members and former pastors to a Homecoming Day celebration. In 1987, the church became incorporated and in 1991 an entire new second story addition was completed and we had a "note-burning" which commemorated the finished work and its being paid off.
Rev. Mark Roberts was pastor from 1992 through 1998. The church started the annual practice of having the "Thirty Pieces of Silver" at Easter for the Annie Armstrong offering and a couple of years following this the church by-laws were amended. During this period the church participated in the area church softball league and placed first more than once. In 1995, to commemorate its 150th anniversary, the church had a plate made with it's picture on it. In the following year, Kathy England donated a sign for the church in memory of her mother. Rev. Mark Elkins became pastor in 1998 and served until 2000. During this period, the church had a Hot Meals Ministry headed by Kathy England. An average of 80 meals were either served at the church or were delivered out to the community. In 1999, the church had a newsletter and the carpet in the fellowship hall was replaced by linoleum and cabinets were added.
In 2001, the "Back to School Bash" began as an annual event and Rev. Michael Alexander became our pastor. During this time, we started a television and radio ministry, purchased property across the street from the church and sponsored New Beginning Baptist Church. In November of 2006, during revival, we had five accept Christ as their Savior, and seven joined the church. In 2007, a fenced-in playground and paved parking lot was added. The sanctuary was recarpeted in aqua-spray, the pews had new cushions, new chairs were added to the choir as it had grown, and we started having Easter Sunrise service at Harrogate Park. On October 12, 2007, Rev. Mike Alexander passed away after a courageous battle with cancer.
Scott Payne is the current Chairman of the Deacons. As of 2008, we have 303 members, our oldest "active" member is Miss Lillian Kinder who turned 92 in January, and the church celebrated its 163 birthday February 17th.
On May 18, 2008, Rev. Mitch Burke was called as Pastor of Tazewell Baptist Church. Mitch, his wife Jo-Anna, and daughter Lily Faith had been serving with the Little Mulberry Baptist Church.
Tazewell about 1890.
Visible are the Courthouse, left; Stras Church immediately to the right of the Courthouse tower; Tazewell Baptist Church, in the background; Tazewell Presbyterian Church right of center; Main Street Methodist Church, immediately in front of the Presbyterian Church; and beneath those steeples, the former Catholic Church on Marion Avenue, white building with columns. At that time, the 1850s Catholic Church had been sold and was being used by the high school as a chapel and auditorium. That high school and the chapel were demolished in 1905 to make way for the next High School building, which was replaced in the 1970s by the Jeffersonville branch of the County Library.
Photo is the property of the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia
The mill in the foreground was near the present Elk Street. To is right is the residence that is believed to be the oldest surviving brick home in the town, about 1828.
This photo was taken from a vantage point on the hill that now includes Surface Drive.
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