A History of FBC Dillwyn in 6 Parts
On October 1, 1903, the Baptist residents of White Hall, Virginia now known as Dillwyn, met in an upstairs room of the Moss and Grigg store for the purpose of organizing a church to be known as the White Hall Baptist Church.
There were sixteen people present at this meeting over which R. B. Boatwright served as moderator and W. A. Moss as clerk, pro-tem. After a scripture reading by Mr. Boatwright and a prayer by the Rev. J. J. Spencer, letters of membership to form the church were brought by the following people:
W. W. Pryor coming from Mulberry Grove Church,
Mattie J. Moss coming from Mulberry Grove Church,
E. W. Fitzgerald coming from Enon Church,
Bettie A. Fitzgerald coming from Enon Church,
Estelle Fitzgerald coming from Enon Church,
Mary Fitzgerald coming from Enon Church,
Wyatt Fitzgerald coming from Enon Church,
Susie B. Clark coming from Cedar Church,
J. A. Clark coming from Cedar Church, and
William A. Moss coming from Maysville Church.
After the proper procedures, the adoption of a constitution and by-laws, and church covenant, the White Hall Baptist Church was officially organized and functioning. The following members were first received in the newly organized church: E. D. Gregory, S. B. Pearson, Mrs. M. F. Stephens, and B. A. Ranson. W. W. Pror, E. W. Fitzgerald, and J. A. Clark were elected as deacons. W. A. Moss was elected as clerk with S. B. Pearson, treasurer. Trustees were B. A. Ranson, W. A. Moss. The building committee was composed of E. W. Fitzgerald, E. D. Gregory, B. A. Ranson, W. A. Moss, S. B. Pearson, Mrs. J. A. Clark, and Mrs. W. A. Moss.
Between October 15th and November 15th, the present lot was purchased from the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway Company.
The building committee plans were submitted and approved on May 13, 1904. At this same time a committee was appointed to confer with the Baptist State Board in reference to securing a pastor. Meanwhile, a committee was appointed to secure a meeting place. The Buckingham County School Board generously offered their building. The old Methodist Church building was also generously offered. However, church services were continued in the room above the Moss and Grigg store. A piano was obtained and E. W. Fitzgerald made a pulpit stand. This stand was moved to the new building and is still in use in the present auditorium (at the time of the Fiftieth Anniversary).
During the period from October 1, 1903, to September 1904, Dr. Scott, The Rev. J. J. Spencer, and the Rev. R. B. Boatwright served as supply pastors.
The first pastor, the Rev. T. A. Sanford, was called on July 1, 1904, and it was agreed that he receive the sum of sixty dollars ($60.00) a year payable on a monthly basis.
Rev. Sanford served the church until October 14, 1906, when the Rev. J. J. Johnson was called. It was in this year that White Hall Baptist Church became the scene of its first and only wedding. On January 10, Miss Estelle Fitzgerald became the bride of Radford B. Ranson. Rev. Johnson served until 1907. W. A. Moss was clerk until this time when W. W. Pryor was elected.
In 1906, Sands Gayle, W. W. Pryor, W. A. Moss, and J. A. Clark were sent as the first delegates from the church to the James River Baptist Association, which met at Sharon Church. Two dollars and fifty cents ($2.50) was sent to cover the cost of minutes. Dillwyn church served as hostess to the association in 1908.
In 1907, the Rev. C. C. Davis came to the field. He served until 1909. During this time the church was being completed and furnished. Rev. F. H. Benford followed the Rev. Davis. He served only six months.
Rev. Benford was followed by the Rev. J. A. Mostella. It was upon his suggestion that on June 12, 1910, the name of the church was changed to the First Baptist Church of Dillwyn.
From 1912 to 1922 the church was served by Rev. E. E. Sumpter, Rev. Charles Beale, and Rev. C. C. Headrick. Rev. G. A. Chocklett was pastor from 1922 until 1929. Messers. L. A. Bersch and A. E. Rush respectively served as clerks during this period.
From 1929 to 1931, the Rev. A. I. Caudle was pastor. It was during his pastorate that the first B. Y. P. U. (Baptist Young People’s Union) was organized; a financial secretary, H. M. Medlin was chosen; and Mrs. J. C. Dunkum was elected clerk. It was also during this period that new electric light fixtures and the metal ceiling were installed and shrubs were planted around the churchyard.
Rev. Cosby M. Robertson came to the church in 1931 and served until 1934. It was during his pastorate that the Sunday school rooms were completed.
Rev. J. S. Rushing was pastor from 1934 to 1941. J. B. Hanes was elected clerk in 1938.
Rev. Paul Watson was pastor from 1942 to 1949. Suella Emert, Ben B. Bersch, and Mrs. J. C. Dunkum respectively served as clerks during this period.
The former pastors, now living, are the Reverends E. E. Sumpter, J.S. Rushing, and Paul G. Watson (during commemoration of Fiftieth Anniversary).
During the year 1943, under the pastorate of the Rev. Paul Watson, the Sunday school became interested in starting a building fund and voted to take a birthday offering each Sunday. Those having had a birthday during the past week would give a penny each for the number of birthdays attained. Our records show that the first birthday offering reported on July 2, 1944, was one dollar and seventy-six cents ($1.76). This offering was placed in the general funds. It was in January 1949, that the church voted to have a separate account for the building fund. R. J. Jones was elected treasurer for this fund, which, with special offering, birthday offering, and transfers from the general treasury amounted to $4,720.05. Six months later, the Rev. J. Ernest Wrenn came to us and under his leadership this fund has steadily grown until now there is the sum of $19,271.12 available for a new building. The building proposed will cost in the neighborhood of sixty thousand ($60,000). Plans are now being considered to erect a new church auditorium with seating capacity of three hundred and fifty (350) and a Sunday School plant to take care of an enrollment of three (300). It was felt that there was a real need for better facilities if the Dillwyn Church was to meet the opportunities that faced the congregation.
We shall ever thank God for having sent Mr. and Mrs. Wrenn to our field. It has been under their leadership and inspiration that the field has made its greatest progress to date. Dillwyn is especially indebted to them. It is their continued leadership that we look for the erection of our new church now planned. We expect the next history that is written will reflect the real results of their efforts in out midst.
Part I was written and read by Mrs. J. C. Dunkum at the time of the commemoration of the First Baptist Church, Dillwyn.
The decade beginning in 1950 was a period of unusual activity and continued growth at First Baptist Church of Dillwyn. This span of extraordinary progress is rooted and grounded in the preceding years of the ministry of the Rev. Paul G. Watson who served from 1942 until 1949. Under his leadership the Building Fund grew from an extremely small beginning to $4,720.05. In 1949, the closing year of Mr. Watson’s pastorate at Dillwyn, action was taken in January to “erect a new house of worship.” A thirteen-member finance committee composed of Wayne Dawson, Rives Jones, J. B. Hanes, J. E. Staton, B. D. LeSueur, L. A. Bersch, Jack Wingo, Grover Jones, Miss Katherine Beatty, Miss Lou Bersch, Miss Dott Grigg, Mrs. W. A. Sprouse, and Mrs. Julian Dunkum was authorized by the church in the business session and appointed by the pastor for the purpose of soliciting for the Building fund. In like manner, a Building Committee was composed of J. B. Hanes, J. E. Staton, Rives Jones, Wayne Dawson, and B. D. LeSueur; “all other members” were appointed as a “Booster Committee” for the building project. It must be also stated that the membership of the Dillwyn Church “had a mind to work” and to build.
Under the leadership of the Rev. Ernest Wrenn, whose ministry began in 1950, the Building fund grew steadily and rapidly from the above-mentioned sum of $4,720.05 to the amount of $19,271.12 by August 16, 1953, at which time the Fiftieth Anniversary was observed. The third Sunday in August was the selected time for the gala occasion. The program included Sunday School at 10:00 a.m.; Morning Worship at 11:00; dinner on the grounds; and an afternoon service at 2:00 p.m. Dr. J. B. Hill, Secretary of the State Sunday School department, was speaker for both morning and afternoon services. A quartet of men from the First Baptist Church of Charlottesville brought special music for the afternoon session. A history of the church was read by Mrs. J. C. Dunkum, and an offering, which totaled $1,741.00, was received for the Building Fund. Two of the five living charter members, J. A. Clark and Mrs. R, B. Ranson, were present. The three who were absent were Mrs. J. A. Clark, Wyatt Fitzgerald, and Mrs. Mary Staton, who is now the only living charter member.
The building committee chairman, J. B. Hanes reported on November 15, 1953, that his committee recommended that the church employ Austin Ayers as the building contractor for the new church, stipulating that the total cost was not to exceed $60,000. At a called meeting on April 14, 1954, Mr. Hanes reported a recommendation from his committee that the plans of the Maysville Church – with necessary changes – be used. The church approved and accepted both recommendations. Four days later, April 18, the last service was held in the old church; that afternoon ground was broken, and pictures were taken. The following day, demolition of the old church structure was begun. Later, in July, a water line was installed at the cost of $150.00. On September 19th of the same year, the trustees were authorized to borrow $15,000.00 toward the cost of the new building, which records show, was completed at the total cost of $50,000.00.
Throughout the period of construction of the new brick structure the Sunday School met in the town theatre while the worship services were conducted in the funeral parlor. The first business meeting was held at the R. B. Ranson home. Records show that the work proceeded smoothly and steadily until the day of completion. The first service was conducted in the new sanctuary on Sunday, November 21, 1954. Mrs. C. F. Crow donated the offering plates and the communion set for the new church.
On July 25, 1955, the church proceeded with plans for a service of dedication, and a committee was appointed for the purpose of planning the dedicatory service, which became a reality on Sunday, September 18th, of the same year. The Dedication Service was conducted at 2:00 p.m. Dr. R. L. Randolph, Secretary of the Department of Evangelism, was the speaker for the occasion. Mrs. Lewis O. Turner brought an appropriate solo, “Bless This House,” and the closing hymn was “Blest Be The Tie.” The offering goal for that day was $3,000.00 for the Building Fund.
The question of dividing the four-church field soon claimed the attention of the four congregations. Following due consideration and discussion with reference to this matter, it was voted, in late 1956, to divide the field effective April 1, 1957. In view of this action, Mr. Wrenn resigned as pastor of all the churches, was called and accepted the pastorate of the Dillwyn-Cedar field. Bethlehem and Enon formed the other field and called the Rev. G. E. Reynolds. Also in late 1956, three of the four churches joined forces in the construction of a cottage at Eagle Eyrie on a $750.00 lot at the cost of $10,000.00. Bethlehem agreed to pay half the cost, while Cedar and Dillwyn each paid $2,500.00 for the erection of the cottage, which was named “Beth-Ce-Dill.”
Rev. Wrenn stated, after Dillwyn became debt free in mid 1957, “I feel my work will not be complete and I do not want to leave my field until a new parsonage is built here, even though I will never occupy it.” A field committee was soon authorized and selected, and on April 22, 1958, the committee suggested and subsequently recommended, “that we go on record favoring the building of a parsonage.” Shortly thereafter the work had begun with J. B. Hanes heading up the finance committee, while B. D. LeSueur serving as chairman of the Building Committee. Plans for the new parsonage were based on the pastorium of the new Hope Baptist Church of Appomattox County. The 229 member congregation of the Dillwyn Church accepted the responsibility of financing the work, while the sister church, Cedar Baptist, agreed to help pay off the parsonage indebtedness by making monthly rent payments.
Following a long and fruitful ministry of 46 years, Mr. Wrenn retired in the fall of 1959. The new parsonage was ready for occupancy by mid-December, and the Rev. John W. Adams, who succeeded Mr. Wrenn, was the first pastor to occupy the eight-room brick pastorium.
Plans were formulated in early 1960 to dedicate the Dillwyn parsonage, and June 19th was designated as Dedication day. The Dedicatory Service was begun at the church at the very heart of the 11:30 a.m. service. Rev. Paul G. Watson, former pastor who initiated the campaign and whose membership is currently at Dillwyn, read the Scripture and led in morning prayer. The choir then presented an anthem, “Seek Ye the Lord,” with Miss Edna Earle Shumaker, as soloist, after which the Cherub and Carol choirs of Cedar offered a selection entitled “His Own Church.” Rev. J. Ernest Wrenn, predecessor to the Rev. John Adams brought the benediction at the church. The Service of Dedication was continued and concluded at the parsonage where the pastor-people responsive reading was conducted. Mrs. B. D. LeSueur sang an appropriate solo, “Bless This House,” and Mr. Wrenn pronounced the closing benediction. The new pastorium was open from 2:00-5:00 p.m. and from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and for members and friends who wished to visit the pastoral home.
Rev. Adams was a competent musician, and under his able leadership in the field of music, the choirs made extraordinary progress. In response to his appeal and inspiration, Dillwyn purchased a Baldwin organ on July 19, 1962, at the cost of $3,232.00. This lovely instrument of music continues to serve an added attraction to the church sanctuary and contributes greatly to the atmosphere of worship. In October of 1964 the church installed carpet at the cost of $854.18.
At the February business meeting in 1965, Dillwyn voted, as did Cedar and Bethlehem, to proceed with the sale of the cottage, Beth-Ce-Dill, at Eagle Eyrie. It was sold to Eagle Eyrie Assemblies on May 4th for the amount of the cottage the sum of $3,420.25. On May 10th, it was voted to put gravel on the parking lot, to install and electric water heater in the church basement for the purpose of heating water for the Baptistry, and to pay off all church indebtedness. This left a balance of $2,048.37 to be put on savings. Previous action had been taken to file the parsonage note rather than to burn it.
In the selfsame year of 1965, the Dillwyn Church voted on November 21st to go full time. Rev. Adams, who had previously resigned as pastor of the Cedar Church, continued at Dillwyn until February 13, 1966, when the church asked him to serve as the first full-time pastor. In this capacity, his services were continued until early 1968. Mr. Adams submitted his resignation on January 7th, moved his new pastorate later in the month in time to enroll the children in the second school semester, and came back through the second Sunday in February.
Soon after the resignation of Rev. Adams, First Baptist elected by secret ballot, a pulpit committee composed of Wayne Dawson, chairman, J. B. Hanes, Kenneth Ranson, Austin Goode, and Mrs. Woodrow Dunkum. During the span of approximately six months while the church was without a pastor, supply ministers were secured primarily through the Virginia Baptist Board at Richmond. In late May the pulpit committee contacted Rev. Earl W. Marshburn, pastor of the Park View Baptist Church of Hyattsville, Maryland. Mr. Marshburn was invited to preach at Dillwyn on Sunday, June 2nd; and on June 9th, the church voted to extend a call to him to serve as pastor. The new minister began his ministry on August 1, 1968. Currently plans are under way for redecorating the interior of the church, and we are beginning revival today.
Part II was written and read by Mrs. J. C. Dunkum at the Homecoming Day Program on the Sixty-fifth Anniversary of the First Baptist Church, Dillwyn.
1968 – 1973
On October 13, 1968, after much work and much planning, the church began its fall revival and celebrated its 65th Homecoming with the attendance of 122 members and 78 guests. The revival was conducted by the Rev, Marshburn with the Rev. Charles Heavilen, Methodist Minister, as song leader. There were three additions to the church membership. During the Rev. Marshburn’s stay the church auditorium was painted; Training Union was organized; and a prayer meeting was begun. All Junior organizations were organized and an air conditioner was installed in July of 1969.
Dr. Spurgeon Paschall, pastor of Belmont Baptist Church, Charlottesville, Va., was the guest speaker for our fall revival of September 1969 with the Rev. Charles Heavilen as the song leader. During the associational year there were 14 additions to our Church membership; eight were baptisms.
Rev. Marshburn submitted his resignation on Sunday, May 31, 1970 to accept the pastorate of Midway Baptist Church at Gretna effective July 1, 1970. The Dillwyn Church voted on the resignation June 14, 1970. Mr. Marshburn presented his last sermon on June 28, 1970 and moved to Gretna on June 30, 1970.
On June 21, a pulpit committee, composed of Roy Cain, Russell Moss, Frank Shumaker, Mrs. Annie Lee Price and Mrs. J. C. Dunkum, was elected by secret ballot.
While the church was without a pastor, supply ministers were secured through the Virginia Baptist Board at Richmond. During the meantime, the pulpit committee contacted Mr. Raymond Ballantine of Kentucky. Mr. Ballantine was asked to preach for us. The church later voted to extend him a call as pastor. He assumed duties as pastor of First Baptist Church on September 1, 1970. Rev. Ballantine came to us from Louisville, Kentucky where he attended the Southern Baptist Seminary graduating May 29th of that year. Rev. Ballantine preached his first sermon on September 7, 1970.
On September 21, 1970 as previously planned, a revival was held with the Rev. Clyde Kirby as guest minister. Rev. Ballantine was ordained on November 1, 1970, at the First Baptist church. Rev. Frank Johnson was in charge of the music with a special selection by Karolyn Seay, Jean Ballantine and Loretta Pirkey. The introduction of speakers was by Roy Cain; the sermon given by the Rev. Clark Neptune; and the Charge of the Church given by the Rev. Rives Ferguson. Wayne Dawson presented the Bible and the Rev. Irvin Souder gave the ordination prayer.
On May 17-21, the Spring Revival was conducted by the Rev. Charles Shumaker of Madison Heights, Lynchburg, Virginia. Rev. Kirby of Fork Union conducted our fall revival on September 12-17, 1970.
The church voted on July 23, 1972 not to have a homecoming in 1972 but to plan a celebration and homecoming in the fall of 1973 celebrating our 70th anniversary. This celebration was to be in August 1973.
Rev. Ballantine submitted his resignation on August 13, 1972 to accept a church in Farnham, Virginia. He preached for us on August 20th. He moved to Farnham the week following but came back to Dillwyn for services on August 27, 1972.
Soon after the resignation of the Rev. Ballantine on September 17, 1972, the following Pulpit Committee was elected: Mrs. Edna Dawson, Mrs. Lou Dunkum, Mrs. Loretta Pirkey, Spencer Adams, Austin Goode and O. G. May.
The week of September 17, 1972, the Rev. C. W. Shumaker was guest speaker for our revival. There were eight additions by baptism and one by letter.
During the span of approximately eight months, while the Church was without a pastor, supply ministers were secured primarily through the Virginia Baptist Board at Richmond, VA.
In February 1973, the pulpit committee contacted Rev. Terry Wellborn who at the time was working for the Virginia Department of Mental Retardation on a federally funded project. Rev. Welborn preached for us on March 4, 1973, and was asked to return. Later in March, the Rev. Welborn was extended a call to become interim pastor. He accepted and began on April 8, 1973. Later in the month, Mr. Welborn learned that his work with the Virginia Department of Mental retardation would be terminated in June. On April 29, 1973, the church invited the Rev. Welborn to come as our full time pastor. He accepted and began services on May 1, 1973.
Rev. Welborn is s graduate of the University of Richmond, 1964, and had a B. D. Degree from Southeastern Seminary.
Joint efforts by the Women Missionary Society and the Seventieth Anniversary Committee, plans are being made for the celebration f the Church’s 70th Anniversary on August 12, 1973. At this time, the only living charter member, Mrs. Mary Staton, and the former pastors will be honored. The former pastors, now living are the Reverends Paul G. Watson, J. Ernest Wrenn, John W. Adams, Earl W. Marshburn and Raymond G. Ballantine.
Part III was written and read by Mrs. J. C. Dunkum on the Homecoming Day Program on the Seventieth Anniversary of the First Baptist Church, Dillwyn.
On August 12, 1973, after much preparation, the church began its fall revival and celebrated its 70th Anniversary Homecoming with 276 in attendance and a Homecoming Offering of $811.27. During the revival, there were nine additions to the church membership. Total attendance for the revival was 628 with an offering of $168.00
During the associational year there were 12 additions to our church membership; five were by baptism.
The following were the Church Officers: Mrs. Debra Glowinski-Organist; Kenneth Ranson-Sunday school Director; Mrs. Faye Davis-WMU Director; B. D. LeSueur-Chairman of the Deacons; Mrs. Winnie Adams-Church Clerk; Austin Goode-Church Treasurer; R. J. Jones-Assistant Treasurer, and the Rev. Terry Welborn-Choir Director.
In the fall of 1973, the church and the parsonage were painted. The deacons recommended to the church to repair the door, steps, and sidewalk at the church, to purchase telephone poles to keep cars off the new sidewalk, and to repair the back and side porch of the parsonage at a cost of approximately $500.00 to $600.00. The Homecoming offering was $811.00. The painting of the church had cost $600.00, leaving a balance of $211.00 in that fund. The church voted to accept the recommendation of the deacons and at the same business meeting, voted to purchase fifteen full-length choir robes at a cost not to exceed $24.00 each. The church also voted to appoint a constitution committee at the next business meeting. The total church budget for 1973-1974 year was $14,477.00.
In the spring of 1974, the sidewalk at the church was constructed. At the July, 1974, business meeting, the deacons recommended that carpet be purchased for the living room of the parsonage in a neutral color in the range of $450.00 and that the areas of the church be recarpeted for an amount not to exceed $2,500.00. Both motions carried. The carpet in the parsonage was installed in the fall of 1974. During the associational year there were seven additions to our church by baptism. Mrs. Kate LeSueur became the new WMU Director and Roy Cain became the new Chairman of the Deacons and Assistant Treasurer.
On April 20, 1975, the church voted to adopt the church constitution to be effective on the first day of the next quarter. On July 20, 1975, the church voted that a Homecoming offering of $1,000.00 be set aside for use when needed for repair or replacement of the church roof.
Rev. Terry Welborn submitted his resignation on Sunday, August 10, 1975, to accept a pastorate at Stukely Hall Baptist Church of Richmond effective August 31, 1975. The church regretfully voted to accept his resignation.
The church budget for 1975-1976 was $15,068.25. On December 21, 1975, the church voted to extend a call to the Rev. Robert Paciocco as pastor of First Baptist Church. During the associational year, there were two additions by baptism. Mrs. Pam Wright became the new WMU Director and Spencer Adams became the new Chairman of the Deacons.
The church budget for 1976-1977 was $16,822.05. Rev. Paciocco submitted his resignation on November 28, 1976, to be effective December 15, 1976. At this time, he planned on remaining in the vicinity as he continued to work in another field. On December 5, 1976, the church voted to accept his resignation. The church also voted to use Rev. Paciocco to fill the pulpit until a full-time pastor could be secured. On December 19, 1976, the church voted that the following people constitute the pulpit committee: Aubrey Zumbro, Mrs. Betty Zumbro, B. D. LeSueur, Mrs. Fran May, and E. M. Wright.
During the associational year there were no additions to our church. Mrs. Judy Myers became our new Organist. Mrs. Lou Dunkum became our new Assistant Treasurer. The church budget for the year 1977-1978 was $19,930.05. Mrs. Mary Fitzgerald Staton, the last living charter member, passed away on November 18, 1977. On March 12, 1978, the Rev. Paciocco resigned as supply pastor.
On April 30, 1978, the church voted to extend a call to the Rev. Cecil Gholston as pastor of First Baptist Church. The parsonage was painted during the summer of 1978. During the associational year there were no additions to our church. Mrs. Debra Glowinski returned as Organist, assisted by Barry Gholston. D. D. LeSueur also returned as Chairman of the Deacons. The church budget for the year 1978-1979 was $23,700.28.
During the associational year there were six additions to our church by baptism. I 1979, Mrs. Patricia Johnson became our new Organist, assisted by Mrs. Debra Glowinski. Bill Johnson became our new Choir Director. The church budget for the year 1979-1980 was $28,442.26.
For the next two years, improvements were made to the church and parsonage. In the spring of 1980, the church was painted. New gutters were installed on the parsonage in the spring of 1981. During the associational year, there were three additions to our church by baptism. O. G. may became the Assistant Treasurer, and Mrs. Patricia Johnson became both Organist and Choir Director. The church budget for 1980-1981 was $30,191.26. During the associational year there were two additions to our church by baptism.
The handicapped ramp was completed during the fall of 1981. The church budget for the year 1981-1982 was $33,950.00. The church budget for the year 1982-1983 was $38,305.56. During the associational year, there were three additions to our church by baptism. E. M. Wright became Chairman of the Deacons. On January 16, 1983, the church voted that the church pews and chairs be upholstered.
John Staton became Sunday School director in October, 1983. The church budget for the year 1983-1984 was $46,743.76. During the associational year there were no additions to our church. Bill Lewis Moss became Chairman of Deacons. On September 25, 1983, the church voted to purchase 12” columns to replace the old columns that could not be repaired due to complications. On December 18, 1983, the church voted to purchase plexiglass coverings to serve as protection/storm windows for the stained glass in the church.
The church was painted again in the spring of 1984. On April 15, 1984, the church voted to enlarge the choir loft. On June 17, 1984, the church voted to install new carpet in the church. Mrs. Jeanette Gholston became WMU Director in the fall of 1984. The budget for the year 1984-1985 was $50,557.75. During the associational year there were 12 additions to our church by baptism.
Part IV was written and read by Mr. John Staton at the Homecoming Day Program on the Ninetieth Anniversary of the First Baptist Church, Dillwyn.
A church newsletter was begun in the fall of 1985. An Outreach Mission Committee was initiated by the WMU to welcome and encourage new members. Also, at this time, a Flower Committee was established to send flowers for a death in the family; to church members in the hospital; and for a new birth in the family of a church member.
Extensive renovations were completed to the church parsonage in April 1985. A leak in the roof was repaired. Repairs were made to the ceilings in the dining room, living room, and bathroom. Tile was replaced in the bathroom. The cabinets in the kitchen were repaired and refinished. New counter tops were installed. A shower stall was placed in the basement and the exterior of the parsonage was painted. In September 1985, First Baptist Church participated in the World Missions Conference and shared a missionary speaker with Cedar Baptist Church.
John Staton continued as Sunday School Director in 1986 with Mrs. Patricia Johnson as Music Director; Mrs. Karolyn Geigert, Clerk; David Barker, Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee; and E. M. Wright, Chairman of the Deacons. The total church budget for the 1986-1987 year was $52,853.78. In October 1986, proposed amendments were made to the church’s constitution that included descriptions of the following committees: Homecoming, Vacation Bible School, Library, Fellowship, and Outreach.
In the summer of 1987, the church parking lot was paved, the steeple repaired, a new roof was installed, a vent was placed in the choir loft, and filing cabinets were secured for church music. Mrs. Barbara Wine replaced Mrs. Patricia Johnson as Choir Director. Mrs. Jean Poole replaced Mrs. Wine in the spring of 1988.
The church budget remained the same from the 1987-1988 year to the 1990-1991 year. On March 6, 1988, the church voted to install a new heating system in our church building. Bill Lewis Moss became Chairman of the Deacons. In August, the church purchased twelve tables and fifty chairs for Homecoming and other events.
Miss Alice Flora replaced Mrs. Jean Poole as Choir Director in the fall of 1989. Mrs. Meredith Staton became Church Treasurer.
The church voted to place handrails in the center of the church’s front step on January 21, 1990. A new air conditioning system was installed in the church and a sealant was placed on the church parking lot in the summer of 1990.
Miss Michelle Nash replaced Miss Alice Flora as Choir Director in the summer of 1991. Mr. David Fulcher became Chairman of the deacons. During the summer of 1991, the youth of our church participated in a church supported mission trip to Pittsburgh, Pa., and other areas. A prayer group was started on Wednesday nights in the fall of 1991. This group became known as CAPPIE – “Church Action, Prayer, and Planning.” The church budget increased to $58,511.77.
On May 3, 1992, the Rev. Cecil Gholston resigned as Pastor of First Baptist Church, effective June 30, 1992, after fourteen years of service. He stated plans to retire to the Richmond city area. The Reverend Glenn Jude agreed to serve as interim pastor. The Reverend Steve Allsbrook from the Baptist Board in Richmond was contacted to help our church consider the needs of the church in our new pastor search. A church-wide survey was completed.
Mrs. Jane Guthrie served as Choir Director during the summer of 1992. Mrs. Betty Jude replaced Mrs. Guthrie in the fall of 1992. Mrs. Shirley Mc Daniel and her daughter, Jennifer, directed our Christmas Cantata in 1992. Joseph Jamerson became the Chairman of the Building and Grounds Committee.
At the Business Meeting on January 17, 1993, it was announced that the interior of the church parsonage would be painted and vinyl trim would be installed on the church and parsonage. The gutters on the church were replaced. New carpet was installed in two rooms of the parsonage. A Church Council was established in January, 1993. A family Day celebration was held at our church on May 16, 1993.
The church voted on May 23, 1993, to paint the interior of the church, drop the basement ceiling, install additional lights, add wainscoting to the stairway walls, remove the carpet on the steps and replace with skid-resistant material. The budget for 1992-1993 was $58,983.33.
On July 11, 1993, the pastor search committee consisting of E. M. Wright, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Jamerson, Kenneth Ranson, Mrs. Denise Leatherwood, Mrs. Dottie Shumaker, Miss Samantha Ranson, Timothy Charlton, and Bessie Llewellyn, recommended The Rev. Wayne Collis as prospective pastor. He was called to Dillwyn First Baptist Church by unanimous vote. Mrs. Stephanie Flippin became our Choir Director during the summer of 1993. A new drainage system was installed in the church parsonage basement in the summer of 1993, also.
Reverend Glenn Jude passed away on August 5, 1993, while serving as interim pastor at First Baptist Church. A memorial service and honorary reception was held Sunday, August 8, 1993, at the church.
The Collis family – Wayne, Tina, and their children, Leslie, Melissa, and Justin, – moved into the church parsonage August 11, 1993. The Reverend Wayne Collis began his pastorate on Sunday, August 15, 1993.
Part V was written by Mrs. Karolyn Geigert and read by John Staton at the Homecoming Day Program on the Ninetieth Anniversary.
In October 1993, a Music Committee was established. This committee consisted of 3 choir members and three non-choir members. The members on the newly appointed Music Committee were David Fulcher, K. T. Wingo, Sandra Moss, Lou Dunkum, Elizabeth Charlton, and Janet Jamerson. Mrs. Tina Collis is the choir’s new director. The total church budget for the year 1993-1994 was $60,805.88.
In January 1994, the driveway at the parsonage was graveled and certain repairs and maintenance had been done. Painting needed to be done in two back classrooms and two hallways of the church. Also, some repair to the ceilings was needed. The church voted to proceed with the repairs. The church voted to purchase a copy machine. Rev. Wayne Collis planned to provide a monthly newsletter as well as the weekly church bulletin. The church also voted to highlight the stained glass behind the baptistery.
On April 17, 1994, the church voted to purchase a generator for the parsonage. The church voted to proceed with repairs on the handicapped ramp and that a handicapped toilet be installed in the ladies bathroom. Also, an ad hoc committee was looking into a speaker system for our church. A playground committee was formed and its members were Patsy Scruggs, Alan Leatherwood, Thelma Llewellyn, Mark Dunkum, and Ashley Wright. The church voted that a church council, which was approved 2 years earlier, be formed. The church also voted to proceed with plans to have a new church directory.
On June 12, 1994, the church voted to approve the playground site, which would be located next to Foster Tire Company. The church also voted to remove the tombstone that was located at the proposed playground site. Mark Dunkum and Edward LeSueur had determined that the grave was not at the tombstone. The church voted to relocate the stone to be closer to the actual gravesite.
On July 17, 1994, the church voted to install two “dusk to dawn” lights at the back of the church to ward off undesirable activities in that area. The church also voted to purchase a lighted sign for church announcements. The total church budget for 1994-1995 was $79,970.59. The budget funding yielded to the desires of a church survey in increased funding to the youth ministry. The survey also showed a desire to develop plans for a building project. The focus had previously been on a fellowship hall. The survey showed that classroom space was desperately needed as well. The budget also took into consideration the purchase of a new or used van.
On September 11, 1994, the church voted that carpet be installed and Scotch guarded in the nursery and pre-school rooms. The church also voted to proceed with the purchase of a church van.
On October 16, 1994, the church voted to fix and seal the cracks in the parking lot. It was also noted that it would have to be painted and restriped. The handicapped toilet and the lights in the rear of the church had been installed. The church voted to purchase a 1994 Dodge Ram van from Moss Motor Co. The church also voted to purchase a new computer if the old one could not be fixed.
On November 20, 1994, the church voted to purchase a computer for its use.
In January 1995, sound equipment including dual-cassette tape deck and CD player was installed for $4175. $3880 was donated, and only $295 was taken out of the church budget. The Music Committee made a motion that the church includes a Sound Committee, of at least five members, to the standing committees of the church. The Sound Committee would be responsible for maintaining the sound equipment and having someone to operate the sound equipment each Sunday during worship services. $845 was donated through the LeSueur Memorial Fund for the purchase of the Hearing Impaired Equipment. The cost to obtain a 10-channel transmitter with 5 receivers was $773. The church voted that the balance of any funds be put towards the purchase of a High Speed Tape Duplicator that would allow tape-recording of services for shut-ins and nursing home patients.
In March 1995, construction began on the church playground.
In April 1995, the church parking lot was painted, a tree removed, and new carpet was placed at the side door of the church. The church voted to replace all classroom lighting.
On May 7, 1995, the church elected the following persons to serve on the Long Range Planning and Study Committee: Kathy Ranson representing the Church Council, David Fulcher representing the Properties Committee, Lou Dunkum representing the WMU, Bill Lewis Moss representing the Music Committee, Barbara Charlton representing the Stewardship Committee, Thelma Llewellyn representing the Sunday School, Alan Leatherwood representing the Deacons, Samantha Ranson representing the Youth, O. G. May, and John Griffin. Mrs. Patsy Scruggs was chosen as alternate.
In June 1995, new lighting was added to the large stained glass window.
On July 16, 1995, the church voted to install a heater in the baptistery at a cost of $550.00. The church voted to establish a fund to purchase tapes for the homebound ministry that was planned. On August 13th the church had a commissioning service for Jenny Charlton who would be going to Russia to serve as a missionary for two years. This was an historic day as we sent out our first missionary. Jenny departed on August 24, 1995 for St. Petersburg, Russia. The total church budget for 1995-1996 was $84,212.94.
On October 15, 1995, it was reported that during the associational year, 14 members were received through baptism; 9 members received other than by baptism, for a total of 23 new members. The total membership as of September 30, 1995 was 215. With the beginning of the new church year, the youth department had doubled which brought about the concern of adult male participation in our youth ministry activities.
On January 3, 1996 there was a commissioning service for missionaries Rev. Wayne Collis and Sue Moss for a mission trip to Argentina.
On April 21, 1996, the church voted to recommend a summer youth minister. The church also voted to paint the steeple.
On September 22, 1996, the church voted to establish a Building Committee to look into the needs of the church in regard to an addition to the church facility. The church also voted to replace the doors to the basement, front and back.
On October 13, 1996, Stephanie Flippin resigned as church pianist.
On December 1, 1996, Brenda Barringer was hired as church pianist.
On January 23, 1997, the Church Building Committee held their first meeting. Its members were R. E. Charlton, Ruby Farrar, Sandra Moss, Tina Collis, Alan Leatherwood, Dottie Shumaker, E. M. Wright, Lou Dunkum, O. G. May, and John Staton. Alternates were Austin Goode and Meredith Staton. The building project began officially on this date. It was determined by this committee that the church should build.
In April 1997, new floodlights were installed. The Church Building Committee advised that the church had a definite need for expansion. The expansion was originally supposed to be located on the side of the church next to Foster Tire Company.
On May 25, 1997, the church voted to call Brian Culver as Youth Minister.
On January 18, 1998, missionaries Rev. Wayne Collis, Sue Moss, and Charmagne Shumaker went on a mission trip to Panama. On May 3, 1998, missionary Tina Collis was a member of the Panama Medical Mission Team.
On June 7, 1998, the church voted to install a 3-stop elevator in the existing building and to remodel both restrooms downstairs and make them handicapped accessible.
On July 19, 1998 the church voted to move to the next stage of the building process by having Royce Charlton draw up the building plans.
On September 20, 1998, special Homecoming services included a Ground Breaking/Dedication Service for the new addition.
On September 27, 1998, Brenda Barringer concluded her service as church pianist with us.
On November 22, 1998, Alan Leatherwood, Chairperson of the Building Committee presented floor plans for the new educational facility. The first stained glass window of the church, which dated back to 1903, was restored and would be placed in the fellowship hall. The church voted to install a u-shaped concrete ramp at the fellowship hall and tear down the existing ramp as it was in need of repair. The church also voted to accept the plans presented for submission of bids.
In January 1999, the church began publishing a newsletter.
On February 9, 1999, Rev. Wayne Collis with three other trustees and several IMB staff members traveled to Salvador, Brazil on a mission trip.
On March 21, 1999, the church took the step of faith and voted unanimously to accept a bid to construct our new educational facility. The church voted to accept the bid from G. N. Christian and Sons, New Canton, Va. for $233,500.00. The construction was to begin around the first of May with a 6-month completion date, subject to the conditions of the contract. The church also voted to establish a project budget for $275,000.00, which would allow for furnishings and contingencies and to allow the deacons and the trustees to make application of a loan for $100,000. The loan of $100,000 is being repaid out of the budget that was presented in September. The church had $125,000 on hand and the remaining $50,000.00 would need to come from elsewhere.
On April 11, 1999, the church voted to develop a visitation program, which would encompass the areas of tape ministry, maintaining a database of members/visitors, daily contacts, and a report form of each contact as well as needed contacts.
On April 13, 1999, a missions outreach group named “Helping Hands” held their first meeting at the home of Kathy Ranson with 16 church members present. Activities were suggested and volunteers accepted activity assignments.
On Apri1 18, 1999, Suzanne Bryan was hired as interim pianist. The church voted to form a Building Oversight Committee and a Decorating Committee. Alan Leatherwood was named chairman of the Oversight Committee with Vic Moss, O. G. May, Robert Murphy, and Austin Goode as committee members. For the Decorating Committee, Pam Weight was selected as chairman with K. T. Wingo, Butch White, John Griffin, Denise Leatherwood, and Ruby Sprouse as committee members.
On May 23, 1999, construction began on the new building addition.
Suzanne Bryan filled the position as Interim Pianist through August 15, 1999, at which time Betty Jude became Interim Pianist. On August 22, 1999, the church voted to replace the air conditioner, heat pump, and duct work at the parsonage.
On September 26, 1999, the church voted to paint the parsonage and replace the shingles on the roof of the sanctuary.
On October 17, 1999, Trustees John E. Staton, Jr., Joseph H. Jamerson, and Bill Lewis Moss were authorized by the church to borrow $100,000 at 7% from Farmers’ Bank toward the cost of the building addition. The loan was to be repaid in monthly installments over a 10-year period.
On November 5, 1999, Dillwyn Lodge #315 A.F. & A.M. laid the cornerstone for the new building addition.
On March 19, 2000, the church recommended Cindy Barber as our new church pianist. On March 26, 2000, Cindy Barber officially joined our church staff as church pianist.
On May 28, 2000, Children’s Church, an exciting new ministry of learning, fun, and worship began.
On July 16, 2000, the church voted to install a PA system in the new fellowship hall and replacement windows in the parsonage as well as new flooring in the parsonage kitchen. The church also voted to replace the parking lot, sidewalks, and window wells.
On September 17, 2000, special Homecoming services included a Building Dedication Service.
On October 1, 2000 it was reported that during the associational year, 7 members were received through baptism; 3 members received other than by baptism for a total of 10 new members. The total membership as of October 1, 2000 was 241.
On October 29, 2000, the 11:00 worship hour began its radio ministry, broadcasting throughout central Virginia on 105.3 WBNN. This ministry is being provided as an outreach of our church to those without Christ, to those who have health problems and cannot come to church and to those who have dropped out of church.
In February 2001, “Salt & Light,” the Men’s Ministry, delivered Brunswick stew to 27 of our senior adults in the community and also saw to their needs, if any. “Salt & Light” was the name chosen to identify the mission and vision of the Men’s Ministry.
On April 22, 2001, the church voted to purchase a 10 x 16 storage building. The church also voted to recommend Matthew Senger as Youth Minister. On May 13, 2001 Matthew Senger began his duties as Minister of Youth/Children.
The total church budget for 1999-2000 was $114,694.44. The total church budget for 2000-2001 was $127,792.69.
In July 2001, the church parking lot was paved and a Youth Mission Trip Team, a team of First Baptist Youth, traveled to Heritage Baptist Church in Hurricane, WV.
In October 2001, the church voted on a project proposed by Jennifer Staton on behalf of the Mission Friends children to raise money to erect a flagpole with a plaque honoring Michelle Lileks and the purchase of a new swing set.
Rev. Wayne Collis reported “This past year God has richly blessed our church family. We have seen tremendous growth both physically and spiritually. God blessed us in 2001 with 28 new members. Since January 1, 2001 over $128,886 has been given to the budget needs of the church.”
On January 20, 2002, Butch White and John Staton assumed the positions on the Building/Oversight Committee formerly filled by O. G. May and Robert Murphy.
On February 10, 2002, the church voted to erect a slate sign and install a central vacuuming system.
In August 2002, the church sign and flagpole were erected. On September 22, 2002, the Mission Friends children had a Flagpole Dedication Ceremony of their gift to the church, the flagpole and plaque in memory of Michelle Lileks. Thanks to the Mission Friends for their beautiful gift to the church and for their presentation of their gift and to Jennifer Staton for planning the service. The flagpole is a beautiful addition to the churchyard and will be enjoyed for years to come.
On December 15, 2002, the church voted to install awnings at both side door entrances, a roll down door for the kitchen pass-through, and to purchase chair storage carts for the fellowship hall.
On September 7, 2003, Jennifer Staton was called by the church to be our new Youth Minister.
On September 28, 2003, the Rev. Wayne Collis resigned as Pastor of First Baptist Church, effective October 31, 2003, after ten years of service, to accept a pastorate at Jonesville Baptist Church of Nelson County effective November 1, 2003.
Part VI was written by John Staton and read by John Staton at the Homecoming Day Program on the One Hundredth Anniversary Celebration.