YEAR BY YEAR
1976 - 1998
HAMILTON BAPTIST CHURCH, 1873--1946
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, HAMILTON, 1947-1998
See also: First
Baptist Church, Hamilton, TX
HCBA observed its centennial at the annual
association meeting with a history of the association written and
presented by Arvord M. Abernethy.
Mrs. Mattie Brown left her estate to the church
which paid off the indebtedness on the church bus and some on new choir
Arvord Abernethy was honored at the HCBA annual
meeting on his being associational clerk for 25 years--since 1953. In
absentia he was presented a hand-made tie. Illness prevented his attending
the session, his first to miss in many years. Many members of FBC
continued to spend their vacation-time assisting in the construction of a
Baptist church in Cloudcroft, NM. Twenty-four students were enrolled in
kindergarten and five were enrolled in a bus ministry. The services of FBC
were broadcast on the local radio. The Baptist Standard was still
included in the church budget and sent to each church family.
The 1978 Hamilton County Baptist Association paid
tribute to two members of FBC--Arvord M. Abernethy and Wm. B.
"Bill" Puckett. A tape and slide presentation was presented
during which each discussed their thoughts about the association. Mr.
Abernethy had served HCBA as Clerk of the Association and Mr. Puckett had
served as Treasurer.
The 1978 Hamilton County Baptist Association Annual
is dedicated to Mr. Arvord Abernethy and to Mr. W. B. Puckett.
Mr. Abernethy faithfully served as the Associational
Clerk from October, 1953, through September, 1978.
Mr. W. B. Puckett faithfully served as the
Associational Treasurer from October, 1961, through September, 1974.
"Our appreciation is expressed to these two
fine Christian men who so freely and willingly gave of their time and
service as officers in the Association. We thank God for you and pray that
he will continue to bless you as you remain faithful to Him."
"4. BE IT RESOLVED that we, the Hamilton Co.
Baptist Association, express our deepest gratitude for the ministry of
Bro. Arvord Abernethy and Bro. Bill Puckett. We are grateful to God for
the exemplary Christian lifestyle and for their unselfish hours of
service. Bro. Abernethy has served as clerk for 26 years and Bro. Puckett
as treasurer for 14 years. We express our gratitude to their spouses who
have served in unseen ways. Finally, be it resolved that the Association
dedicate the 1978 Annual in their honor, with an appropriate picture of
(Their pictures were not included in the annual
FBC borrowed $7,000 during this year. Twenty
children were enrolled in a day care program.
FBC was recognized at the annual session of HCBA for
the largest gain in Sunday School enrolment in the association.
The value of the pastorís home increased from
$15,500 to $40,000.
There were 70 tithers among the church membership.
Thirteen percent of the church budget was designated for the Cooperative
Program. The Baptist Standard was a budget item and was sent to all
The value of the pastorís home increased from
$40,000 to $60,000, and church debt increased from $3,913 to $44,894
without a report of borrowing money or a report of new construction while
$8,049 was paid on debt reduction. There were 67 tithers in FBC, 13% of
the church income was designated for Cooperative Program, and $85 per
month was paid to Associational Missions. Church services were broadcast
on the radio. Arvord Abernethy was elected treasurer of HCBA..
The tenth resolution adopted by the HCBA is
significant for maintaining the Baptist position on Christian ethics:
"BE IT RESOLVED That we reaffirm our stand in
regard to alcohol in regards to Baptist understanding and practice of
total abstinence and encourage our people to actively oppose any attempt
to bring it into our county."
RESOLUTION COMMITTEE, 1983
Doyle K. Combs, Chairman
Fourteen percent of the budget was sent to the
Cooperative Program. The Baptist Standard was a budget item and was
sent to all church families.
The name of the association was changed from
Hamilton County Baptist Association to Hamilton Baptist Association.
The value of the church property increased from $308,500 to
$365,500. Seventy-one tithers were in FBC. Fourteen percent of the church
budget was contributed to the Cooperative Program and $93 per month was
given to associational missions.
Erath Association withdrew from the Tri-Rivers
Baptist Area in October, 1987.
Church services were broadcast on the radio on
Sunday mornings. Seventy-one tithers were in FBC which contributed 14% of
the budget to the Cooperative Program and $100 a month to association
The Baptist Standard was still part of the
church budget, being sent to each church family and church services were
broadcast on the radio. There were 79 tithers in the church, 14 % of the
budget was sent to the Cooperative Program.
1989 was the Year of The Sunday School--a BGCT
strategy for reaching people. The number of tithers increased to 82. The
cost of heating, cooling, and lighting the church plant was $9,392. Two
hundred and sixty-one of the 630 church members were males.
Churches across the SBC participated in "Hereís
Hope: Jesus Cares For You," simultaneous revivals in March and April,
1990. While churches across the convention were seriously effected by
division and conflict from within the convention, the churches of HBA were
encouraged to strive for a spirit of mutual love, fellowship, and harmony.
The Heart of Texas Baptist Encampment at Brownwood had sustained
substantial flood damage. The U. S. Military forces deployed to the
Mid-East were remembered both in prayer and by resolution. The sixteen
Baptist churches in HBA had a total membership of 2,622 and had a Sunday
School enrolment of 631.
Gifts to the Cooperative Program were reduced from
14% to 10% of the church budget and the amount given to associational
missions was reduced. The value of the pastorís home increased to
$65,000. Sunday morning services were broadcast on the radio and the Baptist
Standard was send to each church family.
Lee Roy Williamson retired on June 15, 1992, after
25 years as area missionary of Tri-Rivers Baptist Area. One of the
resolutions of the HBA was an urgent appeal to encourage Baptist to vote
against a state lottery on November 5, 1991.
Jerry Stratton became the Director of Missions of
Tri-Rivers Baptist Area on July 15, 1992. Ten percent of the church budget
was sent to the Cooperative Program and 2.23% to associational missions.
Average attendance for Sunday morning worship
services was 145 and 20 on Sunday evenings. The value of the pastorís
home was returned to $60,000.
A full-time Hispanic Work Coordinator was added to
the Tri-Rivers Area staff in October, 1993. Churches in the association
were invited to become sponsor churches of Hispanic missions. At the
annual meeting Arvord Abernethy presented an associational quilt
constructed of squares provided by each church in the association.
Michael R. Graham came as pastor of FBC, which
designated 10% of its budget for the Cooperative Program and 1% for
associational missions. Heating and cooling expenses were $8,055. Average
attendance for Sunday morning worship services was 200 while the average
attendance for Sunday evening was 50. Sunday morning services were
broadcast on radio, but the Baptist Standard was removed from the
At the annual meeting FBC received two
awards--largest numerical increase in Sunday School average attendance and
largest numerical increase in Sunday School enrollment.
Church property was reappraised and the value
increased from $365,500 to $500,000 without new construction or
remodeling. Ten people were enrolled in New Church Member Training and 15
in a Baptist Doctrine study. Average attendance of Sunday morning worship
services increased to 237. The church the Week of Prayer - Home Missions,
Home Mission Study, Week of Prayer-Foreign Missions, Foreign Mission
Study, and had a Deacon Family Ministry.
The value of the church property increased from
$500,000 to $750,000. In March, 1995, ground was broken and construction
began on a Youth and Family Life Center with an expenditure of $250,000.
FBC borrowed $10,000 during this year. Average attendance for Sunday
morning worship services was 208, while average attendance for Sunday
evenings was 77.
Arvord M. Abernethy was recognized at the annual
associational meeting for 42 years of service to HBA--26 years as clerk of
HCBA and 16 years as treasurer of HCBA/HBA. The Heart of Texas Baptist
Encampment at Lake Brownwood launched a three phase campaign to acquire
additional land, build an auditorium, a conference center, and other
FBC sponsored a mission trip to Colorado.
Fifty people participated in mission projects--25 in
local projects and 25 in state and national projects.
FBC participated in a World Mission Conference in May, 1998, and
celebrated in September, 1998, the 125th birthday of the church. An
effective Passion Drama was presented for the community at Easter, 1998.
Jerry Stratton retired as Director of Missions of Tri-Rivers Baptist Area
in June, 1998. Dewayne Clover is the Administrative Assistant; Jenni Smith
is the Church Secretary; Maria Weaver is Church Pianist; and Jackie
Christian is Church Organist. Committee Chairmen for Celebrating 125 Years
of Faith and Service are Alice Poteet and Jackie Christian.
THE BEGINNING OF BAPTIST WORK IN HAMILTON COUNTY
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, 1896-1897
YEAR BY YEAR, 1873 - 1899
YEAR BY YEAR, 1900 - 1925
YEAR BY YEAR 1926 - 1950
YEAR BY YEAR 1951 - 1975
A HISTORY OF FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, HAMILTON
TABLE OF CONTENTS