First Baptist Hodgenville celebrates 133 years

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By John Smith, Contributor

First Baptist Hodgenville celebrated its 133rd anniversary and 80th annual homecoming last weekend.

There were several events in conjunction with the celebration including the Hubbard Cemetery program at First Baptist Hodgenville, the Georgetown school reunion and the annual Cobb family reunion.

After Sunday school, the crowd began to gather in the vestibule and church grounds to be sure to get a seat for the morning service. The crowd assembled inside, and in less than 30 minutes, the church was packed and more chairs were added to seat the overflow crowd.

Rev. Aaron Moss and his congregation canceled their church service to fellowship with First Baptist. It brought back many memories of the past. Many family and friends traveled from afar for the second weekend in August.

The first First Baptist Church was built on March 30, 1881, on a plot of ground in downtown that was purchased from Samuel and Matilda Skaggs, Simon Quinn, George Morris, Harrison Patton at the price of $200. According to information handed down, it has been stated that Rev. Carpenter was the first pastor and the early “colored” members attended the “white” Baptist church during that time. During that time, the church had no regular pastor, but a man named Rev. Taylor preached once a month until a regular pastor was called.  

In 1886, Rev. W.W. Wheeler was called to pastor First Baptist. After about five years, 35 to 40 members built a new church on the same plot which was “The Hodgenville Produce.” In 1912, the church was built in the community where it is now. Our forefathers laid the foundation for us today to have a place for us to worship.

The morning services began with devotions by the deacons. The processional was by the B & M Mass Choir. Words of welcome were by John Smith. Song of praise was by the B & M Mass Choir and the Hodgenville Brotherhood. Rev.

Wilkinson provided the morning message, “From Rags to Riches.” Even though it was warm inside “heat wise” all enjoyed the songs of Zion and the wonderful sermon. The morning service concluded with “happy smiles and hugs” from a wonderful service. A wonderful meal was provided by the culinary committee.

The afternoon service was in for a treat with Rev. Shawn Sales and his congregation from Loving Springs Baptist Church, Glasgow. First lady Rosalyn Wilkinson gave words of welcome to our guest.

John Smith provided a booklet with the church’s history and photos of Pastor Emeritus and first lady, the late Rev. Donahue Price and wife Rosleen, who pastored First Baptist for 43 years, and Rev. J.O. Crittenden and his wife who pastored 1950-1957.

The Loving Spring choir provided the music with Pastor Sales delivering the afternoon sermon, “When the king came in.”