History of McAdenville Baptist Church
The history of McAdenville Baptist Church, or as she was called in her earlier days, McAdensville, is somewhat vague to say the least. Either early records were not kept of they have been lost with passing of time. To our best ability we have tried to trace our heritage as a church and a people. A large portion of our material has been gathered by searching the old South Fork and Gaston Baptist Associations Minutes.
The earliest account of any church we have in McAdenville is the Union Church Building, a small, rectangular, red painted building. Here, in this building, for fifteen years members of different protestant faiths and denominations met to worship at different times.
In 1885 Rev. T.W. Upton, a Baptist preacher who lived near by, was appointed to serve in McAdenville. Services were held once a month and when Rev. Upton came to town he made his home with Mr. J.M. Bumgarner. The first year he was here his salary included $1.00 given to him by Mrs. Charles Nipper and a new suit valued at $7.00 given to him by Mr. Bumgarner. Rev. Upton was no doubt the minister who laid the foundation for the beginning of the Baptist Church in McAdenville.
In 1886, with interest rising among those of the baptist faith and denomination, Mr. R.Y. McAden, the proprietor of the McAden Mills, saw an opportunity for a Baptist Church in McAdenville and arranged for
Rev. A.G. McManaway, pastor of Tryon Street Church in Charlotte, to come one Sunday a month and preach. During 1886 under Rev. McManaway's leadership, a group of people left the Union Church Building, held an organizational meeting consisting of a revival meeting in which thirty people were baptized. These thirty people organized a church and called themselves "The McAdenville Baptist Church". The church began with only those who had been baptized in the revival, and not of members holding church letters.
In 1886 the church applied for acceptance into the South Fork Baptist Association. She was accepted under the watch care of the Association. There were some reservations concerning accepting the church into the Association for in the minutes we find that the Executive Committee did not favor the locating of churches at the cotton mills to be composed mostly of mill people. The Executive Committee stated, "They are frequently so transient that the churches condition would be uncertain. It was thought that it would be best to locate a church in the country, convenient to the mill, and have among the members residents who would give a better prospect of permanency."
In 1887, the Church was accepted into the South Fork Baptist Association. While under the watchful care of the association the church baptized 8, lost 1 member by death, and had a membership of 30.
Their budget included:
Associational Missions: $2
Home Missions: $2
State Missions: $4 Foreign Missions: $2
Pastor's Salary: $60
From her humble beginnings the church has always been a mission minded church. This could be one reason God has so blessed her ministry.
During the years of 1887-1892 there is very little information on the church. It seems that during these years the church struggled to remain alive. In 1892 the church asked for a letter of dismissal from the South Fork Association to join the Kings Mountain Association. At the fall associational meeting this request was granted and the associational clerk was advised to prepare such a letter. However, at the associational meeting of 1893, the church asked that their request be denied and that they be allowed to remain in the Association. This request was granted and they remained a member of the South Fork Association.
In 1893 the Rev. J.M. Bridges was called to the church to serve as pastor. Due to the poor stewardship of the church, only .45 cents was received as an offering for the churches expenses during that year. Rev. Bridges implemented a program of stewardship growth and under his leadership, pledges amounting to $11.95 a month were received to support the church.
In 1899 the church called Rev. B.L. Hoke to serve as pastor. He led the church in a building program based upon the principle, "pay as you go." Whenever the money ran out Rev. Hoke would say, "Brethren, we can't go any further until some more money is raised." In February of 1901 the church building was completed and dedication services held with the theme being, "The Mission of a Baptist Church."
The association reports that during 1901 several of the churches were having phenomenal growth, McAdenville being one of them. That year each church baptized from 10 to 46 new converts into their church families.
In 1916 under the leadership of Rev. D.E. Vipperman, the church built its first parsonage to provide a home for the minister. The records state that the home was located in one of the best residential sections of the community.
In 1919 McAdenville Baptist Church left the South Fork Association to join the newly formed Gaston Baptist Association. We have been a member and strong supporter of the association ever since.
During the pastorate of Rev. Wilson Padgett, the church entered several building programs. In 1948 the church voted to build an educational building consisting of Sunday School rooms and department meeting areas. To finance this project the church borrowed $40,000.00. Some in the church were skeptical and said, "The church will never repay that kind of money." But, in just 2 short years the church repaid the loan. In 1955 the church voted to build a new sanctuary that would include an area for worship, a fellowship area, and Sunday School rooms. To finance this building project the church borrowed $60,000.00 and sought to raise funds from within the church family. Mr. William James Pharr, owner of Stowe-Pharr Mills, made many financial gifts to the building fund in the form of challenge gifts. He would challenge the people by matching their funds with an equal amount. According to Rev. Padgett, Mr. Pharr would say, "Challenge the people, make them stretch a little, but don't make it hard on them." In 1956 the new sanctuary was completed and a dedication service held. Three years later the $60,000.00 loan was repaid. During 1955 the church also built a new parsonage on Mockingbird Lane in McAdenville to provide a home for the minister.
During the years of building and expanding their own facilities, the church was not without the spiritual vision of expanding the Kingdom Of God. The church saw a need for beginning a mission in the Lakeview area of McAdenville. On the first Sunday in August, 1954, a meeting in a house on Lakeview Street was held to start a Sunday School Mission. There were 99 people present and the Lakeview Mission was begun. On June 23, 1957, the Lakeview Mission was organized into a Missionary Baptist Church. One of McAdenville's own, the Rev. E.J. Rumfelt, pastor of the Mission Since its beginning, was officially elected as the church's pastor.
In 1956 the church again had a vision of starting a Sunday School Mission in the Rankin Hill area of McAdenville. This work continued as a Sunday School and a preaching ministry until 1984. At that time the mission was disbanded and those who had been attending the Rankin Hill Mission were encouraged to become a part of the church fellowship at McAdenville. Several began to attend the services at that time and are now a part of our church family.
Under the leadership of Rev. Harold Brown, the church again entered a building program in 1967. Another educational building was erected with class rooms. Upon completion of this building the church entered a new area of ministry, providing child care for working parents. The object of the Day Care is to provide a Christian environment for children during the day. The Day Care provides the only opportunity many of the children have of hearing about Jesus Christ or having any touch with a church. This program of ministry has been active since its beginning. No one can begin to know the impact this ministry might have on the life of one of these small children.
Today our church family worships, is nurtured in the Christian faith, encouraged, and enjoys Christian fellowship in facilities valued at close to one million dollars. Our church budget for 1986 (100th Anniversary) was almost $92,000.00. Our mission giving including the Cooperative Program, Associational Missions, Local Missions, Home and Foreign Missions will exceed $17,700.00 this year. Many people have come and gone through this church. Several have felt the call of God for their life here and have responded by going our from this church to serve as missionaries, minister, and music directors. This church has always been and always will be missionary minded, vision empowered, evangelistic and do all she can to fulfill the plan Christ has for her as a church. May we who live today continue to work to to give our children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and future members a church history they can be proud of.