The Story of Hopewell Baptist
In 1870 the Civil War was over. The people in the Hopewell Community were mostly small land owners. The people mostly farmed for a living. Transportation was by horseback, buggy and wagon. People walked a great deal, the roads were narrow and muddy and not well maintained.
A few devoted Christians were concerned about the lack of spiritual life in the community. There was no Baptist church within a radius of 6 miles and the conditions of the roads made travel impossible for people to attend church services.
A small group of people had been worshipping in a brush arbor near the site of the present church. They met in December 1870 and drew up a resolution which proved to be the beginning of Hopewell Baptist Church.
James and Mary Farr donated the land for the first Hopewell Church building. Later some land was given for the cemetery by Marry Patton, John Beach, Bob Williams and Horace Williams.
Logs were cut on the land given to the church and dragged to the building site by two oxen owned by Jim Deal. The church was built of hewn logs, and scored to a thickness of 9 inches for the walls and dubbed with mud. The shingles were hand hewn. Byard Grady had charge of the board making. Joe Grady made the seats. Money for the nails and benches was donated by physician, Dr. Laubacker.
In 1902 the log building was replaced by a frame wooden building. It seated about 200 people.
1922 a 10 foot addition was built to the church, a bell was purchased and a bell tower and front porch was built. Ten Sunday school rooms were built on the north side of the church in 1928. A well was dug in back of the church in 1929. The first sermon was preached in the new church on April 1, 1902 by Reverend P.J. Shell.
In June of 1948, plans were made to build a new church. The grading for the new building was begun in March 1949. The church's auditorium seated over 300 and a baptistry, 12 Sunday School room joined the church and a roomy basement provided for additional growth. A Hammond organ was purchased for the church. Dedication services for the new church building was held on October 9, 1949.