Farmville Baptist Church
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Christ in you, the Hope of Glory

History

     Little is known of the early history of the Farmville Baptist Church.  The church records were destroyed twice by fire.  The information we have comes from personal letters, court records, and from a history of the East Liberty Baptist Association written by B.B. McGinty who was pastor of the church for 25 years.
     Much of the history of the church and Farmville community is written on the tombstones in the cemetery directly across from the church.  The church was established in 1835 shortly after the settlers began farming in what is now Lee County.  The land for the church and cemetery was donated by Phillip and Sidney Watkins and presented to Deacons Jacob Hughley, G.W. Shelton, James S. Talbot, and J.I. Hester.  Willie B. Jones is the first know pastor.  All are buried in Farmville Cemetery.
     The church was said to have been an unpainted one room building facing south with two doors in front and windows on the sides.  A larger white frame building was built in 1893 facing south on the same site.  It was heated with a wood stove until a gas floor furnace was installed in the 1940's. 
     On Sunday, January 14, 1951, the church was destroyed by fire, possibly from a faulty heater.  Only the piano and five pews were saved.  The members met that night, determined to keep the church together, and made plans to rebuild.  The church met in what is now the Community Club for 54 Sundays.  On the 55th Sunday, Homecoming services were held in the basement of the new brick building using 50 chiars, the five pews, and the piano from the old building. 
     On May 16, 1954, dedication services were held.  Rufus Owen was pastor.  The new building was designed to face east with room on the north side for a pastorium at a later date.  The building is a combination of Georgian and Colonial architecture.  The auditorium is 38' x 45' and seats 200.
     A pastorium was built in 1960 and the educational building was added in 1967. 
     A cemetery fund was established by A.C. Carter who was Chairman of the cemetery at that time, for the perpetual care of the cemetery.  
     A Homecoming service is held each year on the first Sunday in May.