Saturday, June 6, 2009

Franklin Baptist Church in Livingston

Seven Generations Have Worshiped in Franklin Church
-- Now 100 Years Old
  Although a celebration and homecoming are planned for summer or fall, the 100th anniversary of Franklin Baptist church in Franklin township, Appanoose county, is today, April 12 [1962]. The church stands about seven miles southeast of Seymour and once was part of the town known as Livingston.
  The history of the church was prepared and sent to The Herald by Mrs. Clara Hatfield, 804 W. Jackson, Centerville.
  (Clyde Pettit of Seymour says that three of the founders of the church were his grandparents, Noah and Judy Pettit, and his father, J. H. Pettit. Other descendants of the founders live in the Seymour area.)
  A meeting was called at the home of Peter Angle April 12, 1862, for the purpose of organizing a church. The home of Peter Angle was about 3 1/2 miles west and 1/2 mile north of where the church now stands. This was also used for their place of worship until May 17, 1864, when it was changed to the E. O. Smith home.
  The constituent members were R. G. Chapin, Peter Angle, Noah Pettit, Judy Pettit and J. H. Pettit. R. G. Chapin was appointed deacon and Noah Pettit, clerk. It was moved and carried that his organization be called "The Franklin Baptist Church."
  Feb. 1, 1863, J. W. Bolster accepted the call as the first pastor, conducting a revival meeting in which many souls were saved.
  In 1866, L. G. Parker was the first preacher ordained to preach from this organization. The place of worship was also changed to the home of L. G. Parker in 1880.  ...years later the Livingston school house was built and it was used for the place of worship.
  Feb. 8, 1880, the congregation appointed a committee consisting of Bros. Allen Pettit, R. A. Huxtable, and L. G. Parker to make plans to erect a church and dedicate it to God's service.
  Mr. and Mrs. E. O. Smith sold and deeded to the trustees 1 3/4 acres of ground for the sum of $50. The trustees were as follows: L. G. Parker, Allen Pettit, R. B. Wilkinson, I. W. Stevens, E. O. Smith, R. A. Huxtable and George Noe.
  Rev. E. A. Spring, being pastor at this time, agreed to preach for $375. One hundred of this was to be paid in house rent, coal, wood, pork, lard, flour and such things as were needed to supply his family.
  Feb. 5, 1881, the group met in the new church for its business and covenant meeting.  On Feb. 17, 1883, the building committee was discharged. Rev. C. Lippit was pastor.
  These are among the families who assisted in the good work:  Angles, Pettits, Stevens, Wilkinsons, Melsons, Parkers, Bells, Albers, Bales, McCabes, Condras, Smiths, Chapins, Noes and others.
  Some of the pastors were: J. W. Holster, L. G. Parker, Turten, Archer, Benton, Sutton, E. A. Spring, C. Lippit, S. H. Gum, A. E. Clemens, William Beard, G. W. Smith, J. F. Catlin, Stevenson, R. F. Legrand, Isaac Cochran, A. W. Miller, Pete Thomas, H. Robison, Glenn Reed, Fred Dieiderick, W. M. Cleeton, Glade Yost, Caleb Ball, Sidney Sloan, John Ver Steegt, Virgil Baily, Edwin Cline, Glenn Hall, Eugene Boyer, and Kermitt Gladfelder, who is present pastor.
  Men who have been deacons include Peter Angle, R. G. Chapin, J. W. Stevens, Allen Pettit, William Condra, R. B. Wilkinson, Peter Bales, W. A. Fox, John Barr, E. R. Bell, A. B. Crouch, Ray Leonard, John M. Jones, Gaylon McAnelly, John Reed, John Hibbs, James Fisk, Connie Clinkenteard, Harry Wray and Forest Elliott, Edgar Fisk, Eddie Steeth and Roger Lewis are now acting deacons.
  Clerks have included Noah Pettit, Lane Angle, R. G. Chapin, J. W. Stevens, J. H. Pettit, Nickolas Angle, A. L. Davidson, S. N. Bell, R. B. Wilkinson, J. C. Putnam, E. R. Bell, Della Bell, C. H. Boden, Luella Draper, Helen Stoner Burkhiser and Clara Kimm Hatfield, present clerk. Luella Draper was church clerk for 37 years.
  During these 100 years other denominations have used the church for their place of worship. Since 1862 the seventh generation from Peter Angle is worshipping with this congregation now. It has been 80 years since the church building was built.
  A number of preachers were ordained from this church and a number of weddings have been solemnized in the church. A girl who was a member of this church and her husband are now missionaries in Japan.
  "I believe I am correct in saying that a Thompson was head carpenter when the church was built," Mrs. Hatfield writes. "Many changes have taken place. The greatest is the changing of kerosene lamps to electricity."
  "If you name is not listed as an officer, do not feel bad because some of the more humble had as much to do with making this a success as the officers have. And may we all say this verse as a prayer in all humbleness and sincerity: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in they sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.  Psalms 19:14."
  Transcribed from a newspaper clipping from The Seymour Herald of 12 April 1962 included in the Scrapbook of Louise Harl - Item #9 on the FHL Film #1007930. 

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