Bagdad Baptist Church
Wednesday, October 05, 2022
Love God. Love others. Serve the world.
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          The conception of a Baptist church at Bagdad was first expressed by Mrs. B.D. (Ollie) Estes.  Mr. and Mrs. Estes attended church at Christiansburg.  They discussed the need for a Baptist church from time to time with each other and with friends.  They mentioned it to Brother J.M. Fowler, then pastor at Buffalo Lick.  He heartily approved.  Brother Fowler and Mrs. Estes visited many friends.  Some were favorable, some were not.
          Soon a meeting was held at the Estes home with Alfred Basket and Virgil Lewis present.  Meetings began to be held in the Estes home as well as in the Sacrey home.  In Brother Fowler’s diary, March 30, 1889, the following churches with their delegates were invited to take part in the council:  Christiansburg, Pleasureville, Shelbyville, Indian Fork, Clayvillage, Buffalo Lick, Beechridge, Hardensville, Graefenburg, and Sulphur.  There were 56 in number and they constitute the church’s charter roll:  Alfred Basket, Sue Basket, Samuel Beckley, Lizzie Beckley, Levisa Bland, Lulie Bland, W.L. Bland, Sallie Bland, Eugene Bland, Hiram Bohannon, Kizzie Bondurant, Louisa Bohannon, Cynthia Bohannon, Amanda Bohannon, Sallie Bondurant, Linda Brawner, Bettie Brawner, Mary Duncan, B.D. Estes, Ollie Estes, Jospeh Hawkins, Jennie Hawkins, LeRoy Kesler, Sibbie Kesler, Eva Kesler, Isaac Lewis Sr., I.N. Lewis, Ada Lewis, Virgil Lewis, Ella Lewis, William B. Long, Eliza Long, J. Sam Moore, Mattie E. Moore, D.W. Owens, Sallie Owens, T.L. Owens, Ella Owens, J.A. Pace, Mary J. Pace, James Pace, Jane Rosell, G.W. Sacrey, Elizabeth Sacrey, James Radcliffe, W.L. Thompson, Mattie Thompson, Elizabeth Reeves, Ada Renaker, J.S. Wilson, T.D. Wilson, Bell Wilson, and Will Wilson.
          The second meeting of the church was held the third Saturday in June 1889.  Plans were laid for a new church building.  It was agreed that services would be held at the Bagdad College built by Mr. Scearce, also referred to as the “old brick school house,” during construction of the present main building on land donated by Lewis Sacrey.
          At the 18th annual session of the Shelby Baptist Association, August 15 and 16, 1889, the church presented its articles of faith and petition for membership.  Bagdad was the 20th member to join the Association.
          Brother J.M. Fowler was called as the first pastor February 16, 1890, and served the church until February 1891.
          Under the leadership of Reverend John L. Stone, the Sunday School Annex was added to the sanctuary in 1924; the education wing including a basement fellowship hall was constructed in 1954, during the pastorate of Reverend Robert Smith; and the parsonage was built in 1958, during the pastorate of Reverend Harold Bergen.
          The church felt the need for additional space at different intervals; however, due to land restraints, there was no room for growth.  In 1984, the land problem was solved with the purchase of the Harrison property adjoining the church on the north side.  The church purchased the Poole property on the other side of the church in 1992.  The latest edition of the church, which included several Sunday School rooms and a large fellowship hall, was dedicated June 6, 1993, during the pastorate of Dr. Mark Potts.  A parcel of land behind the church building was bought from the Bagdad Roller Mill in 2001 and a lot was purchased on the north side of the church from Jenny Edington in 2003.
Taken from a short story written by W.C. Harrison (May 31, 1931) and paraphrased by Alice Harrison Barnett (1984) and The Sentinel News “Pride in Our Heritage” edition, October 7, 1992.  The history was updated in 2003 by Phyllis L. Bailey.