First Baptist Church Plainview
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
People Reaching People
In the year 1880, visitors to Hale County found nothing but uninhabited windswept prairies, a few scattered buffalo, wild horses, antelope and coyotes. The Indians had withdrawn north to Palo Duro Canyon.
The first permanent settler to come to Hale County was Reverend Horatio Graves, a Methodist minister from New York, who moved his family in 1882 to a corner of sixteen sections of land he had purchased near the present site of Hale Center. Shortly afterward, E.L. Low arrived from Arkansas and filed a claim immediately north of the Maxwell homestead. The two decided to build a town, and eighty acres from the north side of the Maxwell land and eighty acres from the south side of the Lowe property were surveyed in 1887 and comprised the original township. A year later, the county was organized, and Plainview became the county seat.
The fourth week in November, 1890, was momentous in the history of the county. The county court house was received by the commissioners' court, construction started on the county jail; and on Sunday afternoon, November 23rd, a group of eleven persons met in the school house to organize the Plainview Baptist Church.
Reverend L.B. Kimbrough and Reverend John C. Stamps, assisted in the organization, which was based upon an original manuscript of the Articles of Faith of the Old Mill Creek Church in Virginia. The following were recognized as members at the first meeting: Mr. and Mrs. F.M. Parks, Mr. and Mrs. T.B. Leverett, Mr. and Mrs. R.B.C. Howell, Mr. and Mrs. T.L. Pearson, Mr. and Mrs. Seat Turner and Mr. T.E. Smith.
Reverend L.B. Kimbrough was called as pastor, and F.M. Parks was recognized as an ordained deacon. Brother Kimbrough attended the state convention in Fort Worth soon after the organization of the church. In giving a report of his frontier mission work, he described the Llano Estacado Association as being "bounded on the north by the Fort Worth and Denver Railroad, on the south by the T&P Railroad, on the east by the Red Fork Association and on the west by the providence of God."
A generous offering was given to Brother Kimbrough by those attending the convention and he returned to Plainview to appoint a building committee, composed of F.M. Parks, R.B.C. Howell and J.H. Wayland. During the first year, the church membership doubled and plans were made for the organization of the Sunday School. Mr. Howell was elected superintendent.
The first building was completed in August of 1893. Reverend J.M. Carroll was invited to preach the dedication sermon. Buffalo bones were collected and sold and the money used to pay for the furnishings and bell for the church. The first mission offering taken by the church amounted to thirty dollars.
With these humble beginnings, the First Baptist Church of Plainview was born. It was born out of sacrifice and dedication. It was born out of a desire that the commission of our Lord be fulfilled. It was born out of a hope that all who followed would embrace these early dreams and carry on the work of the Kingdom of God in Plainview.