The History of First Baptist Church, Collinsville, Mississippi
Historical Sketch of the one room Church Sanctuary
Ministers of First Baptist Collinsville
1926 — Collinsville Baptist Church was granted admission into the Lauderdale County Baptist Association with 21 charter members. Services met once a month in the Collinsville Methodist Church Building, with Rev. G. E. Holsomback as pastor.
1927 — Offering for the year totaled $149.00. The pastor’s salary was $8.00.
1928 — Plans were completed for their own house of worship. An acre of land was donated by Mr. Duluth Snowden. The one room building was constructed of concrete blocks, hand made on site by Les Harwell. The approximate cost was $1,600.
1929 — Membership grew to twenty five and a new pastor was called to preach with an annual salary of $20.00. Church property was valued at $1,800 and indebtedness totaled $150.00.
1930 — Giving for the year totaled $209.23, including a salary of $21.73 for the pastor.
1949 — Rev. W. E. McKeithen was pastor. Four Sunday School rooms were added to provide space for the growing membership now numbering 72.
1952 — An acre of land was purchased form Mr. Snowden for construction of a pastorium.
1955 — To accomodate the growing membership, Mr. Snowden exchanged the old property for property adjacent to the pastorium. Dedication services were held for new facilities constructed there, including a sanctuary, Sunday School rooms and a kitchen.
Sanctuary and education space- constructed in 1955
1957 — Rev. C. B. Blackwell was pastor and a baptistry was installed and the first baptism took place on April 21st.
1963 — In June 1963, Rev J. M. Snowden began his ministry. A library was organized by Eloise Pigford, and an organ and new piano were donated.
1965 — The church beame debt free, and began improvements to the property which included: walkways, office space, a pastor’s study, a new wing to the educational building and a new seventy foot section to the back of the church which housed seven rooms and a fellowship hall.
1970 — Central heating and air-conditioning was installed for all the buildings.
1972 — An acre of land was purchased from Mr. E. R. Hitt for a church cemetery. The following year, as preparations began for an aphalt drive, Mr. Phil Smith, an active deacon, died in a tractor accident and was the first member to be buried there.
1973 — The pastoriurn was sold and moved away. The following year, an acre of land adjoining the church property was purchased from Mr. Chris Tough for the construction of a new pastorium.
1975 — A new four bedroom pastorium was constructed at an approximated cost of $40,000. The parkinig lot was paved and a fully furnished modern kitchen was installed in the fellowship area. Church membership grew to 311.
1978 — The 50th Anniversary of the church was observed with Rev. W. E. McKeithen returning to preach in the morning service. A newly purchased organ was dedicated.
Sanctuary and education space- constructed in 1955.
1980 — A new baptistry was installed and a church van was purchased.
1981 — Two new ministries were begun, a Bus Ministry and Children’s Church.
1982 — Dr. Gordon Sansing was pastor. A new sound system was purchased, as well as new robes for the choir.
1983 — Recognizing the need for future expansion, 15.94 acres of land adjoining the existing property was purchased at an approximate cost of $12,000, giving the church a total of 18 acres.
1984 — Dr. David Sellers was pastor and with the addition of Charles Hinson to the staff, the music ministry was expanded and organized by the graded choir program including Preschool, Music Makers (grades 1-3), Young Musicians (grade 4-6), and Youth Choirs. He Was also instrumental in establishing a variety of groups, ensembles and soloist for special music during worship services.
1985 — Church support allowed Marie Hinson to participate in a mission trip to Haiti.
1986 — A new 2,600 square foot educational building was completed, adding Sunday School rooms, a preschool department and a library. A “Together We Build” campaign was begun with a goal or raising $175,000 to help finance a new sanctuary for a growing congregation.
1987 — Dedication services were held for a newly constructed 450 seat sanctuary. The facility included a music library and office for the music minister, choir room and an unfinished balcony with a cost of $352,498.00. All Church buildings were renovated, and the former sanctuary was converted into a fellowship hall.
1988 — The church was a member of the “1988 Centrury Club”, one of 100 churches recognized as leading contributors in the $75,000 – $150,000 category by the Mississippi Baptist Convention.
1989 — The church incorporated as a non-profit organization. Missions work included participating in a World Missions Conference by hosting a foreign missionary, and sending a team from our church to Japan with other Mississippi Baptist.
1992 — Sunday School Classes overflowed into the pastorium, choir room, library, fellowship hall, sancturary and unfinished balcony. A “Together We Build” campaign was begun with a goal of $350,000 to help to finance the construction of a multi-purpose facility housing educational and fellowship space for a resident membership of 391 people. A new sign was purchased for placement outside the sanctuary.
1993 — The church acquired a new van, and construction of the Multi-Purpose Building and parking lot were completed. The multi-level facility houses fourteen classrooms, storage areas, and kitchen and gym for recreation and fellowship. Snowden Day was observed to honor the Jim Snowden Family and to dedicate a Bell Tower, constructed to house the bell, donated to the church in 1955 by Mr. Duluth Snowden. Special music included a song “Our Tribute”, written and sung by Marie Hinson.
1994 — A second van was purchased and a van shed was constructed. Due to planned expansion of highway, the MS Highway Department purchased temporary easement and .29 acres of land for $7,620.
1995 — The balcony was completed, adding much needed seating in the sanctuary. An unused parcel of land on the southeast corner of the church property was sold for $30,000. A Sunday School revival was held with a team from the State Convention.
1996 — A Forward Program was conducted to encourage tithing with commitments made totaling $6,638.90 per week, $369.55 more than needed for the budget. An emphasis was also made for the retirement of debt. Improvements were made to the main hallway and the youth minister’s office was expanded. A new American and Christian flag for the sanctuary were presented to the church in a special service.
1997 — The first full-time staff person in addition to the pastor, was hired, Andy Murry, as Associate Pastor and Minister of Youth, to meet the needs of a growing membership now totaling 488. The Church observed Friend Day and recorded an all time high attendance in Sunday School of 397. The highest ever offering received in a service was recorded at over $17,000. An Appreciation Service was held to honor August Miller for Sunday School work, Grace Espey for serving as Discipleship Training Secretary, T. S. Pigford for serving as Church Treasurer and Church Clerk, and Eloise Pigford for serving as Organist and Librarian. The library was named in her honor.
1998 — New hymnals were purchased, and banners were presented to enhance worship. The morning worship hour was expanded to an unprecedented two services to better use facilities and meet the needs of an ever growing membership. Lake Ross Collins Day was held to reach out into a new subdivision in the community. A new parking lot was added.
1999 — An alarm system was installed because of a break in that resulted in the loss of a computer, a stereo, 2 TV’s, cash, 2 rolls of stamps, etc. Charles Hinson retired after serving for 15 years as our Minister of Music. On July 18th on Sunday Evening, a note burning ceremony was held. The Church was once again debt free!
2000 — Allen Sims was hired as our first Full-time Minister of Music. The choir increased in numbers and now has 2 choirs, one for the 8:30 service and one for the 11:00 service. New choir robes were ordered and the church will soon begin a new building project. The project will be educational space, plus office renovation. The total membership is now 790.
More to come….