History of McCormick First Baptist
From our beginning as a mission work of Buffalo Baptist Church, which held a weekly Sunday School and preaching services when possible at Dorn’s Mine in the 1870’s, to our present position as McCormick First Baptist Church, our congregation has sought to serve God and our community. The church was organized and received into the Abbeville Baptist Association in 1878, with B.F. Miller serving as the first pastor. The church was then known as the Dorn’s Mine Baptist Church. In 1882 the name of our community and our church was changed to McCormick (McCormick Baptist Church) in honor of the famed inventor Cyrus McCormick and his family. McCormick, who had purchased a great deal of local property in 1871 from William B. Dorn for the purpose of gold mining, his wife, Nettie, and his son, Cyrus, Jr., took great interest in establishing a town and enhancing the community. Land was donated for various purposes, including the establishment of churches. Such grants, McCormick wrote, were “for the consideration of one dollar the further consideration of the love I bear for the cause of Christ and a desire to promote His heritage.” Lots 16 and 17 of Block E, at the corner of Oak and Gold Streets, were donated to our church, and our first sanctuary was erected there in 1884.
In 1920, during the pastorate of L.H. Gardner, land was purchased at the corner of Oak and Augusta Streets, and our present sanctuary was built. All of the land in Block E is presently owned by the church, having been obtained by generous gifts and timely purchases.
An educational building was constructed adjacent to the sanctuary in 1951, and the present parsonage was built in 1955-56. Both of these projects were accomplished during the pastorate of Dr. L. K. Simpson, who served the church for 16 years. The latest educational building facing Walnut Street was completed and equipped in 1963, during the pastorate of H.J. Gambrell, who served the church for 26 years.
The church incorporated and officially became known as the McCormick First Baptist Church in 1985.
Following is a listing of our church’s pastors:
|B.F. Miller||1878-1880 and 1883||L.R. Hogan||1918|
|T.A. Reid||1881-1882||L.H. Gardner||1919-1923|
|J.A. Bell||1885||W.W. Sisk||1924-1928|
|H.C Smart||1888-1890||W.H. Barfield||1929-1930|
|G.H. Burton||1891||D.V Cason||1931-1935|
|George Bussey||1892-1897||Thad Persons||1935-1940|
|W.W. Jones||1899||H.J. Gambrell||1958-1984|
|J.C. Mays||1902||D.M. Kauffman||1985-1991|
|D.A. Swindler||1903-1907||Steven M. Cheek||1992-1995|
|R.E. Duren||1908||Ryan B. Eklund and Other Interims||1995-1997|
|J.A. Martin||1909||Dennis Lynn||1998-2009|
|S.R. Bass||1910||Gary DeBerry||2009-2015|
|J.S. Harris||1911-1913||Michael Allen||2015-2021|
|W.R. Smith||1914-1918||Christopher Gulledge||2021-|