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First Baptist Church To Celebrate 145th Anniversary


Join In the First Baptist Church’s 145th Anniversary Celebration on March 26th from 10:00 am – 11:30 am.

The First Baptist Church of Holden, Missouri, was organized with 15 charter members on March 23, 1878, in Daniel’s Hall on the south side of Second Street between Main and Pine streets where the telephone office now stands. The first pastor was Rev. C. N. Wester. On August 23, 1878, the church was admitted into the Lafayette and Johnson County Association which convened at Concord.

In 1879 the church erected their first building at the present location on the southeast corner of Sixth and Market streets for a cost of $4,500. Rev. J. N. Newman was pastor and instrumental in the building program.

In 1897 the building burned to the ground. A new, larger structure was erected on the same site, costing $7,500 and is still in use today. Besides the main auditorium, there was also a large Sunday school and prayer meeting assembly room and two other classrooms.

Rev. Edward James was pastor from April to August of 1896. He became a state evangelist and lived here until his death. In later years his wife, Emily, was licensed as a preacher. She was also a great musician.


As early as 1905, the church had a Woman’s Missionary Society, and a Ladies Aid Society soon followed. Later an organization known as the Mary’s and Martha’s was quite active. These organizations contributed heavily to the needs of our church during times of financial stress.

In 1931 during the Depression, the church fell behind in paying the salaries of the pastor, Rev. Roland R. Watts, and the janitor.

With the help of the Ladies Aid Society, the Mary’s and Martha’s and the church having a “pounding” for the pastor, the church caught up on its debt.

The first Bible school was probably held in 1941 during the pastorate of Rev. Earl…


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