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First Baptist Church

History of First Baptist Church of Berea

            So we built the wall:  and the wall was joined together

            Thereof for the people had a mind to work.  Nehemiah 4:6

Just before the beginning of a new century (1895), a number of black families moved to Madison County.  The nearest church was known as New Liberty Baptist Church, a distance of seven miles from Berea.  This group walked this distance each week to church for many years, carrying their shoes wrapped in paper and when near the church , they would wipe the dust off their feet, put on their shoes and they entered the church ready for worship.

            They were not blessed with cars and other means of transportation as we have today.  With love for God in their hearts and with faith in their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit as their guide and teacher, they decided to build a house of worship.

            We pause to salute the pioneers for this effort, who without a doubt put God in front and in spite of small financial gains, for many worked for fifty cents a day, but they gave freely of what they had.  The were able to hold on, to carry on and push forward until they accomplished what they had planned.  There wasn't much fashion but devoutness.  There wasn't light but the Bible gave light for the way.  There was very little warmth, except for maybe one stove in the house of worship, but there was deep in their hearts the warmth of God's love, and the love they had for each other.

            Early records show that the first meeting was held at the Newburg School House early in the fall of 1894, with C.H. Blythe as Moderator and James A. West, Clerk, for the purpose of organizing a church. 

            There were 46 members in this group.  These people had a vision.  For without a vision, the people would perish.   

Rev. Thomas Howard Broaddus was the first pastor of the church in 1895;  current pastor is Rev. Johnnie K. Cunningham (1979 to present).  - excerpts from Centennial Anniversary Booklet , for November 16-18, 20, 1994.  Compiled by Booklet Committee: Sis. Juanita Huguely, Sis. Elizabeth Denny, Sis. Ruth Kennedy and Sis. Linda Ballard

Dr. Jackie Burnside
CPO 1706
Berea, KY 40404
(859) 985-3811

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Berea College

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