In 2003, our church celebrated its hundredth anniversary. Below is a little about our earliest history.
According to church records, there was a mission in Spray as far back as 1896. Sponsored by the Leaksville Baptist Church, the mission met on Sunday afternoons, possibly at the "Little Red School House" on Morgan Road.
In January, 1897, according to the Leaksville Church records, a committee of three men was named, and they were instructed to talk with Mr. Mebane about property for a Spray Chapel. (Mr. Mebane was B. Frank Mebane, husband of Mrs. Lily Morehead Mebane, and was president of the Spray Water Power and Land Company.) Mr. Mebane told the men to choose the plot they wanted and to build their meeting house. He further stated that if the property was ever needed by the company they would buy the building at a fair price minus the "wear and tear" on the chapel. The lot was chosen at the intersection of Park Road and Spring Street. A suitable plan was selected, which called for a building that would seat two hundred people. An architect estimated the cost of erecting the chapel would be $430.00. When the committee reported to the church conference in March of 1897, they recommended the work should be pushed to completion, and, at the June conference, it was agreed to move the seats from the Leaksville Church basement to the Spray Chapel. (The seats had been used for services held in the basement until the upper part of the church was completed.)
The pastor held worship services in Spray on Sunday afternoons. When a series of meetings were held at the mother church, the minister, Dr. James Brantley Richardson, would spend the following week at the Spray Chapel.
In mid-summer of 1896, the Leaksville church reported for the Spray Sunday School nine officers and teachers and one hundred fifteen pupils. On Sunday October 3, a subscription was called for to apply to the debt; however, it was May 1, 1898, before the chapel was really cleared of debt. In December of that year it was pointed out that the two hundred seats in the chapel were not adequate. A committee was named to suggest a plan for enlarging the building.
On December 31, 1898, Dr. Richardson resigned from the Leaksville Baptist Church pastorate and on July 2, 1899, Rev. R. E. White accepted the call.
In April, 1900, another committee was appointed to consider the advisability of enlarging the Spray Chapel. Church records indicate the other committee which was appointed earlier had for some reason been inactive, or had made a decision to take no action at that time. The significant point, however, is that in late 1898 and again in April, 1900, consideration was to be given to enlarging the Spray Chapel. The need for more space certainly implied there was growth or expected growth.
According to the Pilot Mountain Associational minutes of 1900, the mother church was doing a great missionary work at Spray. There were sixty-two sermons, one hundred fifty-seven visits, thirty-six baptisms, sixty-three professions and ten funerals.
On July 23, 1901, the Rev. R. E. White resigned and Rev. S. J. Beeker accepted the call to the Leaksville Baptist Church. Rev. Beeker also served the Spray Chapel. Other members of the Leaksville Church who took active parts in the Spray mission work were: Dr. T. G. Taylor, Superintendent of the mission; D. F. King, B. F. Ivie, Mr. And Mrs. J. B. Taylor, Miss Lottie King (Mrs. S. J. Beeker) and others.
In 1902, the Spray Chapel had shown growth because in February 1903 a committee was appointed to raise money to enlarge the chapel and then a building committee was appointed to work on plans for such an addition.
Rev. Beeker served the church and mission at Spray until March, 1903, and in June of 1903, the Rev. C. A. Jenkins was called to the Leaksville church and also to serve the Spray Chapel. During this time there was a discussion among the Spray members about organizing a church. This discussion was followed in October with the Leaksville church granting letters of dismissal to fifty-six members to form a new church in Spray. Other members were later granted letters to unite with the church in Spray.
On October 25, 1903, the mission was organized into a church of sixty-three members by the Leaksville church. Rev. C. A. Jenkins continued to serve the church and the mission. The name of the new church was to be the Spray Baptist Church.
The first recorded meetings of Spray Baptist Church taken from church records:
After the regular services on Sunday morning, October 25, 1903, a meeting was called for the purpose of organizing the Spray Baptist Church. The meeting was called to order by Rev. C. A. Jenkins and the following officers were elected: M. A. Trent - Clerk; John F. Lewis, Dr. John Sweaney and Albert E. Millner - Trustees; L. W. Clark - Treasurer; Rev. C. A. Jenkins - Pastor. Impersonal talks were made by the following brethren: D. F. King, Dr. T. G. Taylor and W. D. Flynn. L. W. Clark motioned that the trustees be appointed as a special committee to set up the Constitution and By-Laws. All motions were carried.
On April 7, 1904, a committee was appointed to call a pastor. Members were Dr. John Sweaney, L. W. Clark and John F. Lewis.
On April 17, 1904, the committee of April 7, 1904, was authorized to call a full-time pastor.
On April 28, 1904, a meeting was called to order by L. W. Clark for the purpose of calling a pastor. Dr. Sweaney made the motion that Rev. John Stanford be called full time at a salary of $600 per year. The motion carried unanimously. On April 28, 1904, a motion was made that the collection basket be passed twice each Sunday. Twenty members were present and all motions carried.
On October 13, 1904, Spray Baptist Church met in conference and elected the following officers: M. A. Trent - Clerk; Charlie Austin - Assistant Clerk; L. W. Clark - Treasurer. Deacons for three years: J. C. Ward, W. D. Flynn. Two years: J. F. Lewis, L. W. Clark. One year: A. E. Millner and Daniel Patterson. Trustees elected were: S. P. Gilley, Dr. A. F. Tuttle, Dr. John Sweaney, G. R. Green and J. C. Robertson. Sunday School Superintendent was W. D. Flynn and T. G. Taylor was his assistant. Ushers were Charlie Austin and W. J. Hall.
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