East Avenue Baptist Church, c. 1903, Historical Sketch

On the first Sunday in June, 1889, at an invitation extended by Rev. J. H. Thompson, Rev. W. C. Armstrong came to Springfield for the purpose of viewing the field north of the Frisco tracks.

After some days spent in canvassing, the work of organizing was begun. On the 28th day of July following the church was constituted, consisting of sixteen members—five males and eleven females. The recognition council, of which Rev. J. M. Bent was president and J. H. Vaught was clerk, met in a grove on the corner of Springfield Avenue and Dale street for the purpose of organising a third Baptist church, which was named East Avenue about a month later. The sermon was preached by Rev. J. M. Bent, pastor of the First Baptist church of this city, after which the constituent members came forward and after hearing the articles of faith and church covenant read, a.s given by Rev. J. M. Pendleton, adopted them by vote as the articles of faith and covenant for the government of this church. The following names were those that were enrolled: W. C. Armstrong, T. Agnes Armstrong, A. J. Jones, M. V. Jones, W G. Joiner, Mrs. Joiner, J. H. Vaught, Eliza Vaught, Eva Rae, Effie A. Miller, Marcella Page, W. C. Crane, Nina Crane, M. E. Crane, Sarah F. Blanchard, D. A. Chastine.

Rev. W. C. Armstrong was elected pastor and settled on the field. Under his administration the present house was planned and completed, and the membership increased to about sixty. V. M. Newbill and A. J. Jones were the first deacons to serve this church. A. Baldwin was the first superintendent of the Sunday School, and there has been no intermission of the Sunday School since that time.

Rev. W. C. Armstrong remained pastor for about fourteen months, after which Rev. D. T. Baucom was called to serve the church; following him was Rev. E. T. Sloan, who served the church for five years. Then followed A. B. Elsey, who served the church for two years, after which there were two short pastorates, Rev. Duggins and S. J. Hudson. Bro. Sloan was again called to serve the church, which he did for four years, and upon his resignation Rev. W. M. Pinson was called to the pastorate and entered upon his work the first Sunday in December, 1903. and is now serving the church.

The present location of the church building is on East Avenue, between High and Turner. The membership has increased from sixteen to two hundred and sixty, and the outlook is very promising.

1. "Historical Sketch of East Ave. Baptist Church", Directory of East Avenue Baptist Church of Springfield, MO., Undated, pages 1-3.

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