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PO Box 1431 Big Spring, Texas 79721 (432) 263-7331

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Life

History of Forsan Baptist Church 1929-2005


In the spring of 1929, the Rev. B.C. Richburg of Big Spring traveled to Forsan to preach in a little, two-room school house during the early days of the oil boom.

He saw the need for full-time ministry and contacted Baptists within the community and those who were working in the oil field. The Forsan Baptist Church was organized with less than 10 charter members.

In a short time, the membership doubled and the group began making plans for having a church building of their own. The first building purchased was a disused cafe, which the group remodeled and began using as Forsan Baptist Church.

These were the early days of the Depression, but the Lord blessed the work and Bro. A.E. Travis was the first full-time pastor of the church.

In 1934, Mrs. Travis organized the W.M.U. and in the same year, the Brotherhood was organized as well. In 1936, plans were made for a new church building. Bro. A.T. Willis became pastor in 1939 and organized the construction of the new building, which is the modern building. The older building became the first education unit.

In 1940, the Sunday school was organized into departments. A new parsonage was also purchased and remodeled. The first homecoming was May 3, 1942.

Mr. McManus became the first Sunday school superintendent. He was followed by Bro. Jack Arnold, who also served as postmaster. C.V. Wash succeeded Mr. Arnold, and was pastor for seven years.

The first deacons ordained by the church were: Ike Glass, I.O. Shaw and T.M. Hammer. Others ordained were John Butler, J.E. Brown, Alfred Thiems, C.V. Wash, Glen Smith, J.B. Hicks and Joe Marting. Other deacons who joined the church include J.D. Gilmore, W.C. Russell, M.M. McClintock and Orville Robinson.

Bro. Overton was not only a deacon for 34 years, he was also treasurer for 33 years and Sunday school teacher 34 years -- 101 years of total service by one man in three vital areas of the church.

Present deacons include Derrell Baggett, J.L. Barron, W.R. Cregar, Bob Evans, chairman, John Hancock, C.V. Wash and George White.

In 1956, Bro. L.L. Garner led the church members in a new construction project for an educational unit. The old cafe building was torn down. In 1976, the auditorium was remodeled. A drop ceiling was installed, the walls were paneled, a new heater was installed and refrigerated air was added. That same year the parsonage was remodeled. It was paneled throughout and aluminum windows were installed with storm windows added.

In 1982, central heating and refrigerated air was installed in the education building. A new kitchen was built and the fellowship hall enlarged. New carpet was installed and a new nursery added.

In 1983, 30 feet was added to the education wing to provide three new classrooms, a new nursery, new bathrooms and an additional entrance from the parking area. The new design also allows overflow from the fellowship area. Ceiling fans have been installed in each room and heating and cooling now accommodate both ends of the building.

New carpet and furniture were purchased and the total expenditure for a two-year period was $115,000. This was paid by the congregation without borrowing any money.

In 1950, Sunday school enrollment was 271. Following the disbanding of several oil camps, enrollment dropped to 100 in 1969 and in 1972 was only 60.

The enrollment in 1984 was 115, with an average attendance in the upper 80s. In 1934, the church budget was $1,720. In 1972, it was $11,000. Total receipts in 1983 grew to $85,124. The value of the church property in 1936 was $600. Today it is valued at more than $305,000.

Also in 1984, the church organized a library that was named in honor of Deacon Oscar T. Boeker, whom the Lord called home that same year.

Mission giving always has been a part of the church's outreach programs. Church members support the Cooperative Program, Associational Missions and Circle 6 Baptist Encampment.

Forsan Baptist Church is the only church in Forsan. Church members offer community support when someone loses a family member by providing a meal to those families before or after the funeral service. There is a food pantry for those who need help with groceries when finances are tight and school supplies are provided to children in Forsan each year. Clothing is also provided to those in need.

Sharon Cregar and Zimmalew Boeker have provided piano and organ music in the church since 1968. Joyce Baggett has led the music ministry for 33 years. There have been many wonderful musicians performing solos as well as duets, trios and quartets.

In 1986, the church bought a bus equipped with a handicapped lift. The Just Older Youth, JOY, fellowship was formed. This group uses the bus to take trips. JOY meets once a month on the fourth Monday for a fellowship meal.

The pastor who served the congregation the longest was Bro. Jack Clinkscales. He came to the church in 1972 and served until 1998. He ministered as the pastor, as a friend and as a comforter.

Bro. Clinkscales performed marriage ceremonies for many of the church members and then also performed the funeral services for those same families. He preached his last sermon during spring break in March 2005. His last sermon was preached in Tarzan before the Lord called him home March 27, 2005.

Bob Fishback answered a need to minister to the children of Forsan. He realized that the children he was picking up and dropping off on the bus were not see in church.

In 2000, he and his wife, Jeanine approached the congregation about providing a children and youth program Wednesday nights in the educational building.

This program has provided Bible study, fellowship and snacks for Forsan children. There have been as many as 30 children learning about Jesus and His love for them. This program of planting seeds has been in place for five years and continues, with faithful workers keeping it going.

Janca came to the church in 2000. The Lord literally brought the family to visit the church while Bro. Monroe Teeters was interim pastor. Along with his pastoral duties, Bro. Janca has renewed the vacation Bible School program, youth meetings, Fifth-Quarter fellowships and a children and youth choir.

During this time, Jeanine Fishback has organized outreaches to the Forsan community through several women's Bible studies.

In 2003, the Boy Scouts of America volunteered to install a basketball goal and a volleyball court for the youth to use.

The church purchased a van in 2004 to help pick up the children and youth in the community to attend our activities. The old church bus was donated to another ministry.

In the fall of 2004, the church members honored Bro. C.V. Wash for 70 years of service as a leader in the church and the community and for his service as a deacon at Forsan Baptist Church.

"God has been good to us and the members have been faithful in making this church a lighthouse in our community. We give God the glory for it all and dedicate these facilities to the saving of souls and the enrichment and spiritual growth of our community," Janca said.


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