The History of Elkton Baptist Church
On the second Saturday in April, 1852, a small band of Christian believers gathered at Woods School House some two and one-half miles North of Elkton, Missouri to organize a church. This group, under the leadership of James T. Wheeler (who later would become the first pastor) organized a Baptist church and according to the original minutes read "....and for then that the church shall be called ELKTON and the following Articles of Faith and Rules of Decorum...." The minutes of their second meeting state "THE UNITED BAPTIST CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST AT ELKTON" and that name was used in the church minutes until the meeting of July, 1886. The July, 1886 minutes reflect a name change to "THE BAPTIST CHURCH AT ELKTON." There was no action of the church recorded in the church minutes to show this name change and it must be assumed the church clerk took upon himself to make the change! In later minutes the church is called by several different names---depending who was church clerk.
In April, 1853 the church appointed a committee to find a suitable site for a meeting house. In the May, 1853 meeting the committee made their report. The report was received and the committee discharged. The church then voted and chose a site which had not been recommended by the committee! The site selected was described in the church minutes as: "a spring west of Peter Yost's". In the August, 1853 meeting the church further clarified their action by saying the chosen site was: "near a spring west of where Peter L. Yoast lives." Sometime in the early part of 1855 the church began meeting at their new meeting house.
In 1890 the church established their first sabbath school. Pastors were called on an annual basis and often left before their year was completed. It appears, from the records, that services were only conducted one weekend per month. The church enjoyed blessings of the Lord and growth of their membership through their protracted meetings and camp meetings. Church discipline occupied many of the minutes of the meetings of the church. Many times the church had to take a Scriptural and doctrinal stand as people often attempted to introduce alien or false doctrines. In May, 1886 the church appointed a committee "to meet with the Union Grove community to see on what terms the Union Grove Church and the Elkton Church can unite." The June minutes reflect the committee made their report. The report was approved and the committee discharged. A committee was chosen to look after a church site. At the meeting of July, 1886, ten members from the Union Grove Church were received on letters of admission.
On June 15, 1952 the church celebrated a day of services to commemorate their 100th anniversary. Approximately 325 people were present for this celebration. A gospel quartet called The Gospel Four from radio station KGBX, Springfield, MO. sung a number of songs. A tribute to the charter members was given by Bro. Roy Reed. A history of the church was presented by Mrs. Bess Nunn, church clerk. A challenge to the church titled "Looking Forward" was given by Bro. Oscar Erickson.
On June 23, 2002, the church celebrated their 150th anniversary with all day services. During these services, ministers were recognized. The church has one living former pastor, Rev. Jack Sawyers.
Over the years the church has worshiped in different locations and under some difficult circumstances but has continued to keep its faithfulness to the Lord Jesus Christ. The church membership presently stands at 126 members. In 2005 the church was formed as a corporation and the legal name became ELKTON BAPTIST CHURCH. Three deacons and a board of three trustees, along with the pastor, presently serve the spiritual and business interests of the church. The church has an active youth ministry, supports a drug addiction group, has members conducting regular support group meetings for care-givers, and has a very active, dedicated women's organization who use their talents and resources to further the cause of Christ. The church is blessed with having a talented music director and pianist who are continuing to expand the church music ministry. The church actively participates in many programs of the community, including the annual Easter Sunrise Service, the community-wide Christmas program, the vacation bible schools, etc. The church has been responsive to assist in disasters, volunteers at Special Olympics State Finals and back to school programs.
Currently the church has regular preaching services each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. followed by Sunday School for all ages. Persons seeking a fundamental, Bible believing and practicing church are encouraged to attend the church to participate in their worship services.