Looking Back: Capron Baptist Church dedicated

Published 7:55 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Rena Whitehead Lamb, a Capron Baptist Church member and a grandmother of Clyde Parker, at the groundbreaking in 1969. The boy in the picture is unidentified. — Submitted Clyde Parker

March 19, 1970

By Clyde Parker

In Capron on Sunday, a cornerstone was laid and a dedication service was held at the new $81,000 sanctuary of the Capron Baptist Church. The 78’ by 38’ building was constructed by Williams & Company of Capron.

It joins the present Sunday School building and extends forward to Main Street. Huff and Morris , a Richmond architectural firm, handled the planning.

Russell Schools, chairman of the 1969-1970 building committee, presented the church keys to the pastor, the Rev. Roy A. Arnold who, in turn, presented the keys to Gene Fowler, chairman of the Board of Deacons.

Special music was presented by the church choir and a group of young people from the county.

At the conclusion of the dedication ceremony, Clifton Williams, contractor, laid the cornerstone. The name of each one attending the service, a history of the church, and a list of the current church members was put in the cornerstone.

The building committee consists of Chairman Russell Schools, Mrs. Paul Kirkland, J.E. Crenshaw, A. R. Gurganus Jr., Earl Harrell and Mrs. Roland Baker.

Communion items that belong to Capron Baptist Church. — Submitted Clyde Parker

Flowers for the dedication service were donated by the children of the late Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Franklin Lamb, the grandchildren of the late Mr. and Mrs. Willie Baugham, and the grandchildren of the late Gilbert Turner and Mrs. Robert Lee Parham.

Land for the parking lot was donated by L.R. Magee. The family of the late Mr. and Mrs. Willie Baugham gave the hand-made communion table.

The brass candle holders, cross, and collection plates were presented by the family of Mr. and Mrs. Polly Baker. Mrs. Gilbert Turner gave the rostrum in memory of her husband, Gilbert Turner.

Following the ceremony, a reception was held in the social hall of the church. Mrs. Gilbert Turner and Mrs. Herman Jarratt poured punch.

Capron Baptist Church was organized on Feb. 7, 1892. Prior to that time, all denominations in the area had the “Union Church.” Among those were a number of Baptists who were living too far from their own church for regular attendance. Back then, Mrs. Tom Pond, an earnest and loyal Baptist, is reported to have been most active in her efforts to secure a Baptist Church in Capron. Misses and Eliza Porter gave the land for the original church building.

Several of Capron Baptist Church’s charter members, including Mr. and Mrs. Tom Pond and children, transferred their membership from Hebron Baptist Church of nearby Kosco. Hebron Baptist Church is considered the “mother church” for several other churches, including Capron Baptist Church.

Among the family names of Capron Baptist’s ten 1892 charter members are Pond, Moffat, Allys, Barham, Davidson, and Spencer. Later in 1892, family names of others who joined the church include Porter, Myrick, Pierce, Wilson, Cox, Vick, Holt and Jordan.

The church was organized at the present location with the Rev. J.T. Eubank as the first pastor, with the following as deacons: T.R. Pond, A.A. Mofatt, and L.H. Pond. P.E. Davidson was the treasurer.

Church Trustees at that time were T.R. Pond, A.A. Moffatt, Charles Alley, and E.S. Spencer.

When it was first organized, Capron Baptist Church was associated with Virginia Baptist Southern Conference.

As of March 1, 1970, the Church membership stood at 149. And, at that time, the BOARD OF DEACONS consisted of J.E. Crenshaw, Earl Harrell, Gene Fowler, Russell Schools, and Wayne Cosby. CHURCH OFFICERS were J.E. Crenshaw, Sunday School Superintendent; Mrs. Herman Jarratt Sr., Clerk; Miss Augusta Baker, Treasurer; Roland Baker, Financial Secretary; Gene Fowler, Sunday School Secretary; Herman Jarratt Jr., Assistant Sunday School Secretary; Mrs. Wayne Cosby, pianist; Mrs. Paul Kirkland, choir director, and Mrs. J.E. Crenshaw, Sunday School pianist.

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NOTE: In the present day, Ron Carr is pastor of Capron Baptist Church. And, the following constitute its Board of Deacons: Brandon Applewhite, Donnie Baines, Ricky Gurganus, William Harrison and Bill Jarratt. Current trustees are Ricky Gurganus, Billy Sutton and Jerry Vick. Dora Gurganus is church treasurer and Marian Gurganus is church clerk. Church services are held on Sundays at 11 a.m. with Sunday School at 9:45 a.m.

SOURCES: The Tidewater News archives; Dora Gurganus, Capron Baptist Church