Over one hundred fifty years ago, a group of 12 people desired a place to worship God according to their faith and conscience. Their names were as follows: Stephen Chapin Sr., Stephen Chapin Jr., William C. Connell, Maria Connell, James L. Pauley, Margaret S. Pauley, Ruth Webb, Mary Webb Kelsey, Levina Chapin, James Chapin, Lucy E. Chapin and Pedee Conan.
These 12 sent to Parkers Grove for Reverend Richard King to come and act as a moderator while the organization was effected. This took place on the 8th day of March, 1856. Stephen Chapin Sr. was elected as deacon and James Chapin as clerk. Arrangements were made to construct a church and, in the meanwhile, to worship in the old Vinton Courthouse and Tilford School until the building was completed. Thus, the organization known as the “First Baptist Church” became a reality. The church was dedicated November 15, 1857. the sermons were preached by Reverend Joseph Eaton in the afternoon and Reverend Richard King in the evening.
A call was extended to Reverend Asahel Chapin on April 3, 1858. He lived three miles south of Vinton and was often forced to swim the creek to be present for services. He served as pastor for six years. In 1866, members took steps to raise $1,900 to erect a parsonage which was completed early in 1868. As the congregation increased and a larger church was needed, it was decided to tear down and construct a new building to cost $9,000, and on March 5, 1882 the new church was dedicated. The old parsonage was sold and land adjoining the church was purchased. In 1899 a modern parsonage was build costing $2,600 which is still owned by the membership.
In 1902, the church was enlarged and in 1909 a “Hansford Memorial Organ” was dedicated. In January 1915 a series of revival meetings were held and were scheduled to end January 31st, but on the 29th a real fire broke out. The best efforts of the firemen could not save the building or the pipe organ. Before many hours had passed, the church was in ruins. That same evening many of the members and friends met in the parsonage and with determination decided to rebuild. The Woodmen’s Hall was available, so all the church services were held there while rebuilding. The new building was completed at a cost of $30,000.
At the time of the 150th Anniversary, celebrated on December 3, 2006, we remembered and gave thanks to the brothers and sisters in Christ who have remained faithful over these many years. We continue to be thankful for the foundation laid for this local assembly of believers was the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Christ the Solid Rock upon which we remain standing on this day and upon which our future rests.