Sand Run Baptist Church
Compiled by Vivian Blacker
“Whereas the Lord, of late, has greatly helped the people of Boone County, Kentucky with the outpouring of His Holy Spirit of Grace and brought many to the knowledge of the truth, particularly in the North Bend Settlement and a goodly number added to the church at Bullittsburg, the members residing in the upper end of the boundary of the Church, having taken into consideration their remote situation from the meeting house and on due deliberation, have deemed it necessary both for the convenience of the people and the Glory of God to constitute and become a separate and distinct body.”
This paragraph is the very beginning of the church preamble, dated March 20, 1819.
I have taken the minutes all the way back to the beginning and have tried to write them in story form as much as possible. I hope you try to put yourself in their shoes and feel as they did.
Could we have done as good a job?
One hundred and seventy-five years ago, a group of Christian people living a good distance from their home church Bullittsburg Baptist, decided to form their own church in their own neighborhood. With the love of God in their hearts and the help of other Baptist churches in the Northern Kentucky area, they formed the Sand Run Baptist Church, named for the creek nearby. It was March 20,1819 and having no building, they met in the homes of the members.
Brother Chichester Matthews was appointed to preach. He had been licensed to preach in his home state of Virginia in 1800. He was a member of Bullittsburg Baptist Church and a deacon until he came to Sand Run and helped organize the church.
During the summer, two deacons were ordained and five trustees were appointed. The trustees had a big job ahead of them. It was their job to find a plot of land to build a church on. Another committee of three was appointed to ascertain the cost of a building.
In December, the committee brought a report back to the church on the cost of a building. When completed, it would cost $2,100. In February, 1820, the trustees bought three acres of land for $20 an acre. In July, the building was completed and over the next few months, two stoves were donated by Brother Carneal and Brother Cave Johnson, the cemetery was laid out and a fence was built around the whole thing. But best of all, in 1823, the church was out of debt.
During the next year, two members were ordained as ministers and Brother Josiah Chase became the first member for baptism. The first black member for baptism was Brother Kreety in 1823. Other black people were charter members as they were slaves of some of the white members.
As someone was needed to care for the church, Brother Benjamin Mitchell was hired for one year at the huge salary of $7 per year, to keep the church clean, keep the spring clean (for drinking water) and furnish candles for light. Two years later he received a raise in salary; he is now making $10 a year!
The church kept on growing. In 1824, Brother Landon Robinson was ordained as a minister. To get enough money, they assessed the free white males to pay $12 to $15 a year. This was not each one but all together. The expenses were usually about the same amount. Like all Baptist churches do now, they also asked for help from the Association to ordain deacons or ministers. They sent letters to all the local Baptist churches.
They had their own way of dealing with those who sinned and were out of fellowship. For example; Brother Andrew Brockman brought a complaint against himself for getting intoxicated with spirituous liquor and disorderly conduct. After an investigation, he was found guilty of sin. He apologized to the church and said he would try his best not to do it anymore. The church forgave him and restored him to full fellowship.
If someone brought a complaint against another, it was investigated and the guilty party was cited to come before the church and give an account of himself. If he didn’t come, he was then excluded from the church.
One day it was noted that three men had not attended church services or business meeting for several weeks and they were cited to come to the next Sunday service. Two of the men came and gave satisfactory excuses, but the third one did not show up. He was excluded from the church.
On September 7, 1828, the Lord called Brother Chichester Matthews home. He was buried in the first grave, in the corner nearest the church. His wife, Agnes, died in April, 1835. The old cemetery is still being preserved today. Brother William Whitaker was called as Pastor in 1830. He stayed for 41 years. In 1831, the expenses of the church were $11.50. As they had assessed the free white males for $12.50, they had $1 left over to start the new year. That left them with sixty-eight and three-quarters cents less than the year before, which was one dollar sixty-eight and three-quarters cents. I’d like to know how they figured the three-quarters cents. I didn’t learn to do that when I went to school.
A saddle house was built to put saddles in during bad weather. Later they put rings in a tree in front of the church to tie the horses to. Two deacons were appointed to accept donations or any other objects of charity that came their way. These were used to pay traveling ministers. This was the first benevolent fund.
In 1840, the church asked the Association to meet at Sand Run. A site was selected on the creek, where they built a stand and seats to accommodate the people. A committee was appointed to select two or three suitable individuals to prevent the sale of spirits on the grounds. This prevented hucksters from approaching nearer than the law allowed to sell their wares.
Later that year, Brother Cave Montague brought a complaint against Delia for dancing, attending frolics, and otherwise living in a loose manner. She appeared and answered the charges, but failed to give a satisfactory explanation. She was found guilty of sin and was excluded from the church.
In 1844, the church adopted new Articles of Faith, which are more like the ones we use today. The church grew, taking in new members and losing others to death or another church.
Sand Run was requested to help constitute a new church at Burlington on December 13,1842 and a new church at Big Bone in May, 1843. As the old book of minutes was becoming full, a committee was appointed to buy a new one. It was reported it would cost $1.
In the September meeting of 1848, the motion came before the church to give financial aid to the Pastor. (I suppose he was preaching for nothing.) The matter was investigated and a decision was made to take up voluntary contributions, keeping account of them, to hand over to the Pastor. By December, they had collected $25.
In July, 1849, President Taylor asked all of the churches to have a day of prayer, fasting and humiliation before God. This they did on the following Friday. Since the boundary lines were getting grown up with weeds, briars, and trees, the church had the lot surveyed and corner posts were erected as near the original corners as possible to make three acres. Trees were set around the church for shade and six new song books were bought.
The black members who were not attending were dismissed from the church. This was one of the church rules.
In August, 1850, Brother Webb informed the church that one of the young brothers (Allen Goodridge) had been engaged in dancing, to which he admitted. When brought before the church, he said, “I don’t think I have ever experienced religion and I desire the church to exclude me.” After talking and praying with him, he repented and was restored to full fellow�ship with the church.
Sand Run received a letter from some people of Florence, who had banded together, for help to form a new Baptist church
to be called the Florence Baptist Church. This was in May, 1855. In that same summer, a new roof was put on the church at the cost of $75.70. Male members were assessed in the amount of $69.50. There was no charge for the labor.
It wasn’t until January, 1858 that the church erected tombstones for the graves of Brother Chichester Matthews and his wife.
Sister Harriet Bradford passed on to be with the Lord in January, 1861 and the church wrote her obituary and sent it to be published in the Western Recorder. This is the first mention of the Western Recorder in the minutes.
Since quite a few members had died and the church needed to acquire more burial ground, it decided to try to buy the land next to the existing cemetery which amounted to about six acres. It took ten years before it was accomplished. They finally got enough money to pay $200 for the six acres and that is the same ground we use today.
During the time between Brother Chichester Matthew’s death and 1871, in addition to Brother Whitaker, the deacons also took turns having services. Brother Kirtley took over as Pastor then and received $100 for his services.
The church was growing and needed a Sabbath School. The deacons brought a request before the church for permission to start one. Permission was given by the church and in April, 1873, a Sunday School was born. Brother Johnathan Graves was elected Superintendent.
The church got brave in 1877 and put a woman on a committee! Sister Sara Scothorn was put on a committee to assist in forming an article to govern the expenses of the church. It is now
called the Financial Committee. The church gave $10 to Foreign Missions and $8.55 to the Children’s Home in Louisville.
The church held a protracted meeting (revival) once a year, in the fall, and added money to the church. Anna Henry asked to be excluded from the church in June, 1884. She gave no reason. But in September, 1887, she was restored and given full fellowship. Mary Frances Goodridge (better known as Mary Frank) was baptized into the fellowship of the church in 1887. She later was post-mistress of the Francisville Post Office. This was the same building that later became our parsonage. It has since burned to the ground.
They finally got around to eating at the church! In October, 1887, there was a basket dinner to honor the Executive Board of the North Bend Association. I wonder, was it warm enough to eat outside?
Did you ever wonder where our envelope system came from? In December, 1887, the church adopted the envelope system, to be paid once a month. It was started in January, 1888. In March of that same year, they agreed to use the books and papers published by the Southern Baptist Publishing Company.
Several years before, a Sunday School was started at Sand Hill Schoolhouse on Sunday afternoons. It was well established, so the church opened it’s doors to accept members to the Sand Run Baptist Church. This brought in new members who lived along the river.
Since the Association had agreed to meet at Sand Run, the ladies decided to spruce up the building and paper the walls. The paper cost $33.65. On the agenda for September 23,1893; The church voted to have a protracted meeting in November. The preacher was to be Brother Blake from Dayton, Ky. It was also
agreed upon to have Prayer Meeting every Wednesday night. This was the first mention of having Prayer Meeting on a weekly basis.
In March, 1897, Brother Kirtley was called home to be with the Lord. His obituary was to be recorded in the minutes. Brother Hoover was the first interim Pastor to be mentioned. He refused to be Pastor at first, then relented, and took it for thirteen months. Meanwhile, they kept looking for a Pastor. They called Brother Charles Dawes for one year at the salary of $100 a year. In 1902, they called Brother W. S. Taylor. He was also hired for one year, but at the end of that year, he was re-hired and his salary was raised to $200 a year. He stayed for four years. In February of that year, the church bought a new organ and sold the old one to help defray the cost of the new one. The church is growing and as the Lord has blessed them, they are giving of their resources.
Since the cemetery was plotted, the church had been taking subscriptions for lots. However, some of the people hadn’t paid for said lots. It was brought up in business meeting to sell lots only by cash purchase.
Now they really are getting up in the community. Brother T. L. Utz has gotten himself a telephone! This was the first mention of a telephone.
As the church had acquired quite a few new members, they needed some new song books. A committee was appointed to check into it. The report came back to the church that they had purchased 42 new hymnals for .25 each at a total cost of $10.50 plus .77 for postage, making it $11.27. The amount that had been collected was $9.85 and as it wasn’t enough, they sold ten books for .27 each and paid for the hymnals with a little left over.
In May, 1906, Brother Holland Goodridge brought a resolution to the church: Resolved that this church forbid the burial of Negroes in the cemetery and other premises. This resolution was adopted.
For some unknown reason, the church changed Pastors frequently in the next few years.
Brother Mattox - May 1905 - Aug. 1905 - 4 months C. E. Brown - Aug. 1905 - Oct. 1906 - 14 months T. L.Utz - Jan. 1907 - Nov. 1907 - 11 months M. C. Frazier - May 1908 - May 1909 - 1 year C. V. Brooks - June 1909 - Jan. 1912 - 2 1/2 years
In the March business meeting, a motion was made that a roll be called during the business meetings and all members were notified. In the May 13 meeting, the following motion was made: That all members who did not respond to roll call be notified and given two months to respond. If after that, they didn’t respond or contribute, the hand of church fellowship would be withdrawn. They sure were tough in those days!
On April 24, 1910, Brother James Beall and Brother Carl Bradford were ordained as deacons. Sister Cassie Foulk remembered the church in her will to the tune of $10 to be used for the expense of the Saddle House.
Finally, the old organ wore out and a new one was bought for $66.16. The old organ was sold for $5 and the organ box (seat?) for seventy-five cents.
The Stewartsville Church was hit by lightning and destroyed. All the churches in Kentucky were asked to donate $1 to help them rebuild. Sand Run sent their $1 to help. This was in April, 1917. In September, Brother Baker (now Pastor) received
twenty-nine chickens from members of Sand Run Church and neighbors in the community. Brother Baker said that he appre�ciated them very much and thanks to whoever brought them.
Jeanette Goodridge passed away but did not forget the church. She left a bequest in her will of $200 and some Liberty Bonds to take care of the family plot in the old cemetery. Ten years later, the administrator of the bequest died and the money and bonds were put in the church treasury to be used as the church saw fit.
On December 16, 1928 (almost Christmas), the church received a letter from John Uri Lloyd with a check for $100 as a Christmas gift. The church sent a letter of thanks and apprecia�tion to Brother Lloyd in acknowledgment of this generous gift.
The church decided that it needed a face lift. So, the walls were replastered, they added a new beaded, arched ceiling, new floors, and paint on the outside. The seats were fixed, the old pulpit was removed and replaced with a new modern one. Five ladies of the church were appointed to select new carpet for the front of the church. The Sunday School gave the church a grant of $250 to build some rooms. A motion was made to build the Sunday School rooms and to raise the pulpit. This was done in the year 1928. Brother J. Newton Powers was pastor.
Lo and behold, it’s Christmas time again and we have received another letter from Mr. John Uri Lloyd with a check for $100. This time the church voted to give it to the Pastor for a Christmas gift. Brother Powers resigned the next summer and left the church. And guess what? We received another check from our friend, Mr. Lloyd, for $50. Was Brother J. Newton Powers a friend of Mr. Lloyd? We’ll never know, but that was the last we heard of John Uri Lloyd.
In March of 1931, Sand Run called C. J. Avery as Pastor. He was a kind, gentle soul and a good friend of Brother R. A. Johnson. These two men changed my life forever. My two sisters and I became Christians during a revival preached by Brother Johnson in 1934. Brother and Mrs. Avery had three children. Some of their descendants are still living in this area of Northern Ky. Their children were: Alma, Ruth and Albert. Alma married Earl Washmuth who was a deacon for many years at Sand Run. They had three children. They are:
(grandchildren) 1. Earl, Jr. 2. Eleanor (Ella Jean) 3. Shirley Earl, Jr. had no children. Ella Jean married James Dameron and they had two children. They are: (great- 1. Edward (Eddie) Dameron grandchildren) 2. Rebecca (Becky) Dameron Shirley married Fred Smith and they had two children. They are: (great- 1. Cheryl Smith grandchildren) 2. Daniel Smith Eddie and Sharon Dameron had two girls. They are: (great-great 1. Elaine Dameron grandchildren) 2. Karen Dameron Becky married Sam Rodamer. They have three children. They are: (great-great 1. John Rodamer grandchildren) 2. Joshua Rodamer 3. Hannah Rodamer
Cheryl married and had one daughter. She is: (great-great 1. Jennifer grandchildren)
What a legacy! Can you count back that far? My step-grandmother joined here in 1894 but she didn’t have any children. The Graves family goes all the way back to the beginning of the church. Their descendants still live in this community. The Graves’, Robert and William, live on Graves Road (named after them).
The Goodridge family lived on North Bend Road, closer to Hebron, which was named after the town of Hebron in Israel. That’s a fact!
Richard Crisler, who owns a farm down on North Bend Bottoms (which it was known by in the 1800’s) is descended from the Croppers who were early members.
Getting back to other things, such as changes, “meeting” meant you were going to church. “Protracted meeting” meant you were having a two week Revival. In the beginning, for light, candles were used and then glass lamps on the wall. (There are some of these in our display.) These were changed to hanging fixtures with something called mantles. They had to be pumped up with air, then you turned a knob and they lit up. I think it was called a Delco System. It ran by an engine in the buggy house. When electricity came to town, we signed up for it, and from then on, we had lights that we didn’t have to take.care of.
Finally, after getting tired of carrying water, the church voted to build a cistern. Some of the materials were donated, as was part of the labor. A pump was bought for $4. A
committee of three were appointed to see that the work got finished. They were Brother John Utzinger, Brother Franklin Ryle and Brother R. S. Wilson.
Way back in 1887, the church used envelopes for giving their money. Somewhere along the line the system got lost, but in 1933, the envelope system was again adopted and we still use it today.
Brother Earl Washmuth was ordained as deacon. Brother Harmon Eggleston was licensed to preach and ten months later he was ordained as minister.
Finally, somebody thought about the little ones and the church voted to buy some small chairs for the primary class.
On March 15, 1936, our beloved Brother Avery was called home to be with the Lord.
In early 1937, Brother Leo Drake was called to preach. The Saturday night before his first Sunday service was a very cold, rainy night. Brother Fred Reitmann was at home and heard a knock on his kitchen door about 8:00 p.m. Going to the door he wondered who could be out on such a bad night. As he opened the door, a man’s voice called out, “Can you take in a stranger?” “Of course, come on in” said Brother Fred. The stranger then explained he was supposed to preach at Sand Run the next day. We all learned to love this stranger who came to our door that night.
It was getting late in the year and something had to be done to the church yard. Brother Franklin Ryle, a trustee, moved to gravel the church parking lot so no one would get stuck that winter.
The Sunday School offering one Sunday was sent to a new Baptist church down near Natural Bridge. The amount sent was $12.36.
The next summer Brother Alfred Wilson and Courtney Kelly (a friend of Alfred’s) were hired to refinish the church pews and woodwork. Their wages were .45 an hour. They had to repair the pews and woodwork first.
In April, 1939, one case of eggs was sent to the Orphans Home in Louisville by the Women’s Missionary Union (W.M.U.). They also sent $2 in cash, sixteen wash cloths, five towels, and nine pillow cases.
Some painting was done at a cost of $100 but the church didn’t have enough money to pay the bill, so a committee was formed to collect it. Brother Drake appointed a Church Council and a Building Committee. The Church Council consisted of C. O. Whitaker, Franklin Ryle, Earl Washmuth, John Whitaker, Mrs. R. S. Wilson, A. E. Whitaker, Elizabeth Stahl, Grace Henson, Evelyn Kilgour, Howard Wilson, Fred Reitmann, and Alice Eggleston. The building committee bought small wooden banks to be put on the table in each home where they could be seen and no one would forget what they were for.
Much to our sorrow, Brother Leo Drake, handed in his resignation to take effect March 3, 1940. He said that he felt that the Lord was leading him into new fields.
Soon after, we hired a new Pastor, Brother Forest Taylor. In July, he suggested we have a Vacation Bible School during the first week of Revival, beginning July 29, 1940. Four teachers were needed. Later that year, the auditorium was curtained off into Sunday School rooms with the curtains to be pulled back when not in use.
The church was enhanced by planting trees and shrubbery around the building and cemetery.
Miss Kitty Estes had the old chandelier wired for electricity and asked the church to put in a plug for it.
The next March the church was damaged by fire and repairs were turned in to the Insurance company. This is one of the few times we had to use the insurance.
Brother R. S. Wilson, who was the Sexton, had several requests for burial lots on the left side of the cemetery drive. It was voted for Deacons, Fred Reitmann and R. S. Wilson to plot the ground to see how many lots could be made. They plotted fourteen lots. The cost would be $25 for the first row, $20 for the second row and $15 for the third row.
John Whitaker was ordained as Deacon on August 31,1941. The church wanted to buy individual communion plates, but after lengthy discussion of the prices, decided to put it on hold for a while.
Franklin Ryle brought up the subject of the mice, the roof and the gutters. They needed attention right away! The Trustees fixed the roof and the gutters and handed in a bill to the church. What happened to the mice, you ask? We’ll never know – they weren’t mentioned any more.
Brother Taylor resigned on August 30, 1942, the last Sunday of the Revival. We had Home-coming, had baptism in Mrs. Markland’s lake, and the church voted to go to “full-time preaching” all on the same day.
Brother Helton was the next to come in November, 1942 at a starting salary of $1,200 a year, which was increased to
$ 1,300 because it was easier to keep the Pastor paid if he was paid $25 a week. He was our first full-time Pastor.
Since our country was at war, it was suggested that we have an Honor Board for all our members who were in the Service. Mary Amanda Moore painted the names on it. This Honor Board still hangs in the back of the church today.
The matter of individual communion trays and glasses was brought before the church again. This time a decision was made to buy a wooden set.
The church is on the move again! A new concrete walk is to be built the length of the building in front of the parking lot. This will also keep the cars from parking close to the building. The church then voted to buy a house from Ralph Eggleston to be used as the parsonage at a cost of $1,100.
In 1943 the church purchased a Christian flag to be used in Bible School.
In 1944, Brother Helton resigned and went to Ohio. After his resignation was accepted, the church voted to make the Deacons a standing Pulpit Committee. It seems like our Pastors aren’t staying very long. Brother Hamilton came in July, 1944 and was the first to live in the parsonage and the first to establish the use of bulletins.
The church floor had to be repaired as it was being eaten up by termites. This made the church realize how badly a new sanctuary was needed. A Building Fund Committee was formed to lay aside money each Sunday toward a new building. All members were to be notified as to when a vote would be taken as to when or whether to build. This remark was made by Brother Franklin Ryle: “I know the old building
is a sacred place to some of the older members, but we do need a new building. I also know that they will enjoy the new building and all its benefits.” So the Building Fund was continued with a definite goal in mind.
A ministry was started at the County Home in Burlington on the third Sunday of each month. The old folks seemed to enjoy our coming as they asked for their favorite songs and sang them along with us.
Brother Hamilton organized a Brotherhood and Brother Frank Judy was the first President. The church decided that we needed new song books and we sent for the Broadman Hymnal, (see our display).
Our Pastor resigned in January but stayed until we got a new man, Brother J. W. McGregor, in March, 1948. Soon we ordained two new Deacons, Howard Wilson and Luke Holt. A bus was bought to use for those living in some out-lying areas who didn’t have any way to get to church. It also met the need for children who wouldn’t have been able to be there otherwise. We continued to grow and in April, voted to build a Sunday School addition onto the west side of the church. A Mr. Beemon of Florence was contacted and shown plans. He said that he could build it at an estimated cost of $11,500. It was finished by late September and we had a Home-coming to dedicate it.
Brother Bernard Wilson and Brother Owen Sprague were ordained as Deacons in May, 1952. The Pastor resigned on February 22, 1953 to accept a call to the First Baptist Church in Cleves, Ohio.
Brother J. R. Tackett came in May, 1953 from Greenup Fork Baptist Church in Owenton, Ky. In that same year, after a
Revival, Brother Tackett baptized twenty-four in the lake on the Michael’s family farm. Because the area was growing so fast, new houses were being built, and new people moving in, the church found they were, indeed, in need of a new church building. Brother Tackett sent each family a letter acquainting them with the need for a new church building. On a Sunday in January of 1954, a plan was brought before the church and eighty-one members voted to build. No one voted against it. So, the church was under way. The Building Committee consisted of: Brothers Vernon Judy, Chairman, Fred Reitmann, Bernard Wilson, Owen Sprague and Truman Lucas. Bright and early on Saturday morning, April 3,1954, the bull-dozer was ready to roll. Brother Vernon was hired as Supervisor of the building project. He hired the builders, carpenters, masons and helpers.
On September 19, 1954, the new building was dedicated. Approximately five hundred people were present and a cash offering was collected of over $2,650. Other gifts included: a new piano from Brother Frank Estes and Miss Jessie Wilson, offering plates given in honor of Rev. C. J. Avery by his daughter Ruth Harvey, all the labor for wiring the church was donated by Franklin Ryle, the baptistry scene by Mary Amanda Moore, stained glass windows by several of the members and a lot of free labor including building, painting and varnishing. Thanks to all of you. Three people were added by baptism and four by letter that day. It had been a very big day for the church!
On August 28, Brother Tackett resigned to accept a call to the Walton Baptist Church. Brother F. E. Milby was called as interim Pastor on August 31, 1955. In November, Brother Howard Alexander was called as Pastor and began his ministry in January of 1956. In June, 1958, Brothers Robert Cave, Elmer Pitts and John Cook were ordained as Deacons.
Copied from the Pastor’s memo: I commented to someone last week that I might die of a heart attack if our church adopted both a budget and started a Mission in the same month. Now, the Lord willing, it will become a reality by this time tomorrow and I feel fine!
The Mission opened on the next day, August 10,1958. Brother Alexander closed his ministry with a program of music on November 9, 1958. After his resignation, he went to Bowden, Georgia to be Minister of Music and Associate Pastor. During the time that Brother Alexander was here, the young people worked in all areas of the church. They worked in youth choir, as Sunday School teachers, Vacation Bible School workers, at home and Maggofm Institute, in sports (in baseball and basketball games); they even came to business meetings and participated. Wouldn’t it be great if our young people would think about their commitment as Christians and volunteer more?
Brother E. T. Wright was then called to Pastor the church. His duties started December 28, 1958. The church received twenty-five new hymnals for the new Mission from the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board. We were saddened to hear that Mrs. Octavia Day (mother of Franklin Ryle and Ruby Whitaker) had passed away on July 5, 1959. She was Alvin Earl’s grandmother. New cemetery laws were drawn up, voted on by the church, and signed by the Deacons, Sexton, Trustees and Pastor.
A special Business Meeting was called on November 11, 1959 for the purpose of calling a Pastor for the Mission. Brother Gene Phillips accepted the call to become Pastor of the Mission and Assistant Pastor of Sand Run.
Brother Walter Bruin was ordained as a Deacon on
October 2, 1960. A recommendation was made by the Church Council on June 6,1961 that the Board of Deacons and Sexton, Fred Reitmann, secure a lawyer so that an Endowment Fund could be set up for the cemetery. Brother Fred said that not enough people were paying for their lots to be cared for. By adding the cost of caring for the lot to the cost of buying a lot, one-half lot or less, the lot would automatically be paid for perpetually. The cemetery laws were up-graded to contain this clause. Brother Walter Bruin was licensed to preach in April, 1962.
Brother Wright resigned as of January 31, 1965. In February, Brother R. A. Johnson gave up his retirement to become our interim Pastor. In June, he accepted the position of full-time Pastor. The old parsonage was sold and new plans were brought before the church by the Parsonage Committee and everyone voted to build a new parsonage on land that was donated by Mr. and Mrs. Howard Wilson, consisting of 5.32 acres facing North Bend Road. The building was going quickly and by August 29,1965, it was finished and a Homecoming was announced for the purpose of dedicating it to the Lord and His work. Brother and Mrs. Johnson have moved in and are enjoying the new parsonage. Their letters were moved to Sand Run. As Brother and Mrs. Johnson’s anniversary was coming up in June, they were given $100 from the church and $99 in voluntary offerings as an anniversary gift. This gift was to be used to visit their son, Harold, who lived in Texas. This came as quite a surprise, but they went on their visit and said they enjoyed every minute.
In August of the next year, William Merrell, Luther Merrell, Charles Steiner and Raymond Maxwell were ordained as Deacons.
By now Brother Johnson had been with us for three years. His health was failing and his doctor gave him strict orders to
go back into retirement He gave his resignation to the church but continued to work with us until we found someone else. Brother Everett Walters came in February, 1968, but didn’t start preaching until March.
Some of the people of the church wanted an organ as we did not have one at this time. A committee was appointed to investigate the cost of purchasing one. Raymond Maxwell was Chairman of this committee. He was able to get a Hammond organ for the church to try out for ninety days. An Organ Fund was set up to help pay for it. A light was bought for it and several people learned to play it. The church liked it so well that they decided to keep it.
Looking ahead to the next year when we would celebrate our 150th anniversary, we started making plans. Since the debt on the parsonage was only $650, Brother Fred Reitmann made this suggestion: if 90 people gave $1.00
75 people gave $2.00 50 people gave $3.00 40 people gave $4.00 and 20 people gave $5.00
we could be out of debt by Christmas, as this would add up to a total of $650. Guess what? It worked and we burned the note on the parsonage on December 22,1968. Brother Fred then offered his resignation as Building Fund Chairman. He said that since the church was out of debt, they had no need for a Building Fund. He’d had the job for fifteen years and it was time to let it go. Brother Bill Merrell made a motion that his resignation be accepted and that he be thanked for doing a fine job. The motion was seconded by John Cram and carried. The anniversary plans are coming along fine and everyone is getting excited!
It’s finally here! May 25th, 1969. Our 150th Anniversary.
We had a large crowd and some of the ladies dressed in old-fashioned dresses and bonnets. Several of our former Pastors came and some of them preached.
Brother Roger Conrad was ordained as a minister of the Gospel on August 3, 1969. Brother Howard and Myrtle Wilson sold the old house they had lived in to the church for a future building site, as they had built a new house directly across the highway (North Bend Road). The old house was used mostly for storage, then we moved the Library into the two front rooms. It was real nice having plenty of space to sort and catalogue the books. We (my daughter Jane, and I) worked hard to set it up. But I was very disappointed to find that no one was interested in the Library but us. Then the house was sold to Brother Luther Merrell and the books were packed away.
The old cane bottom chairs were given to the oldest members of the church in continuous service at that time. They were: Lucy Reitmann, Fred Reitmann, Florence McArthur, Alfred Wilson and Howard Wilson.
Brother Bill Merrell was licensed to preach in October, 1972, and Brother Fred Reitmann went to be with the Lord after serving Him at Sand Run for fifty-five years. The goal set for the Lottie Moon Christmas offering that year was $400.
Brother Walters said that he would like to have his own home and wondered if the church would sell him the parsonage. It was voted on and passed 51 to 19. The price the church asked him was $28,000. He did not make a decision and said no more about it at that time.
In April, the church voted to black top the parking lot at a cost of $2,810. This was the best thing we’d done in a long time. In December of that same year of 1973, some of the old pews were given to Roena Moore, Rex Napier and Vivian Blaker.
Gene Beaver was licensed to preach in August of 1974. In October, Brother Walters said that he was not buying the parsonage. In December, 1975, Fred Irvin, Mike Irvin and Tom Houston were selected to be Deacons. They were ordained in January, 1976.
In March, 1976, the church took a big step. They voted to tear down the old original church and build a new, up-to-date Sunday School department in its place. This new building would be attached to the sanctuary that had been built in 1954. The new building would cost approximately $88,850 and would be built in four months’ time. The Building Committee recommended that the church do this. In the meantime, Brother Waiters had changed his mind again and come up with a plan to present to the church. His plan was for the parsonage to be sold to him for $30,000. This would drop the cost of the new building to $50,850. The church voted on this plan and it ended in a tie with 20 for and 20 against. It was tabled. At the next Business Meeting, the Deacons recommended that the church sell the parsonage to Brother Walters and they did. The old church was torn down and a new Sunday School department was built, including a fellowship hall in the basement, new bathrooms and a new Pastor’s study. A corner stone was to be placed in the comer nearest the parking lot with pertinent information in it about the church.
The church needed new hymnals. They would cost $716. We gave our old hymnals to the Clarks Creek Baptist Church.
On May 10, 1978, Brother Walters resigned and Brother Clel Rogers was called as our interim Pastor. He started in July and stayed until February, 1979. The church then called Brother O. Lee Gussler as Pastor. He accepted the call and began preaching in July. He was from Louisville. The church needed more tables for the fellowship hall so we bought two and voted to buy two more every quarter until we had what we needed.
It was decided that in the case of a member’s death, in lieu of flowers, the church would send a memorial to the Northern Kentucky Baptist Convalescent Home in that person’s name.
Dan Moore, who had been our Minister of Music, moved on to further his career. He resigned to accept a call from Elsmere Baptist Church.
Brother O. Lee Gussler tendered his resignation, effective May 29,1983. He said that he felt God was leading him to accept an invitation from the Home Mission Board to go on active duty as a Chaplain in the U. S. Army. He reported May 31, 1983.
Brother Hodge was our interim Pastor until Brother John Keith was called as Pastor on November 6, 1983. The family moved their membership that morning. Arthur Irvin was licensed to preach on November 11,1984. He planned to go to Clear Creek for schooling.
Sand Run started a new tradition. On March 31,1985, the church voted to have a “singspiration” on every fifth Sunday. There would be a fellowship meal following the morning service and then singing in the afternoon until about 4:00 p.m.
Daryl Collier was ordained and Fred Irvin was re-ordained as Deacons April 14, 1985.
The church had been giving a lot of thought about people who have difficulty going up and down stairs, especially people in wheelchairs. A motion was brought before the church and a vote taken to build two ramps. One ramp would be built leading into the sanctuary and the other would lead to the Sunday School rooms, replacing the steps.
The church met for regular Business Meeting on September 15,1985. There had been a lot of uneasiness in the church and a motion was made to ask Pastor John Keith to resign immediately. He refused and a motion was made asking that a secret ballot be taken. The vote was 28 to 23 for the Pastor to leave, so the motion carried. He was given two weeks severance pay. The church then called Brother Ira McMillian from Greenview Baptist Church to be our interim Pastor. He started on November 10,1985 and the church began to turn around under his leadership. We had nine new members while he was here.
Brother James Armstrong came on June 1,1986 for a trial sermon. That evening the church called a special Business Meeting and voted for him to be called as Pastor. He accepted and after serving out the thirty day notice given to the church he had been serving, he began preaching at Sand Run on July 1,1986.
It’s time again to remodel the sanctuary. How about paneling the walls and covering those concrete blocks? That’s just what they did. First the walls were insulated and then paneled. Beautiful! Isn’t it?
Brother Arthur Irvin was ordained as a Minister of the Gospel in April of 1987.
Here is a list of some of the many things that have been accomplished since Brother Armstrong has been here: In the sanctuary, new carpet, a new sound system, a gas furnace and central air were all installed and the pews were re-upholstered. In the Sunday School, a chair lift was installed to the fellowship hall, a computer and copier were purchased and a desk, chair and some shelving were donated. New doors upstairs and downstairs were installed, as well as water and natural gas.
The baptistry was refinished, the old pulpit furniture was re-upholstered and the cry room was refinished. There were changes on the outside too. A beautiful new steeple was installed on the church, a new flag pole was put in, and the church was landscaped all around. A new sign replaced the old one by the road, church signs were placed on State Highway 237, the parking lot was reseated and new lawn mowers were acquired.
I hope you have enjoyed my book as much as I have enjoyed writing it! Most of all, I’m so happy to be back in my home church and teaching again.
[Compiled by Vivian Blaker, edited by Linda Blaker, master copy by Debbie Blaker. – From the Boone County Public Library, Sheben Branch, Union, KY.