|History of First Baptist Church, Concord to 1970|
From a small book published by the Church, located in Farragut, Tennessee. Transcribed by Billie R. McNamara.
Before white and black settlers moved into East Tennessee, the red culture ruled supreme. Cherokee and Creek tribes were uncontested until about 1540 when Hernando De Soto passed through this area. By 1757, when the English built Fort Loudon in nearby Monroe County (now Loudon County), the Creek tribe had moved west, leaving the Cherokees to face the westward movement of the European culture. The Cherokees destroyed Fort Loudon in 1760, massacring several white settlers in the process.
With the peace that followed the French and Indian War and the American Revolution came the desire to move west for these new Americans. Fort Adair and White's Fort were settled around 1790 in what is now Knox County. On September 25, 1793, Alexander Cavett and twelve other settlers were massacred at Cavett's Station (near the Walker Springs area) by Cherokees lead by Chief Doublehead. The last person killed by Indians in Knox County was George Mann, on May 25, 1795, about one year before Tennessee became a state.
The first known settler in the Concord area was Matthew Russell (1787). He settled on land granted by the government for serving in the Revolutionary War. He was soon followed by the Rogers, Donelsons and others from the Pennsylvania area.
The town of Concord had it's beginning in 1854 when James Rogers laid out a town with fifty-five lots along the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad in West Knox County. Due to its location near the railroad and the Tennessee River, the town grew rapidly. A Post Office was established in 1855, and by 1887 Concord was second only to Knoxville in population for Knox County.
In 1890 a marble deposit was discovered on the banks of the Tennessee River, which brought a number of marble quarriers from Virginia to work the mine. This, of course, attracted additional industrial and commercial business to the area. Concord was in its heyday.
A Church Is Born
A number of marble workers came here from Hawkins County, Tennessee, including the Samuel Mitchell and Hal Glaspy Winfrey families. These families were to play an important role in what is today First Baptist Church, Concord. These people were mostly Baptist, and there was no Baptist Church in the area. With a desire to serve the Lord and worship with those of the same Baptist persuasion, this group soon banded together for worship.
Sometime during 1890, William L. Winfrey, brother of Hal Glaspy Winfrey, graduated from Mossy Creek College (now Carson Newman College) and was invited by Mrs. Samuel Mitchell and several other women of the community to come to Concord to hold a series of meetings.
The Cumberland Presbyterian Church allowed them to use their building for a period of time until Reverend Winfrey preached a doctrinal sermon regarding a Baptist belief that baptisms from other denominations are unacceptable. The Presbyterians felt that in light of this belief, perhaps the Baptists should find another place to worship. Shortly thereafter, the group moved to the Masonic Hall Building located on Second Street, which was also used as a school. It was in this building that the Concord Baptist church was organized.
Records show that in 1890 the Trustees of the Concord Baptist Church were S. N. Mitchell, T. J. Johnson, William Henson, H. R. Bailey and T. C. Barnhill. These men purchased Lot number 35 on Olive street in Concord from H. R. and Sarah Bailey for the purpose of building a place of worship. Samuel Mitchell offered to furnish the money for materials to build the building if the Baptist men would do the work. The men agreed and the first Concord Baptist Church building was built. This one story, wooden structure still stands today in Old Concord, but sadly, is in a deteriorating condition.
Young and Ambitious: 1891 Through 1900
In October 1891, the Committee on Petitionary Letters of the Tennessee Baptist Association (now Knox County Baptist Association, meeting at the Dumplin Creek Church in Jefferson County, reported, "We have examined the letter of the Concord Church and heard the evidence of the delegate present, and recommend that the church be received into the membership of the association."
When the congregation moved into the new building on Olive Street, services were held monthly. The pastor normally came by train on Saturday. From conversations with older members who worshiped in this first church during their early years, we learned that services were usually held on Saturday night as well as Sunday morning and Sunday night. The preachers stayed with members of the congregation and returned, by train, on Monday to their respective homes.
Reverend W. L. Winfrey, who served as pastor when the church was formed, also served in 1895 and 1905. Reverend Winfrey died in 1914.
Times Are Tough: 1901 Through 1910
A study of associational records indicates that these were probably difficult times for the fledging Concord Baptist Church. Membership had risen to 58 by 1900, with 6 baptisms that year. A steady decline in members began at that point, however, until only 10 members were on the roll by 1907. T. L. Cate became pastor that year, and membership slowly began to increase. Another indicator of the difficulties faced is that only two baptisms were recorded between 1901 and 1910.
Which Way to Grow?: 1911 Through 1920
Having survived the difficulties of the previous decade, Concord Baptist began to grow. With thirty-three members in 1910, the steady growth resulted in 109 enrolled by 1920. This occurred during a decade that saw World War I and the great influenza epidemic, sometimes known as "The White Plague." An indicator of the severity of the flu epidemic was seen at the 1918 associational meeting, when the meeting adjourned early so that the delegates could be home by midnight, which was a government imposed curfew, due to the epidemic.
The Knox County Association of Baptists records give us an indication that this fledging group of believers was, perhaps, searching for the pathway for service. In 1916, Concord Baptist petitioned the Knox County Association to release them, which they did, so that they could join the Providence Association. We have been unable to find any information about this association. Three years later, in 1919, Concord Baptist returned to the Knox County Associational meeting and asked to be re-admitted. The petitionary committee recommended that our messengers be accepted. In our petition for re-admittance, the Concord messenger stated that they had never gotten around to joining the Providence Association. Apparently Concord was an "independent" Southern Baptist for three years.
In 1912, five new Christians were baptized at Concord Baptist Church. Among those baptized was Mrs. Mary B. Winfrey Cross, who is still a member of First Baptist but currently is a resident of the Baptist Health Care Center, and Mrs. Bess Houston Weaver, who is a resident of Farragut Health Care Center. Mrs. Cross told us of being baptized in Turkey Creek, behind the Old Hackney Mill, which is adjacent to Concord Road. She is the daughter of Hal Glaspy Winfrey, one of the founders of our church. Both of these ladies taught Sunday School and played the piano and pump organ in the original Concord Baptist Church.
According to Knox County Associational records, Dr. W. W. Mullendore was pastor of Concord Baptist Church during 1914 and 1915. Although there were no baptisms for these two years, we gained nine new members.
Dr. Mullendore was a charter member of Central Baptist, Fountain City, which was founded in 1914. Since he preached at Concord Baptist only two Sundays a month, he agreed to serve as part-time pastor for Fountain City until a permanent pastor could be called. No records have survived to tell us where he and his wife, Anne, served in later years, but a great-granddaughter had a record of his death on July 27, 1938.
During 1920, after several years of struggle, often without a pastor, Reverend John T. Williams was called to this pastorate. Soon the church began a new growth, with twenty baptisms in that year.
Building on Faith: 1921 Through 1930
The one story wooden structure on Olive Street served the Baptists of Concord until the early 1920's, when the membership reached the one hundred mark.
On March 20, 1920, Marion Winfrey purchased lot 8, at the corner of Olive and Front Streets, for $300. On January 31, 1921, the church purchased this lot from M. L. and Ruth Winfrey to build a new, larger church building. In 1923, a basement was dug by the laymen of the church. The marble foundation, which formed the first story of the building and was to be used for Sunday School rooms, was laid by the Winfrey brothers.
Due to lack of funds, work was halted until 1927, when Mr. P. W. Bevins asked to be allowed to finance the completion of the structure. The basement and sanctuary were completed, and the name of the church was changed to Crichton Memorial Baptist Church, in memory of Mr. Bevins son, Crichton, who died on April 29, 1914.
The interior furnishings of the new building were the gifts of the church members, the community, and friends in Tennessee and Virginia.
Dedication Services were conducted on October 22, 1928, with the Rev J. K. Haynesdelivering the dedicatory sermon. Rev E. L. Hutchins was pastor at the time.
The first person baptized in the new baptistry was Mrs. Loretta Bevins.
An interesting sequence of events occurred in 1927, when the church prepared to resume construction, after approximately four years of inactivity. It seems that the first warranty deed to the property had not been duly registered. The trustees had to re-enact the original purchase from Marion Winfrey, properly registering it this time, before work could resume. When the purchase was made in 1921, the church paid Mr. Winfrey $250.00. The re-enactment of this purchase in 1927 indicated that we paid $192.00! The trustees were Jno. Proffitt, Garnie Bevins, Luther Hobbs, and Geo. Davis.
Mrs. Neil Lanham (Nannie Belle Bevins) remembers the day that she was baptized, as an eleven-year-old child, in 1925 by Pastor Raymond R. Denny. It took place at Callaway's Landing, in the Tennessee River. All of those who were baptized that day held hands as they stood in the water. She was one of twenty-nine baptisms that year. Mrs. Lanham also remembers the tent revivals that were held during those early years, and of people from other denominations coming to Concord Baptist for "preaching services" when their particular church was not having services.
In 1926, Glen F. White served as pastor for one year while he was studying at Carson-Newman College. Records in the Office of Alumni Relations indicate that he graduated in 1927.
His wife, Ruth Anne Stout White, who lives in Louisville, Kentucky, told us that he served churches in Pennington Gap, Virginia, and in Louisville, Kentucky. He received his Masters and Doctorate degrees from Southern Seminary in Louisville. Late in his ministerial service, Dr. White felt a call to be a high school counselor and served in that capacity until his death in 1978.
The Great Depression Era: 1931 Through 1940
During 1930-31, Dr. J. R. Johnson served as pastor at Crichton Memorial. At the time of his pastorate here, Dr. Johnson was Dean of Bible at Carson-Newman College. During the nine years he was at Carson-Newman, he taught 1,500 students and added four new courses to the Bible Department. He left Carson-Newman in 1939. Dr. Johnson held pastorates in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia and was a member of the Foreign Missions Board, Richmond, Virginia for ten years. He and his wife, Julia Ann, lived in Jefferson City, Tennessee after his retirement until his death on July 21, 1959 at the age of 90.
Mrs. Nannie Belle Bevins Lanham, who was a student at Carson-Newman at the time of Dr. Johnson's pastorate, remembers riding back to Concord with him for the bi-monthly services. He would stay at one of the member's home on Saturday and Sunday nights, and return to Jefferson City on Monday morning.
Thomas G. Davis pastored here in 1932, having graduated from Carson-Newman in 1896. He later moved to the Oak Ridge area where he authored a book titled Saved and Certain, was an organizer of the Robertsville Baptist Church, and was their first pastor from 1949 through 1951.
On June 17, 1932, the church bought a portion of the adjoining Lot 9, 21.5 feet wide, for $215.00 from S. H. and Retha Hammonds.
Charles Bond served at Crichton Memorial from 1933 through 1935. In his youth, Reverend Bond felt the call to preach while working in a meat packing factory in Lakeland, Florida. He later met Dr. J. T. Warren, president of Carson-Newman College, who advised him to come to Harrison-Chilhowee, in Seymour, Tennessee, to finish his high school; attend Carson-Newman; and then go to seminary. Reverend Bond followed his advice exactly. While a student at Carson-Newman, he was ordained at Crichton Memorial, and became its pastor for nearly three years. He accepted a call to First Baptist, Rockwood, while attending Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and remained there until graduation. Dr. Bond later served a church in Athens, Tennessee before pastoring the Central Baptist, Fountain City for 30 years. He retired in 1975 and died in 1982. Mrs. Bond told us that he loved the people of Crichton Memorial, always telling her of how well they fed him and how he was welcomed in their homes.
J. N. Evans came to Crichton Memorial in 1937, while a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and served almost two years. After graduation, he served churches in North and South Carolina, the Maryland State Convention, and The Southern Baptist Home Mission Board. He retired in 1978, but continued to serve on an interim basis in Pennsylvania and Hawaii.
Hobart Ford began his preaching ministry at the age of fifteen at his home church of Grassy Fork, Newport, Tennessee. He came to Crichton Memorial while a single student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in 1938 and served until May, 1939. Three months after leaving Crichton for a pastorate in Madisonville, Tennessee, he married a Concord girl, Helen Miller. Another former pastor, Charles Bond, performed the ceremony. Pastor Ford served at several churches across Tennessee until retiring in 1970. He then served on an interim basis at churches in the Nashville, Tennessee, area until his death in 1978.
A Full-Time Ministry: 1941 Through 1950
In many ways, the '40's was the decade when Crichton Memorial Baptist Church reached a new level of maturity in serving the Lord.
Pastor Clyde Bryan brought the eager congregation into a full-time ministry for the first time in 1943. Pastor Bryan wrote us "the church at Concord expanded from half-time services to a full-time program." Mrs. Nannie Belle Lanham remembers a deacon's meeting that occurred in her family home in which Brother Bryan encouraged the deacons to recommend to the church that they go to a full-time ministry. Pastor Bryan offered to preach every Sunday without an increase in pay. The church followed his leadership and voted to conduct preaching services every Sunday. Brother Bryan was paid an additional amount, however.
Pastor Bryan organized and accompanied our youth to Ridgecrest for the first time in our church's history. The sponsors, who also served as cooks, were Mrs. Nannie Belle Lanham, Miss Mary Mills and Mrs. Veda Thompson. Miss Mills was later to become Executive Secretary of the Woman's Missionary Union in Nashville, where she served for many years.
Mr. Bryan also reminded us that the first electric organ was purchased during his pastorate. Miss Josephine Scruggs came to Concord to demonstrate the organ. In June, 1943, Josephine became Mrs. Clyde Bryan. Clyde Bryan left Crichton Memorial to pastor churches in Bolivar, Tennessee, Gallatin, Tennessee, and Hattisburg, Mississippi. He is now retired from Bryan Tours, Inc., Travel Agency, but does travel consultations and retains ownership of the company. He and Mrs. Bryanare active members of First Baptist Church of Jackson, Mississippi.
Harold Lindsey served in full-time capacity in 1943 and 1944, but did not live on the field. Pastor Lindsey remembers, "During school sessions I commuted by train from Louisville keeping my car in Knoxville. Each Saturday, or Sunday, I would get into Knoxville about daybreak, get my car and drive the few miles out to the church. After the weekend I would drive back to Knoxville, store my car and take the night train to Louisville. In the summer I lived with the Neil Lanhams. After Concord I returned to Louisville for graduate work and another church. It was too far and too expensive for my new wife and me to commute to Concord." Harold Lindsey received his doctorate in 1946, pastored churches in Oklahoma and Texas, performed denominational work with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and the Home Mission Board, Southern Baptist Convention and finally was President of a Baptist college in South Carolina for five years before moving to Massachusetts to direct our Baptist work in 1975. Doctor and Mrs. Lindseyretired to Lincolnton, North Carolina, in 1983.
In 1945, the church purchased a house and lot on "Concord Pike" (now known as Olive Street) for $6,415.59. It was used as a pastorium until 1955 when a new facility was built at the corner of Thornton Drive and Concord Road. The old pastorium was sold to Grace W. Joyner. The north lot was divided with half being purchased by W. A. and Velma Donovan, and the remainder by Authur and Helen Smith.
Udell Smith came to Crichton Memorial in January, 1945. He was the first pastor to live on the field. Pastor Smith remembers, "I have so many delightful memories of my pastorate at Concord. The church did grow, and we began offerings for enlarged facilities. The people were constantly gracious to me. Several mornings each week I would find food and other items on my front door step. I recall two good revivals and a community survey for prospects. We had a church baseball team. I was the pitcher, and Pat Donovan, one of my deacons, played on the team along with others. I recall a baptismal service after one of the revivals, when the water was extremely cold. I tried to immerse a young lady and did not quite make it. I asked her if she wanted to try a third time, she said yes, and the third time was the charm. These are some of the memories from the sublime to the ridiculous, and I cherish all of them. I still count, as some of my dearest friends, many people in Concord." Pastor Smith served for two and one-half years. He then went to the University of Tennessee as Baptist Student Director and taught in the School of Religion until October 1949, when he moved to Louisiana and began his tenure as State Baptist Student Director.
Joe A. Gayle began his ministry here in February, 1948. Reverend Gayle wrote, "My first new pastorate after graduation from Southwestern Baptist Theological seminary, where I held the Master of Theology and Master of Religious Education degrees, was at Crichton Memorial Baptist Church at Concord, Tennessee. That was my first time to be living on the field, giving full time to the church work. While at Crichton Memorial we started WMU being divided into circles, re-organized GA's and RA's, also Sunbeams with the children. The first organ chimes were placed in the Concord building by the railroad and lake. An attic-type fan was placed in a south window over the balcony to cool the building. In 1948, I think in July or August, Brother J. O. Carter, then Pastor of First Baptist, Greeneville, Tennessee, held a revival at Crichton Memorial. I don't recall names, but the church, having 9 deacons, ordained 9 more deacons. A Brother Roberts was one of the new deacons. He became Chairman of Deacons while I was Pastor." Reverend Gayle left Crichton Memorial in July, 1949 to pastor the Prospect Baptist Church, near Knoxville. He later returned to school at Baylor University and taught at Howard Payne University and East Texas Baptist University.
Jack Spencer became Pastor on February 1, 1950, one week after his ordination as a minister. He was a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at Louisville, Kentucky. Reverend Spencer remembers, "While I was pastor the education building was built. I continue to hear of the good work your church is doing. My memories of my experience at Concord are very pleasant. I pray for your continued success in reaching the people of the community." Pastor Spencer resigned effective January 31, 1955. Since that time he has pastored a number of churches in the Knoxville area, both in a full-time and a part-time capacity.
World War II touched our congregation in several ways. Two members were killed in action: Lloyd Thompson, in Italy, June 11, 1944; and J. D. Stallings, in Germany, April 13, 1945. On a positive note, the prosperity caused by nearby Oak Ridge brought many new people into the Concord area.
In 1950, a portion of lot 9, adjoining the church, was purchased for future expansion.
Stability and Growth: 1951 Through 1960
A new educational building was built in 1953 at a cost of $9,551.00.
Reverend Jack Spencer resigned effective January 31, 1955.
Calvin Capps came to Crichton Memorial on June 1, 1955 when the church was located in Concord, and left October 20, 1963, following the move to Kingston Pike and subsequent re-naming to First Baptist Church, Concord. This is a period which surely must rate among the most significant of our one hundred years. Pastor Capps fondly remembers, "Perhaps the most significant things that were accomplished by the Lord and his people there was attaining Advanced Standard Sunday School ranking and the relocation of, and building, the first unit of the present plant, along with the name change when the church relocated." The Advanced Standard Sunday School ranking that Pastor Capps modestly referred to was achieved in the church years of 1958 and 1959. Crichton Memorial Baptist Church was the only Southern Baptist Church in the State of Tennessee to obtain this ranking. Standard Sunday School ranking was achieved in 1960.
A new pastorium was constructed on the corner of Thornton and Concord Road in 1956, at a cost of $27,000.00.
In the late '50's the steady growth that the church was experiencing began to accelerate, and after many months of investigation, it was recommended in August, 1959, that the church purchase a piece of property on Kingston Pike at Belleaire Drive for the future location of the church.
On February 17, 1960, in a regular business meeting, the church appointed a Planning and Survey Committee to formulate and recommend plans for a Church Building Program to relocate the Church to the Kingston Pike property. The committee members were J. C. Moore (Chairman), Rev C. L. Capps, Dr. R. H. Duncan, Roger Brotherton, Tomie Brown, Mitchell Joyner, Elbert Marguerat and Dick Williams.
On recommendation of the Planning and Survey Committee, a Church Building Finance Committee was appointed by the church on May 18, 1960, to investigate ways to finance a building program. This committee consisted of C. W. Benson (Chairman), James Brashier and Joe Lowe.
The Planning and Survey Committee returned on November 23, 1960 with a recommendation that the church build a one story building on the Kingston Pike property that would accommodate 350 people. This educational and temporary sanctuary facility would occupy 10,000 square feet and cost approximately $100,000. It recommended that a building committee be appointed to oversee all phases of the project.
A Move to the Pike: 1961 Through 1970
Have you ever wondered how Crichton Memorial became First Baptist, Concord? Well, as usual, the church body voted on it. Several names were suggested, and, on March 22, 1961, in a called business meeting, an election resulted in the following: First Baptist Church, Concord received 29 votes; Farragut Baptist Church received 28 votes; Belleaire Baptist Church received 14 votes; First Baptist Church, Farragut received 0 votes.
On January 24, 1962, Crichton Memorial Baptist Church officially became First Baptist Church, Concord.
W. D. Stapp was called to be part-time Music Director on October 18, 1961, at Crichton Memorial. He served until he graduated from Carson-Newman in May, 1964, when he moved to Copper Hill, Tennessee, to become band director in the high school. Bill and his family returned to First Baptist in 1988.
On May 17, 1961, plans were presented for a new church building on the Kingston Pike property. The church accepted the plans and authorized the architects to prepare detailed working drawings. In February, 1962 bonds totaling $150,000 were sold to finance the project, and work was begun on the original sanctuary at the new site. The building was completed in early October and on October 22, 1962, the furnishings were moved into the building. The first service, appropriately, was a prayer service, and the first regular Lord's Day service was held on October 28, 1962. Dedication services were conducted on November 18, 1962. The architects for the project were Gallaway and Guthrey of Knoxville, and the construction was by Parkview Incorporated of Maryville.
The new facility was dedicated to all past, present, and future members of this church. In memory of those who served, in appreciation of those who now work, in hope of the future reaping from our sowing: To the Glory of God the Father, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit, unto the communion of Christians. Amen.
Building Committees for the 1962 move to Kingston Pike were
Plans Committee - Elbert Marguerat (Chairman), C. L. Capps, C. W. Benson, Mitchell Joyner, Tom Hastings, H. H. Law, J. C. Moore and James McPherson.
Publicity Committee - Jim Hensley (Chairman), Ed Loy, and Mrs. Rossie Mason.
Construction Committee - Mitchell Joyner (Chairman), Cecil Burger, Glenn Greene, Bill Hodges, J. C. Moore, and Dick Williams.
Grounds Committee - Tomie Brown (Chairman), James Chambers, Bob Jones, and Pat Donovan.
Legal Committee - William Blevins (Chairman), C. L. Capps, Jack Bevins, Lloyd Bevins, Tomie Brown, R. H. Duncan, and Paul McCurry.
Furnishings Committee - Roger Brotherton (Chairman), C. L. Capps, C. W. Benson, H. H. Law, Mrs. Virginia Lowe, and Mrs. Rossie Mason.
Finishing and Decorating Committee - Mrs. J. S. Reynolds (Chairman), Mrs. Mary B. Cross, Mrs. Leota Duff, and Mrs. Katy Ogle.
Bonds Committee - C. W. Benson, J. W. Brashier, and Joe Lowe.
Church Trustees in 1962 were William Blevins (Chairman), L. S. Bevins, Paul McCurry, Dick Williams, and R. H. Duncan, Jr.
The Deacon body consisted of J. C. Moore, Robert Barron, Harley Law, Elbert Marguerat, James Brashier, Roger Brotherton, Dick Williams, Paul McCurry, Mitchell Joyner, James Chambers, Tomie Brown, and Roy Ogle.
Pastor Calvin Capps served this congregation until October 20, 1963. He subsequently served in several churches in North Carolina. Reverend Capps died in November, 1989.
The interim pastor for the period between November, 1963 to June, 1964 was Reverend Eldon Smith.
On June 7, 1964, Reverend Kenneth Chapman was called as pastor from the Alto Loma Baptist Church in Madison, Tennessee. Mrs. Marie Chapman wrote to us about the time that she and her husband served here. "I cherish the memory of beautiful fellowship at Concord. The church 'family' got together on many occasions, by classes or as a church. The history would not be complete without a picture of Concord Park!"
During Pastor Chapman's service here, additional educational and office space was constructed in 1968. Reverend Chapman left Concord in March, 1968, and moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Wishing him well, our congregation paid $1,079.00 for his moving expenses. He later served in Nashville, Tennessee; Washington, D. C.; and at Liberty Baptist College in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Wesleyan Methodist Church rented the old church building in Concord starting July 5, 1964.
The church voted to buy the lot across Belleaire Drive, next to the McCurry property, on November 18, 1964, for $1,850.00.
J. D. Price was called as part-time Music Director on October 21, 1964.
On December 16, 1964, the church voted to buy the Jackson property on the west side of the church for $20,000.00.
Bob Lockwood was called to be full-time Minister of Music and Youth on February 28, 1965, and served until August 24, 1966.
Wesleyan Methodist School purchased the old church building in Concord for $10,000.00 on February 16, 1966.
On May 12, 1966, the church voted to spend $142,000.00 on an educational building.
Leon Gray became part-time Music Director on August 28, 1966.
On January 18, 1967, the church voted to borrow $300,000.00 to build the educational building for $142,000.00 and pay off all other outstanding debts.
Reverend Eldon Smith, once again, served as interim pastor from March, 1968, until August, 1968.
On August 25, 1968, Reverend Joe Stacker came to Concord from the First Baptist Church in Greeneville, Tennessee. Once again our church surged forward, both in numbers and Christian spirit. Reverend Stacker described this era in a paper that he wrote for the Broadman Press. "First Baptist Church, Concord has met this growth challenge by building new facilities, expanding the programs and staff of the church, making multiple use of the buildings, and continuing to share her faith. Another good quality of the church is the willingness of the older members to let new people come in and share new ideas and leadership. As the old adage goes, 'Nothing succeeds like success.' Candid honesty and truth spoken in love can aid the church in moving on for Christ. This positive attitude has meant much to problem solving and ministry growth. Laypersons in First Baptist Church have a high degree of dedication to Christ. This is a layperson's church with capable deacons, teachers and leaders. Especially do we have a large number of men actively involved. There is a vision in the church that draws the members to prayer and the concerned sharing of their time and faith."
Reverend Stacker received his doctorate degree from Southern Seminary while pastoring at First Baptist, Concord.
Dr. Stacker left to become Secretary of the Church Administration Department of the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. His last Sunday at First Baptist Church, Concord was September 6, 1981.
Wesley Peters served as part-time Music Director during 1968 and a portion of 1969.
During the June 18, 1969, business meeting, Mr. David Hyers, prospect for Music and Youth Director, was introduced to the congregation by John Echerd. Later, in the same meeting, the deacons recommended to the church, with the consent of the Personnel and Music Committees, that the church extend to Mr. Hyers a call to full time service as Music-Youth Director. Reverend Hyers still serves as Minister of Music.
On April 9, 1969, the church purchased an additional 2-1/2 acres on the west side of the church for $10,000.00.
A new Planning and Survey Committee was appointed on December 10, 1969, to formulate and recommend plans to meet the immediate and future needs for facilities. This committee was composed of E. F. Marguerat (Chairman), Rev. Joe Stacker, Ernie Branam, Edith Brown, Richard Green, Doug Hill, Bob Lockwood, Virginia Lowe, Gerald McMeans, Jim Moore, and Larry Triplett.
On August 19, 1970, the Planning and Survey Committee returned with the following recommendation: In order to accommodate the anticipated attendance in one service and eliminate the necessity of having two services, this committee recommends that the next phase of the building program be the construction of a permanent auditorium.
This recommendation was approved by the church body.