Greenwood Baptist Church is
celebrating its centennial this year. In the year 1908, Rev. Flauvious J.
Hoge, a Baptist minister, came to the little frame building known as
This building was also nicknamed “Trickum” and had been donated to the
community by Dr. Benjamin Padgett for school and church purposes. The
Methodist and the United Brethren previously had churches at this same
In the year 1908, Rev. F.J. Hoge, assisted by Rev. Curtain, held a two-week
revival with great results. Many souls were saved. At the close of the
revival, Rev. Hoge baptized a number into Cross Roads Baptist Church with
the understanding that they would be members of the new church when it was
In the fall of 1909,
the new church was organized with approximately 35 members. One acre of
ground was purchased from Mr. Homer Shirley. Timber was cut and residents of
the community gave their time building the new church.
The church consisted of an auditorium with curtains separating four
classrooms. Rev. Jerome Cofelt preached the doctrinal sermon and on the day
of organization the new church was named Greenwood Baptist Church. Rev. F.J.
Hoge filled the pulpit until a pastor was elected.
Brother Owen Smith was later
elected and served as pastor until 1913. The church was accepted in the
Ocoee Association (which is now the Hamilton County Association). During
Brother Smith’s pastorate, J.H. Scoggins was ordained as deacon in the
summer of 1912. Later Brother Smith resigned and the church was without a
pastor until 1914 when Brother Robert Tally was elected and served as pastor
until the fall of 1915.
In 1915, Brother Lewis H. Sylar served as pastor for about a year. In 1917,
Brother Tally was called back for a short time. Brother W.L. Scoggins was
ordained as a Baptist minister and he pastored the church for about a year
until in 1919 Brother A.P. Galiheir was called as pastor and served for
about two years.
In the fall of 1921, Rev. William Hamic from Avondale Baptist Church erected
a tent on the site where the church now stands. He held a four-week revival
and there were over a hundred souls saved and rededicated. At the end of the
revival, Brother Hamic baptized 50 souls into the church. Rev. Hamic was
called as pastor and soon thereafter land was purchased for a new church.
The church was built in 1921 and 1922 with public donations and labor. The
members and friends of the church furnished the timber. Rev. Hamic served as
pastor until 1923.
Next Brother Joe Reed was called as pastor and served until 1925. From this
time the list of pastors is as follows: Rev. S.N. Hamic (1925-1927), Rev.
Fred Lane (1927-1930), Rev. Ed Shadwick (1930-1933), Rev. Lewis H. Sylar
(1933-1941), Rev.W.A. Wilhoit (1941-1942), Rev. Lewis H. Sylar (1942-1946),
Rev. Tom Shield (1946-48), Rev. S.M. Hamic (1948-1949), Rev. Henry Burns
(1949-1953), Rev. Lewis Smartt (1953-1954), Rev. E.M. Rackley (1954-1962).
Brother Rackley was pastor when Sunday school rooms were added to the
church. In 1962, Rev. Ira Bishop was elected pastor and served until 1963.
Brother Henry Burns was called back as pastor and served from 1963-1967. In
1967, Brother Virgil became pastor and served until 1971. The Rev. Raymond
Kelly was elected as pastor in 1971 and served until 1974.
In 1974, Rev. James Vaughn was called to the church and faithfully served as
pastor for 26 1/2 years. Under his leadership, a large fellowship building
was built adjacent to the church in 1977. The building was built debt-free
with help from the members. This fellowship building was dedicated in memory
of Brother Harold Smith who was a deacon of the church and a faithful worker
on the building. Brother Smith died from injuries caused by a logging
accident in 1978.
In April of 1982, construction was started on the present church. The
construction was finished in October of 1982 and the new church was
dedicated on October 17, 1982.
On October 12, 1983, three acres surrounding the church was purchased. It is
presently in the process of being developed for a children’s playground.
In March of 1992, a 7200-square foot recreational building was built. Six
more Sunday school rooms were completed in June of 1992. When Brother Vaughn
resigned in 2001, the recreational facility (gym) was renamed James Vaughn
Family Life Center.
Presently, the church has an approximate membership of 600 members.
Brother Darrell Broome served as pastor from 2002 until 2004, then Rev.
David McNabb served as pastor from 2005-2007.
In 2007, the current pastor, Rev. Toby Brogden was called to serve as
pastor. Church officials said, "Under his leadership, our hope for the
future is bright and we look with great expectancy for the return of our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
Mr. Brogden said, "In the eight years of serving at Greenwood Baptist
Church, it has been easy for me to discover how God has used this church to
be a light in this community for 100 years."
Molly Marie Evans has been a member of GBC for 74 years.
In celebration of the church's Centennial, Greenwood Baptist Church will be
hosting a dinner. Ticket prices are $12. Dinner begins at 6 p.m. on Oct. 10
in the gym. Entertainment begins immediately following the dinner at 7 p.m.
Tickets are only required for the dinner. No tickets required for the
James H. Vaughn will be holding the service on Sunday, Oct. 11.
Greenwood Baptist Church is located at 8529 Snow Hill Road in Ooltewah.
Please contact the church if you have any questions, at 423 344-8566.
September 22, 2009 Chattanoogan.com