East Mountain Baptist Church
Friday, May 24, 2013
Living Stones Being Built Into a Spiritual House
Centennial Press Release
PRESS RELEASE: East Mountain Baptist Church Centennial Celebration
WHEN: October 16, 10:45 Worship and Celebration Service
CONTACT INFO: Jodi Smith, Ministerial Assistant, 903-759-2820
East Mountain Baptist Church will be commemorating its centennial on Sunday, October 16. All friends and former members of East Mountain are invited to join us for an old-fashioned all day church and dinner on the grounds with lots of singing, testimony and celebration beginning at 9:30 for Sunday School and 10:45 for the Worship and Celebration Service.
Bro. Ken Brumley, Minister of Marriage and Family at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas, will deliver the message in the morning service. During the mid-seventies, Bro. Brumley served as Minister of Music and Youth at East Mountain Baptist Church. A reunion of his former youth will perform a music selection that they sang while he was their leader. In addition, the gospel bluegrass Reynolds Family Band will perform in both morning and afternoon services as well as the church’s choir, led by Aaron Handorf. The morning Worship and Celebration Service will be filled with music, and history of the church and Upshur County. Following the service will be a barbeque luncheon and more singing and celebration. The day will be completed with the burying of a time capsule to be opened in fifty years.
East Mountain Baptist Church has a rich history of God’s blessing. On Saturday. September 16, 1911, twenty-three men, women and children gathered together to form East Mountain Missionary Baptist Church. The record says, “After scripture reading and prayer., Bro. F.G. Roark was elected moderator and S.Y. Tuttle, clerk… Then they extended to each other the right hand of fellowship,” and a church was born. Pastors were elected annually and Bro. Roark was the first to have that position.
In 1925 the first building was destroyed by fire but was rebuilt immediately with volunteer labor. Records say that in the early days, baptisms were held on Sunday afternoons in Charlie Shelton’s pond. A brick building was built in 1934 and that same year the church voted to join the Southern Baptist Convention. The little rural church began to grow and by February 1945, the Sunday School enrollment had grown to 178.
Bro. Bill Blankenship was called as pastor in September 1950 and served for three years. Bro. Roye Blackmon followed, and served as pastor until 1958. During his tenure, in 1956, EMBC left the Pittsburgh Baptist Association and joined the Gregg Baptist Association. Women’s Ministry began during the 1950’s, when the Women’s Missionary Union (WMU) became very active in many areas of mission work.
In October, 1958, Bro. Billy Baggett came as pastor. A new educational building was built in 1959. This building serves us today with classrooms for children, a men’s class, a ladies class, and the nursery. The record also says that, “In October of 1959 an intensive soul-winning campaign brought about a large increase in baptisms for the year and the church was recognized for this achievement by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Bro. Aubrey Pate was called as pastor in June, 1965. During his pastorate of nineteen years, East Mountain had many milestones beginning with a completely remodeled auditorium during his first year. A new focus on music and youth ministry began with the calling of Milton Walker, EMBC’s first full-time Music and Youth Minister. In 1973, annual mission trips to the Rio Grande Valley began. One trip took more than half of the average church attenders! Those who remained helped by preparing meals in advance and storing them in a large deep freeze which was carried on a trailer all the way to South Texas to feed hungry church builders and Vacation Bible School leaders. This same year, Ken Brumley came as Music and Youth Minister and a new bus ministry was started. In 1980 the new sanctuary was built by church members and new friends made on mission trips.
Since then, East Mountain Baptist has been led by pastors Bro. Dick Lindsey, Bro. John Harp, Dr. Ray Tenpenny and Bro. Wes Sherman. Each of these men has poured their hearts into leading this congregation. Today, Dr. Roy Egdemon serves as transitional pastor. He retired as Director of Discipleship and Family Division from Lifeway Christian Resources. He also served as a missionary to Japan. Gara Handorf, full-time Youth Minister, leads our youth group with students from seven school districts. Aaron Handorf, Minister of Worship leads in a blended worship style. He is also the Band Director at Union Grove High School. Rob Bowen serves as our Children’s Minister with a vibrant children’s church and AWANA program. Our After-School Program for AWANA is staffed by volunteers who supervise the children in games and outdoor play, assist with homework and provide supper before the AWANA program begins at 5:50 p.m. Rob Bowen is also a Sergeant for the Longview Police Department.
For more information about East Mountain Baptist Church or its Centennial Celebration, please call us at 903-759-2820 or visit our website, eastmountainbaptist.org.