277 County Road 1150
Ravenna, Texas 75476
The following history is from The History of Fannin County Texas Churches, compiled by The Fannin County Genealogical Society.
On December 31st, 1890, thirteen men and women of the Ridings community, eight miles north of Bonham, met to organize the Corinth Missionary Baptist Church. They were P. P. Ridings, Millie Ridings, F. B. Davis, Mary Davis, Come Davis, J. A. Moore, Tennie Moore, E. W. Ridings, S. D. R. Ridings, Jane Duckworth, Mary Whisenhunt, W. B. Fogle, and Sarah Fogle. A year later five more members were added. They were Jane Ridings, Julia Ridings, T. B. Henry, L. J. Stubbs, and Mrs. Texie Keeton.
According to a news article in 1950, Mrs. Keeton stated the group first had meetings in homes of the members. Later they met in a schoolhouse located near Sandy Creek Cemetery. The members built a log church near this site, but it is not known how long it was used. Around the turn of the century, a wooden church with a tall steeple was built on the grounds where the present church stands. The bell in the steeple could be heard for miles, calling worshipers to church and Sunday school. By 1909 the church roll listed 39 members. In 1935, after the yearly brush arbor revival, members were burning the dry brush. Sparks from the fire caught the church on fire and engulfed it within minutes. The only things salvaged were the pulpit, a few church pews, and the church piano. Fortunately, the church records were kept elsewhere, so they were saved.
While a new church sanctuary was being built on the site, members met at the nearby Ridings schoolhouse. In 1954 the first Sunday school rooms were built, and more were added in the early 1970’s. A parsonage was built in 1962 next door to the church. Later it was moved across the road and another bedroom and bath were added. In 1989 a fellowship hall, nursery, kitchen and two bathrooms were built. The wooden sanctuary was torn down in 1993 and a new brick one was built on the original site.
There have been at least 46 pastors of Corinth Baptist Church, ("Missionary” was dropped from the name in the 1940’s). According to church records Reverend J. L. Mays was the first pastor, followed by Reverend Frank B. Davis in 1891. Others include the Reverends W. L. Pearce, H. F. Jones, J. W. Weathers, R. W. Tarpley, W. F. Farmer, W. E. Davis, J. J. Gentry, C. M. Hundley, George Balch, Thomas Reece, W. L. Brumlow, J. E. Fender, B. F. Milam, Felix Robinson, Ryan Hancock, C. C. Hazelip, J. D Fleming, T, C. Bell, A. W. Henry, R. J. Simpson, Claude M. Austin, Hamson Johns, Ray Williams, Bill Cozart, Howard Clark, Jr., Ben W. Atkinson, Allen Hallrod, James L. Reece, Richard Hammonds, David McCollum, Gary McCool, Bob A. Reid, Allen O'Quinn, R. H. Sneed, Terry Farmer, Dan Logan, Stan Martin, David Wheeler, Steve Poe, Forrest Pollock, Michael Waters, Justin Chesser, Casey Ingold, and Mark Roath. The church is presently (2003) searching for a pastor.
Deacons of record are: E. W. Ridings, A. W. Henry, Bert Davis, Wyatt Lambert, Clarence Wisdom, Floyd Thornton, J O. Jackson, Buster Caldwell, Melvin Smithhart, Haynes Kueckelhan, Lloyd Reeves, Jeff Hamby, Norman Frazier, James Anderson, Marshall Tulles, David Brackett, Thomas McGuire, and Larry Nichols.
Many people have helped make the church a success through the years by their dedicated service as teachers, clerks, deacons, and workers. A few of these are Vera Joe Hyatt, Lena and Buster Caldwell, Nan and Pete Bethel, Kenneth and Lois Bethel, and Ruby Curry.
By Dorothy L. Taylor - Church Historian