Organized Oct. 26, 1884, by 18 members who met at nearby school to found a Missionary Baptist Church. T. P. Reece was the first of 25 pastors here.
The Sunday School was founded Feb. 22, 1885.
Dedication of present church was July 17, 1911.
Location: From Leonard, take SH 78 west for 3 miles to FM 981; then north on FM 981 for .3 miles. Located at the entrance to the East Shady Grove cemetery. Nothing remains of the church.
Dedication set for Baptist
Church Historical marker
Sunday, October 19 has been set for the dedication of a Texas Historical Marker for the East Shady Grove Baptist Church. The dedication ceremony will be at 2 p.m. at the site of the marker three miles west of Leonard, on the Blanton Chapel Road near its intersection with State Highway 78. The marker was erected in 1968, but was never dedicated on account of the church disbanding that year.
Shady Grove Baptist Church was organized on october 26, 1884. The organizational meeting was held in the Morrow School house with T. P. Reese, N. A. Rogers, Thomas Shaw and John C. Neale acting as presbyters. Rev. M. A. Rogers preached the dedicatory sermon. Charter members of the church were: Gersha Howard, Natilda Howard, Sarah Reese, P. W. Price, Tabatha Price, W. W. Stovall, E. L. Howard, S. E. Dixon, R. A. Dixon, A. G. Morgan, Sarah Morgan, T. P. Reese, and S. L. Reese.
On September 4, 1885, an acre of ground was purchased for $25.00 and a building erected that served the church until a new building was built in 1911. The new building was dedicated July 16, 1911. The dedicatory sermon was delivered by the Rev. Fount Jones. The cost of the building was $1019.00. The pews, $57 and the light $13.10. The building was struck by lighting in 1925. The cost of repairing the building was $1000.00. The bell tower was not replaced.
The last conference of the church was held May 19, 1968, with eight members present. The church was disbanded and the funds of the church were distributed as follows: East Shady Grove Cemetery, $100.00; Leonard Cemetery, $100.00; the new Baptist Church in Leonard, $100.00; Buckners Orphans Home, $56.66; Indian Creek Baptist Church, $25.00; and the Historical Marker, $140.00.
Letters of dismissal were granted to the following: Mrs. Ella Mae Key, Mr. and Mrs. T. N. Satterwhite, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Key, Eugene Whitworth, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Hopkins, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Burden, James Burden, Grace Bondreau, Joe Bondreau, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Earl Beaty.
The church minutes show the following as pastors of the church. T. P. Reese, McCord Gilmore, E. D. Reese, J. W. Weathers, J. A. Caskey, R. L. Keen, J. A. Henderson, R. J. Fletcher, W. L. Brumlow, U. C. Broach, C. H. Evans, E. Rylant, Ryan Hancock, Oscar Garner, Wilson Akins, Paul Hunt, L. A. Johnson, Thomas Reese, Wayne Watson, Charles Leath, George Clinton, Earl Waden, Carroll Pennell, Robert Manning, W. A. Pryor, A. Crosby, Dewey Braswell, and A. Booth.
The East Shady Grove Cemetery, near the church site, is still maintained by donations from those who have relatives and friends buried there.