1948 photo of brush arbor
Baptist Missionary Minister Henry Fountain Jones, who served several Baptist churches in Fannin County, organized this congregation on September 18, 1894, with eighteen charter members: Fannie Cooper Benton, W. L. and M. B. Bradshaw, Thomas S. and Mary F. Cooper, Myrtle Cunningham, Alice J. McClure Evans, Mrs. M. A. Grimes, M. and S. A. Higginbotham, Louise P. Jenkins, William A. Lipscomb, G. W. Maxwell, Robert J. and Lucy Ann Shive, Eula A. Cooper Watson, Florence Cooper Watson Richards, and Mrs. M. E. Whaley. Early worship services were held in a local schoolhouse, and the Sunday School was organized in 1897.
The church and community initially were named Bentonville in honor of Confederate veteran Edmond Hugh Benton. After the town's name was shortened to Edhube (using the first two letters of Benton's three names) in the early 1900s. The church became known as Edhube Baptist Church.
Church members built their first sanctuary in 1900 on land donated by the Benton family. The congregation also built a brush arbor to house summer services, and baptisms took place in area creeks and ponds. The church complex was enlarged over the year with the addition of educational facilities and parsonages.
595 FM 2815, Bonham, TX 75418. From TX HWY 121, turn east on FM 1629, then south (first right) onto FM 2815. Just after the intersection with CR 4225, the church and historical marker will be on your left.
A History of Edhube Baptist Church
In August of 1894 Bro. Henry Fountain Jones felt led by the Holy Spirit to go to Bentonville, Texas (now
Edhube) and organize a Baptist Church. Brother Jones was a great missionary from Ector, Texas who was already pastoring Baptist Churches at Ector, Windom, Corinth and Randolph. On September 18, 1894, the church was founded with 18 charter members, who were as follows:
Fannie Cooper Benton (Mrs. Ollie)
W. L. Bradshaw
M. B. Bradshaw (Mrs. W.L.)
Thomas Sterling Cooper
Mary Francis Cooper (Mrs. Thomas)
Myrtle Cunningham (Mrs. Joseph J.)
Alice J. McClure Evans (Mrs. Emmett)
Mrs. M. A. Grimes
S. A. Higginbotham (Mrs. M.)
Louise P. Jenkins (Mrs. J. W.)
William Alexander Lipscomb
G. W. Maxwell
Robert J. Shive
Lucy Ann Shive (Mrs. Robert J.)
Eula A. Cooper Watson (Mrs. Lucius)
Florence Gertrude Cooper Watson Richards Mrs. M.E. Whaley (1)
At the first meeting Brother H. Fountain Jones was elected Pastor and Robert J. Shive was elected Church Clerk. In 1954 Mr. Shive's daughter, Mrs. M. E. Tarpley, wrote a letter to describe those early days. She said:
"The church meetings were held in the two story school building owned by Dr. J. W. Benton and Mr. Kinney. The meetings were on the third Sunday of each month. There were two services on Saturday and two services on Sunday." (2)
In her letter Mrs. Tarpley also told of one of the outstanding conversions of those early years. She related:
"Mr. & Mrs. J. C. Biggers moved into the community. They came to church one Saturday. Brother Jones was preaching in his common-sense way. Suddenly Mr. Biggers arose, put down the child he was holding, and started to leave the church. Brother Jones said "Come back here, Bob. If you go out the devil will get you." He came back and fell into Brother Jones' arms with a profession of faith, and became a Christian. He and Brother Jones were great friends all through life, living to an old age." (3)
Early in the church's history the people realized the importance of training the members in God's Word. Therefore, the church's Sunday School was organized in 1897. John W. Lipscomb was the first Sunday School Superintendent. (4) Mrs. Tarpley described Mr. Lipscomb as a fine young man that led the Sunday School well in its first days. Superintendents serving our church have been:
1897-1905 J.W. Lipscomb
1905- 1906 G.E. Shive
1906- 1910 J. Thomas Owens
1910-1912 J. H. McClung
1912-1914 Charles Jones
1915- 1916 W. C. Fuller
1916- 1937 Peter Leach West
1937-1940 Walter W. Tarpley
1940-1944 C. L. Nelson
1944-1955 J. Dan Casteel
1955-1962 O.E. Jennings
1962-1971 Lynn Hicks
1971-1973 Clyde Caskey
1973-1975 Lynn Hicks
1975-1979 Joe Bailey Jones
1979-1983 Clyde Caskey
1983-1989 David Kinkade
1989-1990 Gary Purdy
1990-1993 David Kinkade
Brother Peter Leach West served as Superintendent for the longest period of time. For more than 20 years he guided the Sunday School through some very glorious days.
Additional training has been offered through Training Union. This type of organized training dates back to the date of B.Y.P.U. Many fine men have served as T.U. Directors. They were as follows:
1923 Owen Biggers
1940-1941 Rayburn Tarpley
1941-1942 Halse Cuningham
1942-1943 C.L. Nelson
1943-1945 Mrs. C.L. Nelson
1945-1946 Floy Jester
1946-1947 Mrs. Gilbert Fuggitt
1947-1948 Coy Stroud
1948-1951 Clyde Caskey
1951-1952 Gilbert Fuggitt
1952-1954 Oscar E. Jennings
1954-1955 Mrs. Don Dillow
1955-1956 Lynn Hicks
1956-1959 Mrs. Lynn Hicks
1959-1965 Harold Stroud
1965-1972 Lesley Blanton
1972-1973 Sandy Crouch
1973-1981 Harold Stroud
1981-1982 Alvin Turner
1983-1985 Carl Watterson
1985-Present None (5)
As the years went by, nothing was done to get the church building started. Then the Spanish American War started in late 1898. This led indirectly to the building of the church house. Because the war led to a rise in the price of farm products, the members were able to raise the money needed to erect a place of worship.
The land was donated by the Benton family. A few years later adjoining land on three sides was purchased from J.C. Biggers, P.L. West and M.D. Benton. (6) In February, 1965, another portion of land on the north side of the church was transferred to the church from Clyde and Ruth Caskey so that a new parsonage could be built. (7)
Robert J. Shive, Thomas Sterling Cooper and others formed the building committee. They bought lumber which did not have knot holes from an East Texas Saw Mill, at a reasonable price. When the building was completed in November, 1900, the church building was dedicated to Brother H. Fountain Jones, the first pastor, who returned to preach the third Sunday of November, 1900. Pastor J.W. Weathers led the people in prayer. He prayed that the building and grounds might be used in the service and glory of God. The building which they dedicated that day is still being used for the purposes for which it was built. (8)
In July, 1919, the church decided to start raising funds to build a brush arbor to be used for summer revivals. Funds were met and it was completed in July, 1921. It was built by the members at the back of the church. Then in 1948 the church was growing so the brush arbor had to be moved to the Southeast of the church property. It was torn down in 1954.
The name of the community was changed in the early 1900s. The Bentonville Baptist Church voted to change their name November 10, 1919 to Edhube Baptist Church. (9) Early baptisms took place in Bois D'Arc Creek, Hargrove Pool, Hazelip pool, and other pools for many, many years. Pool baptisms continued until about the mid 1930s. In 1935, thirty five members were baptized at one time at the First Baptist Church, Bonham, Texas. Other baptistries used were Calvary Baptist Church, Bonham, Texas, Bailey Baptist Church, Bailey, Texas, and Ector Baptist Church, Ector, Texas. Funds were raised for our baptistry and it was completed in December, 1956. Bud Renshaw was the first member to be baptized in our baptistry on February 24, 1957. The pastor was Bro. M.D. Woodruff. The beautiful baptistry scene was painted by Mrs. J.I. Gregory in 1957 in memory of Mrs. W.W. (Nellie) Tarpley. Mrs. Gregory's husband was pastor of First Baptist Church, Bonham, Texas, from 1940-1945.
An army barrack was bought for $500.00 from Camp Maxey in Paris. Some of our church members tore it down and hauled the lumber back to build Sunday school rooms. The educational building which was started under the leadership of Pastor Reuben Franks in 1948 and completed after Brother Robert E. Smith became pastor. It was completely remodeled in 1971. (10)
In addition to the auditorium built in 1900, a parsonage was built in 1945. In 1965 the old parsonage
was purchased by Jack and Margaret Nichols which they moved and attached to their present home. A new parsonage was constructed in April, 1965 for about $4500.00. In June 1974 a large bedroom and utility room was added.
Today it has been converted to Sunday School rooms and pastor’s office. (11)
In August, 1980 aluminum windows and steel siding were put on church and parsonage at a cost of $8,000.00.
In August, 1986, more remodeling was done on the present educational building, including carpet. A large kitchen and 40' X 60' assembly room was added on. The cost was about $40,000.00, which funds had been raised in advance. This has brought the total value of the church property to more than $175,000.00. (12)
Our church bell has a story to tell that is very interesting. The bell disappeared from the church around 1921. We have a letter from Mrs. M.E. (Shive) Tarpley that when she wrote Chandler Fennell asking for an address of a saw mill near Paris, Texas, she also asked him if he might know the whereabouts of the Edhube Baptist Church bell.
In about three days, Mr. Fennell, who was a member of the church from 1916 until 1921, came to Edhube to see his mother, Mrs. Fred Bono, and brought the bell back to where it belonged. He said that he bought the bell from the church in 1921 and moved to Paris and had stored it in a warehouse in Paris. (13) The bell had been well taken care of and had a long silent rest. We trust that the bell shall never be silent again as long as the church lives in in community. After the bell was returned it was mounted at the back of the church on four tall posts near the brush arbor. It was moved to the front of the church in 1976.
A Steeple Fund was started in May 1992. In July, 1993, a new beautiful fiberglass steeple was erected on our church. The cost was about $3400.00 which was paid for by donations.
The chief aim of any New Testament Church is to win the lost to Jesus Christ. Edhube Baptist Church records show the names of more than 677 people who have been baptized into the fellowship of the church. Though no congregation can be satisfied with the victories of the past, we can be thankful for these who have been born again and the victories that they have been a part of since their salvation experience. We now have a resident membership of 268 and a non-resident membership of 74, making a total of 342 members.
May we pray that the history which we honor today, and the things which we undertake to do in the future, might all be to the glory of God.
Church Clerk, Edhube Baptist Church Rt. 1, Bonham, Tx 75418 Phone: 903/583-2055
1. Edhube Baptist Church Minutes, Book 2, pg. 21.
2. Interview letter by Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Shive Tarpley, dated 1954.
3. Interview letter by Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Shive Tarpley, dated 1954.
4. Fannin Baptist Association Minutes, Session 1897, pg. 14.
5. Edhube Baptist Church Minutes, Book 8, pg. 1.
6. Fannin Co. Deed Records, Vol. 50, pg. 144, Vol. pg . 578, Vol. 127, pg. 28 ;, Vol. 171, pg. 590.
7. Fannin County Deed Records, Vol. 480, pg. 242-
8. Edhube Baptist Church Minutes, Book 2, pg. 22.
9. Edhube Baptist Church Minutes, Book 2, pg. 22.
10. Edhube Baptist Church Minutes, Book 3, pg. 13.
11. Edhube Baptist Church Minutes, Book 4, pg. 6.
12. Edhube Baptist Church Minutes, Book 7, pg. 3.
13. Interview letter, 1943 to Bro. Franks.