VINE GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH HISTORY
The Vine Grove Baptist Church started as a Mission of the Forks of Otter Creek Church.
In February, 1891, a group of Baptist in and around Vine Grove met to consider organizing a Baptist Church. Sufficient reasons for the church were given and about 46 names obtained who would join. Bro. B. F. Hagan, who helped in the organization, became the first pastor.
The lot on which the first church was built was donated by the Forks of the Otter Creek Church. On June 20, 1918, the church met in a new building and became a part of the Salem Association.
In 1929, the Forks of the Otter Creek Church disbanded and all the property was transferred to Vine Grove Baptist Church and members joined the later church.
In 1934, the church was granted a letter of dismissal from the Salem Association and joined the Severns Valley Association.
In 1941, with our nation at war and the Vine Grove community a part of a transient military community, The Moral Training School was organized to help reach parents and children who requested weekly one hour classes in cooperation with regular community schools’ schedules and in cooperation with other churches. At one time, Moral Training had an enrollment of 558, including both high school and elementary students. It was discontinued in the late 1980s.
During the pre-dawn hours of March 7, 1943, the Vine Grove Baptist Church, with all its contents, burned to the ground. With little insurance ($4000) members began planning for a new building. The basement was completed and dedicated on July 29, 1945. It was used for Moral Training and church services until the completion of the church.
The Brotherhood was organized in 1947 with Bro. Allen Bell as the first president. This organization donated hundreds of hours of labor during the erection of the new building, which was completed in 1947 and the parsonage in 1948.
The education building was added in the 1950’s. In 1969 the building was remodeled and expanded to enlarge the worship capacity and the office space. The Bailey house was purchased in 1970 to be used by the Music and Youth Director.
An adjoining lot was purchased from Jenny Carter Woodson in 1982 which was used to expand parking space. Another lot, the “Bob” Lee lot, was purchased in 1991 and developed for expanded parking space in 1993.
Vine Grove Baptist Church maintains an ongoing interest in mission work, beginning Red Hill Baptist Church as a mission in 1950 with Rev. James Royalty as pastor. It is now a church of considerable size and influence. A mission in Michigan was supported for a few years and Morning Star Church, which started as a mission church by Vine Grove Methodist Church, was finished and sponsored by Vine Grove Baptist Church for some years. Morning Star moved to Radcliff where it continues as a church of considerable size and the original building in Vine Grove has been re-named and continues as a church.
Congregational music has always been, and continues to be, is a very vital part of church worship providing incentive opportunities for participation of all ages.
Vine Grove Baptist Church participated in radio broadcasting in the 1960’s, ending in the early 1970’s, beginning again in 1990-1993 with a delayed tape broadcast. In 1995, our present pastor, Larry Vance, began a live broadcast on 107.3. Thanks to our Website we are presently serving 107 countries on our live Internet Radio Broadcast.
A Ministry Team Concept was adopted at Vine Grove Baptist Church in March, 2000. This concept allows each member the opportunity to use the gifts and talents that God has blessed them with. The main focus is there are no “little people” in the body of Christ, and there are no “insignificant” ministries.
Vine Grove Baptist Church celebrated its centennial in 1991 and is now into its second century, anticipating continued growth and joy in continuing God’s work.
Source – Church Records
Marie E. Turner