165 Anniversary Celebration at Boone Creek Baptist Church

Photo by Crystal Ritz
By Christy Porter
Managing Editor

It was a large gathering at Boone Creek Baptist Church with Pastor Wayne Carrigan, in celebration of their homecoming Sunday, Sept. 8. The church has been serving the Licking community for 165 years.
Photo by Crystal Ritz
The assembly in prayer during the morning worship services.
Photo by Crystal Ritz
The church sign in front announcing 
the homecoming and welcoming visitors.
There was worship, music, fellowship, food, historical archives, records and photos to be enjoyed.
“We feel one reason this church has stood one hundred years is because it was built on a solid foundation, the teachings of the Bible. None can say but that they wrought well…” a quotation from the historical archives of 1951. Many concurred this is still true today.
Morning worship services were held with Bro. Boyd Gray as guest speaker. Bro. Gray ministered at the church from 1985 - 2000. During his tenure Bro. Gray led the church with love and patience in a five-year upgrade which included remodeling, new pews, song books, tables, signage, fire doors and the construction of the fellowship hall. The first fellowship dinner was served at the hall in December 1992. An historical comment, “Brother Boyd Gray is to be commended for leading our church through this building program without borrowing money.”
Boone Creek Baptist Church prior to the 
addition of the Fellowship Hall.

Crystal Ritz, church historian, shared the history of the church, previous pastors, personnel, missions and ongoing activities during the service in honor of the 165 years. The activities are to numerous to mention individually, this is a very busy church both within the organization, involvement in missionary work and work in the community local and worldwide. When reviewing the activities, it was noticed that the sizeable list was continued with variations of, “We sang, praised Jesus and had fellowship dinners!; And then…we got busy!” 
Photo by Christy Porter
The New Heart Quartet, from left: Andrew Eckman, Joe Slayton, Ed Edington and Doug Sheets provided musical ministry at the celebration.
Special music was performed by Ed Edington and the New Heart Quartet, consisting of members Edington, Andrew Eckman, Joe Slayton and Doug Sheets. New Heart Quartet also sang inspirational and uplifting compositions at an afternoon concert following the carry in fellowship meal.
Photo by Christy Porter
Pictured in the foreground, draped over a church pew, 
is the Friendship Quilt owned by Chris Storm 
that has a history with June Marion and the Vollmar community.
Beautiful antique quilts, belonging to Chris Storm, were displayed on the back of the pews in keeping with the historical event. Member June Marion shared that one, a Friendship Quilt with signatures, was actually made by her family and close neighbors from the Vollmar community.

William Davis and Elizabeth (Leonard) Davis, 
Charter Members

Boone Creek Baptist Church was organized on October 28, 1854, with the first church being a small log building located east of what is now Highway 137, though the exact spot is not known. Original charter members were William and Elizabeth Thornton, William Medlock, G.W. Williams, J. C. Williams, Rev. W. F. Thornton and wife, Parthena, Elizabeth Williams, H.G. Leonard and Elizabeth Leonard Davis. Until 1858, J.S. Springer was the first pastor with William Thornton as first clerk. The clerkship remained in the Thornton family with three exceptions until 1994.
From Left: Rev. Wilson F. Thornton 1831 – 1997; Parthena Thornton 1838 – 1926, Charter Members. They also gave land for the church and cemetery. Rev. Thornton pastored at Boone Creek Baptist Church several times after 1870.

Photo by Crystal Ritz
Heidi Fogle Walter and Diana Kirkman Fogle 
presented this 1906 Thornton Family photo 
to Boone Creek Church in 2018. 
The large framed photograph 
is displayed in the Fellowship Hall. 
Walter and Fogle are descendants of Curena Thornton King.

There are currently still congregants who are descendants of the original charter members. Rosalie Dixon Scott is a descendent of the Thornton family, being a great-granddaughter of Wm. Davis Thornton.

Wilma Kell Smith, the oldest BCBC member at 77-years, is of William and Elizabeth Thornton familial descent by her late husband, Kenneth, and son, Kyle. Four generations of her family were present at the celebration held Sunday.
1906 Thornton Family photo, 1906, Licking, Mo. From left, Front row: Minnie Dennison; Parthenia Williams Thornton; Elizabeth Thornton Reid; Samantha Thornton Taylor. Back row: Melinda Thornton Beard; Curena Thornton King; Effie Thornton Keeny; Amanda Thornton Corbet.

It is believed, according to long-time congregants, that Boone Creek Baptist Church acquired its name due to a creek that possibly ran between where the church and parsonage now stand. The land was donated by the Rev. Wilson Thornton and three buildings have been located at this current site.
Detailed records have been maintained throughout the existence of the church with the exception of 1861 – 1866. These records even noted that members walked or rode in wagons to attend Saturday afternoon business meetings, or conferences, as they were then called.
Cave Springs, Antioch, New Salem, Licking First Baptist and Arthur’s Creek churches were organized from Boone Creek Baptist Church, and as of 1994, New Salem and Licking First Baptist were still active. Today, information on New Salem was unavailable, but Licking First Baptist is still active.
A Sunday School was organized in 1900 with J.W. Denison as the superintendent.
Revivals, then called “protracted meetings” as noted in 1916, sometimes lasted two to three weeks, resulting in many conversions, baptisms and church membership. Also in 1916 the Baptist Young Peoples Union (BYPU) was organized.
1929 saw the beginning of a building campaign for new construction. This was the time of the Stock Market Crash and the beginning of the Great Depression. “Prayers, faith and work produced the building you see here,” was said when the church was dedicated in May 1930, at a cost of $4000.00. Work was volunteer labor.
2016 members of the quilter’s group with an award winning quilt. 
From Left: Imogene Holland, Doris Ray and Iretta Larbey. 
Crystal Ritz is a current member of the group.

In 1931 the Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) was organized. The BCBC Quilters as a part of the WMU made three quilts in 2019, which in conjunction with the Macedonia Baptist Church in Springfield were auctioned and contributed as a financial donation for the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home (MBCH). Doris Ray, Imogene Holland, Iretta Larbey and Crystal Ritz are current BCBC quilters. Located in the fellowship hall is a large display cabinet filled with trophies and ribbons that the quilters have acquired throughout the years. The quilters meet on Tuesday mornings at the Senior Housing.

Worship services were extended to include morning and evening meetings on Sundays in 1934.
Len and Helen Wilson donated land for a parsonage in 1946, again contribution of monies and volunteer labor helped to complete the project and it was inhabited before Christmas.
March 12, 1947, it was noted in the records that the purchasing committee was given the power to “…buy scarce items now.”
In the early 1900s Bro. Taylor introduced Vacation Bible School. In May of 1950, VBS was held for 10 days from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Enrollment that year was 26 youth and a faculty of six. The 2019 VBS held in July had an enrollment of 157 youth and 33 faculty.
In 1954 - 1955 a basement was hand-dug underneath the present church auditorium, this with the installation of a furnace, provided for more classrooms. Long time member Doris Ray shared that her husband, Paul Linson; her father, Delmar Scott; cousin, Coy Scott, Jr.; Palmer Dixon along with others tunneled the basement out using a wheelbarrow and a Ford tractor to remove the dirt. Wilma Smith said, “You could go by at night and see a dim light with them working; this was after these men had already worked all day. They were all working together to get the job done.”
During the years of 1963 – 1973, Paul Branstetter’s pastorate, extensive work was done. Volunteer labor assisted with a basement extension, auditorium enlargement, a choir room, air conditioning and restrooms being added. New pews, an organ, piano and chimes were purchased. The baptistery was also added. Prior to this, baptisms were held at Boiling Springs and then the Licking First Baptist Church.
Photo by Christy Porter
Boone Creek Baptist Church archives 
and photos on display.

Remodeling the front and outside of the church and the basement was done in 1977. Also in 1977 a bus was purchased and the BCBC was incorporated.
The years of 1985 – 1992, under Boyd Gray’s pastorate, sizable remodeling and refurbishing were done.
Says Ritz, “This past year, we have been doing some upgrades on the church…and a five-year plan has been discussed to add on new, much needed classrooms.”
A tribute in the associational minutes reads, “Thus their works live after them.”
Today the 165-year-old tradition of caring, teaching and ministering continues.



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