July 13, 2024

Church History

Church History of Monongah Baptist

Monongah Baptist Church was organized on October 15, 1803, as the Yellow Rock Ford Church. It was later named the West Fork Baptist Church and then Monongah Baptist Church. From 1803 to 1867 MBC met in a log-built structure located beside the West Fork River.  MBC was the first Baptist church in Marion County and the first church of any kind erected in the Grant District. Some of the original members were Nathaniel Cochran, Henry Leeper,  Benjamin Veach, Benjamin S. Hill, Arthur Mallet, Jesse Mallet, Jesse Nixon, and Celia Hill. The first pastor was Rev. Joshua Hickman.

Mother of Two Churches

MBC is the mother of two other churches.  On November 14, 1840, Pastor Benjamin Hill gave letters of dismissal to Jesse Nixon and Rachel Sparks to organize the Boothsville  Baptist Church. In March 1844 William Cochran and six others were granted letters to organize the Baptist church in Worthington.

Civil War Era

Services were not held during the Civil War from August until December of 1861 because of fighting near the church.  At the close of the Civil War in 1865, revivals were held that resulted in several people trusting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. These were baptized and added to the church membership.

First Church to be Built in Monongah

In 1867 a parcel of land was given to MBC by James Watkins on the east side of the river and a new church building was constructed there.  This was the first church to be built in Monongah. The pastor at that time was Rev. Robert Durham.  In 1901, that building was replaced by the present one at the cost of $2,700.00.  The pastor at that time was Rev. P.H. Murray.

Bible Believing

MBC, from its inception, has been a Bible-believing and Bible-preaching church. In 1914 the church joined the newly organized Northern Baptist Convention. It participated in the program and support of that Convention, later known as the American Baptist Convention.  When the Convention began to stray from some of the fundamental doctrines of God’s Word, MBC felt it could no longer be part of the Convention.  On September 6, 1944, under the leadership of the Pastor, Rev. John Fleck, and with the help of Dr. Robert Ketchum, MBC voted to leave the  American Baptist Convention. Since then MBC, as an unaffiliated independent Baptist church, has continued in the proclamation of God’s Word. MBC joined the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches (GARBC) in 1966 and the Freedom Fellowship of Regular Baptist Churches (WV state fellowship) in 1977.

Construction Projects

Over the years, MBC has undergone several construction projects to provide additional space for meetings and activities.  A Multi-Purpose Room and additional office space were added in 1998 and in 2007 the auditorium was enlarged, two classrooms were added and a new foyer with handicapped-accessible restrooms now make the facility more user friendly.

Same Interest of our Forefathers

As we look forward to the Lord’s return we shall continue the same interests of our forefathers: to win souls to Jesus Christ, facilitate they’re being baptized, build them up as saints of God by the preaching and teaching of His Word, and to send missionaries to places we cannot go to take the Word of life to all men.

Historical drawing of the Monongah Baptist Church
Monongah Baptist church, Church History