Honey Grove Preservation League

Saving and Documenting the History of Honey Grove, Texas


First Baptist Church, Honey Grove

Baptist Church of Honey Grove Notes Centennial Celebration

Honey Grove Signal Citizen, October 10, 1952

See the 1916 Church Directory HERE.

See the list of pastors HERE.

  This has been a great week for the members of the First Baptist Church in Honey Grove.  The 100th anniversary has been observed and thoughts have gone back to the early days of the organization.

  Speakers this week have been Dr. J. Howard Williams of Dallas; Rev. S. R. Smith, Brownwood; Rev. J. E. Fender, Bonham; Rev. C. C. Klingman, Honey Grove; Rev. Paul Hunt, Sherman; Rev. J. I. Gregory, Van Alstyne; Rev. Claud Johnson, Sherman.

  The observance closed Thursday evening with a supper.

  On Monday evening Mrs. M. E. Daniel gave the following history of the church:

  On November 9, 1847, the united Baptist Church called Honey Grove, was instituted under the direction of Elder Willis M. Pickett, missionary laboring under the patronage of the Southern Baptist Convention for Home Missions.  The organization included the following names to the Declaration of Faith; John W. Jones, Tamazine D. Jones, Tamzine F. Jones, afterwards Dale, Margaret Hart, Benjamin B. Parish and Theresa C. Parish, Sallie R. Stapp, B. G. Gilmer and Theresa C. Parrish were sisters of Benjamin B. Parrish.

  Elder Pickens was chosen pastor, John W. Jones, deacon; and Sinclair Stapp, clerk.  Sinclair Stapp was later made treasurer also.  These proceedings were held in school house at Allen's Chapel, where services were sometimes held and at other times at residences of members.  A church house was built at Vineyard Grove, about two miles west of Allen's Chapel, in 1852 or 1853.

  Of the many accessions to the church are noted the following names:  Benjamin F. Wood, George Fulcher, Theodore Jones, Obadiah Nix, David Periler; Adam S. Yoakum, Elizabeth Cheaham, Tabitha A. Cheatham, afterwards the wife of B. B. Parrish, J. W. and H. W. Jones, William Gambill, Jr., Susan Gambill, Joshua and Catherine Fuqua, Polly Ann Payton, A. M. Self, Martha and Sarah Self; Thomas E. and Malinda Craddock, Miles A. and Elizabeth Holt, Jacob and Barbara Ramsey.

  An even of far-reaching importance took place when letters of dismission were granted to Albert G. Yates, Ritty Yates, Sinclair Stapp, Sally R. Stapp, B. B. and Tabitha Parrish, George Fulcher, Betsy G. Walcott, Obadiah Nix, Mary and Harriett Nix, W. L. Gilcrease, Daniel Boles and American I. Cheatham.  A majority of those whose names are here given became the charter members of the First Baptist Church of Honey Grove, Texas.  The church from which they withdrew took the name of the Vineyard Grove church, which is still located in the Allen's Chapel community.  The new church held services in an old frame schoolhouse situated just north of where the grade school building now stands.

  In 1850 (or soon thereafter, exact date unknown) the union church was built at the north end of Sixth Street, just west of the present high school building and for twenty years was the only house of worship in Honey Grove.  The union church was finally abandoned by the different denominations who were at last able to build houses of their own, the Baptists building their house about 1880 (exact date unknown) on the lot donated by Mrs. George N. Denton, formerly Mrs. Sally Stapp, where the Smith-Miller Motor Co. is now located.

  Since its organization this church has had 33 pastors and possibly more as we do not have a complete record of the history of the church for a period of sixteen years, though we know two pastors who served during this period.  Pastors who have served the church during the time since we entered our present building are as follows:

  Bonnie Grimes, 1910-1918; W. A. Parker, 1918-1919; A. W. Reaves, 1920-1923; S. R. Smtih, 1923-1928; T. M. Dean, 1929-1930; Brother Dean served at pastor immediately before the coming of our present pastor, Rev. T. Watts, in 1931.


First Baptist Church around 1900

Thanks to Martha Milam Carter for providing the following directories:

1968, 19721978



Organization of the Honey Grove Baptist Church

by J. P. Gilmer


(transcribed from his handwritten notes, about 1898, with names, etc. as he spelled them)


On the 9th day of November, 1847, the United Baptist Church called Honey Grove was instituted under the direction of Elder Willis M. Picket, Missionary laboring under the patronage of the Southern Baptist Convention for Home Missions.  The organization was perfected by the following, who subscribed their names to the Declaration of Faith prepared by the occasion: John W. Jones, father of our fellow-townsman of the same name, Tamazine D. Jones, Tamzine F. Jones, afterwards Dale, Margaret Hart, Sinclair Stapp, Sally R. Stapp, Betsy G. Gilmer, afterwards Walcott, Benjamin B. Parrish, and Thressa C. Parrish.


Sally R. Stapp, B. G. Gilmer, and T. C. Parrish were sisters of Benjamin B. Parrish; and of the nine who subscribed their names as above, the only surviving member is T. C. Parrish, widow of the late Capt. A. J. Nicholson.


Elder Picket was chosen pastor, John W. Jones, deacon, and Sinclair Stapp, clerk, and in May, 1861, he was made treasurer also.  There had been no treasurer previous to that time.


These proceedings were held in a log school house at Allen's Chapel where services were sometimes held, and at other times at residences of members, until a church house was built at Vineyard Grove, about two miles west of Allen's Chapel in 1852 or 1853.


Of the many accessions to the church arer noted the following names: Benj. F. Wood, George Fulcher, Theodore Jones, Obadiah Nix, Davis Peveler, Adam S. Yoakum, Elizabeth Cheatham, Tabitha A. Cheatham, afterwards the wife of B. B. Parrish, J. W. and H. W. Jones, Wm. Gambill, Jr., Susan Gambill, Joshua and Catherine Fuqua, Polly Ann Peyton, A. M. Self, Martha and Sarah Self, Thomas E. and Malinda Craddock, Miles A. and Elizabeth Holt, Jacob and Barbara Ramsey.


On Monday, oct. 30th, 1848, a committee of this church composed of John W. Jones, David Peveler, Benj. F. Wood, and Sinclair Stapp, organized the first Baptist Association in North Texas, known as The Red River Baptist Association.  It was afterwards merged into the Sister Grove Association.


On Saturday, Nov. 19, 1853, letters of dismission were granted Albert G. Yates, Ritty Yates, Sinclair Stapp, Sally R. Stapp, B. B. and Tabitha Parrish, Geo. Fulcher, Betsy G. Walcott, Obadiah Nix, Mary and Harriet Nix, W. L. Gillcrese, Daniel Boles, and America I. Cheatham.  A majority of these at once organized a church in the village of Honey Grove taking the name of Honey Grove Church, the church from which they withdrew taking the name of The Vinyard Grove Church.


The church held services in an old frame school house situated just north of where the Public School building now stands and is now part of the residence standing near the ice factory.


In 1850 the Union Church was built at the head of Sixth Street, and for twenty years was the only house of worship in Honey Grove.  The Union Church was finally abandoned by the different denominations who were at last able to build houses of their own, the baptists building their house in 1880 on a lot donated by Mrs. Geo. N. Denton, formerly Mrs. Sally R. Stapp.


The Vineyard Grove Church is in a prosperous condition, with John H. Witcher as Clerk, who kindly let me read the minutes thereof, where most of the information contained in this sketch was obtained.


                                                                                                     (signed) J. P. Gilmer