Presented by Bettye Lessley:
“100 Glorious Years”
In 1902, a group of Christians, seeking a place to worship, organized the “Little White Church” on the corner of West Tenth Street and Norton Avenue. This was a community church used by many denominations. The Baptists of the community held Sunday School each Sunday afternoon at three o’clock with approximately twenty-five people enrolled.
In 1918, the “old sanctuary” became the church home of Mignon Baptist Church. Brother J. L. Aders served as pastor during construction of the building. Brother T. Williams was the first pastor to serve after the building was occupied. The first full-time pastor, Rev. M. R. Fletcher, came to the church in the year 1920.
Reverend J. L. Ingram was called as pastor September 27, 1925. Great strides were made during his ministry at Mignon. In 1929, the membership was 404; 1932, the church property was valued at $20,000.00; 1933, pastor’s salary was raised to $150.00 a month; the church began making regular monthly contributions to the “Co-operative Program.”
During the year 1936-37, the Odena Baptist Church was reorganized by Mignon. The Odena Church was the Mother church of Mignon Baptist and now the members were called upon to aid her in a new organizational program. Three other missions were organized at this time: Westview, Mt. Vernon and Five Points.
April 10, 1940, the property on which the church was located was deeded to the church. This property was donated by Avondale Mills at the time the “old sanctuary” was built. The church was growing and it was necessary to own the property in order to expand. The church moved into a new educational building December 4, 1940, with an average attendance in Sunday School of 175.
On July 5, 1950, the church voted to purchase the lot on the corner of North Douglas Avenue and West Ninth Street for a future pastorium. Avondale Mills had furnished a home for the pastor through the years, but the house was to be torn down and the congregation felt now was the time to own their own building.
Mignon outgrew its buildings and found it necessary to move into borrowed rooms. This time Beverly Hall was used. The Adult I Department used the second floor of the building. The church moved into a new educational building in May, 1955 with new departments and new classes. There seemed to be worlds of rooms which were filled almost every night.
Ground was broken in March, 1961, for the present sanctuary. The cost of the building including property and all furnishings was a bit more than $270,00.00. It was finished and dedicated on the first Sunday of March, 1962.
The church’s fiscal facility has undergone changes in recent years. First, there was the addition of a Christian Life Center in the late 1980s and remodeling of the sanctuary in 1997.
Pastors of the church:
Reverend J. L. Aders 1918
Reverend T. Williams 1919
Reverend M. R. Fletcher 1920-1923
Reverend S.A. Taylor 1923
Reverend W. C. McGill 1924
Reverend J. L. Ingram 1925-1934
Reverend J. E. Berkstresser 1934-1942
Reverend George Slater 1942-1950
Reverend R. G. Crowe 1950-1953
Reverend J. Thomas Tolar 1954-1957
Reverend Charles Merry Christmas, Sr. 1958-1967
Dr. George A. Allison 1967-1972
Reverend Wayne Burns 1973-1980
Dr. Terry Sutton 1980-1985
Reverend Joe D. Ray 1986-1995
Dr. Jerry Cobb 1996-1999
Reverend Todd Reeves 1999-
This information was taken from Mignon Baptist Church History
compiled by Mrs. Jack Craddock (the former Inez Phurrough).