80th Anniversary Worship
(Sunday, December 2, 2007, Dr. Tommy Valentine, Pastor)
On a Wednesday evening, December 7, 1927, 120 Baptists met in the Boyle County Court House and voted to form a new Baptist congregation. They were known as the "new Baptist Church". Five months later, the congregation adopted the name, "Lexington Avenue Baptist Church," after it purchased the property at the northeast corner of Fourth Street and Lexington Avenue.
Dr. C. C. Warren was called as her first pastor on February 8, 1928. It was said of Dr. Warren that he was a "Slender young man with strength of purpose in the set of his jaw and the love of Christ in his face . . .". On May 19, 1929, the church placed the cornerstone for their new sanctuary. Mrs. Emma Terhune placed the first item in the Cornerstone Box. She was the oldest member of the church and had been a Christian for more that 63 years. For thirteen years she had perfect attendance in Sunday school. She brought a bible that had been presented to her mother 80 years before. Other items included a roll of charter members and of the present membership—526 at the time. In addition the Southern Baptist Convention minutes of the year were placed in the cornerstone as well as American and foreign coins indicating the desire that this church shall ever remain worldwide in missionary outlook.
On January 12, 1930, the members still meeting in the courthouse as the sanctuary was completed, walked in double file from the courthouse to the new sanctuary
In her 80 years, the church has had eight pastors, Dr. C. C. Warren, Dr. Elwyn Wilkerson, Dr. Ralph Couey, Dr. Elroy Lamb, Dr. Austin Roberts, Dr. Robert Baker, Dr. Tim Noel, and myself.
This morning the chimes played. They are the Mr. and Mrs. John Chesnut Chimes and were dedicated on August 24, 1941. On each bell in the tower this inscription is engraved:
These Chimes a Gift From
Mr. and Mrs. John A. Chesnut
The history of Lexington Avenue Baptist Church can never be totally told, for much that has made her has never been spoken aloud—thousands of personal prayers have undergirded her; there have been fears, perhaps doubts—yet the evidence of faith and hard work have been known felt and seen.
No, her story cannot be fully told, for it is not fully written for it is still being lived out in the lives and faith of people like you and me. We are the benefactors of those whose faith has preceded us. We will pass on that faith to new generations to come. And then, on the great day of the Lord's return, her story will be completed. Until that day we remain God's faithful servants, known still as the Lexington Avenue Baptist Church.