Witt Baptist Church
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Bearing Witness of the Light - Jesus Christ

About Us

 

 

 

Founded in the community then known as Witts Foundry in 1883, the church body known as Witt Baptist Church continues to serve as a light upon a hill, beckoning with the love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  With an active membership of about one hundred people, the church is well-known for its warm and inclusive fellowship.  The motivating desire of the church is to demonstrate our love one for another and, through this witness, to lead the lost to Jesus Christ.  To this end, the church remains committed to preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ and His message of forgiveness and love by acceptance of Him as Lord.

 

Regular services at the church located at 960 Witt Road include Sunday Bible Study at 9:30 a.m., Sunday Morning Worship at 10:30 a.m., Sunday Evening Worship at 7:00 p.m., and Wednesday Evening Bible Study at 7:00 p.m.  An open invitation for these services is extended to everyone and a friendly welcome is always extended to our visitors.  In addition to frequent fellowship meals and group outings, the church also offers regular activities for all ages such as the nursery program, children's church, children and youth groups, choirs for adults and children, and men and women prayer groups.  Rev. Doug Brown serves as pastor.  Everett Purkey is director of music and Kenneth Estes is Sunday School director.  Angela Stickley is pianist and directs the Adult Choir.  Richard Stickley directs the Youth Group and chairs the Deacons.  Linda Fleenor is organist and directs the Youth Choir.  For additional information or Church Bus Transportation to the services, please call (423) 581-8337.

 

The church's historical roots can be traced back two church generations to the Friendship Baptist Church organized on Long Creek in Jefferson County in 1819.  This missionary body split in 1839, with the minority forming a Primitive Baptist association.  the majority, missionary body continued to function until in 1868 when, by official vote of the body, it became Bethel Baptist Church.

 

Chrisly Witt and his sons owned and operated an iron foundry near today's location of Witt Baptist Church.  After the Cincinnati- Cumberland Gap and Charleston Railroad came through beside the foundry in the 1860s, a flourishing little village developed around the railroad depot and foundry which included two general stores, a drug store, three mills, a lumber mill, two blacksmith shops, a hotel and a one-room school house.

 

Three ministers from the Bethel Baptist Church, P.H.C. Hale, Crockett Brown and J.B. Bundren, held a revival in the village in 1883.  Later in the year, on November 3, 1883, the three ministers met with some members from Bethel Baptist Church and others to form a new church in Witts Foundry as the village was "destitute of Baptist preaching" and the founders believed "it would be to the Glory of God, and the advancement of the Redeemer's Kingdom that the place be occupied by us."  Rev. C.C. Brown preached the organizing sermon and was elected moderator of the council.  Upon drawing up a church covenant and rules of decorum, thirteen affixed their names to become charter members of the new church: Elisha Witt and wife, Ellen; Alexander Hatcher and wife, Jane; W.B. Helm and wife, Thuley; John H. Helm; J.W. Fry; Orenea Hazelwood; James D. Owen and wife, Margaret; Rebecca Witt; and Charles Flowers.

 

Services for the newly formed church were held in the old depot until 1886, when Wilson Carroll Witt donated land for the site of a church building which was built and then dedicated in August of that year.  About thirty members were on the roll at the time of the dedication service.  Since its formation in 1883, thirty-eight pastors served the church prior to Dr. Palmer's acceptance of the call as pastor in 1998.

 

Perhaps the most publicized event in the life of the church occurred on July 29, 1917, when over one thousand people witnessed Dr. John Anderson baptize Wilson Witt in a nearby creek.  Known affectionately by most as "Uncle" Wilson Witt, he was one hundred and one years old when baptized and later referred to that occasion as the happiest day of his life.  Uncle Wilson Witt expressed as his deepest regret the fact that he had not joined the church sooner in his life and his earnest advice to all was not to follow in his footsteps, but to make a definite decision for Christ early in life and enjoy a full, Christian life.

 

Throughout the years, the church acquired by gift and purchase additional land surrounding the tract donated by Uncle Wilson Witt, some of which is dedicated for use as a cemetery.  Sunday school rooms were added to the original church building in 1926 and additional ones were built onto the structure in 1951.  In 1967, a vestibule was added along with two classrooms and two restrooms.  A library was established in 1969.  A pastorium was built in 1957 located off Old White Pine Road on land donated by John Wallace.  The debt for this building was paid off in 1962.

 

Although the old church building served the needs of the congregation for a long time, a larger facility was greatly needed.  Accordingly, a church building and finance committee was formed in 1979.  After first voting to have at least $50,000 in the building fund before breaking ground, the committee decided to wait and break ground for a new building when $75,000 was donated.  In May 1988, ground was broken for the new church building adjacent to the old structure as the building fund had grown to $185,000.  The building debt was paid off in 1993 and the new building stands tall in the heart of the Witt community.  All glory and praise be to God, who has and continues to bless the church body known as Witt Baptist Church.