The exact date of the organization of Reece’s Church, from which the Boonville Baptist Church was formed, is not known. We know it was located three miles southeast of Boonville on the north prong of North Deep Creek on the property of Abram Reece. According to the Yadkin Association minutes Reece’s Church was a member of the Association in 1836.
The oldest existing church records state that a conference was held in October 1848. In September 1856, the church voted to move the meeting place to a site near the home of the church clerk, John Cockerham. We can only conjecture what sort of structure was built but mention of the “arbor” would suggest that this place of worship was no more than a brush arbor. The deed for this tract of land, acquired from John Cockerham and Aquilla Speer, is dated August 14, 1850 and signed by Isacc D. Wright and Anthony Woodhouse, trustees. According to the minutes for August 1853, the church agreed to build a meeting house. The record contains nothing as to the cost of the building and in all probability everything was donated, both materials and labor. Feeling that the meeting house was inadequate, the church in December 1894, appointed a building committee and on January 11, 1896, authorized the trustees to swap a piece of land with A.P. Woodruff in order to get a lot on which to building our new church. On June 13,1896, a collection of $21.35 was taken to get a bell for our new church. This is the same bell which calls us to worship today. On May 22, 1898, the church was dedicated to God, debt-free, as the Boonville Baptist Church. The name had been changed from Reece’s Church on May 7, 1898.
The first Sunday School was formed in March of 1866. Across the years as the Sunday School expanded, the church felt the need of additional room. Therefore, about 1913, four rooms were added to the rear of the church building. Then, in June 1935, ten more rooms were dedicated.
On Sunday, January 28, 1945, pledges amounting to $1,400 started a building program which was culminated in the remodeling of the auditorium and the erection of a three story educational building in 1950. The service of dedication was held October 8,1950 in conjunction with a special centennial observance. The last major growth in physical facilities took place in 1957. A lovely nine-room pastorium was built at the cost of over $21,000. In 1962, an Educational Building Committee was appointed and on October 2,1962, the church voted to issue $70,000 in bonds in order to finance the new building which was completed in September 1963, at a cost of $76,586.15.
In 1975 the church completed a renovation and redecoration program on the auditorium costing approximately $35,000. In this program a new baptistery was installed, carpeting laid wall to wall, new light fixtures installed, new pews and pulpit furniture purchased, and a baby grand piano and new hymn books secured. The auditorium was repaired and painted and the sound system up-graded to provide for separate facilities for sound and broadcast recording.
Many improvements and renovations have taken place over the last several years. The basement was air conditioned with memorial funds and acoustic ceiling and new lights installed. Also at this time the kitchen was completely modernized. The library was moved to a larger room and the old library room converted into a small parlor. Carpet has been laid in most of the educational building and central air conditioning installed.
In 1985 the church purchased a three octave set of handchimes and a four octave set of handbells with memorial gifts to the church.
In 1987 the auditorium windows were replaced with leaded stained glass windows at the cost of $13,292.40. These were paid for by individual contributions and memorial gifts.
In 2005 an update to our sound system with computer video equipment was donated to our church. This has greatly added to our worship services.
Boonville Baptist Church has strived for 170 years to provide a place of worship and to be a witness to God’s redeeming grace through out our community and the world. As early as April 1854, the church began ordaining men to the Gospel ministry when A. Allgood was ordained. On May 2, 1957, the church ordained Rev. Jack Gentry who subsequently went to Taiwan as a Southern Baptist Missionary. Other ordained ministers from our church are Brady Morrison, John Vestal and Bobby Adams.
We have always known that our young people are the future of the church, so a strong Youth and Children’s Ministry has been a priority with special emphasis on Bible study, missions and music. Our children and youth have been taught to carry out the Great Commission through their mission groups, going on mission trips, through the puppet ministry, participating in camps and many other opportunities of service. There have been numerous summer youth and children leaders, many of which have gone on to full time service as ministers. In September, 1998 the church called its first full-time Minister of Youth and Children, Tammy Tate. She served our church faithfully for 7 years.
The Della Woodhouse Mission Group was organized in 1926 and since then the women of our church have been active in doing and teaching missions.
Throughout the 170 years Boonville Baptist Church has been known as a ministering and mission minded fellowship. Whether it is initiating a worship service for the residents at Yadkin Nursing Center, teaching Sunday School at Share-A-Home and the Boonville Group Home; helping families in need through the Loose Change Offering, building wheelchair ramps; carrying Meals-On-Wheels; helping with disaster relief efforts; participating in the “Face of a Child” project or the “Shoe Box” ministry; through the New York Partnership where we help pay the rent for Victory Chapel Baptist Church; or giving support to Mark and Tanya Wilby so they can attend seminary. All is done in service to God and to bring glory to Him.
Over the years we have reached beyond our local community and sent mission teams to New York, West Virginia, Moldova, South Africa, Eastern North Carolina – flood relief, and Gulfport, Mississippi.
As we look back over the years and as we look to the future, our prayer is that God finds us faithful and His word for us will be … Well done, thy good and faithful servant.
While it has been our purpose to trace the highlights of our church growth, we feel that recognition should be given to those who have labored faithfully in our Lord’s work. Through the efforts of both the pastors and the laity, may Boonville Baptist Church continue to be a place of worship and a witness in the Boonville community.