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BY MIKE AVITT
I talk to people often about Ringgold County history and there are a few businesses and buildings that very few people remember, even though they are somewhat recent. This church building is very near the top of that list.
In March 1938 a house was torn down across the street east of the United Presbyterian Church. The house being razed was built in 1864 and the lot would be used for the construction of a Advent Christian Church building. An advertisement in the July 7, 1938 Record-News asks for help in building the church.
A blurb in the November 23, 1939 Mount Ayr Record-News says Rev. Paul Hughes is leaving the Advent Church after two years. Rev. Hughes was followed by Rev. Chester Sampson. I lose track of this congregation after that.
Sometime in the 1960s the Advent congregation faded away and the Regular Baptist congregation rented the church building. In the fall of 1966 Pastor James Maxwell left the Community Bible Church in Redding, taking three families with him, and relocated in the former Advent Church with the Regular Baptist. An ad in the February 16, 1967 newspaper says James Maxwell is the pastor of the New Mount Ayr Regular Baptist Church. The Community Bible Church continued with Eldon Boese as pastor.
In 1972, Whitey and Mabel Rice donated 2.4 acres of land east of Rose Hill Cemetery for the construction of a new Regular Baptist Church. A church building measuring 70’ by 72’ was constructed in 1973 using donated money and labor. The church, headed by Rev. David Nettleton, had a seating capacity of 200.
Dedication services for the new Mount Ayr Regular Baptist Church were held April 14, 1974. The church continues today.
I, too, had forgotten about the old Advent Church building until I saw the church in the background of a parade float photo in a 1970 or 71 Ayrian. A sign in the church yard appears in the Ayrian photo but I don’t see it in this week’s picture.
Thanks to Richard Pence for this week’s photo. The photo was developed in June 1960. I’m always looking for pictures for this column, so, keep me in mind, please.