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By Mike Avitt
Delphos was established in 1880 with the coming of the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy Railroad.
Delphos never had a newspaper and was the only incorporated town in Ringgold County to never have a bank.
Delphos started small and stayed small. And, yet, it has a big history.
The first church here was erected in 1884 and I’m guessing it was the original Baptist Church.
A 1915 Ringgold County plat map shows a church on the same lot as the current Baptist Church. The Christian Church, a block north of the Baptist Church, was built in 1889.
The Baptist Church seems to have enjoyed good support and I was able to find a permanent minister during 1905-07 in the person of Rev. T. H. Boggess, although the newspaper gives the reverend’s address as Maloy, where he preached at the Baptist Church there.
Delphos got a new schoolhouse in 1917 and electricity around 1921. It was time for a new Baptist Church building.
The Baptist Church at Maloy seems to have ceased operations at the beginning of World War I.
A 1921 advertisement in the Record-News, placed by the trustees of the Delphos church, was asking bids on the Baptist Churches at Delphos and Maloy and the church lots at Maloy. The bids did not include the churches’ bells, windows, or seats.
In the fall of 1921, Leonard Rusk was hired to dismantle the Baptist Churches at Delphos and Maloy and use the lumber in the construction of the new Baptist Church in Delphos.
The new church would be on the same lots as the old church.
Our old friend Rev. Boggess was part of the dedication ceremony on May 14, 1922. I can find no evidence the new Delphos Baptist Church had a full-time pastor, although Rev. Boggess would make many appearances at Delphos over the next two decades.
What the church did have was a dedicated congregation and a very successful Fall Supper and Bazaar.
Even without a full-time pastor, guest speakers, supply pastors, and revivals keep the church going. Sunday School, which had good attendance, was held every week.
In 1953, Verl Hickman, pastored the church for a year. He was followed by Rev. Norman Bardsley. Rev. Bardsley left in November 1956 and was lauded for his efforts. The next pastor I found was Norman Noble in October 1958.
His obituary says he was granted a license (he was not yet ordained) to preach at the Baptist Church in Grand River in 1953. In 1954, he went to the Mount Zion Church in Riley Township, which would have been somewhat near Noble’s home.
Next week we’ll look at the years 1958 to 2006 in the Delphos Baptist Church.