History of Springfield Baptist Church
First meetings of the group that would become Springfield Baptist Church were held in the summer of 1943 in the Springfield Elementary School building. Assistance was given by Immanuel Baptist Pastor Adolph Bedsole and several Immanuel members, including George and Mary Jane Shores.
Sunday School was begun June 18, 1943, at 2:00 p.m. H. D. Smith was the first Sunday School Superintendent. Worship services followed, with J. C. Alexander of First Baptist of Panama City preaching the first sermon. Total offering was $12.15.
Revival was held in July of 1943, led by C. L. Wattenbarger, Superintendent of Northwest Coast Baptist Association. Four persons came on profession of faith, and baptismal services were conducted for them in Parker Bayou.
Training Union was organized in October of 1943, with I. R. Culbreth serving as the first Director.
The Church was officially organized and named The Springfield Missionary Baptist Church at a meeting in the home of Mr. and Mrs. B. S. Outlaw in the evening of December 8, 1943. C. L. Wattenbarger moderated the meeting and J. A. Nichols of Callaway Baptist acted as Clerk. Other ministers assisting were J. C. Alexander and E. D. McDaniel.
Growth and Development
The roll was left open for a period of 60 days, during which time all who joined the church would be considered charter members. 22 persons joined within that time period.
H. M. Conner was called as Interim Pastor, and the membership subsequently grew rapidly.
Mrs. J. N. Vann was instrumental in establishing a Women's Missionary Society, and she became the first director.
In 1944, a small dwelling house on School Avenue was purchased and remodeled to serve as a church building. The purchase price was $1,300.
On February 8, 1945, J. B. Ansley was called to be the first full-time Pastor. In February, 1949, a home adjacent to the Church property was purchased from Cecil Stanley for $5,000. This building became the pastorium.
On May 21, 1951, under the leadership of Ira L. Hill, property was purchased at 3615 E.Third Street, and work was begun on a new Church building. Franklin Shores had prepared the architectural plans. First services were held there on the first Sunday in June of 1952. Additions to the building were completed in 1957 and 1965.
All buildings and land owned by the Church on School Avenue were later sold, and property on Helen Avenue was purchased in 1960 for a pastorium. The building was completed in 1964. It was later sold, and the Church does not currently own a pastorium.
Betty Hughes was the first official secretary, and Jim Bertha Powell was the first librarian.
Outreach and Services
Members have assisted in establishing two Baptist Churches: Midway and Howard Carlisle. From 1961 to 1963, the Church had a Kindergarten class for pre-school-age children.
In 1990, a lighted sign was placed in front of the church by Helen Neese and family in memory of husband and father Jack Neese.
Many young girls have advanced through the Girls' Auxiliary program under leadership of Earnestine Floyd. For many years, there were active Brotherhood and Royal Ambassador organizations. Currently, there are TeamKID and Youth Activities programs. Since 1997, a History Committee has collected and preserved records documenting the life of the Church.
Michael Ammons was the first Associate Pastor of the Church, serving on a voluntary basis while he was stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base.
On May 18, 2008, the Church held a 65th anniversary celebration, with former pastor Roy Mooneyham delivering the message.
Current Interim Pastor of the Church is Dr. J. E. Hodges.
SPRINGFIELD BAPTIST CHURCH
Susie Ammons Fannie Hoffman
I R Culbreth R L Jenkins
Mrs. I R Culbreth Mrs. R L Jenkins
Bayne Culbreth B S Outlaw
Sara Culbreth Mrs. B S Outlaw
Carthel Hightower Johnny C Rathel
Clifton Hightower H D Smith
Louise Hightower Mrs. H D Smith
Shirley Hightower George F Shores
Zebedee Hightower Mrs George F Shores