Dawson Baptist Church

A Church by the name of Pleasant Ridge existed at or near the present site of Philpot, Daviess County, Kentucky, from about the years 1860 to 1868, when it disbanded. No other efforts were made to organize a Church at this place until the year 1905. Baptist Churches existed all around this territory for some time prior to this and the Baptists living in the com­munity held membership with these Churches. They were: Bethabara, Macedonia, South Hampton, and Whitesville, and still later Hopewell and Karn’s Grove.

In the month of February, 1905, Elder W. H. Dawson gathered the Baptists of the community together for the purpose of organizing a Church. They met at the home of Bro. Herman Riddle on February 1st, according to previous arrangements, but the weather was inclement and the group agreed to meet on February 15th at the home of Bro. R. E. McDaniel and complete the organization of the Church. The weather was again inclement and the group voted to meet again on the 20th. At the February 15th meeting, Elder Dawson offered his services as pastor for two nights in each month and each fifth Sunday and such other time as was necessary and to visit the sick without charge whatever and to continue these services until a meeting house was completed and paid for.

According to their appointment about twenty brethren and sisters met at the home of Bro. McDaniel on February 20, 1905, and constituted a Church. Elder Dawson acted as Moderator and Bro. R. A. Sosh acted as the Clerk. The name of the Church was to be “Dawson” in honor of the Moderator and pastor. Brethren J. N. Adcock and R. A. Sosh were recognized as the first deacons with the latter being elected as the first regular clerk. Five of the women of the Church were elected as a finance committee and a building committee composed of Brethren J. N. Adcock, B. B. Ware, S. E. Stone, Thomas Ware, and R. E. McDaniel, was also elected. The finance committee was composed of Sisters Mattie Knight, Fannie Tuttle, Minnie Riddle, Fan­nie B. Taylor, and Nannie B. Stone The Church then called Elder Dawson for one year, free of charge, and also voted to meet on Wednesday night after the first Sunday and on each  fifth  Sunday.  The following entered into the constitution:

  • J. N. Adcock
  • Thomas Ware
  • Fannie Tuttle
  • Bettie C. Sosh
  • S. E. Stone
  • R. A. Sosh
  • Fannie B. Taylor
  • Amanda Mellon
  • R. E. McDaniel
  • B. B. Ware
  • Nannie B. Stone
  • Mattie J. Knight
  • Herman Riddle
  • Frank Taylor
  • Minnie B. Riddle
  • Addie C. Knight
  • Anna K. McDaniel

Most of the constituent members came from the Bethabara. Macedonia, and Hopewell Churches. Others came later from South Hampton. Karn’s Grove, and Whitesville Churches.

The Church continued to meet from home to home until their building was completed, and the record book gives the names of the homes where the meetings were held. In April the Church secured one acre of ground on which to erect the house of worship and by July the contract was let. A pulpit stand and handsome pulpit Bible was given to the Church and on October 29, 1905, the first services were held in the new building. A new organ was received as a gift by the Church in March 1906. Rev. W. D. Nowlin, pastor of the Third Baptist Church in Owensboro, preached the dedicatory sermon for the new building on June 23, 1907. This building is the only one used by the Church in her thirty-eight years of history and is in a good state of repair.

The Church enjoyed the services of Bro. Dawson as the first pastor for one year and in September, 1906, he was called again to serve the Church. Her pastors have been as follows:


 Pastors  Year
 W. H. Dawson  February, 1905-September, 1907
 Norris Lashbrook  October, 1907-October, 1908
 M. J. Cox  February, 1909-December, 1911
 C. T. Brookshire  January, 1912-January, 1915
 L. W. Clark  February, 1915-September, 1916
 J. J. Willett  February, 1916-February, 1919
 Supply until November, 1919
 Albert Maddox  November, 1919-December, 1920
I. B. Timberlake February, 1920-December, 1922
 Clarence Pittard  March, 1923-January, 1925
D. Arthur Dailey March, 1925-December, 1928
George D. Parks January, 1929-September, 1929
H. P. Amos October, 1929-June, 1932
C. E. Baucom July, 1932 – December, 1932
J. O. Carter January to August, 1933
Robert E. Lee September, 1933-December, 1939
B. B. Sawyer February, 1940-April, 1942
W. L. Yeldell since July, 1942

The Church has been served by the following clerks during her history;


 Clerks Years
R. A. Sosh two months in 1905
R. E. McDaniel six months in  1905
W. P. Wood 1906
J. A. Kirk four months in 1907
S. E. Stone May, 1907, to February, 1911
Lyman S. Cox February,  1911  to December, 1911
S. E. Stone 1912-1914
J. O. Barnett 1914-1915
Cecil Stone 1916
Lena Stone 1917-1921
S.  P. Bell 1922-1923
Charlie Sublett 1924
Will Hicks 1925-1926
J. O. Barnett 1927
S. P. Bell 1928
N. M. Crutcher 1929-1931
J. M. Horn 1931-1932
Earl Rummage 1933-1934
Earl Bell 1935-1938
Mrs. Jim Bell 1938 to present time

The Church has been served by the following brethren in the office of deacon:   J.  N.  Adcock and  R. A. Sosh,  recognized  at initial  meeting; J. W. Johnson, Tom Cook, and S. E. Stone were ordained in June, 1908, by Elders E. O. Cottrell, Norris Lashbrook, T. J. Ratcliff, and J. A. Bennett; J. C. Weatherford, received by letter and recognized as a deacon in January, 1910; B. B. Ware and Herman D. Riddle were ordained in May, 1912; J.  O. Barnett, Robert Holland, G. C. Knight, and H. T. Coons were ordained in May, 1921; Theodore Gilmore, John  Dawson, and Silas Bell were ordained in March, 1941 ; Kirt Grifin was received by letter and recognized as a deacon in 1941; Charles Emrich was  received by letter and recognized as a deacon in October, 1942.  Seven men fill this office at the present time.

The Church has had a Sunday School since April, 1905, and in the past few years has also had a very active Women’s Missionary Society and Baptist Training Union. Brother R. A. Sosh was the first Sunday School Superintendent elected by the Church. The Church also prepared her Associational Letter and was admitted into the fellowship of the Daviess County Association in 1907. She was represented by Messengers B. B. Ware, J. W. Johnson, W. P. Wood, and S. E. Stone. Her membership has been with this body since that time. She has never, to date, entertained any sessions of the Association.

Brother W. H. Dawson, the first pastor of the Church, died in March, 1908, and the Church voted to drape the pulpit for thirty days in memory of him. Resolutions of respect were also adopted and the Church bell was tolled. At a later time the Church gave liberally for the purpose of erecting a monument over his grave. His name will live forever in the life of the Church.

The Church has experienced many revivals during her history which have increased her spirit and numbers and many of her members have been won to the work of the Lord through this useful means. Since about the year 1932 the Church has united with Maceo, South Hampton, and Yellow Creek in calling a pastor to serve the four Churches. This relationship has been happy as well as useful.  The Church is now enjoying one of the most prosperous periods in her entire history.

Source: A History of the Daviess-McLean Baptist Association in Kentucky, 1844-1943. Wendell H. Rone, Messenger Job Printing Co., Inc., Owensboro, Kentucky, 1944.