The first record book containing the account of the organization of this Church up to the year 1900 is lost. We, therefore, have very little information about the history and progress of the Church for the first eleven years. Elder Daniel E. Yeiser, under the employment of the District Mission Board, held a meeting of nineteen days at the Sutherland School House, in Daviess County, in the month of February, 1889. The meeting resulted in the conversion of twenty-two people with eleven being baptized in Panther Creek by Elder Yeiser at the close of the meeting. These members were baptized into the fellowship of the Zion or Sugar Grove Church. Elder Yeiser was assisted in three services by Elder J. B. Salmon. In the month of March, 1889, Elder Yeiser constituted a Baptist Church of twenty-two members. We will probably never know the names of the constituent members. Mrs. Lee McCormick, Mrs. Mattie Yewell, and Mrs. Sallie Pegram are the only constituent members still living at present (1943). The Church took the name of “Panther Creek” from the little stream that flows through Daviess County about one-half mile north of the present location of the Church.
Elder Yeiser was called as the first pastor of the Church and Bro. B. F. Yewell was elected as the first clerk. Brethren Mansfield Hay, Frank Mitchell, John Gray, and Lewis Howard were probably the first deacons of the Church.
The Church petitioned the Daviess County Association for admittance in August, 1889, and was received unanimously. She has remained a member of the body to this day and has entertained the annual sessions of the Association on two different occasions – in 1906 and again in 1936.
Since her organization the Church has been served faithfully by the following pastors and clerks:
|D. E. Yeiser||1889-1890|
|B. Y. Cundiff||1891-1893|
|W. P. Bennett||1894-1895|
|W. H. Bell||1896-1898|
|D. E. Yeiser||1898-1901|
|T. S. McCall||1902|
|L. H. Voyles||1903-1907|
|T. M. Morton||1908-1909|
|John A. Bennett||1909-1910|
|J. J. Willett||1911-1915|
|N. F. Gabbert||1915-1918|
|A. S. Pettie||1919-1920|
|W. S. Shipp||1921-1922|
|George D. Park||1926-1929|
|D. Arthur Dailey||1929-1940|
|I. L. Baughn||1941-1942|
|B F. Yewell||1889|
|M. H. Coombs||1890|
|B. F. Yewell||1891-1893|
|D. F. Mitchell||1894-1899|
|G. W. Dodson||1902-1903|
|M. N. Yeiser||1903-1907|
|W. M. Hargan||1907-1910|
|Mrs. J. T. Luttrell||1910-1915|
|W. J. Brumley||1921-1923|
|W. M. Hargan||1928-1929|
|W. M. Hargan||1931-1932|
|Mrs. J. T. Luttrell||1936-1943|
This Church has had numerous successful revivals that have resulted in from less than ten to as many as forty-eight additions to the membership. The membership climbed to over one hundred during the first eight years of the Church’s history and during the pastorate of Bro. J. J. Willett climbed over the two hundred mark. At present it is about two hundred and sixty-five. For some time the Church enjoyed one-half time preaching and has recently adopted full-time work.
Brethren Mansfield Hay, Frank Mitchell, John Gray, and Lewis Howard were probably the first deacons to serve the Church. In May, 1902, Brethren G. W. Dodson, David Magruder, and J. T. Luttrell were ordained as deacons. Brother Victor Lytle was received as a deacon from the Mt. Liberty Church in January, 1909. He proved to be a valuable leader, serving the Church for years as Moderator and Sunday School Superintendent, Board member, and other offices. Brother David Magruder returned his membership to the Church in 1918 after having served for some time as a deacon at Oak Grove (Utica) Church. Bro. George R. Newbolt was received as a deacon from the Pleasant Grove Church in October, 1932. Brother G. W. Dodson died in the year 1938 after having served the Church faithfully for thirty-six years as deacon. Brethren J. G. Brooks, R. W. Leet, Theodore Mercer, and Denham Young were ordained as deacons in November, 1938. W. W. Givens has served in this office but there is no record of his ordination.
In August, 1921, the Church granted William Newbolt a license to preach the Gospel. On December 2, 1922, he was duly ordained to the ministry by Elders W. W. Williams, A. S. Pettie, John A. Bennett, Norris Lashbrook, T. T. Daugherty, J. J. Wilett, W. C. Boone, J. C. Craig, J. H. Chissom, and W. S. Shipp. In May, 1941, the Church granted a license to preach to Rodney Burns. He is now serving in the armed forces of our country.
The present building in use by the Church is perhaps the only building that the Church has ever had. The building was damaged to some extent by the flood of 1937 as the water stood thirty-nine inches deep in the auditorium. In the year 1942 the building was raised and a full size basement was dug under the building and completed. A large number of Sunday School rooms are now available for the use of the Church. These improvements cost about $3,500.00 and have all been paid for. A new furnace has also been installed and the entire building repaired and repainted inside and out.
The Church has been consistently missionary from her very beginning and distinguished herself in the 75 Million Campaign with an unusually large offering. A Women’s Missionary Society has been functioning well for several years and has been a valuable asset to the work of the Church. The Sunday School has continued since the organization of the Church. Training Union work has prospered at intervals during the history of the Church also.
In the year 1915 the Church observed a homecoming. Elder Daniel E. Yeiser, the founder of the Church, preached on the appointed day to a large congregation. He was ninety years old at the time and lived to the advanced age of ninety-five years and six months. His memory will always be a blessing to Panther Creek Church. The history of this Church for fifty-four years has been one of remarkable growth and progress well worthy of a Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Source: A History of the Daviess-McLean Baptist Association in Kentucky, 1844-1943. Wendell H. Rone, Messenger Job Printing Co., Inc., Owensboro, Kentucky, 1944.