Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church

This Church is not to be confused with another by this name that was located at Philpot and was a member of this Association in the 1860’s and which later became extinct. For many years there was no Baptist Church in the village of Pleasant Ridge. Most of the Baptists living in that immediate vicinity were members of Bell’s Run, Mt. Carmel, and Sugar Grove Churches. As these Churches had been organized for some time and their numbers had grown to such proportions it was deemed advisable to constitute those members living in and around Pleasant Ridge into an organization. In accordance with previous arrangements the Baptists of Pleasant Ridge met on May 21, 1892, and were organized into a Church by Elders J. S. Coleman, D. E. Yeiser, and A. G. Davis. The following members went into the constitution:

From Bell’s Run –

  • J. C. Westerfield
  • M. M. Westerfield
  • J. U. Westerfield
  • R. E. Westerfield
  • S. B. Westerfield
  • J. M. Westerfield
  • Joseph Westerfield
  • Lydia J. Westerfield
  • Emma Westerfield
  • S. R. Westerfield
  • Florence Westerfield
  • J. C. Westerfield, Jr.

From Mt. Carmel –

  • M. M. Fitzgerald
  • N. A. Yeiser
  • W. T. Hewlett
  • L. E. HewlettElla Hewlett
  • Bettie Hewlett
  • Addie Hewlett
  • W. A. Hewlett
  • N. L. Hewlett
  • R. J. Hewlett
  • Mrs. E. G. Hewlett
  • D. C. Hewlett
  • T. H. Hewlett
  • Camie Yeiser
  • May Thorp
  • M. A. Hunter
  • Anne Hunter
  • Ella Hunter
  • Lizzie Johnson
  • Lucy Taylor
  • J. W. Barnhill
  • J. H. Taylor
  • Lucindia Taylor
  • A. E. Taylor
  • U. J. Westerfield
  • L. A. Westerfield

From Sugar Grove –

  • A. Hunt
  • M. W. Hunt
  • Sallie M. Barnhill
  • Allen Johnson

From Green Brier –

  • Mrs. S. F. Patton
  • Mrs. M. F. Hewlett

From Curdsville –

  • J. W. Reynolds
  • Lydia Reynolds

From Owensboro First –

  • Maggie Martin

On Relation –

  • Caleb Smith
  • Mrs. M. E. Smith

By Statement

  • Eva Westerfield

This is a total of fifty members and of this number we note that fifteen are Westerfields and twelve are Hewletts – more than half of the total.

The Articles of Faith commonly accepted by Baptist Churches were adopted as well as Rules for the Decorum. Brother J. W. Reynolds was elected as Moderator and Brother A. Hunt was selected as the first Clerk Brethren J. W. Reynolds and Joseph Westerfield were recognized as the first deacons as they had come from sister Churches as such. The new Church adopted the name of Pleasant Ridge from the village in which it was located.

The Church called Dr. J. S. Coleman as the first pastor and he began his labors in October, 1892. Since her organization the Church has been served in the pastoral office by the following brethren:


Pastor Years
Dr. J. S. Coleman 1892-1895
R. T. Bruner 1895-1903
J. H. Burnett 1903-1904
T. J. Ratcliff 1905-1907
A. N. Couch 1907-1912
A. B. Gardner 1912-1915
Norris Lashbrook 1915-1916
O. J. Cole 1916-1917
O. M. Shultz 1917-1919
J. H. Chissom 1919-1922
W. S. Shipp 1922-1925
D. Arthur Dailey 1925-1928
W. S. Shipp 1928-1929
L. M. Winstead 1930-1943

The office of Clerk has been held by the following brethren:


Clerk Years
A. Hunt 1892-1898
Earl D. Hewlett 1898-1910
T. A. Hewlett 1910 to the present time

This is a unique record – three clerks in fifty-one years. Besides J. W. Westerfield and Joseph Reynolds the Church has also been served by the following deacons : Brethren O. P. Skillman, J. M. Westerfield, and D. C. Hewlett were ordained in March, 1891, by Elder R. T. Bruner and deacons from sister Churches; G. E. Black was recognized as a deacon in June, 1923; Brethren Henry Lashbrook, Lester Wright, and Autra Hewlett were ordained in April, 1929; Brethren Barney Taylor, who was recognized as a deacon, and W. H. Harrison, Gola Stewart, and Herbert Evans became deacons in 1941 by ordination.

For a number of years prior to the organization of the Church the Associations Missionary preached at Pleasant Ridge. A meeting house was begun in the year 1890 and the District Mission Board assisted in paying for it. This was the first house of worship used by the Church By the year 1902 an effort was made to erect a new house of worship but the plan was later abandoned. By February, 1905, another plan had been offered. This time it succeeded and the present commodious structure was erected during the pastorate of Elder T. J. Ratcliff. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. W. D. Nowlin on the Fifth Sunday in June, 1907. The building is now about thirty-six years old and is in a good state of repair and should serve the congregation for some time to come.

As far as is known the Church has never had a Woman’s Missionary Society. A Sunday School has been functioning, except at small intervals, since the time of organization. A B. Y. P. U. was organized in 1925 with Brother Noel Patton as the first President. This ceased to function a few years later.

The pastorate of Brother L. M. Winstead has been the longest in the history of the Church and the clerkship of Brother Autra Hewlett has likewise never been excelled. The character of the men who have served this Church in the pastorate has been a molding influence in making this Church strong both doctrinally and spiritually. The Church has always stood consistent in doctrinal matters. In July, 1924, a resolution opposing the teaching of evolution in the schools was unanimously adopted.

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