Sorgho Baptist Church

This Church was constituted as a result of some differences that arose within the fellowship of the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in the year 1883. All of these differences were, however, of little import except in their cumulative effect. The feeling existing between the two groups, into which the Church divided itself, was manifested when the time came to call a pastor at the meeting of the Church in August, 1883. Some wanted one pastor and some another. The matter was not settled until twenty-eight members were granted letters of dismission for the purpose of organizing a new Church at Sorghotown, as it was then known. The name has since been shortened to Sorgho.

In accordance with previous arrangements these twenty-eight members who had been lettered off from the Pleasant Grove Church met on March 27, 1884, and were duly constituted into a Church by Revs. A. B. Miller and D. B. Miller. The names of the charter members are as follows:

  • Phil McNemer
  • Martha Jacobs
  • Benjamin Stout
  • Laura Timbrook
  • Addie Rogers
  • Isaac Bennett
  • Emma Balee
  • Green Crabtree
  • Emaline Eubanks
  • Bettie McNemer
  • Edward Jacobs
  • Bettie Stout
  • R. A. Stowin
  • John W. Balee
  • Mary Bennett
  • Jessie Bellow
  • W. S. Doriott
  • George Ling
  • George Reid
  • Peter Jacobs
  • Simon Jacobs
  • Thomas Stout
  • Bettie Pearce
  • Lettie Balee
  • Abram Balee
  • Sallie Crabtree
  • Mary Doriott
  • B. T. Kelley

Others soon united with the Church by letter and came as candidates for baptism and by the time the Church petitioned the Association for admittance in August, 1884, she numbered fifty-six members.

At the initial meeting the Church called Rev. D. B. Miller to serve as her first pastor. He accepted and entered into the work. Brother J. W. Balee was elected as the first clerk of the Church. Brethren Phil McNemer, George Reid, Peter Jacobs, and A. W. Cowherd were elected and ordained as the first deacons of the Church. The Church began disciplinary action soon after her organization when three of the brethren were appointed to see two members who had been “drinking to excess.”

Since her organization the Church has been served by the following pastors and clerks:


Pastor Years
D. B. Miller 1884
J. H. Gray 1885
W. H. Dawson 1886-1902
W. H. Bell 1902-1903
J. J. Cloar 1904-1909
W. W. Williams 1910
E. O. Cottrell 1911
M. J. Cox 1912-1914
C. T. Brookshire 1915
Frank Farmer 1916-1921
C. H. Nichols 1922-1923
J. W. Poorman 1924-1925
W. L. Franklin 1926-1929
Norris Lashbrook 1929-1935
I. L. Baughn 1936-1941
W. P. Reeves 1942-1943


Clerk Years
J. W. Balee 1884
A. W. Cowherd 1885-1887
W. C. Hazelwood 1888-1891
Robert T. Smith 1892-1895
Oliver Trice 1896
J. T. Pearce 1897-1900
W. S. White 1901
Hiram Jones 1902
Charlie R. Walker 1903-1905
John H. Gregory 1906-1943

The Church had no house of worship of her own until the year 1888 when a committee was appointed to secure a suitable site near Sorgho and proceed with the erection of the building. A frame building, 34 by 50 feet, was erected at a cost of $1,200.00, and the first services were held in it in October, 1889. With numerous repairs as needed this building served the Church until it was destroyed by fire on May 9, 1923. A new and modern concrete block building was then erected at a cost of about $7,300.00 and was entered some time in the early part of 1924. The building was dedicated in September, 1926, after all indebtedness with Rev. J. N. Phillips preaching the dedicatory sermon. This present house of worship used by the Church.

Besides Brethren Phil McNemer, George Reid, Peter Jacobs and A. W. Cowherd, who were elected and ordained deacons at the initial meeting of the Church, the following have also served well in that office: Benjamin Stout, Frank Merrett, and Abram Balee, ordained in August, 1891; C. R. Walker, John H. Gregory, and J. M. Calhoun, ordained in April, 1905; W. C. Hazelwood, ordained in August, 1917; R. E. Hawes, recognized as a deacon from Third Baptist Church in May, 1922; Victor Lytle, recognized as a deacon from Panther Church in September, 1930; and Hugh Taylor and Douglas Pruden, ordained as deacons in August, 1941.

Brother John H. Gregory has served this Church since 1905 as a Deacon and as the Church Clerk. His terms of service are the longest in the history of the Church in these two offices.

Two pastors of the Church have died while serving in this capacity – we refer to Rev. M. J. Cox, who died on July 3, 1914, and Rev. Norris Lashbrook, who died in December, 1936. In June, 1886, the Church ordained Brother R. N. McNemer to the Gospel Ministry. He had previously been licensed to preach by the Church at South Carrollton. Brother Augustine Walker was licensed to preach in October, 1893, but there is no record of his ever being ordained. Brother N. H. Fulkerson was ordained to the Ministry by the Church on November 11, 1917. In 1918 Brother H. S. Wilson was licensed to preach and was ordained on June 29, 1919. He has been a successful pastor in Akron, Ohio, for almost fifteen years to date.

This Church voted in May, 1920, to have nothing to do with the Inter-Church World Movement which was seeking to unite all the denominations into one at that time. The Church also went on record as being opposed to Sunday Movies in the year 1930.

This Church has maintained a Sunday School organization since her organization. The work of the Woman’s Missionary Society and the Baptist Training Union has also functioned at intervals. The former more than the latter. The Church has maintained high and consistent grounds in relation to Baptist faith and practice and on several occasions during her history has enjoyed unusual seasons of revival which have strengthened her immensely. Her membership at present is the highest in the history of the Church – about 340.

The Church became a member of the Association in 1884 and has remained as such to the present day. She has never entertained a session of this body as yet. In the year 1885 the matter of her having as her pastor a man whom a competent council had refused to recommend for ordination came to the attention of the Association and the Church was advised by the Association to terminate the relation, which was done and the matter satisfactorily settled.

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