Sugar Grove Baptist Church

According to previous arrangements a number of persons in and near the forks of Panther Creek, Daviess County, Kentucky, met on May 25th, 1861, and constituted a Baptist Church by the name of Sugar Grove. The ministers on the council of recognition were: Elders J. S. Coleman, B. T. Taylor, J. M. Peay, J. M. Dawson, and J. S. Taylor. There were also deacons present from the Green Briar, Mt. Carmel, Bethabara, Macedonia, Zion, and Owensboro Churches.

The following members from the Zion, Bethabara, Macedonia, and Green Briar Churches became the constituent membership. By far the largest portion of them came from the Bethabara Church:

  • C. T. Noel, M.D.
  • Sarah E. Burton
  • Lucy  Mobberly
  • Martha A. Johnson
  • Elizabeth  Dawson
  • James P. Dawson
  • Helen Yeiser
  • Susan Lewis
  • Nancy Mobberly
  • Linda Yewell
  • Ruth F. Daviess
  • Elvisa O. Salmon
  • Louisa Vaughn
  • Susan Field
  • Mildred A. Davis
  • James O. Reynolds
  • Sarah Noel
  • Wm. P. Mobberly
  • Wm. W. Shoemaker
  • Samuel Mobberly
  • James E. Dawson
  • Sarah J. Dawson
  • Benjamin T. Dawson
  • Josephus Davis
  • Susan Reynolds
  • Mary Jane Shoemaker
  • Thomas D. Martin
  • Sallie Johnson
  • Nancy R. Yewell
  • James Lewis
  • John G. Mobberly
  • Sarah Yewell
  • Nancy Jane Dawson
  • Thomas M. Shoemaker
  • James I. Johnson
  • James M. Dawson
  • W. H. Dawson
  • Elder Daniel E. Yeiser
  • Nathan Johnson
  • Anthony Johnson
  • Harrison Yewell
  • Virgil Daviess
  • Margaret Martin
  • John J. Yewell
  • B. Castleman
  • James Mobberly
  • Joshua Reynolds

At the initial meeting the Church called Elder J. S. Coleman as the first pastor and elected Dr. C. T. Noel as the first clerk. Brethren C. T. Noel, Joseph M. Dawson, and Joshua Reynolds were elected as the first deacons. Since that time the Church has been served by the following pastors and clerks:


 Pastor  Years
 J. S. Coleman 1861-1869
 J. M. Dawson 1870-1873
 D. E. Yeiser 1871-1874
 J. S. Coleman 1874-1877
 J. D. Arnold 1878-1880
 B. F. Swindler 1881-1888
 E. J. Maddox 1889-1895
 E. W. Coakley 1896-1898
 D. E. Yeiser 1898
W. H. Dawson 1899-1903
E. H. Maddox 1903-1905
T. M. Morton 1905-1909
A. N. Couch 1909-1911
A. B. Gardner 1912-1914
J. J. Willert 1915
O. J. Cole 1916
A. B. Gardner 1917-1918
O. M. Shultz 1919-1921
H. S. Wiggington 1921-1922
L. M. Winstead 1923-1934
J. B. Leavell 1935-1938
Carl Bates 1938-1940
J. O. Kincannon 1941-1942
B. P. Maddox 1942-1943


 Clerk  Years
 C. T. Noel  1861
 Jos. M. Dawson  1861-1862
 Josephus Davis  1862-1866
 Charles Gordon  1866-1874
 D. H. Brown  1874-1882
 J. J. Christian  1882-1886
 W. B. Davis  1886-1892
 Norris Lashbrook  1892-1905
 O. D.  Hazelrigg  1905-1943

Rev. A. B. Gardner was the pastor of this Church when he succeeded in founding the Kentucky Baptist Children’s Home at Glendale, Ken­tucky, and became the first Superintendent of that institution. He also was pastor of the Church at his death. Rev. J. M. Dawson and Rev. E. J. Maddox both died while serving the Church as pastor.

Besides Brethren Joseph M. Dawson, Dr. C. T. Noel and Joshua Reynolds, this Church has .been served during her history by the following deacons: Josephus Davis, James A. Johnson, B. T. Dawson, J. S. Mob­berly, J. E. Dawson, B. F. Yewell, John Griffin, Charles Noel, J. J. Christian, James Noel, Jackson Gordon, W. M. Lashbrook, J, M. Gordon, Ollie Mobberly, D. Ford, Norris Lashbrook, T. J. Lashbrook, Emmett Black, O. D. Hazelrigg, C. F. Westerfield, John Harrison, Jr., C. F. Harder, A. L. Kerrick, B. F. Gray, A. B. Westerfield, Theo. Kuntz, and J. W. Burton. Brother B. T. Dawson was a charter member of the Church and served as a deacon from 1867 to his death in 1921, a period of fifty-four years. He and his wife were also the last charter members of the Church to die. Brother O. D. Hazelrigg has been a deacon in the Church since 1914 and has served as the clerk of the Church since 1905, Both of these brethren have faithfully represented their Church as messengers to the Association throughout the years of their services.

This Church has the distinction of worshipping in the oldest meeting house in the entire Association and perhaps in the county.   The building was erected in the years 1860-1861 and was immediately entered after the organization of the Church. The cost of the building and the Lodge Hall upstairs was about $2,600.00. The Church has had no other building in her more than eighty-two years of history.

From the year 1862 to the year 1909 this Church had the deacons to make an annual report to the Church concerning her condition. From the year 1870 to 1910 or later the Church also had an annual homecoming. At the fifty-second anniversary in 1913, Brother B. T. Dawson and his wife were the only charter members still with the Church. They were especially honored on that day.

Sugar Grove Church has been a mother of other Churches. She gave of her membership in 1892 to organize the Pleasant Ridge Church, in 1893 to organize the Red Hill Church, and in 1909 dismissed several members to form the Friendship Church. Some of the best men in the Baptist ranks have served this Church as pastor. As a result she has always been strong from a doctrinal, financial and numerical standpoint.  Her membership at present is about 250.

Dr. C. T. Noel, the first clerk and one of the first deacons of the Church, went off to the Civil War and was killed in action in 1862. In the year 1883 a reunion of his old Company was held at the Sugar Grove Church.

A Sunday School was not organ­ized until 1890 and has continued to the present time with slight intervals. A W. M. S. was organized in 1902 and functioned for years.

Brother J. B. Salmon was licensed to preach by this Church and was or­dained at the Glenville Church in 1890 by the authority of the Church. The action was later declared null and void because it seemed to be ir­regular but was later declared void by the Church. Some confusion re­sulted from the matter. In August, 1890, the Church licensed Norris Lashbrook to preach but he was not ordained until July 21, 1905. He is Sugar Grove’s gift to the Baptist denomination. Sometime in the 1920’s the Church ordained Raymond L. Kerrick to the ministry. He was licensed to preach by the Panther Creek Church previous to that time.

In the year 1886 some vandals destroyed some property around the Church. They were condemned in a resolution by the Church and were later brought before the court, prosecuted, and fined. The money was given to the Church and was used to help in paying the back pay of the pastor.

The Church has been a member of the Association since 1861 and entertained the sessions of this body in 1866, 1903, and 1927. Her member­ship in the body has been a blessing to all of her sister Churches.

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