First Baptist Church of Gordon
First Baptist Church (1909-1934)
1995 First Baptist Church
2000 First Baptist Church - Snow
The first available minutes of the First Baptist Church in Gordon indicate a fully organized church worshiping in Hampton on January 3, 1879. The church likely began several years prior to this date. These early minutes of tell that the church was known as the Baptist Church of Christ at that time and Reverend O.F. Gragg was the preacher.
In June of 1879 the church formed a committee to meet with the Palo Pinto Baptist church to purpose an organization of a Palo Pinto County Baptist Association. The association was formed and ten area churches joined by the second year. Some of these early churches included Bethel (Santo Area), Little Sunday, Pleasant Valley, Slaughter Valley, Elm Grove, Lake Creek, Barton’s Creek, and Prosperity (Tudor Community).
The Texas and Pacific railroad came through the area a mile and a half south of town in 1881. The town of Gordon was formed on the tracks and the people of Hampton began to migrate to the new town. The Baptist church at Hampton voted to move to Gordon on June 12, 1881.
The church lacked their own building in their first couple of years at Gordon. They met at the Methodist Church, the school, and the Odd Fellow’s Hall before they began work on a new building in 1885. Once completed, a Sunday School was organized and Oscar Garrison was elected at $3.00 per month to ring the bell at the new church before services.
The church began to grow out its initial building and plans for a new frame building were made in 1907. The building was completed soon after at a cost of $3,200. The membership of the church began to flourish and by January of 1916 funds were raised for the installation of electric lights in the building.
Mr. Ed Browder recalled that back in those early years he could remember when four church bells could be heard in Gordon on Sunday morning. They included the Baptist, First Christian, Methodist, and Presbyterian. He recalled, “They would sometimes ring simultaneously and it sounded like a mighty anvil chorus.”
On June 14, 1936, despite the fact that the nation was in a devastating depression, a motion was made to build a new church building. It was decided that the building would be larger and built of Thurber Brick. Ed Browder was the head carpenter on the new building and he was quoted saying, “I could not see how it was possible to build a building in the midst of the terrible depression but everyone pitched in and went to work. They pulled together like work horses.”
The new building was dedicated by ceremony on June 13, 1943. A church history was placed in the cornerstone and the membership was recorded at 218. The new structure was built at a cost of $5,739 and at the point of dedication it was completely paid for. This building continues to serve the church today. (2010)
First United Methodist Church of Gordon
Methodist Church (1900-1950)
1900 First United Methodist Church
1995 First United Methodist Church
The church began at a dwelling in March of 1880 in the early town of Hampton. Once a month a circuit Methodist minister would come and preach at the dwelling. Charter members of the church included: W.P Gibbs, W.G. Hart, J.S. Sims, Jim Gibbs, Jacob Swank, and Jim Browder. Mr. Browder served as the first Sunday School Superintendent.
The church voted to move from Hampton to Gordon in 1882. A small wooden frame building was constructed on the north side of Gordon across the street from the Dr. William “Bill” Hart home to house the church.
The first wedding held at the Gordon Methodist Church took place on October 23, 1897 with A.H. Henderson marrying Florence Cox. The second wedding occurred on December 23, 1897 between Joe K. Orndorff and Sallie Carlock.
It wasn’t long until the church began to outgrow its new building. In 1899 plans were made to erect a brick structure one block south of the business district in Gordon. The new building was completed in March of 1900 with Reverend W.W. Moss overseeing the construction as pastor. A cornerstone was placed during a Masonic ceremony under the leadership of Jim Browder. Items placed in the cornerstone included: a Methodist Hymnal, a Christian Advocate, a Methodist Discipline, three grains of corn (representing life), a fifty cent piece, a “Gordon Weekly Courier” newspaper, and a handbook on masonry.
A fiftieth anniversary of the church building was held on March 12, 1950. At this meeting new plans were made to construct a new building to replace the one built in 1900. On June 21, 1950 the old building was razed and they congregation broke ground on a new building on July 17, 1950.
Construction on the new building was completed within a year and a half and on December 9, 1951 a cornerstone was laid for the new structure. A history of the church as well as information relative to the new church was placed in the cornerstone. Reverends John Brown and Michael Patison were pastors of the church while the construction was going on. The old bell from the previous building was saved and relocated to a tower constructed behind the new building. The bell is an important part of the church’s history as it was used for many years to call people to worship.
Eddie Bell became the first person to join the church in the new building on December 23, 1951. On November 26, 1952 J.G. Wright and Willena James were the first couple to be married in the new church. The church had its construction debts paid by 1954 and celebrated with a dedication service on April 4, 1954.
The building completed in 1951 still serves the congregation of the First United Methodist Church of Gordon today. (2010)
Church of Christ
Original Church of Christ Building in Gordon
1995 Church of Christ
Christian Church of Gordon
Christian Church (Located North of the Railroad)(1930 Fire)
Located about a block north of the Baptist Church.