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VIMY RIDGE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH

Organized in 1895

The first Baptist Church to be organized in the vicinity of the Vimy Ridge (Germania) community was the Fairview Missionary Baptist Church. It begin meeting about 1855 in a building near where the McPherson Cemetery is now located. Early families active in this congregation were Ball, Laster, Morton, and Mashburn. Soon after the Civil War this church moved south into the Sardis Community. About 1873, James Adams, a Civil War veteran and a Baptist preacher, migrated from Alabama with a large family and settled along the southern part of Chicot Road. Shortly after his arrival, he and members of his family formed a new church, called Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church, at the Blunt School House near the old Fairview Church site on Sardis Road. Other early members of this church were George M. Cullins and J. G. Abererombie. It remained active until about 1890.
The third Baptist church in the area was China Grove Missionary Baptist Church organized in 1882 several miles west of Vimy Ridge. James Adams was its first pastor. Families active in its membership were Mashburn, Brooks, Cullins, Greer, Lasater, Covington, and Abercrombie. This church continued meeting until about 1915.
On August 31, 1895, China Grove Church dismissed eight of its members for the purpose of forming a new Baptist church at “tButler's School House", about half way between that church and old Pleasant Grove site. This schoolhouse was located about 1/2 mile southeast of the comer of Germania and Vimy Ridge Roads on Thompson Farm Road. George M., Era, and J. W. Cullins, Pierce M. and L. B. Butler, Taylor and Nancy Shipp, and Mary Couch were charter members of this new congregation. It was named Otter Creek Missionary Baptist Church after the name of the township. James Adams and Henry Donhan were among its first pastors.
A railroad was built through the Vimy Ridge community about 1898. A town was laid out with lots, stores, and a schoolhouse. A post office, called Germania after the large number of German families who lived in the area, was soon established for the new town. About the same time, several of the original settlers in the area, including the Cullins Family, moved to Little Rock and other locations, and the old Otter Creek Church became inactive.
In the summer of 1908, a brush arbor revival held in Germania resulted in the organization of the Germania Missionary Baptist Church. Included in its membership were many people regathered from the old Otter Creek Missionary Baptist Church. The next year a meeting house was built at the comer of Germania and Vimy Ridge Roads. Robert M. Best was the first pastor. Some of the pastors who followed him were: William Tucker, John W. Avery, J. W. Logan, Pickens Sheppard, George W. Wilkinson, and J. L. Brown. Among the early families active in the Church were Sosebee, Williams, Imbean, Sander, Spann, Hollingsworth, Butler, Arnold, Reed, Adam, Polk, Mann, Kumpe, and Winkler.
During the First World War, the name of the post office and the church were both changed to Vimy Ridge, after a famous military victory by Canadian forces. Between 1938 and 1939, the old church building was torn down and a new church building erected at the same location. This facility continued to be used until 1967, when a larger church plant was built on Vimy Ridge Road about one mile north of the old location. It is still in use today. The present pastor is Bro. Dennis F. Mitchell.

Adapted from A History of Vimy Ridge Baptist Church, by LeRoy Polk (1989), by Russell P. Baker. Church Clerk (2003).
 

 

 
 

 


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