yesterday's tennessee

Yesterday's Tennessee


Brenda Mooney, Milford Myracle, and Vernelle Myracle

The following history is undated but probably dates 1992-1993. Thanks to Jan Wood who provided this copy to scan. Formating has been altered for HTML.

Darden Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1893 and joined the Beech River Baptist Association in August or September of that same year.

Blocks used in the church building were made on the church grounds. They were layed by a colored preacher, who preached the first sermon in the original church building on November 22, 1893.

The first church building burned in 1905; present building was built in 1908.

Some of the charter members were: Mrs. Mary Spellings Neely, Mrs. Minnie Spellings Lewis, Mrs. Sallie Moore King, Mrs. Becky Derryberry, and Mr. Johnny Derryberry.

1925 — N.J. Wallace was Sunday School Superintendent. Pastor's salary was $30.50. Church had 127 members.

1925 — Darden Church hosted the 59th Annual Session of the Beech River Baptist Association on Sept. 20-22, 1929. Bro. G.G. Joyner was pastor. Messengers to association that year were W.F. Boren, L.B. Moore, Mrs. Nona Johnson and W.O. Hill.

Darden Baptist Church has hosted the Beech River Baptist Association four times since joining in 1893:

1898 1,623
1929 4,300
1959 5,858
1977 6,938

1952 — Seven deacons were ordained: Plautt Lindsey, Leonard Wood, Milford Myracle, Kyle Thomas, John Frost, Robie Wallace, Willie Blackwell and Hester Flowers. A few years later Youal Gibson, Robert Kennedy, and William Hays were also ordained deacons.

1959-1960 — Four Sunday School rooms were added to the church.

1970 — Church completely renovated the entire building, carpeted the Sanctuary, painted, paneled Sunday School rooms, installed storm windows, new roof and put in all new light fixtures.

1974 — Church took a forward step in going to full time preaching under the leadership of their new pastor, Bro. Rufus Chandler. Water was run to the church that same year.

1975-1976 — Church built a new addition with a basement, four new Sunday School rooms, enlarged old Sunday School rooms, added rest rooms, built storage closets and carpeted the above ground new additions with dining area in the basement.

1977 — Began Wednesday night prayer and Bible study.

1979 — Padded pews, piped water to basement and installed a sink in kitchen.

1980 — Painted basement, installed kitchen cabinets, purchased two tables and 50 folding chairs.

1982 — Installed outside light. Purchased stove and refrigerator in kitchen and a water cooler upstairs.

1988 — The inside of church was painted and vinyl mini-blinds were installed in Sanctuary and Sunday School rooms. Re-carpeted Sanctuary and recovered the pews; covered choir window with drapes.

Oldest member living is Mrs. Mary Tolley Hayes, who now resides in Lexington Manor Nursing Home in Lexington, Tennessee.

Mrs. Velma Newman Thomas (age 95), who now lives in Lexington and is a member of First Baptist Church, remembers going to her first Sunday School and church at Darden when she was about 3 years old. Her family moved to Martin, Tenn. and Mrs. Thomas later moved back to Darden in 1925. She was a member of Darden Church 20 years until moving to Lexington in 1945. She will always remember and cherish Darden Church because her four oldest sons were converted and baptized here.


(NOTE: Pastors still living are signified by *)
1904, A. L. Bray
1906, W. F. Boren
1909, W. F. Boren
1910, W. F. Boren
1925, W. F. Boren
1928, Fleetwood Ball
1929-1931, G. G. Joyner1932-1934, ?
1935, George Bolen
1936, Bertis Fair
1937-1938, C. E. Azbill
1939, G. G. Joyner
1940, H. L. Waters
1941-1943, G. G. Joyner
1944-1947, A. U. Nunnery
1948, (No pastor)
1949-1951, A. U. Nunnery
1952-1954, Arvin Rhodes
1955-1958, J. V. Reeves*
1959-1961, James F. Rogers
1962-1963, J. T. Todd*
1964-1965, Dennis Reeves*
1966, (No pastor)
1967-1968, Lawton Brewer*
1969-1972, Nelson Renfroe*
1973, (No pastor)
1974-1977, Rufus Chandler*
1978-1988, Cletus Duke*
1989, (No pastor)
1990-Present, Larry Blankenship*


Deceased: L. B. Moore, W. O. Hill, N. J. Wallace, Leonard Wood, Robie Wallace, M.S. Lindsey, Hester Flowers, Plautt Lindsey, llie Blackwell

Present: Robert Kennedy (Chairman), Youal Gibson, Milford Myracle, Kyle Thomas, William Hays

Ministers Ordained by Darden Baptist Church

Kevin Robert Kennedy (1988)
Jerry B. Wood (1988)

Church Treasurers

1925-1945, L. B. Moore
1947-1957,Plautt Lindsey
1958-1986, John W. Frost
1987-Present, Robert Kennedy

Church Clerks

1925-1951, W. O. Hill
1952-1956, Milford Myracle
1957, Plautt Lindsey
1958-1971, M. E. Lindsey
1972-1979, Mrs. M. E. Lindsey
1980-1990, Bethelene Tubbs
1990-1991, Linda Fiedor
1992-present, Milford Myracle

Informational Resources

Monthly Church Minutes & old Minutes of the Beech River Baptist Association furnished by Mrs. Alta Lee Hobbs.

Old Sunday School ledger furnished by Mr. & Mrs. Henry Flowers.

Tidings of Beech River Baptist Association.

Information handed down from generation to generation and shared with the Information Committee.

Darden Baptist Church would like to express a Special Thanks to everyone who had a part in preparing this history.


Committee: Mrs. Brenda Mooney, Mr. Milford Myracle, Mrs. Vernelle Myracle

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