A Detailed History of Temple

History of Temple Baptist Church

One hundred and eight people gathered on July 13, 1955 on the lawn at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Kilcrease on Highway 82 for a prayer meeting led by Dr. Kermit Melugin.

TBC Charter MembersRichard Daniel led the group in congregational singing, after which Rex Waggoner led in prayer. After an inspirational message by Dr. Melugin, Mrs. J. C. Swindle sang, “Beyond the Sunset” accompanied by Suzanne Brannan. Bob Brannan then led the group in a discussion concerning the possibility of organizing a church. Many expressed their opinions and desires concerning this. After much discussion, Richard Daniel made a motion that a church be organized. Mrs. Audra Moore seconded it. The motion carried without opposition. Mrs. Emily Beck made a motion that Dr. Kermit Melugin be asked to lead in the endeavors and act as supply pastor. The motion was seconded by Tom Thomas and approved by the group. Ice cream and cake were served at the fellowship hour that followed.

The group met the following Sunday at Leonard Park for a church service. Bob Brannan passed his hat for an offering and $100.00 was collected. The offering was used to buy the first songbooks.

On July 22, 1955 a group of approximately 125 people gathered at the Robran Hall, 426 North Commerce Street, Gainesville, Texas. Reverends J. R. Smallwood, retired Baptist minister; Henry Mozingo, pastor of Calvary Baptist; H. L. Bullard, pastor of Custer City Baptist; Jack Strickland, Tabernacle Baptist; John B. Stepp Jr., Grand Avenue Baptist; Charles Luck, Denton County missionary; L. B. Reavis, Southwestern Baptist Seminary; J. D. Brannan, Ft. Worth District missionary and T. Hollis Epton, of Waxahachie formed the Presbytery necessary at the organization of a new church.

The congregation had unanimously agreed that they wished to organize a New-Testament Church to promote the Kingdom of God and to cooperate with the Cooke County Baptist Association and the Southern Baptist Convention. Epton made the motion, seconded by Smallwood, that the Presbytery was in favor of the organization.

Dr. Kermit Melugin had previously introduced the visiting pastors and presided for the meeting, which was opened with a song service conducted by Richard Daniel. Messieurs Luck, Mozingo, J. D. Brannan and Charles Bassett offered prayers.

TBC Sanctuary 1959
Sanctuary 1959

J. D. Brannan stated the object of the meeting, saying that because of the blessings of this great country, America, when persons disagree they have the privilege of withdrawing and organizing a new church. He told the group they had a strong beginning and with their prayers and determination they could make a great success of their new venture. Mrs. Audra Moore, temporary clerk, read the 108 names that removed their membership from First Baptist Church, Wednesday, July 20th, and had signed as members of the new Temple Baptist. At the close of the meeting, four new members were received. E. C. Rucktashel moved that charter membership be held open for thirty days from that Sunday. This was seconded by George Bryant and carried.

The district missionary then read the Articles of Faith from the J. P. Pendleton Manual and E. L. Bradshaw made the motion for adoption. After Smallwood read the Church Covenant, George Bryant and Mrs. J. C. Swindle moved for their adoption. John Hays moved to adopt the name of Temple Baptist and this was voted unanimously after a second by Tom Thomas. T. J. Bullard moved that Dr. Kermit Melugin be kept as supply pastor of the new church and Bob Brannan seconded the motion, which carried. An offering was taken for World Missions and $63.73 was turned over to the district missionary. Bryant made the motion, seconded by Miss Emily Beck that 11% of all regular income of the new church be given to the cooperative program. It carried.

Reavis made a short talk to the group congratulating their organization “with malice toward none”, charity to all in service to the Lord.” Epton, former pastor of the First Baptist Church eight years ago, was graciously received by the congregation and urged the members to “stay humble, sweet and prayerful, and Jesus will give the victory.” He said they might take a familiar slogan as their motto, “The Forward Look”. He then quoted a prayer of the late Peter Marshall, former chaplain of the U. S. Senate, “Father, look down in our hearts and shift the gears that we may go forward with Thee”.

A nominating committee composed of Rex and Mildred Wagoner, T. J. Bullard, Bob Brannan, Lorn Anderson, George Thomas, E.C. Rucktashel and W. W. Keller presented a list of proposed candidates for church officers. The list of officers was then read and the committee explained that the list was selected so that nearly every family was represented. John Hayes moved that the list be accepted and the motion carried.

Meetings will be held in Robran’s Hall until the new church building is built. The ground committee stated they had selected a site, which will be announced later.

From the Pastor’s Paragraph – Dr. Kermit Melugin
“We must be patient with each other and with God. Acorns do not make big oaks over night. Nor do mushrooms afford shade and protection. Our gratitude should ever be to God not only for what we have but also for what we are to enjoy in the future. The Christian Life is freighted with the joy of keen anticipation, “Call upon me and I will show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.” Count our blessings, yes, but let us rejoice in the happy surprises that await us. The truth is we should not be surprised at any good thing that may come our way, “for the Lord is in this place.” Let us be keenly alert and solicitous of them who are looking for Christian love and fellowship as our church affords in a most peculiar way.”

“It might be interesting to observe that since our church was organized twenty-one Sundays back; we have received $13,292.32 or an average per Sunday of $633.00. This needs no comment, except gratitude to God for his blessings on us.”

Temple Baptist Church has had a total of nine pastors.

A list of the pastors and their dates of service are as follows:

  • Kermit Melugin – August 10, 1955 to June 3, 1956
  • Hubert Long – August 12, 1956 to November 13, 1960
  • James Carter – February 1, 1961 to May 28, 1964
  • Huey Welch – October 25, 1964 to May 8, 1966
  • Billy Skinner – July 31, 1966 to August 29, 1971
  • Bob Garsee – October 30, 1971 to September 15, 1974
  • Bob Rutherford – February 2, 1975 to April 4, 1983
  • Charles McLain – January 15, 1984 to May 8, 1988
  • Eddie Chennault – January 29, 1989 to Present
For a detailed history of our pastors, please click here.

Pulpit Committees

Temple has been blessed with a lot of people dedicated to furthering the work of the Lord. The following have served on Pastoral Search Committees.

1. Dr. Kermit Melugin – Dr. Kermit Melugin was the first pastor of Temple. He served from August 10, 1955 until June 3, 1956. Dr. Melugin is unique in that a pulpit committee did not call him. He was elected as supply pastor and pastor by the total church body at a business meeting.

Rev. Hubert Long (2nd)
Search Commitee Members
Vee Taylor – Chairman, Rex Waggoner, W.W. Keller ,John Hayes, Rosa Truitt

Rev. James E. Carter (3rd)
Search Commitee Members
F.J. Vicari, C.M. Leach, Robert Lewis, Audra Moore, Opal Neal

Rev. Huey Welch (4th)
Search Commitee Members
Troy Taylor – Chairman, Ronald Hardin, Cloma Ellis, Jane Kilcrease

Rev. Billy Skinner (5th)
Search Committee Members
Clint Mercer, Ed Rinn, George Bryant, Mary Keller, Christine Allgood

Rev. Bob Garsee (6th)
Search Committee Members
Rex Waggoner, Vera Rucktashel, Wilma Leach

Rev. Bob Rutherford (7th)
Search Committee Members
Cloma Ellis – Chairman, Mary Keller, Bill Brannan, Bill Smoot, Robert Beck, E.C. Rucktashel

Rev. Charles McLain (8th)
Search Committee Members
Dwayne Clement – Chairman, Nona Sluder, E.C. Rucktashel, Butch Stone, Cloma Ellis, Frank Westbury – Alternate

Rev. Eddie Chennault (current)
Search Commitee Members
John Bourquin – Chairman, Jim Blythe, Vera Rucktashel, Barbie Baugh, Dr. Larry Sears

Temple Baptist Church Deacons

  • 1. John Brooks Elected 11-16-55
  • 2. Granville Ellis Elec. 11-16-55
  • 3. C.M. Leach Ordained 11-13-60
  • 4. E.C. Rucktashel Ord. 11-13-60
  • 5. W.W. Keller Ord. 11-13-60
  • 6. Lorn Anderson Ord. 11-13-60
  • 7. F.J. Vicari Ord. 4-21-61
  • 8. Ronald Hardin Ord. 10-7-62
  • 9. Jack Richardson Ord. 10-7-62
  • 10. Pat Mann Ord. 11-20-63
  • 11. Harold Bryant Elec. 1969
  • 12. Rex Waggoner Ord. 10-1-67
  • 13. Ron McKinney Ord. 8-30-70
  • 14. Danny Bell Ord. 8-29-71
  • 15. Robert Beck Ord. 9-24-72
  • 16. Bill Brannan Ord. 9-24-72
  • 17. Leslie Franklin Ord. 9-24-72
  • 18. Jim Mefford Ord. 10-19-75
  • 19. Dwayne Clements Ord. 10-31-76
  • 20. Louis Newton Ord. 10-31-76
  • 21. Butch Stone Ord. 10-31-76
  • 22. Charles Morris Elec. 1977
  • 23. Terry Bryant Ord. 11-18-79
  • 24. Bill Reeves Ord. 11-15-81
  • 25. Gary Elliott Ord. 11-15-81
  • 26. Frank Westbury Ord. 12-2-84
  • 27. Randy Hardin Ord. 12-2-84
  • 28. Ray Ritchey Ord. 11-5-85
  • 29. Dennis Smith Ord. 11-5-85
  • 30. Robert Lewis Ord. 2-2-86
  • 31. Jerry Baugh Ord. 2-7-88
  • 32. Bob Kilcrease Elec. 9-21-88
  • 33. Anthony Dresser Ord. 12-6-92
  • 39. Gary Martin Ord. 10-5-88
  • 34. Gil Mashburn Ord. 10-5-88
  • 35. John Bourquin Ord. 10-5-88
  • 36. Joe Nichols Elec. 12-6-92
  • 37. Ken Blakey Ord. 12-6-92
  • 38. Virgil Kidd Ord. 12-6-92
  • 40. Larry Sears Ord. 12-6-92
  • 41. Johnny Williams Ord. 12-6-92
  • 42. Kendal Blakey Ord. 12-5-92
  • 43. Robert French Ord. 12-5-93
  • 44. Charles Smith Ord. 12-5-93
  • 45. Terry Turner Ord. 12-5-93
  • 46. Gary Hillis Ord. 12-5-93
  • 47. Ricky Lemons Ord. 11-20-94
  • 48. Kirk Painter Ord. 11-20-94
  • 49. Ronnie Young Ord. 11-20-94
  • 50. Doug Crabtree Ord. 11-20-94
  • 51. Stanton Field Ord. 11-20-94
  • 52. James Bell Elec. 1995
  • 53. Richard Shaver Ord. 12-21-97
  • 54. Ken Followell Ord. 1-10-99
  • 55. David Hendry Ord. 1-10-99