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.
Richard 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.
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.