First Baptist History
The First Baptist Church of Ennis, Texas was started and organized out of the First Baptist Church of Burnham Texas in May or June 1873, with a membership of twenty-five people the majority of whom came from the First Baptist of Burnham Texas, when the town (Burnham) closed.
The group met in a vacant store building on Main Street. Bro.
R.K. Freeman of Corsicana was called as the first pastor of the church for one
Sunday each month.
The next pastor was Dr W. H. Parks, under whose leadership
the church built their first house of worship on the corner of North Dallas
Street and Baylor Street. In a short time the church building was destroyed by
a cyclone. Immediately, the church built a larger building, which served the
needs of the congregation for a number of years
Following Dr. Parks were Bro.
Bennett Hatcher, Bro. S H Slaughter, Bro. Owens, Bro. Sams, Bro. Daily, Bro.
Huffines Bro. Prather, and Bro. Edgar Parker. Others following were Bro. A. W.
Luper, Bro. Wise, Bro. R. L. McGuiston, Bro. J. E. Glenn, Bro. L. S. Ballard,
Bro. A. J. Kirkland, and Bro. S. T. Francis.
In January 1948, Bro. R. P.
Campbell was called as pastor and served until April, 1967. Under Bro.
Campbell's leadership, repairs were done on the auditorium again and a new
baptistery was installed.
In the Spring of 1954, the Church purchased the first
electric Hammond Organ with funds which began several years previously by the
Wheeler Bible Class with a "mile of dimes".
A lot was given to the
church by Mr. V. L. Anthony, with the request that a Missionary Baptist church
be built there. After Mr. Anthony's death, the church bought another lot in
Anthony Addition (same addition the lot is located which Mr. Anthony gave to
the Church (First Baptist).
The church sponsored an open air revival assisted
by Ellis County Missionary Herman Littlejohn. As a result of this effort, a
group met in First Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon, August 14, 1955, and a
new Missionary Baptist Church came into being, namely, The Anthony Drive
Baptist Church. The First Baptist Church deeded the mentioned property in
Anthony Addition to the new church on which to erect its place of worship, which
In June of 1957, Bro. W. E. Nunn was called to First Baptist Church.
Under his leadership the church purchased a large residence on the corner of
West Baylor and North McKinney streets. This building was used as the Youth
Building, housing the Intermediate and Young People's Departments in the Sunday
School for several years. In 1959 a new entrance to the old auditorium was
made. In 1962 the church built an additional bedroom and bath on the parsonage
located at 204 West Decatur Street, making it a four bedrooms and two baths. On
August 4. ,1963, the church voted to purchase an additional property north at
the present older buildings.
On this new property it was planned to build a new
auditorium. The purchase of the new property and the construction of the
auditorium cost the sum of $80,000.00 plus cost of the bond program and the
furnishings of the new auditorium. On September 4, 1963 the church voted
unanimously to accept the bond program presented by Bro. Philip McGahey
representative of the Fidelity Church Finance Corporation of Dallas, Texas. On
September 8. 1963. the church voted unanimously to set October 13. 1963, as
Kick-Off Time for the bond program these bonds were all sold and the
construction on the new auditorium was begun. The construction was completed on
August 20, 1964. The furniture was purchased from L. L. Sams of Waco, Texas. It
was installed on August 14, 1964
Bro. Nunn resigned on January, 1967. Bro. Hoyt Hefner then accepted interim pastor from January 1967
through April, 1967.
Bro. Harold Burns then accepted a call to pastor in
April, 1967. He moved from New Harmony Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas. Under
his leadership the church developed an active budget plan and constructed a new
Educational Building and Fellowship Hall. In 1972, First Baptist Church
borrowed $10,000.00 from the building fund and made a down payment on a new
parsonage. The nice brick structure was located at 1302 Crestidge, a real asset
to the First Baptist Church. Bro. Burns resigned in 1986.
On November 6,1986,
Bro. Clyde H. Johnson first served as interim pastor then as a full-time
pastor. Bro. Clyde Johnson retired in August 1991
Bro. Clifton Baugus was
called on December 1991 as pastor. He resigned on April 17, 1994.
Shadwick served as interim pastor until October 9, 1994 when he was called as
full-time pastor. Under his leadership, First Baptist Church cleared a lot for
renovation, paid off the debt for our Educational Building and Fellowship Hall,
and bought a parsonage. Bro. Charlie Shadwick resigned September, 1996.
Bro. Paul Gauntt and Bro. Danny Pope served as interim Pastors from September, 1996 until may of 1997 during this time the church began a “teen and Youth Discovery" program. This program began with a very small group and doubled in number of attendance. Mrs. Betty Ann was the teen discovery Leader and Mrs. Troy Vyers was the Youth Discovery Leader
May, 1997 First Baptist Church called Bro. Terry Jackson. Bro. Jackson
resigned December, 1997.
On April 12, 1998 First Baptist Church called Bro. Cody Montandon.
Bro. Cody Montandon resigned in 2002.
Bro. Mitch Chapman was called to Pastor later that same year, and with his leadership we were able to do a lot of needed updating to the church. The church through his leadership changed its name to that of "Cross Point Baptist Church"
In March, 2011 the church called Bro. Jeff Evans to Pastor, and God blessed our church through his ministry here. In March, 2012, He resigned.
In August 2012 the church called our current Pastor,
Dr. Christopher Bradford as Pastor, through his leadership the church reinstated its rightful name First Baptist Church of Ennis and:
* Has started a Spanish ministry
* Created Soul Winning Groups
* Has an annual Mission Conference
* Supports four missionaries around the world
* Began the Berean Baptist Institute
* Has a local nursing home ministry
* Started Ennis Bible Believers’ Bookstore
First Baptist Church has been honored over the years with several faithful
men serving in the capacity of Ministers of Music. They were, Tipp Vines,
Wedsel Groom, LaVoy Simms, Raymond Caldwell, Phillip Ware, Mark Williamson,
Jerry Bell, Tommy Clark, Paul Ekenburg and presently Bro. Joe Lee, who was saved here in the church.
First Baptist Church has also had several faithful Youth Ministers, they were, Raymond Caldwell, Larry Hamberlan, Mark Williamson, Jerry Bell, Steve Mosley, David Gradberg, Matt Walker, Matt Awesome and Bro. Hector Espino, and right now we have Bro. Matt Crockett.
Mrs. Forrest Sullivan began as assistant pianist in January 1942. First Baptist Church purchased a Hammond Organ in 1952 and Mrs. Sullivan became the organist and continued for many years to serve God with her talent as organist of First Baptist Church. Mrs. Mattie Harrison was the Church pianist until her death at the age of 93 on October 1992. Later Mrs. Betty Blazek was the Church pianist for many faithful years.