Friday, July 13, 2012

The Highpoint and Blue Ash Baptist Churches

We saw in the last section that Socialville Baptist came out of Highpoint Baptist Church. In this section we are going to focus on two churches:  the Highpoint Baptist Church and Blue Ash Baptist Church.
We are going to look first at the Highpoint Baptist Church. Pictured on the left used to be the location of the Highpoint Baptist Church but is now the home of Crossroad Baptist church.  Highpoint Baptist Church was started as a mission out of the Blue Ash Baptist Church, in Blue Ash, Ohio. In the records of the Blue Ash Baptist Church we find the following record dated July 7, 1954. “The church approved the motion, that the Highpoint Mission be organized into a church Sunday afternoon, Aug, 22, 1954.”
Little seems to be known as to the life of Highpoint Baptist Church.  Oral history has the mission work first meeting in a basement or a garage of one of the early members.  All we know from the early minutes dated 1952 of the Blue Ash Baptist Church is that the church helped the mission rent a school building in the Highpoint area. The church also helped them acquire their first property and the deed was signed over to the Highpoint Baptist Church when they paid their mother church back.
Over the life of Highpoint Baptist Church she has had 9 pastors that we are able to account for.
The first pastor called was Bro. Llyod Hasty.
The second pastor was Bro. Tom Braley.
After Bro. Braley the church called Bro. Jim Love.
Bro. Melvin Sisson was after Bro. Love.
Bro. Phil Gabbard was after Bro. Melvin Sisson.
The next pastor was Bro. Bosley.
After Bro. Bosley was Bro. Briley.
Bro. Briley was succeeded by Bro. Cloud who was followed by the last pastor Bro. Kalnbach.
According to some former pastors of Highpoint Baptist Church there seems to have been few records kept and the ones that were kept have been lost or destroyed over the years. Most of what we have learned about Highpoint Baptist has been oral history. We know that they started the Salem Baptist Church in Anderson Township. We know from real estate records in our office the following facts:
1.       On September 30, 2003, the Highpoint Baptist Church who has now changed their name to the Hartwell Independent Baptist Church sold their properties to Crossroad Baptist Church who was formerly known as Hartwell Missionary Baptist Church. 
2.      In the transaction Hartwell Independent Baptist Church took possession of the property located at 8222 Monon Avenue where the Crossroad Baptist Church had been meeting.
3.      In the transaction the Crossroad Baptist Church took possession of the property owned by Hartwell Independent Baptist Church located at 9900 Butler-Warren Road, Cincinnati, Ohio.
4.      Both churches shall continue their independent ministries pursuant only to a change of location. 
After a period of time after this transaction Pastor Kalnbach resigned as pastor and Bro. Tommy Trammel became pastor.  In a phone conversation with Bro. Trammel, he let me know the church that is there is now called Hartwell Baptist Church and was sponsored by the Gospel Baptist Church in Galion, Ohio whose pastor is Monty Trammel. It seems at some point between Bro. Kalnbach and Bro. Trammell the Hartwell Independent Baptist Church formerly known as the High Point Baptist Church ceased to exist.
The following history of Blue Ash Baptist Church (the mother church of Highpoint Baptist Church) has been adapted from a book written by L.H. More concerning the history of Blue Ash Baptist Church. The Building that housed the Blue Ash Baptist church is pictured on the left.
  “On March 14, 1942, twenty members of the Lockland Baptist Church met in the home of Nelson F. Rountree to conduct prayer services and before their adjournment; they elected a Building Committee and charged them with the responsibility of finding a site for a church building.  On April 12, 1942, just a month later, property on Myrtle Street in Blue Ash was purchased for $2,500 with a down payment of $350.  Nineteen days later, May 10, 1942, the group met again and 26 persons holding letters of dismission from Baptist churches were joined by three others (candidates for baptism) in organizing the Blue Ash Baptist Church.  Orden Rice, a Baptist pastor from Kentucky working in Cincinnati, and a member of the group who had been conducting services for them, served as chairman of the organization meetings.  A Reverend Dalton delivered the sermon.  Jesse Perkings was elected treasurer and Nelson Rountree in whose home the first prayer meeting was held was elected clerk.”
“In the June meeting, the first since the organization, Orden Rice was called as pastor of the new church (June 3, 1942)."
“Orden Rice served as pastor until 1955, a period of 13 years, and in these years led the church in building programs that provided the first house of worship, a remodeled dwelling, and a home for the pastor.”
“The next pastor, Paul Payne, led in a second building program in which an auditorium with a capacity of 400 persons was completed.  During the ministry of Ward Spencer who followed Paul Payne, the church assumed responsibility of $10,000 for a building for one of her missions.  In the 13 years of the next pastorate, that of Dr. William McGibney, the church remodeled and updated all her properties for educational and worship purposes.  During the church’s ministry it has started three missions and ordained four of her members to the gospel ministry.”  According to recent information at some point in time Blue Ash Baptist Church merged with Winslow Park  Baptist and became Creek Road Baptist Church.  In a recent phone conversation with Pastor Dave Smith of the Creek Road Baptist Church he confirmed this to be true and provided us with the records that have been shared above.  (Pastor Burke and I were privileged to sit with Mrs. Geneva L. (Carter) Mckeehan whose family along with her husband's was two of the families that left the Lockland Baptist Church to start the Blue Ash Baptist Church when they were children.)