First Baptist Church of Hamshire has a long history of people who have sacrificed to the Lord for the sake of reaching this community for Christ.
In 1912 Rev. Brown brought his tent revival to the tiny town of Hamshire, Texas. His vision soon became a reality when Hamshire Baptist Church was chartered on January 18, 1912. The church met in a one room school house, north of the present Community Building.
In 1918, Mr. Theodore Koch, donated a piece of property, just north of the school, so that the church could build a chapel. Mr. J. R. Ruth served as the contractor and the work was completed by members of the church and community.
In 1944, the church officially changed its name from Hamshire Baptist Church to First Baptist Church Hamshire. Then in 1945, the church bought a new sanctuary and parsonage from the Christian Reform Congregation for $4,800 and called Rev. Frank Ogelsbee to be their pastor. A few years later, in 1947, the church added an education wing to the back of the sanctuary to make more room for Sunday School classes.
On January 1, 1958 Rev. Thomas D. McKee became the pastor of First Baptist Church Hamshire. Under his leadership, the church experienced a surge of growth, and it became obvious that the church needed a new building. In 1959, the church purchased seven and one-half acres for $5,500, and saw the completion of their new sanctuary and classrooms in the Spring of 1960. Their old property was purchased in 1963, by the Hamshire Volunteer Fire Department, which now houses the community building.
The church continued to experience growth and in 1986 erected a new education wing. This growth trend continued, and on March 2, 1992 the church voted unanimously to call Bro. Kevin Brown as our first Minister of Music and Youth. The calling of Bro. Kevin was a major step of faith for the church financially. However, the church felt the extension of his call was in accordance with God’s will. Their obedience to God seemed to pay off, because in September of that same year, the church had outgrown its capacity, and a second Sunday service was formed.
In January 1993, a Steering Committee was formed to explore the possibility of building a new sanctuary. After many months of planning and fundraising, a groundbreaking was held in July 1995, and the first morning worship service was held on Mother’s Day in May of 1996. Church growth continued, and in December 2006 the Family Life Center was opened for use.
Finally, in 2008 the church called its current pastor Bro. Blaine McFarlin. The excitement of his first Sunday was greatly diminished by hurricane Gustov, and two Sundays later hurricane Ike severely damaged the sanctuary and many homes in the area. The church quickly opened the Family Life Center as a shelter for people to spend the night. The church served meals, and became a distribution center for ice, water, and supplies. Soon after the repairs were completed on the sanctuary, the church, was able to become “debt free.” There was a note burning held on May 17, 2009.
Due to the church’s growth we were able to purchase a new church sign, playground equipment, and bus in 2010. In 2011, a garage was built to house our new vehicle. In 2013 the church added a new softball field, and also purchased a new van.
It is evident from Scripture that God desires to reward those who are found to be faithful. A sense of excitement can be felt within our church as well as within the community. Fellowship is sweet and the outreach ministry of our church has been most effective. We are moving in the right direction, and a window of opportunity is now before us. Let’s not miss it. “Remember, the best days of First Baptist Church Hamshire are still in the future.” We would like to encourage you to come and be an active part of that future.
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