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Our History

How Our Church Started and Grew

by George Reddin (former pastor of DSMBC)

 

The story of Denver Street Baptist Church began in the heart of a young south Arkansas preacher who sensed a compelling call from God to become a church-planting missionary. He shared his desire with Stanley Beaird, who was serving as director of missions for the Baptist Missionary Association of Arkansas. Brother Beaird said, "Come on, go with me to Greenwood. We need a church in Greenwood." And that is how Troy Vaughn landed in this town to begin planting a new congregation. He was elected as a missionary for the BMA of Arkansas and moved here in 1986. 

I called Mrs. Betty Beaird, the widow of Stanley Beaird, to ask her how it was that Brother Beaird could point Troy Vaughn to Greenwood so immediately. She said Brother Beaird had been talking with Marion Kitchens, missionary to Mena at the time, and they and others in the area had talked about the need for a strong BMA church in Greenwood. She said Brother Beaird was burdened for Greenwood, saw the potential there, and shared his burden with Brother Troy, who moved here without knowing a single soul in this town. Mrs. Beaird sends her congratulations to the church today and remembers visiting here with her husband and feeling the joy of seeing a church just begin and grow. 

 

The Early Days

Brother Troy held his first services in a portable building constructed on the property of the current location of the church at 1413 West Denver Street. State Missions Builder Eddie Sikes relocated his mobile home to Greenwood and set it up on the church grounds to lead in the construction of a permanent home for the congregation. Worship services met in the portable building, and Sunday school classes met in Brother Eddie's trailer. 

The church began to grow. Under Brother Vaughn's leadership, the church received 79 members before he moved to Clarksville and began a new work there. Forty-six had come by letter, twenty-eight by baptism, and five by the statement. And we suspect that the records we have are incomplete, but we can find documentation for that many. 

Cecil and Debbie Hood served as youth directors under Brother Troy's leadership, and the reports that we have heard indicate that even in those early years, there was quite an active youth ministry. 

 

Attendance Highs

According to available records, Denver Street has received 290 members since its beginning as a mission. Of those, 46% came b baptism. According to reports from various members, the church has seen this sanctuary packed out at various times under the leadership of all the former pastors (Troy Vaughn, Mitch Dulaney, George Reddin, Alan Davis, and Derrick Bremer). Brother Mitch has sent copies of his notes on the people who were saved during his sixteen-year pastorate here. He said that during his best quarter here, the church set a new Sunday school record of 116 and worship attendance of 148.

 

Memories to Make You Smile

Speaking of memories, Mitch Dulaney may be most remembered for thee times he ran the baptistery over. In a letter I received from him, he said, "I'm sure nobody remembers any of the baptistry overflows, however, I still have anxiety attacks when we have a baptism. Of the thirty-three I have baptized while here in Humnoke, I have never filled the baptistry myself and don't plan to."

Another good memory was the liquidation of the indebtedness on the building. The note to the State Revolving Loan Fund was paid off in March 1998, and today the church is debt-free. 

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