On March 22, 1938, some of the members of the Fairview Church met in conference and discussed building a new church. During that meeting, the following officers and committees were appointed: Chairman: Reverend W.T. Truett; Secretary: Beatrice Akin; Treasurer: E.M. Bryant; Building Committee: Hampton Monteith, Charles Fox, Sterlin Akin, Hayse Fox, Samuel Akin and George Fox; Finance Committee: Bonnie King, Eva Akin, Anna Fox, Evelyn Fox, Carrie Hayse, Elizabeth Bryant, Ada Hayse, Beatrice Akin and Charles Earl Aiken; Paymaster: Samuel Akin. The Ranger Missionary Baptist Church was organized on July 3, 1938. Twenty-three members were entered in the enrollment on this day. By the end of 1939, six more names had been added.
The Reverend W.T. Truett was elected as the first Pastor in 1938. He was a little man with a powerful voice who had great knowledge of the Bible. He served full-time until he took another church part-time in 1950. He resigned as pastor in 1954.
The following five men made up the first board of deacons:
Samuel S. Akin and Eva Akin donated the land where the present church is. They mortgaged their home for the $800 that was borrowed to build the church. Sam also served as Sunday School Director and Song Leader for many years. They are both buried in the Ranger Baptist Church cemetery.
E.M. Bryant was known for his powerful prayers and he always knelt when he prayed. He is buried in Liberty Cemetery and Cora, his wife, is buried in Ranger Baptist Church cemetery.
Charles Fox was the president of the B.Y.P.U. Charles and Evelyn’s oldest son, Charles Edward, was the first to be buried in the church cemetery. Charles and Evelyn have since been buried there as well.
Fred Hayse was a deacon of the church and was sent several times as a messenger to the association. He died at the early age of 42, leaving his wife, Dottie, and four young children. They are buried in the church cemetery.
J. Sterlin Akin was a Sunday School teacher for many years. Beatrice, his wife, was the church clerk, Sunday School teacher, Vacation Bible School director and started the first Women’s Missionary Union. They are both buried in the church cemetery.
Building the Church
The lumber used to build the church came from a hotel that was torn down in Andrews, NC. The church was only one room, which was used for church services and Sunday School. The bell came from the Beech Creek Baptist Church. The church was torn down when the Tennessee Valley Authority bought the land to build Hiwassee Dam. In the minutes, it states that the bell was donated by J.R. Hall, G.I. Hogsed and Andrew Barton. The men in the church would all work together building the church while the ladies provided their food.
In the 1940’s the Church continued to grow. In September of 1942, twelve people joined the little church. In that same year, the church debt was paid off and a dedication service was held, with P.J. Hooker delivering the sermon. By the end of 1949, the Church membership had grown to 68.
In the 1940's, the church building was painted at a cost of $35. Three Sunday School rooms were built, the church was wired for electricity and a piano was purchased. Although the offerings were less than $1000 per year, a donation was sent each year to the Baptist Hospital and Orphanage. In 1942, the ladies of the church got together and fill six dozen half-gallon jars of food for the orphanage.
During this time, four deacons were added. They were Hampton Monteith, W.C. Walker, Clarence King and Roy Clonts. Charlie Clonts was elected as the custodian.
Although Hampton Monteith was on the church building committee, he did not become a member until 1942. He was later ordained as a deacon. Isabelle, his wife, was a charter member of the church and taught the Junior Sunday School class. They are both buried in the church cemetery.
W.C. (Willie) and Mertie Walker joined the church in 1945 and Willie was later ordained as a deacon. Mertie played the piano and was a Sunday School teacher. They are both buried in the church cemetery.
Clarence and Millie King joined the church in 1945. Clarence was ordained a deacon in 1946. Millie was a Sunday School teacher.
Roy and Mary Clonts joined the church in 1949. Roy was ordained a deacon and was a messenger to the association a number of times. Mary taught the Card Class in Sunday School. They are buried in the Macedonia Baptist cemetery.
Charlie Clonts joined the church in 1949. His wife Lexie joined in 1960. Charlie served as the custodian for a number of years with Lexie assisting him. The church became Charlie’s life and it was not uncommon to find him there any day of the week. Lexie was the Church Secretary for several years. They are buried in the church cemetery.
Tom & Bonnie King
Bonnie King joined the church in 1948, although she was on the building committee when the church was first organized. She attended church faithfully from that time until her death at the age of 96. Tom never joined this church, but loaned the money to build the first building and he supported the church financially throughout his life.
1950 - 1958
In 1950, Reverend Luther Swanson was elected to preach on the Sundays that Rev. Truett was not there. When Rev. Truett resigned in 1954, Rev. Swanson was elected as Pastor and served until 1958. During his time as pastor, two Sunday School rooms were added to the front of the church, making a total of five, and the church was also bricked.
Three deacons were ordained during this time: Luther Burgess, Ford Owens and Allie Harper.
Luther Burgess and wife Orpha
Orpha taught Sunday School, worked in WMU and helped in Vacation Bible School.
Ford Owens and his family were brought to this area by the TVA, where he was employed. They were the first family to join the church that were not native to this area.
Rev. Arvil Crawford was elected as pastor in 1958 and served until 1960. This decade ended with 92 members.
A group of our young people from 1954: Geraldine Clonts Garland, Imajean Voyles Adams, Hubert Walker, Loretta Voyles Walker and Yvonne Green Bowman.
Pastors in the 1960's:
1960 - 1962
Jimmy served as pastor while he was attending school at Carson Newman.
In the 1960's, four deacons were elected:
Bernard Johnson, Roy Shields, W.E. Bates and Charles Aiken
Bernard Johnson also served as Sunday School Teacher for the youth.
W.E. Bates and wife Anna Mae joined the church in 1962, having moved here with the TVA. W.E. became a deacon and Anna Mae served in many positions in the church: Sunday School Teacher, Treasurer and Sunday School Secretary.
Charles Earl Aiken
The Clarence (Junior) and Sue Wayman family was another family brought into the area by the TVA. They joined the church in 1963. Junior was faithful worker for anything that need to be done in the church. Sue became known as "Mama Sue" because she was like a mother to all.
Coronation Program of GA's Acteens:
Crown Bearers: Teresa Burgess and Gloria Picklesimer (front row, left to right)
GA'S: Sharon Picklesimer, Jeannie Johnson, Linda McDonald, Linda Foster, Susan Kisselburg and Janet Burgess (middle row, left to right)
Acteens: Debbie Dockery and Pat Smith (back row, left to right)
Seminary Extension Center at Ranger Baptist Church
Taught by Rev. Fred Lunsford