First Baptist Church of Robbins: Church Leaders Throughout Its History
Some of the church clerks through the years were:
JOSEPH M. NEWPORT, first clerk (1906)
KIRK K. NEWPORT
DELLA NEWPORT SHAWL
ETHEL WALKER (1930s)
ALICE STONECIPHER (1940s-1955)
BERBIN ELLIS (1955-1962)
JO ANN SHOEMAKER (1962-present)
As far as can be determined by records, the church clerk and church treasurer at the First Baptist Church of Robbins was one position. In 1962, JO ANN SHOEMAKER was appointed as assistant to BERBIN ELLIS. Then, in 1956, after Brother ELLIS' resignation, she was elected to the position of church clerk and her husband RAY was elected as church treasurer. She still serves in this position and RAY served as treasurer until his death on September 24, 2000. HAROLD YOUNG was then elected to serve as treasurer and still holds this position in 2006.
SUNDAY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS
Some of the superintendents of the Sunday School at Robbins First Baptist through the years have been:
RAY SHOEMAKER (1962-1970)
ALAN SHOEMAKER (1974-85 & 1986-95)
VERDA (Buddy) COPE, Jr. (1995-96)
DONALD BRANIM (1984-86 & 1996)
CARL JONES (1996-99)
KEITH LAYMANCE (1999-2001 & 1996)
WAYNE BRADY (2001)
DUSTY LEWALLEN (2004-05)
NICK HAMBY (2005)
JOE CARSON (2005-06)
J. C. Madden was a very talented song leader and he apparently served in this capacity from about the time that as a young man he joined Robbins Baptist until shortly before his death on March 16, 1977. It is noted in the minutes that RAY SHOEMAKER was elected as his assistant in 1975, but Brother MADDEN was elected without an assistant in 1976 and RAY was elected in September 1978 and served until October 1997 when CARL JONES led the choir for one year. ARZO HAMBY was elected in 1998 and served until 2004. CHRIS HENRY has very ably served as choir director during 2005 and 2006.
Several years ago, the 4th Sunday night in each month was designated as "Singing Night." If there were no special singers present, the choir, consisting of anyone who wanted to sing, would sing for the whole service. They would sing any song that was suggested. If they didn't know it, sometimes they would learn it that night.
As far as pianists for the church are concerned, it seems that no one was actually elected to serve in the earliest years of the church — just whoever volunteered. For many years GENEVA COPE had very graciously and beautifully used her talent in this service. By this time, JO ANN SHOEMAKER had begun playing and they shared in playing for most of the services until GENEVA and her husband, VERDA, moved to Birmingham. In 1967 JO ANN was elected as pianist. GENEVA's granddaughter, KAREN COPE (now KAREN LAY), had begun playing occasionally while just a young teenager. When the church was given a new piano and organ in 1980, JO ANN became organist and KAREN was elected pianist. After all these years, KAREN and JO ANN rarely miss a service.
WOMEN IN THE CHURCH
Many other women have served in various capacities over the years in the Robbins Church. It is impossible to mention all of them. RACHEL NEWPORT was appointed as trustee to serve on the Building Committee when the plans were being made for building a church in 1913. She was apparently the only woman ever to serve as trustee. JANE LEWALLEN, GERTRUDE CHITWOOD and CASSIE ROSS were teachers and very active in the church during the 1930s and '40s.
ETHEL WALKER HOOD and BERTHA WELCH served as W.M.U. president. OPAL WELCH was nursery director and youth director for many years. LUVERNA WALKER worked in W.M.U. and as a teacher for many years. LIZ TERRY, VELTA SHOEMAKER, JUDY SMITHERS, and CHERYL BRANIM each were nursery workers, served as Sunday School teachers and worked in Vacation Bible School. CARLA JONES has kept the nursery since 2000, with help from KETURAH COPE and others. JUDY TERRY JONES has been doing a marvelous job working with the youth choir for many years. They sing most every Sunday at both the morning and evening worship services and have sung in many of the churches in the area. They have visited in many homes of the sick to sing and witness to them. JEAN COPE has been almost indispensable in her service in the church since joining in 1963. She has sung in the choir, worked in VBS, taught Sunday School, helped with the Christmas program, made costumes and stage props for VBS, Christmas and Easter dramas, and has done anything that was asked of her. LINDA HAMBY, VERONICA CARSON, RACHEL McCARTT and others have also worked and prayed faithfully over the years.
In the early 1950s, while WAYNE MARKHAM was pastor, several men in the church were involved in an addition to the building. Two upstairs classrooms and two in the basement were built, as was a front porch with large columns. This completely changed the roof line of the building. Then, in 1967, four classrooms, a pastor's study, kitchen, nursery, baptistry and rest rooms were added in the rear. The latest renovation was begun in 2001 and was almost completed in time for the 100th year celebration in April of 2006. Over the years, the parsonage was remodeled extensively by men in the church. Much later, the church voted to sell it because the current pastor owned his home and had no need for it.
FATHER & SON DEACONS
We have had two fathers and sons as deacons — BERBIN ELLIS and A. V. ELLIS and RAY SHOEMAKER and ALAN SHOEMAKER. ALAN's son, JEREMY, is also a deacon at Dixie Lee Baptist Church in Lenoir City, Tennessee.
— Submitted by JO ANN SHOEMAKER
FNB Chronicle, Vol. 17, No. 2 – Summer 2006
First National Bank
P.O. Box 4699
Oneida, TN 37841
This page was created by Timothy N. West and is copyrighted by him. All rights reserved.