Scott County, Tennessee
FNB Chronicles

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100th Anniversary First Robbins Baptist Church of Robbins

[EDITOR'S NOTE — The following history of the First Baptist Church of Robbins was published in a booklet earlier this year in celebration of the 100th year anniversary of the church's establishment, and details the organization of the church, its early years, and has a section on the pastors who have served since 1906, in addition to scores of photographs of members of the congregation, past and present. The article is reprinted here by permission.]

First Baptist Church of Robbins as it appears today

The First Baptist Church of Robbins, Tennessee was organized under the name of the United Baptist Church of Christ in February 1906. This name was gradually changed over the years to Robbins Baptist Church and Robbins Missionary Baptist Church and, in 1951, the church voted to change the name to First Baptist Church of Robbins. The New River Baptist Church was petitioned by eight members from the New River, Huntsville, Straight Fork, and Cross Roads Churches to send their pastors and other brethren to meet in council for the purpose of organizing a church at Robbins. The first pastor elected was F. M. CHAMBERS and the first clerk was James F. BYRD. The first meeting place was the Robbins Church, located between the present church and the parsonage. The building was used by the Pilgrim Congregational Church and the Baptist Church with services being held by the Baptists on the fourth Saturday and Sunday of each month, while the Congregationalists held their services on other weekends. Sunday School was held jointly with both denominations in attendance. This fostered a spirit of cooperation in the community, which is still in existence today after one hundred years.

The first years of the church were hard years from a financial standpoint, but its faithful members contributed generously and sacrificially to keep the Lord's work going. The members gave to Foreign Missions, Children's Home Offerings and other phases of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

In the 1930s, a Baptist Young People's Union was organized. This was an active organization and was enjoyed by the young people as well as the older ones. The church was also active in Sunday School Conventions during that time. When the Mt. View Church was organized in 1939, the pastor of the Robbins Church, HOBART WRIGHT, along with members of the Robbins Church, helped to organize it. Some of the members from the Robbins Church moved to the Mt. View Church.

Artist’s rendering of the first Robbins First Baptist Church

For a while, the Southern Baptist Convention helped financially by paying a portion of the pastor's salary. Meanwhile, the church was given a part of its offerings through the Convention. This financial responsibility was later assumed by the church and services were held four times a month with the fifth Sunday being vacant. Soon after this, the church went to full time services on Sunday morning and Sunday evening.

The Building Committee for the present church building was appointed in January 1913. This building was begun in 1913, built by local labor, and served until the early 1950s when four additional classrooms, with a kitchen, pastor's study, nursery, baptistery, and rest rooms were added. In the 1970s, the auditorium was remodeled. In 1978-79, new red carpet and cylinder shaped lights were installed. The pews were upholstered with a neutral colored fabric in 1982. The old coal furnace was converted to a gas furnace (with no air conditioning) in 1987. In 1993, the parsonage was sold. In November of that same year, MARY ETTA NEELY donated a piece of property in the back of the church, which was converted into a parking lot in 1994. A shed was built in 1995. A sound system was first installed in 1996. In 1997, the church assumed the care and upkeep of the cemetery and central heat and air was installed in the back of the church (4 classrooms, study, nursery and rest rooms).

Remodeling started in September 2001. This started with the fellowship hall and the four classrooms upstairs being added. Since the four classrooms were added upstairs, the basement has since been used for storage for the time being. Also, the classrooms in the back were converted to a serving area. Services were held in the fellowship hall beginning March 2002 and lasted for several months while remodeling was being done in the auditorium. In the auditorium, the doors separating the two classrooms were removed and the classrooms are now used as part of the auditorium and for classrooms. The balcony was also added. The remodeling consisted of sheet rocking the entire church except for the basement. In June 2002, a new central heat and air unit was installed, and chandelier lights were installed. In December, beautiful stained glass windows were installed. The sound system was updated in 2003, and new furniture was purchased for the fellowship hall in February. New carpet was purchased and laid in the auditorium in March 2004, while new furniture was purchased for the auditorium in November 2005. Much of the remodeling was completed because of the giving of hard work, praying, and money by the congregation. As of now, remodeling is still in progress.

The First Baptist Church of Robbins as it appeared in the 1930s

We have been blessed to have 47 people baptized since 1989. There have been many faithful members over the years and it is impossible to list all of them, but the things they have done for the church and community will not be forgotten. They have loved the Lord and have given freely and unselfishly of their time, money and talent. At times when the church seemed to be at its lowest ebb, its faithful always responded to the need for the spread of the Gospel. We pray that this will always be true.

Robbins, Tennessee
February 2006


Dear Brethren:

There is a company of brothers and sisters in the Lord who wish to become an independent church. You are therefore requested to send your pastor and other brethren to meet in council at Robbins at 11 o'clock on the 4th Saturday in February 1906 to take the matter into consideration. If the council approves the movement said brethren and sisters will be glad to have the moral influence of its recognition. The following churches were invited to send messengers, which they did and the Presbytery was composed of the moderator of said church and the following brethren-vis., Bros. WILLIAM GIBSON, DANIEL SEXTON, JOHN NEWPORT and Rev. JOSIAH PHILLIPS.


THOMAS NEWPORT of Huntsville Church

SARAH PHILLIPS of Huntsville Church

DELIA NEWPORT of New River Church

F. BULL of Black Creek Cross Roads

REBECCA NEWPORT of Huntsville Church

RACHEL NEWPORT of New River Church

JAMES BYRD of Straight Fork Church

HATTIE BYRD of Straight Fork Church

These were dismissed from their respective church to be organized into a church at Robbins, Tennessee.

First Baptist Church of Robbins as it appeared during the 1940s and 1950s

The afore mentioned Presbytery, viz., Rev. F. M. CHAMBERS, JOHN NEWPORT, DANIEL SEXTON, and JOSIAH PHILLIPPS ordained ministers of the Gospel of the Baptist order in good standing, met with the above petitioners at the Robbins Church house, Scott County, Tennessee on Saturday the 24th of February, 1906 and after some deliberations the examination was entered into and after organization of the Presbytery, in which Elder F. M. CHAMBERS was chosen Moderator Pro-tem by move and second, Elders A. WILOBY and JOSEPH MARION NEWPORT was Clerk-Pro-tem.

Then proceeded to business by receiving and reading the letter of petitioner. After which the Articles of Faith of the United Baptist Church of Christ as laid out in Pentard Church Manual was read to the members after which they adopted it by unanimous vote of all present.

The Church covenant was read and adopted. After which the constitution of the churches of the New River Association was read and adopted as the constitution of this church by unanimous vote.

Then the Rules of Decorum as adopted by the Sugar Grove United Baptist Church was read and adopted. After which by move and second this church was called the Robbins Baptist Church.

Moved that we elect officers by private ballot — which resulted in the election of F. M. CHAMBERS, Pastor and JAMES BYRD, Clerk-Treasurer.

Moved that this church elect her officers annually at the December meeting.

Moved that the communion shall be held in May and October of each year.

Moved that the regular meeting be on the 4th Saturday and Sunday of each month.

Then the church was pronounced an independent body by the moderator.

Then the church was set for the reception of members and received Bro. WILLIAM POWERS by enrollment and Sister WEALTHA HEMPHILL by letter.

Moved for adjournment.

F. M. CHAMBERS, Moderator

Copied from Original Church Record of 1906

This shall be designated and known as the United Baptist Church of Christ at Robbins, Scott County, Tennessee.

All persons wishing to become a member of this church shall first give satisfactory evidence of their faith in Christ which shall entitle them to the ordinance of baptism after which they shall be considered as members entitled to equal privileges of the church.

All persons bringing a letter of recommendation from any other church of our faith and order as members of their church in good standing shall, by the consent of the church, be entitled to equal privileges of this church.

This church shall meet for the transaction of business and the worship of God in each month at their meeting house in Robbins, which meeting may be continued any number of days as thought necessary by the church.

The officers of this church shall be moderator, clerk, and treasurer and deacon, if any is found qualified.

It shall be the duty of the moderator to preside over the deliberation of the church and to decide all questions when an equal decision of the members then present shall occur.

The clerk shall keep true record of the acts of the church and shall read them to the church when required by any member of the church.

The deacon shall see to the poor of the church, visit the sick, and ascertain the wants of the church ministry and lay their wants before the church.

The treasurer shall receive and keep all the funds of the church and apply them as the church may direct.

No person who is a member of this church shall be allowed to exercise a public gift as a preacher until he has first obtained leave from the church.

All questions coming before the church shall be decided by a majority of all the members present except the reception of members, which shall be by the unanimous consent.

No minister belonging to the church shall be allowed to administer the ordinance of baptism or the Lord's Supper or celebrate the rights of matrimony until he has been regularly ordained by the imposition of hands by the presbytery; neither will we recognize the Lord's Supper to be legally administered unless administered by a regularly ordained minister.

Each member of this church shall contribute as the Lord prospers them for the support of our minister and defraying the expenses of the church.

Each member of this church shall attend each of their monthly church meetings and for failing to do so, shall at the next meeting render their excuse for the same if the church requires it.

The church shall have power to hold adjourned meetings for the transaction of business and the worship of God as named in the 4th article of this constitution but all questions decided at such adjourned meetings except the reception of members which shall be submitted for the consideration of the church at their next regular church meeting.

All ministers and members of other churches of the United Baptist faith shall be considered as such by this church and shall be invited to our communion at the Lord's table but shall not have the privilege of voting in the decision of questions unless invited to do so by the consent of the church.

This constitution may be amended when requested by 2/3 of all the members belonging to this church.

Any members departing from the articles of faith as adopted by the church or violating this constitution shall subject himself to be dealt with by the church according to the magnitude of such violation and as the wisdom of the church may direct.

That no member of this church shall be allowed to use spirituous liquor as a beverage but only as a medicine.


Copied from the Original Minutes of 1906

Our church meeting to be opened by singing and prayer.

The door of the church to be opened for the reception of members.

Every member intending to speak to any subject shall first arise and address the moderator.

Every member wishing to speak shall adhere to the subject under discussion and cast no reflections on those who spoke before them.

No member shall be interrupted while speaking, only by the moderator and only one to speak at a time.

If two shall arise to speak at the same time, the moderator shall decide which shall speak first.

No member shall address each other in any way but by brother and sister.

No member shall absent themselves in time of church meeting without leave of the moderator.

All motions made and seconded shall be attended to by the moderator unless withdrawn by the mover.

No subject is open for discussion until moved and seconded.

And that no member shall speak more than three times on one subject unless by consent of the church.

Deacons and Trustee and the First Baptist Church of Robbins through its 100-year history

FNB Chronicle, Vol. 17, No. 2 – Summer 2006
First National Bank
P.O. Box 4699
Oneida, TN 37841
(p1, 3-4)

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