HISTORY

History

     The Salem Baptist Church, one mile south of the present Escatawpa Baptist Church, was organized February 21, 1887 by Rev. J.B. Barrett and Mr. Hancock with 13 charter members.  Two of these charter members were Mr. J.E. Nelson and Mrs. Lena Allen.  The congregation grew to 27 members in one month.

     

     In nine years the church relocated to Highway 63 and Church Street and a wooden structure was erected in 1896.  It was damaged by a storm, but Mr. H.R. Cropp and other men restored the church on it's foundation.

 

     Very little information is known abouth the following pastors due to a fire that destroyed most of our historical records:  Rev. Berry Byrd, Rev. J.F. Bynum, Rev. Henry Roberston, Rev. Peters, Rev. Carter, Rev. Harry Gaston and Rev. M.E. Hulbert, Sr.

 

     The bellfry bell was placed in the church that was located at 63 and Church Street by donations that were solicited by Mrs. Mary Barrow.

 

     Rev. James C. Taylor was called as pastor September 26, 1937.  The first parsonage was erected during his ministry.

 

     During 1941-44, Rev. Van Windham served as pastor of Escatawpa Baptist Church.  It was under his leadership that the church began a

full-time work.  An addition was made to the parsonage at this time.

 

     Rev. D.M. Campbell was called as pastor in 1944.  The building of a two-story educational building was started during his ministry.

 

     Ralph H. Young began serving the church as Music Director on December 20, 1945.

 

     Rev. Curtis Miller served as pastor, May 1, 1949-1951.  During this time the church purchased property and a building from Mrs. Marvin Nelson.  The building was converted into a nursery and the education building was completed.

 

     Rev. W.T. Waring was called to serve as pastor in 1952.  The church met in the education building while the old original building was being demolished.  The parsonage was sold and a new one built.

 

     An annual drive-by Live Nativity Scene was begun in December in 1954.  Gospel tracts written by Mrs. Mona Nolf were presented to all visitors.

 

     On January 2, 1955, Rev. Ralph Young was called to serve as pastor.  He was ordained June 21, 1956.

 

     The foundation for the new brick church was donated by it's members.  A note to build the new facility was co-signed by 20 of its members.  The church was built on the corner of Highway 63 and Church Street.  Dedication services were held for the facility on November 20, 1955.  Mr. W.J. Ditsworth was the contractor.

 

     The church began it's bus ministry.  Two buses were purchased for use in this ministry.  Don Cawthon was called as Minister of Music to serve part-time in January of 1964. 

 

     Don Cawthon was called May 4, 1966 to begin serving as the first full-time Minister of Music.  Prior to the call of Cawthon in 1964, the music program was conducted by lay members of the church.

 

     A new education unit was built by Mr. W.J. Marshall along with volunteers of the church.  The unit was dedicated on May 28, 1966.

 

     In 1968 the church purchased the Charlie Hanson house and property.  This was used for additional parking space. The church purchased 8 1/2 acres of land from Mr. Charlie Brown on Highway 63 and Liverpool Street at the sum of $50,000.00 for the future relocation of the present church plant.

 

     A new pastorium was constructed in 1972 on the newly purchased property at a cost of $30,000.00.  The general contractor was Buddy Graham.

 

     In 1973 a new bus and two used buses were purchased to be used in the Bus Ministry. An addition was made to the Minister of Music's home and air conditioning installed.

 

     A settlement was made in 1974 with the Mississippi State Highway Department for the right of way of I-10.  The Highway Department purchased the church property and the entire church facilities located at Highway 63 and Church Street for a total of $198,000.  This money was used for construction of the present church plant.

 

     On August 21, 1974, groundbreaking services were held for the present church facilities located at Highway 613 and Liverpool.  Total cost of the plant was $300,000.00.  Buddy Graham was the general contractor.

 

     The first service in the new facility was held July 30, 1975.  Rev. Ralph Young was pastor, and Don Cawthon was minister of music.  Dedication service was held August 24, 1975. The Youth Building was built six months later for $30,000.00.

 

     In 1976 Escatawpa Baptist church was awarded a certificate from the Southern Baptist Convention for placing ninth in the State for total baptisms.

 

     On May 3, 1978, another new bus was purchased for use in the bus ministry, at a cost of $16,840.00.

 

     On September 24, 1978, Rev. Ralph Young resigned after serving the church as pastor for twenty-three years.

 

     Rev. Carl Barnes was called as pastor on May 13, 1979.  He resigned on October 21, 1979.

 

     A call was extended to Rev. Ray Campbell on December 2, 1979.  He began serving as pastor on January 2, 1980.  A guilding unit for younger children's Sunday School Department was added for a cost of $30,000.00.

 

     The Escatawpa Baptist Church name was changed on April 15, 1981, to the First Baptist church of Escatawpa.

 

     Richard Crews was called to service as Youth Director/Bus Ministry Director on October 7, 1979.  He resigned in 1982 to enter the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  Henry Massengale was called to serve as Youth Director.

 

     Marcus Marler was added to the staff in December, 1983, to serve as Minister of Music and Youth.  He resigned in 1984.  Neil Harris and Dewey Lane served respectively after that as Interim Minister of Music.

 

     Dan Cawthon retired from active service in December, 1984.

 

     In January, 1985, the church received as a designated gift the money to purchase a satellite dish and equipment to join the Baptist Telecommunications System (BTN).  First Baptist Church of Escatawpa was the first church in the Jackson County Baptist Association to join BTN.

 

     Rev. Roger Boswell was called to serve as Associate Pastor and Youth Minister, march, 1985.  He resigned in September, 1985.

     

     Our present pew bibles were given in memory of Rev. M.E. Hulbert, Sr., by his family.  The bibles were dedicated February 9, 1986.

 

     Rev. Henry Massengale was called to serve on staff as Outreach Director in March 1986.

 

     On July 13, 1986, the church became debt-free and held a note-burning service.  Total facilities are now valued in excess of one million dollars.  The name of the First Baptist Church of Escatawpa was changed back to Escatawpa Baptist Church.

 

     Rev. Jim McEachern was extended a call to serve as Minister of Music & Youth on September 14, 1986.  His tenure began October 1, 1986, and resigned on January 11, 2006.

 

     Rev. Ray Campbell retired in 1991 after 12 years of service, moving to South Carolina.  Rev. Warren Langworthy served as interim pastor for 14 months after Rev. Campbell's resignation.

 

     Rev. Greg Johnston was called as pastor and began to serve on November 28, 1993.  In May of 1996, Rev. Johnston earned his Doctor of Ministry in Evangelistic Church Growth from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  He resigned in 2004.

 

     In 1994, Rev. Jackie Bryant was called to the position of Minister of Education.  Many Discipleship Training classes were implemented during this time.  He resigned in March, 1997.

 

     In February, 1997, the "Renew By Faith" church renovation project was begun.  The total cost of this project was $104,968.37.  This project was completed debt-free through prayer pledges and offerings.

 

     Dr. Bruce Fisher was Interium Pastor until Rev. Michael Glenn was called on November 28, 2004 and served until February 6, 2006.  Dr Bruce Fisher was Interium again until November, 2006.

 

     Hurricane Katrina hit the coast August, 2005.  The church building sustained severe damage as did many of the church members homes and businesses.  The Family Life Center sustained the least amount of damage and services were able to continue in that building.  The Southern Baptist Association in conjunction with many churches around the nation sent disaster teams to the coast to help rebuild.  Many of those teams slept in these facilities and used the Family Life Center for preparation of meals and worship services.  After many months repairs to the main building were completed.

 

     Rev. Todd Bowen began his work at EBC on November 5, 2006 and continues until the present time.

 

     Jordan Rouden was called to be Minister of Music September 23, 2006 and resigned January 7, 2007. 

 

     Jason Ely served from February, 2007 until April, 2007

 

     William Henderson came in April, 2007.  He resigned in November, 2007. 

 

     Scott Bourn was called in March, 2008 and resigned November, 2008. 

 

     Don Whitt came as Interium in May, 2009 and was called to full-time Minister of Music and Students in July, 2009 and continues until the present time.

     Don Whit separation date: 5.31.10
     
     Audrie Cilot start 10/3/10 end 3/29/11. Youth Intern.
 
    John Egbert as Minister of Youth & Young Adults...Start date 12/11/11. End 9/30/13 left to Pastor Hurley Baptist Church.
    Richard Mardis 6/3/12 to 10/1/13 Music Bi-Vocational
 
   Joe Duke 10/22/14 to 5/3/16 Youth