Grundy Center Baptist Church
by Rev. J. C. Curry

from Atlas of Grundy County, Iowa, 1911, pg 92

During the decade, 1860-1870, and the Civil War in progress and completion, and the hard times immediately following, the Methodist Episcopal Church, as is its custom, maintained regular religious preaching service at this place every alternate Sabbath. In 1867, the people from other states began to settle near here and it was thought by many that conditions demanded that we should have preaching every Sunday, and it was suggested to the delegates for the class or church here to the Annual Conference of the Methodist Church that they should insist upon the program. On their return home they reported that their petition would not be granted, and a conference of the few Baptists here was called and it was decided to endeavor to occupy the alternate Sabbath when no service had been held. Rev. A. Carpenter of Xeina, now Secor, was invited to come here, look over the ground and decide what should and could be done. The result was that he was engaged to supply the church or what might become a church, for half of the time at $300.00 per year beginning late in the fall of 1867.

May 16, 1868, another conference of those interested in the formation of a regular Baptist Church met at the school house and decided to organize a Baptist Church. Present with their letters were Brothers A. C. Brockway, Edward Bly, Nathan Smith and A. F. Willoughby and Sisters Lydia Bly, Ella Bly and Clarissa Smith; Rev. Carpenter Moderator; officers elected were Edward Bly and Nathan Smith, Deacons and A. F. Willoughby, Clerk and Treasurer. A Recognition Council was called to consist of delegates from neighboring churches which met on June 12, 1868, at which time Rev. B. C. Willoughby of Randolph, N. Y., preached the recognition sermon; Rev. Orcutt offered the prayer of recognition; Deacon S. Day extended the hand of fellowship and Rev. E. G. O. Groat delivered the charge to the church. Prior to the meeting of the council, Mrs. Wilbur (nee Lowe), Mrs. Rae (nee Raymond), Mrs. Storer (nee Whaylen), Mrs. Brockway and Mrs. A. F. Willoughby were received as members. A parsonage was built about the year 1870, where the present parsonage stands, and the first church was built in 1875. This church was occupied until 1901. In 1902 a new church building was dedicated, costing about $16,000.00. In 1909 a new parsonage was built costing about $2,500.00.

Names of pastors: Rev. A. Carpenter-1867 to 1876; Rev. D. B. Miller-Dec. 2, 1876, to April 3, 1877; Rev. S. H. Mitchell-June 1, 1877, to October 1, 1882; Rev. Thos. Anderson-October 1, 1882, to April 1, 1886; Rev. J. L. Barlow-February 5, 1887, to April 9, 1888; Rev. F. M. Archer-June 1, 1888, to May 1, 1892; Rev. J. W. Allen-May 1, 1892, to May 1, 1893; Rev. Geo. E. Morphy-June 18, 1893, to June 22, 1895; Rev. W. F. Allen-one year; Rev. C. H. Marsh-1896 to 1903; Rev. D. McMasters-March 1, 1903, to March 31, 1905; Rev. H. W. Pilot-June 1, 1905, to March 28, 1907; Rev. H. P. Chaffee-May 18, 1907, to January 1, 1910; Rev. J. C. Curry-February 1, 1910.

Deacons: Edward Bly-died at Oaks, N. D., May 16, 1868; Nathan Smith-died at McGregor, Minn., July 3, 1906; Morris Merritt-October 28, 1882; H. J. Humphrey-February 5, 1887; letter to Lincoln, Neb.; George Rea-November 1, 1890; died at Mt. Carroll, Ill.; J. H. Sperry-November 1, 1890; E. W. Ellis; E. G. Ensminger-October 28, 1903; C. F. Ricker-November 2, 1895; letter to Grinnell, Iowa; C. H. Baldwin-October 15, 1907.