David Baptist Church was founded in 1938 after some of the local Baptists felt the need for a Baptist church to be established at or near Bethware High School. Rev. H. E. Waldrop preached for awhile and a Sunday School was organized and kept open for some time. Rev. R. R. Cook held open air services during the summer of 1938. No definite steps were taken to establish a church until September of 1938.
Rev. D. F. Putnam was approached by Terria and Luther McSwain, Sr. with reference to helping to investigate the community’s interest in organizing and building a house of worship. A partial survey determined the interest and need were there, along with the endorsement and encouragement of the Pastors and Workers Conference of the Kings Mountain Baptist Association.
On Sunday, October 9, 1938, David’s Baptist Church was organized, with Rev. D. F. Putnam as their first pastor The forty-eight charter members met in the Bethware School Auditorium until a church building was completed one year later.
Luther McSwain, Sr. and L. W. “Walker” McSwain both agreed to give $500 each, to donate a building site and timber for the building in memory of David Andrew McSwain. Alexander Hatcher Webb gave $1,000 to honor his father, David Webb, known as “Honest Dave Webb,” a farmer and merchant from Shelby. Also, in Psalms, we read how King David loved the house of the Lord. Therefore, the church was named David’s Baptist Church. The “s” was dropped shortly thereafter.
- 1938 – 1945 Rev. D. F. Putnam
- 1946 – 1948 Rev. Oscar Long
- 1949 – 1952 Rev. L. W. McSwain
- 1953 – 1954 Rev. C. W. Walker
- 1955 – 1969 Rev. Nathan S. Hardin (Pastor Emeritus in 1977)
- 1969 – 1971 Rev. Albert Hastings
- 1971 – 1975 Rev. Marvin Whisnant
- 1976 – 1980 Rev. L. M. Schuman
- 1981 – 1984 Rev. James W. “Buzz” Parks
- 1985 – 1988 Rev. Brian Taule
- 1989 – 1997 Rev. Claude McIntosh
- 1998 – 2009 Rev. Joseph W. “Jody” Griffin III
- 2010 - 2013 Rev. Charles A. Wallace
Special Events in our Church History
- October 9, 1938: David Baptist Church was organized
- 1938 – 1945: Sunday School and Church Training Union organized. First revival held. Our church was accepted into the Kings Mountain Baptist Association and began giving to the Cooperative Program. Baptistry was built. Land purchased for cemetery. “The Lord’s Acre,” a project to help with the expenses of the new church building, was organized. 147 members.
- 1946: Mid-week prayer services begun. First Vacation Bible School held.
- 1947: Women’s Missionary Union formed. Church library developed. First parsonage built.
- 1949 – 1952: Bell tower built for church bell. First church bulletin. Lord’s Acre Project began (cotton planted on land owned by church).
- 1953: Money raised to buy carpet and church benches.
- February 13,1955: Church building burned to the ground, leaving only front columns standing.
- 1955 – 1969: Tremendous growth in our church; three men from our church were called out as pastors. New organ purchased. Church debt paid.
- December 1968: Construction began on Fellowship Hall.
- 1969 – 1971: Hired first “paid” youth worker. Sponsored a cub scout troop. Updated, revised, and adopted the system of electing deacons. One man called into the ministry as a pastor.
- 1971 – 1975: First pictorial directory made. Homecoming was set for second Sunday in October each year. First secretary for church was hired.
- 1976 – 1980: First “Children’s Dedication Service” held. Recreation Committee formed. Participated in “James Robison” Crusade. Debt on Recreational Building was paid off. Improvements included storm windows, paving the parking lot, and installation of air conditioning in the Recreation Building.
- May 1977: Pastor N. S. Hardin honored as our Pastor Emeritus.
- 1981 – 1984: Missions support increased. Improvements included building a new parsonage, and a ramp for handicap access was added to the front of the church. Rev. Buzz Parks resigned to become foreign missionary to Chile.
- 1985 – 1988: First church van purchased. Music ministry updated with new sound system, piano and organ. Church logo developed. Vacation Bible Schools and Day Camps became growing ministries of our church. Deacon Family Ministry developed. Special emphasis on family life, including weekend retreats for couples and Family Life Conferences held at our church. Celebration commemorating our 50 years of being a church family.