AN HISTORICAL SKETCH OF
FIRST MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
In the early 1860's, Rev. A. Vardaman, along with other residents of the area, organized the Missionary Baptist Church of Handsboro, MS. The group began worshiping together in log cabin near Bayou Benard. Baptisms were held in the bayou. Prior to Rev. Vardaman’s death, a small frame building was erected.
After the founding pastor’s death the church was blessed with many great leaders. Among the great men who have led this church are: Rev. Madison Allen; Rev. Fryerson, whose theme was, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”; Rev. Al Howard; Rev. E. B. Young, who served as pastor two separate times; Rev. Willard; Rev. Magee; Rev. McPherson, known as “Black Billy Sunday”; Rev. William Carter; Dr. E. L. Fox; Rev. Larry T. Holmes; and our present leader, Rev. S. V. Adolph, Jr.
In 1877, the church moved to its current site. The land was donated by Mr. Cruthirds, with the stipulation that these grounds be used for worship services forever. The original building was remodeled and enlarged to accommodate the congregation’s growth. The first building was damaged by a storm and repaired, before being destroyed by fire. The next building on this site was erected under the leadership of Rev. Willie Carter. That building was also destroyed by fire in 1959.
Erected under the leadership of Dr. E. L. Fox, our current edifice was entered on the 3rd Sunday of November, in 1962. It was heavily damaged by hurricane Camille, in 1969. Shortly after the repairs were completed from hurricane Camille, with a contribution made by Rev. Irby Jules, the kitchen, fellowship hall, classrooms, and additional restrooms were added. Other esthetic changes took place over years and additional land was purchased, including the Handsboro Trailer Court, purchased in 1991.
In 1998 our church completed an expansion and renovation project that included, a new balcony, classroom space, vestibule, and restrooms, along with a facelift to our sanctuary that included, new carpet, furnishings, and windows. The most recent project was the addition of a 10,000 square-foot annex. The facility houses offices, classrooms, kitchen, restrooms, and a fellowship hall. While we understand that the church is more than a building, we pray that our outward improvements are a demonstration of our inward development.