.copied from The Burden Times August 8, 1935


     The fiftieth anniversary meeting which was held at the Baptist Church Sunday was a great day, with a fine Sunday school, and large audiences for all of the services for the day. Rev. J. D. Watkins of Tuttle Okla., a former pastor preached at the 11 o'clock service.
     A bountiful dinner was served in the Floral hall at the park at the noon hour.
In the afternoon the devotional service was led by Rev. J. S. C. Hivner, pastor at Hackney, followed by the History of the Church, by Mrs. J. C. Dyer. Mrs. S. M. Wilkins, of Winfield, then gave a splendid talk on "The work and workers of other days." paying a much deserved tribute to those who laid the foundation upon which the workers of today are building.
     The roll call followed, and was concluded by singing, "When the roll is called up yonder."
     Rev. H. J. Hassard, a former pastor, and now pastor at Oxford, brought the closing message at night.
    The messages were excellent, timely and sound. Special music, solos, duets, trios, quartettes and orchestra numbers were interspersed through every service. Every committee and everyone on the program were present and did their part faithfully and well.
     A free will offering was taken and a total of $526 was raised, with more still coming in. The money is to be applied on an old obligation of about $800.00.
Next Sunday's services will be as usual. Preparations are being made for the revival beginning, August 18th.
     The following history gathered together and written by Mrs. J. C. Dyer for the celebration was read:
     "Owing to the loss of records I have had to depend on information gathered from several of the older members for the early history of our Baptist Church.
Before the town of Burden was on the map the Baptists among our early settlers organized a church at Silver creek school house located three miles west and a mile south of what is now the city of Burden.
     After Burden became a growing little country town a small number of Baptists organized a church in town. Several of the members of the Silver creek church withdrew from them and joined the Burden church.
     Just how many charter members there are I failed to find, but on the old record we have James Galyon, Mary Lycan, Emma Wilson, Caroline Galyon, J. R. Cates, Amanda Goforth, Z. T. Dyer, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Smith and Julia West.
     A Rev. Henry Thomas was the first man to become pastor. There are a number of names on the old church roll who were either charter members or joined very soon after the church was organized. Among them we find Mr. and Mrs. Charles Ryan, Mr. and Mrs. John Wilson and Mr. and Mrs. Quier. Not having a building in which to meet, and the M. E. Church at that time having only half time preaching, the Baptists were given the use of their building for two Sundays each month. From the records we find that the church was growing rapidly at this time. The M. E. Church was also gaining and began to have full time preaching. This left the Baptists without a meeting place so they launched a building program.
     At this time, 1885, Rev. Childs was pastor. He and his father were carpenters and they did the wood work on the little stone church building that stood on the same corner that the present building occupies. Rev. Childs not only did the carpenter work but also made the old desk and the old pews which are still in use in the basement and annexes. He also built the house which Mrs. Lucinda Hensley now lives in, for a parsonage.
     I can remember the building of the old church. I had to go by on my way to school. I often watched the workmen dressing the stones for the building. Sometimes the real old blanket Indians would come to town and sit around and watch the men as they worked.
     A Rev. Miller was pastor following Rev. Childs. Then came Rev. Colvin, followed by a number of others. I can't remember the order in which they came, and maybe I don't recall all the men who preached here. There were Brother Wm. Davis, Bro. Lawrence, Bro. Roberts, Bro. Jones, Bro. Reese and Bro. H. J. Hassard, who was here for a number of years.
     In the winter of 1913, Rev. James Rider of Carthage, Mo., came to Burden and at that time we had one of the greatest revivals in the history of the church. A great number were saved and added to the church.
     After the Rider meeting, the church called Rev. C. B. Coleman as pastor and after his resignation the church called our present pastor F. C. Medearis who faithfully served the church for seven years. The next pastor was Rev. J. E. Denham and following him Rev. J. J. Pulsifer. It was during Rev. Pulsifer's pastorate that the vision of a new church came and plans were made to build. The year 1925 was a great year. It seemed that every member wanted to help in some way, and have some part in the building. Many gave beyond their means. So by prayer, faith and sacrifice the present church building was erected.
     Dedication services were held June 10 1928, and the building was dedicated clear of debt, and has never had a mortgage against it. The sermon of dedication was preached by the present pastor, F. C. Medearis, who was then located at Carthage, Mo. His sermon text was Joshua 4-6 "What mean ye by these stones?" Rev. P. Boyd Smith was pastor at this time.
     The, first pastor after the resignation of Rev. Pulsifer was Rev. P. Boyd Smith; then came Rev. W. H. Hawes, followed by Rev. J. D. Watkins.
     While Rev. Watkins was pastor, F. C. Medearis came and held a revival meeting at which time about a hundred souls were saved. This brings us up to the present time, for after the resignation of Brother Watkins, the church called F. C. Medearis and he entered his second pastorate with us November 1, 1933.
     The following article on "The work and workers of other days" was given by Mrs. S. M. Wilkins of Winfield:
     "Oftentimes we find ourselves busy with present day problems and with building for the future, in itself highly commendable, yet it is important to have occasions like this to take a backward look upon the work and workers of other days -- the workers who were the pioneers in building and laying foundations that you and I might enjoy richer blessings and be inspired by the lives they lived.
     Perhaps you are inclined to think that our age in which we are living is the only age to have real problems, but it is not so for it took courage and faith in Jesus Christ to meet the obstacles they faced. To be sure we face different problems today, but to prepare ourselves to meet our problems with the same zeal and fortitude is our great need. My mind goes back today to the time when as a child I attended Sunday School in the one-room frame school building which stood just south of the present building. I think perhaps it was a community Sunday School and in the afternoon once a month a small handful of Baptist met for preaching service. Rev. Firestone, Rev. Miller and Elder Thomas were some of the preachers of those days. I do not recall my Sunday School teacher's name, but I do remember the faces of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Smith, who later became charter members of this church. Mr. and Mrs. Smith were always zealous and loyal to the Baptist faith and were missionary in spirit as long as they lived, and the work in both home and foreign fields has been made richer by their gifts.
     Grandfather Joel Dyer, was another of my early recollections. I don't think we have any way of measuring his influence both in his clean, pure living and his missionary zeal and church loyalty. Judge Sitton is another of whom these words could as truly be said.
     The Lakes, who came from the Silver creek church to this when the church was young, were and are a blessing by their spirit filled lives even yet in their sunset of life.
   So many names should be mentioned because of some particular outstanding work that I would love to take time to tell, but as I recalled them in my mind, I found such a long list.
     In the twelfth chapter of first Corinthians Paul tells us that Spiritual gifts are not the same to all. There are differences of administrations, but the same Lord, the same spirit which worketh all in all, and so it has been all along the line-the Taylor Dyers, the Wests, the Rowlands, the Tom Cunninghams, Franks, Williams, Gilmores, Elder Davis, the Headleys, the Coopers and many others. Who can think of these good people without recalling some outstanding work of the church for which they were responsible? I am sure it was Mrs. Taylor Dyer who in a private conversation gave to me my first impressive lesson in Tithing.
     Others were strong in spiritual and devotional life, some in missionary zeal, some in their prayer service, Sunday School work, loyalty to church and its doctrinal truths, some in example of pure Christian living. In speaking of Sunday School work, I am reminded of the devoted services of John Garrett as Superintendent,--how he talked and worked week days, as well as Sundays, and no doubt is still going on wherever he is today. I remember the faithful work of Mrs. Hassard as she worked with the young people.
     I am sure as I have been mentioning these names you too are thinking of many other faithful ones who have in some way contributed their part in the upbuilding of this church and community life who gave their best to make lives for Jesus Christ. They have built better than they realized, else this church today would not be so blessed with zealous workers who are determined to carry on , building on the foundations laid by these early day Baptists.
     What a rich heritage is ours as we look back upon the Christian devotion of parents and workers of other days. You know the influence of one noble life can never be measured. I wonder if our life is today measuring up to those noble examples that they may be added to the list of those who have builded for God. Are we facing the problems of today with as much courage and faith? Are we doing our best to build character and make lives for Jesus Christ? After all there is no bigger job for us today or for our generation than to build character in the hearts and lives of our people for Jesus Christ, making lives for our community and our nation.
     I feel I would have failed had I not at least in general mentioned ministers who have carried burdens of this church, both pastors and evangelists. Every one of them has left behind some great contribution. There comes to my mind how those whom you have deemed outstanding and I am sure you are not leaving out of your thinking your present pastor and his early ministry here. You think too of Rev. Hassard and Rev. Smith. The life of a church rises and falls as its members and pastors cooperate, and the spiritual level and efficiency of the church must depend on this cooperation.
     What this church is in the next fifty years depends greatly upon what you are doing and living today."
     Visitors and out of town folk who attended the anniversary as taken from the register are as follows:
    Rev and Mrs. J.D. Watkins, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Watkins and Kenneth Watkins, all of Tuttle, Okla.; Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Hassard, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hassard, Sarah Louise Hassard, Mable Hassard and George Hassard, all of Cedar Vale; Rev. H. J. Hassard and Miss Kathleen Hassard of Oxford; Miss Doradee Steward of Carthage, Mo. Mildred May, Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Sloan, Mr. and Mrs. S.M. Wilkins, Mrs. W.T. Gilmore, Letha Gilmore, Mrs. J.B. Martin and Roma Adams, all of Winfield; Rev. and Mrs. J.S.C. Hivner and children, Vernaniece, Gieniece, Berniece and Nolaliece of Hackney, Mrs. Harry Knecht of Coldwater, Mrs. Lillie Osborn and Miss Mildred Osborn of Atlanta, J.P. Hatchett of Grand Summit, M.W. Brown of Wichita, Arthur Vawter, Jr. of Tulsa Okla., Alice Fern Miles of Turley, Okla., Mrs. Frank Wood of Cabool, Mo., Mrs. Joe Mellor of Lawton, Okla., Mrs. K.F. Goodnature of Oklahoma City, Mr. and Mrs. George Thompson and Robert Thompson of Springfield, O., Mr. Wayne Hatchett of Augusta, Gordon Lemons of Apperson Okla., Johnny Pearson of Carthage Mo., and Evelyn Thompson of Springfield Mo.