|HISTORICAL SUMMARY OF THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF ANDERSON, MO
A.L. CHAPMAN, 2006
History tells us that the church was founded July 1, 1848 by Henry Miller who came from North Carolina. In the record of Organization, the Church was named a “United Baptist Church called Elk River”. The Church met in Mr. Miller’s home until 1851. His home was located on Elk River about 3 miles north of the present village of Saratoga. Later it alternated between Elk River and Beaver Springs (later to become Anderson, MO) for monthly meetings He was assisted by 3 ministers from surrounding areas (Abraham May, T.J. Hollman and William Toliver). According to the official minutes, T.J. Hollman became the first minister, but he lived in Newton County. In 1851 Hezekiah Dobbs moved from Tennessee and became the second minister until 1857. He was the first minister who lived in McDonald County. By 1854 the church had permanently moved to Beaver Springs.
Coleman Chapman and family moved from Tennessee in 1857 to Beaver Springs, MO (later to become Anderson, MO). In March 21, 1857 a meeting was held at Bro. James Tatum’s home. Coleman Chapman, Ann Chapman and Wm Chapman joined by letter. He had met James W. Tatum earlier and was encouraged by Mr. Tatum to settle and in 1858 he became the third pastor (the second who lived in McDonald County) of the church. In 1858 the name of the Church was changed to Beaver Springs. Coleman Chapman served as Pastor for some 14 years and later his son William Chapman also served as Pastor. Church minutes show that in April 27, 1861 the church was discontinued due to the beginning of the Civil War. Then on April 27, 1867, the Beaver Springs Church met with Coleman Chapman to reestablish the Church with him as Pastor. On Oct. 16, 1871, the first reference to the “Beaver Springs Baptist Church of Christ”.
The first church building, in 1854, was log and was located at Beaver Springs, but in 1857 a second log church was located on Coleman Chapman’s land in what is now the Anderson Cemetery. It was about 24 feet long with a large fireplace located in the center of the church where charcoal was placed in the fireplace and burned as needed. This church was replaced by frame structure, which was enlarged in 1899 to seat some 400. The resting place of Luther and Marietta Higgs in the present day Anderson Cemetery marks the exact spot of the alter of this church. Coleman Chapman subsequently donated the land for the present Anderson Cemetery as well as the Church site to the First Baptist Church. The Cemetery was later turned over to the City of Anderson for care.
In 1911, construction of the new church on Beaver Street in Anderson was began and finished in 1912 as a red brick building with a bell tower and stained glass windows. The membership in 1914 was listed as 439 names. Regrettably, church records were burned in the 1940’s so many of the records were restored through those members living plus the Shoal Creek Association records.
In 1979 the Church purchased property across from the McDonald County High School that became its current location. The first service at the present Church was June 5, 1994. Both the bell and stained glass were taken from the Beaver Street location and incorporated into the new Church. Thomas J. Ellis was the 47th Pastor in 1993 and in 1998 the Church celebrated its 150th anniversary while he was still Pastor. The Rev. John Potter was the featured speaker at the 150th Anniversary Celebration.
“Copy of Organization, minutes, History” taken from 109th Anniversary, 1957, Rawls Pierce, Pastor
“150th Anniversary Celebration”, First Baptist Church, Anderson, MO
Family Records on Coleman Chapman held by A.L. Chapman
“A History of Our Church” by Robert Don Emerson, Pastor
An Article from: “History of Shoal Creek Association by T.L. Largen, KC, MO, 1906
|COLEMAN WOOD CHAPMAN
By A.L. Chapman
Coleman Chapman was born in Spartanburg, SC, Dec. 27, 1817. His ancestors were from England and they settled in Virginia. The earliest known ancestor was Samuel, followed by John Sr., John Jr. and his father Edmond. They all lived in Amelia Co., Virginia. His grandfather, John Jr. was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Following the war John Jr. & family including Coleman’s father Edmond moved to Spartanburg, SC. Edmond met & married Polly Wood from Spartanburg Co. Coleman’s father, Edmond, & family moved from Virginia to McMinn County Tennessee c1823 and in 1835 the family, now with 16 children including Coleman, moved to Pike Co., Illinois. It is unclear whether Coleman moved to Pike Co. with his father or stayed in McMinn Co. In any case he had met his future wife Ann Ferguson while in Tennessee. Coleman married Ann on Oct. 21, 1838. By 1850 Coleman and his family moved from Tennessee to Pike Co., Illinois close to where his father lived. Coleman and Ann eventual made plans to move to Arkansas.
During this move in 1857 he came through Beaver Springs, MO (future Anderson) where they met James W. Tatum who, upon finding out he was a minister, talked him into buying land and staying at Beaver Springs. Coleman’s land included much of what is now the City of Anderson . To make a living he was a wagon maker as well as a farmer. As was common in those days, his ministerial duties provided little or no income.
In 1857 a log church was located on Coleman Chapman’s land within what is now the Anderson Cemetery. In 1858 Coleman became one of the first pastors of the Baptist church. He served as pastor for some 14 years and later one of his sons, William, also served as Pastor. At the beginning of the Civil war, Coleman and 3 of his sons were forced to leave the rest of the family and flee due to bush whackers. Church minutes show that in April 27, 1861 the Beaver Springs church was discontinued due to the beginning of the Civil war and presumably the lack of a Pastor.
During the Civil War, Coleman went to Texas and remained there throughout the war but did not join the Confederate cause. The three older sons did join the confederate army and served in Arkansas. All three were captured at the Battle of Helena, AR in 1863. One son (Thomas) later died due to illness contracted during the war and was buried in the Confederate Cemetery in Little Rock, AR. Another son, John, lost his rt. arm. The third son William ended up in Texas after the war where he and his family remained. He was a Pastor during his life in Texas. John returned to the McDonald County area after the war and settled on a farm west of Anderson.
Following Coleman’s return the Beaver Springs Church met with Coleman to reestablish the Church with him as Pastor. On Oct. 16, 1871 there was a first reference to the “Beaver Springs Baptist Church of Christ. This log church was eventually replaced by a frame structure which was enlarged in 1899 to seat some 400. Coleman Chapman subsequently donated the land for the present Anderson Cemetery as well as the Church site to the First Baptist Church as well as the land for the Beaver Springs Park. The cemetery was later turned over to the City of Anderson for care.
Coleman Wood Chapman died Aug.22, 1892 and is buried in the Anderson Cemetery along with his wife Ann and a number of his children and descendants. As a side note, his name on the gravestone was misspelled as “Coalman”. Ann lived with their son Jeff until her death in 1914.
Coleman’s other children were James (Jim) Riley, Lemuel Coleman both of Anderson; Robert, Docttor & Sarah, of Texas; Henderson, Williford Cephus, Harrison Jefferson(Jeff) of Anderson and Albert Rice Chapman who moved to Oregon.
The site of Coleman’s home is now 511 Eppard St. The original log house is gone but his son Jeff Chapman built a home adjacent to the original site in 1908 which remains.