Pigeon Valley Baptist Church well into second century

Pigeon Valley Baptist Church in Hartford was organized on October 26, 1889 during a meeting in the community’s log school building located on property owned by M. A. (Moses) Clark.

Services were held here until 1910 when the first “church house” was built. Services were held the third Saturday and Sunday of each month.

United States Post Office records for 1931 show that Hartford was described as a “fair-sized town” with a lumber mill, three stores, a restaurant, a garage, two doctors, a hardware store, a railroad station, and a boarding house.

Residents here quickly found a place to worship in the nearby Pigeon Valley Baptist church, then located on Mill Creek Road. The church building was 50 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 14 feet high, with two entrance doors in the old-fashioned manner of one for women and one for men.

There were two rows of seats, a passage around the wall, and four windows on each side of the church. Plans called for “the house...to be framed, weather-boarded, sealed and painted.”

This building was completed in 1910 and served until the present structure was built.

Rev. James B. Cogdill pastored both Pigeon Valley and Mt. Zion Baptist Churches at the same time, but devoted more years to Mt. Zion.

Other ministers serving the church over the years have included Lewis Cates, who pastored on three different occasions for a total of five years, Pat Davis, who served for a dozen years, and Jesse Johnson for three years.

Rev. Billy Bush was the first pastor to receive an indefinite call and the first to have “full-time” preaching. It was during his tenure that the present building was constructed, with dedication services held September 21, 1969.

Since Rev. Bush left, others preachers stepping into the pulpit at Pigeon Valley have included Clell King for ten productive years, J. H. Stogner for four years, Richard Loveday for two and one-half years, and Don Winters for less than a year, leaving after receiving the opportunity to study at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Following Winters was Rev. Jack Parker.

The current pastor is Rev. Ransom Hall, who had recently announced his retirement from the ministry while at Pleasant Grove Baptist church. Rev. Hall came to Pigeon Valley in March of 1996 as a “supply pastor” and continues to serve the church today.

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