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Eastport Baptist Church

Eastport Baptist Church, County Road 956

Directions:  Near Bacon Springs, Tishomingo County, Mississippi

 

The beginning of Eastport Missionary Baptist Church, as the records indicate, was on September 30, 1908.  The church started with eight charter members ― five from Iuka and three from New Salem ― who held a meeting to charter the new church.  The moderator was Rev. C. S. Wales, J. B. Skinner was the church clerk, and W. L. Norman of Burnsville was elected as the first pastor.  The first services were held in the Clements Chapel School until a building could be constructed.

 

On December 15, 1908, C. W. and A. B. Bacon deeded one-half acre of land to begin construction on a new building.  The church joined the Tishomingo Baptist Association and remains a member in good standing to this day.

 

The original building is still being used by the church today, although some changes and improvements have been made.  Some of these include the addition of classrooms, restrooms, central heat and air, aluminum siding, underpinning, roof replacements, etc.  After a new church building was constructed, the old one was converted into a fellowship hall and a kitchen was added; however, the classrooms are still being utilized.

 

In 1972, with new job opportunities in the County and with hopes of more people needing a place to worship, the church decided to look into building a new modern building.  In June 1972, the first steps were taken.  The church voted to set up a building fund and took the first $2,000 from the treasury to get started.  The Lord blessed the church congregation with many donations, and over the next few years, the church and the building fund grew.

 

On March 19, 1978, a building committee was elected to get plans drawn up, obtain bids from contractors, and oversee the construction process.  On September 13, 1978, a contract was signed with Glidwell Bros. Construction.  On September 24, after deciding new furniture was needed for the new building, the building committee checked on new pews and pulpit furniture.  Almost immediately upon deciding to go ahead with a purchase of new church furniture, the Lord blessed the church and the money to pay for the furniture was donated before the building was ever completed.

 

The new church sanctuary was dedicated on April 8, 1979.  Rev. G. D. Jones was pastor and held the service.  During the dedication service, everyone present lined the aisle, held a rope in their right hand, and that piece was cut between each person for them to keep for a memorial of that great day.  On March 21, 1982, after paying the banknote off in record time, a note burning service was held in remembrance of the final payment on the new facility.

 

Over the next several years, other improvements have been made to both buildings and grounds surrounding them.  The Lord has truly blessed Eastport Baptist Church.

 

Eastport Baptist Church’s Cemetery

 

In 1903, W. A. Jordan deeded three acres of land to be used for Clement Chapel School.  The deed was made to three board members, C. A. Hill, T. A. Long, and T. W. Edwards.  A one-room school was built and used until 1954 when community schools were consolidated and moved to Iuka.  In 1969, the church took action to acquire the land vacated by the school to be used for a community cemetery.  The deed was located, and school board member, John Bachuss, gave it to the church with the understanding that the property would be used for a cemetery.  In early 1970, a committee was formed and the timber was sold.  A blueprint was drawn up with 78 plots with 8 graves each; this was a total of 624 graves.  Construction then began.

 

Jerry Booker made and installed the sign, and in the late 1970s, a dedicational service was held and Rev. George Bacon preached the dedication sermon.

 

Source:  “Eastport Baptist Church to Celebrate 100 Years of Serving God Thru Jesus Christ,” The Tishomingo County News (Iuka, Miss.), August 7, 2008, page 5.

 

Contributed by Tishomingo County Historical & Genealogical

 
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MSGenWeb Tishomingo Co. Coordinator: Jeff Kemp
 

 

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