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JIM: The new Providence Baptist Church building, 1906

Story on July 2011 homecoming at Providence Baptist Church triggers a search by Jim which uncovered this story about what may have been the largest crowd ever assembled at Stapp Springs

By "Jim"

While catching up with my reading on CM a while ago, the announcement of the annual homecoming at Providence Baptist Church (Sunday, July 24) caught my eye. One of the largest crowds (perhaps the largest) ever assembled at Stapp Springs occurred 105 years ago this past spring when the new Providence Church building was dedicated on the eighth day of April, 1906.

According to an article in the News two weeks before the dedication, "this church was built and equipped by Mr. J.S. Stapp and there is not a dollar of indebtedness against it." Mr. Stapp -- his full name was James Samuel -- had made a small fortune in the lumber business and other enterprises and believed in sharing his good fortune with others. He was known for his "liberality and good endeavors," particularly when it came to things Baptist. His name graces a dormitory at Campbellsville University because of generous contribution he made to the school, then known as the Russell Creek Academy. The Taylor County Enquirer wrote in 1907 that the dorm would be "a substantial monument to the memory of the good man whose name it bears."The News of March 28th noted that Mr. Stapp was quite looking forward to the dedication of the new church building, "as he has been able to build the [church]house and furnish it without calling on those who may be present to enjoy the services."The article continued by noting that Rev. J.S. Bow of Louisville, the Corresponding Secretary for the State Board of Missions, would deliver the dedicatory address, and went on to express the wish for a large crowd at the dedication to show respect to Mr. Stapp "whose strong Baptist sentiment has led up to such a noble work."The followup in the April 11th edition, short though it were, stated that on dedication Sunday, "Several hundred persons attended the services" to express their appreciation for Mr. Stapp's generosity. -Jim

This story was posted on 2011-07-25 08:46:36
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