We have a long and glorious history at New River Baptist Church. It reaches back to our organization prior to July, 1877, meeting on fourth Sundays with a membership of 57. New River joined the Mell Baptist Association on November 5, 1877, and is the oldest church in existence within the Mell Association. New River Baptist Church went to full-time in 1952 under the leadership of Pastor W. Arnall Richardson who lived and served on the field.
The first house of worship was built of logs and was used for twelve years as a school house. It is believed to have been destroyed by fire. Another building was constructed and used until 1913 when it fell victim to a tornado. A frame building was built and used until December, 1946 when it was destroyed by fire. A block building was finished in 1948 by the members themselves. It served the membership well until 1976. Our present brick building was constructed in 1975 and dedicated on January 18, 1976. In 1979 a new wing was added for offices and Sunday School rooms. Our current Sanctuary was renovated in June, 2002, mostly through labor of volunteer church members.
New River has always been a mission-minded church. Throughout the years, we have left our mark on this community by ministering not only within our own walls, but to our neighbors as well. From Vacation Bible School and Brother Charlie’s Rescue Mission, to Senior Adult Bible Study/Prayer Group, and Homebound Ministry to Shut-Ins, there is outreach to all ages. Since 1997, annual summer mission trips have enabled us to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to other parts of our country including Alaska, Mississippi, and Kentucky. New River contributes generously to International, North American, and State Missions annually.
In 1999, New River purchased six and one-half acres of land for further expansion. In 2013 we completed a 5 year partnership with the International Mission Board in Peru planting churches; taking more than a dozen trips to the Andes Mountains and the Quechua people group. In the last two years we have completed a 10,000 square foot education and social building. We praise God for our continued growth, and we excitedly look to the future for all He has in store as we serve the Lord together, and grow in knowledge, faith, and wisdom, as well as in number!