The History of New Canaan Baptist Church
New Canaan Baptist Church was constituted during the year 1868, though the exact date is unknown. There were 16 charter members who met together in a log cabin. The church was accepted into the Tallapoosa Baptist Association at the 33rd Annual Meeting, held with Macedonia Church of Carroll County, on October 10, 1868. Rev. E. M. Head was the first pastor. After one year, New Canaan had doubled in size to 32 members! Memorable dates in the history of New Canaan include the year 1875, when the church hosted a revival that lasted 9 days, saw 7 people come to faith in Jesus Christ, and was attended by 500-600 people! In 1892, the first frame building was built for the church (see pictures below). In September 1937, the frame buildling was renovated, including painting the roof and bricking the exterior. That building remained until it was replaced with the currect santuary in 1969.
For 79 years, services were held just one Sunday per month. During that same time, church conference was always held on the Saturday evening before the Sunday worship service. In 1933, the Sunday School boasted a total of 28 members, but by 1950 Sunday School had grown to 315 members! In 1947, the church began holding services on the 1st and 3rd Sundays. 5th Sunday worship was added in 1950. Finally, in 1955, 87 years after the church was constituted, worship services began each Sunday. In 1965, the church called Rev. Grover Sheets as the first full-time pastor to be on the field. The pastorium was built in 1965 and Rev. George C. Barnett and his family were the first to live there. The old pastorium was later converted, and now serves as the church office.
In February 1969, bonds were sold in the amount of $100,000.00 to finance the building of the sanctuary and education buildlings. The bonds sold out in five days (see pictures below)! The current sanctuary was completed in September 1969, and the first service was held in the new building on September 28, 1969. The Educational building behind the sanctuary was completed in May 1969 and began being used at that time. In 1997-1998 the sanctuary was renovated to accomodate more worshippers. In 2009, the basement of the educational buildling was renovated to create a larger space for the fellowship hall, a new kitchen, and removable partitions were added to create more Sunday School space.
The pictures below represent past and present buildlings and memorable events in the life of New Canaan Baptist Church.
The following men have served as Pastors of New Canaan: