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Grace Baptist Church

8186 State Route 139, Minford, OH 45653

Grace Baptist Church

Grace Baptist Brick   Grace Baptist Front

Organized on January 13, 1959

The Grace Baptist Church was organized on January 13, 1959.  They held their services at the Glendale School until their building was completed in 1961.  They had 6 members who attended services at the Glendale School.

Article from The Portsmouth Times, May 28, 1959, p. 10:

Grace Church Given Formal Recognition 

Grace Baptist Church, formed to serve the Glendale community near Oertel's Corner, now is recognized as a duly organized Baptist Church.

The church came into being officially this week after action by a Recognition Council comprised of pastors and representatives from seven Baptist churches and the Fellowship of Baptists for Home Missions.  The council acted favorably after examination of the constitution, bylaws, articles of faith and the covenant of the new congregation.

Grace Baptist Church was organized on January 13, 1959, with six charter members and the membership has increased to 17.  the church is an outgrowth of a Bible Class which was started October 7, 1958 to meet each Tuesday night in the music room of Glendale Grade School with Rev. Thomas D. Runyan, Rev. Fred Chase and Rev. Raymond Cole as teachers.

It had been organized as a mission church under the Fellowship of Baptists for Home MIssions and is supported heavily by the Wheelersburg, South Webster and Temple Baptist Churches.

The new church will be affiliated with the Ohio Association of Regular Baptist Churches, General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, American Council of Christian Churches and International Council of Christian Churches.

The recognition service was held in Glendale School with Rev. Hall Dautel, pastor of Temple Baptist Church preaching.  Rev. C. C. Clawson, pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Columbus gave the charge to the church and the Rev. Dr. Howard Young, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Gallipolis, Ohio extended the hand of fellowship to Rev. John Lawhead, pastor of the new church.

Grace Baptist 

Article from The Portsmouth Times, July 24, 1965, p. 9:

Rev. Townsend To Be Installed At Minford Church 

Rev. Clarence H. Townsend, a native of Oklahoma, is to be installed as new pastor of the Grace Baptist Church near Minford August 7 at 7 p.m.  He succeeds Rev. John A. Lawhead who pastored the church from 1959 to 1965.  Rev. Lawhead is now affiliated with the First Christian Baptist Church of Coshocton.

Rev. Townsend attended Bob Jones University, California Baptist Theological Seminary, the University of California and is attending Bowling Green State University.

He and his wife, the former Shirley Barnes of Fayette, Ohio, have four children:  Tommy, Terry, Tonia, and Todd. 


Article from The Portsmouth Times, August 7, 1965, p. 9:

Grace Baptist to Install New Pastor 

Rev. Clarence H. Townsend is to be installed as pastor of Grace Baptist Church near Minford in services at 7 tonight at the church.

Rev. Townsend, a native of Oklahoma, succeeds Rev. John A. Lawhead, who has pastored the church since 1959.

Rev. Lawhead now is affiliated with First Christian Baptist Church of Coshocton.

Rev. Donald Grollimond, pastor of Church of Piketon is to read the charge to the church.

Invocation is to be offered by Rev. Clarence Vallance of Midland Baptist Church of Franklin Furnace, and Bill Stoner, deacon, is to give the address of welcome.

A Bible message is to be presented by Rev. Randy Crisp of Madison Baptist Church of Minford, and the benediction is to be offered by Rev. Gerald Miller of South Webster.

The ceremonies also are to include special music.  A fellowship hour in the church basement is to follow the installation ceremony. 


Article from The Portsmouth Times, November 15, 1969, p. 15:

Rev. Wright Comes to Grace Baptist 

Rev. Thomas Wright of Girard has assumed his duties as pastor of Grace Baptist Church near Clarktown on Rt. 139 succeeding Rev. Clarence Townsend, who resigned to accept a teaching position at Iowa State College.

Rev. Wright, a native of Huntington, West Virginia, is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and did post-graduate work at Grand Rapids Baptist Bible Seminary in Michigan, where he served as assistant pastor of Lincoln Lake Baptist Church.

While in Chicago, he was an area youth director and a member of the board of chaplains at the Chicago YMCA.

He, his wife, Sue Ellen, and their 16-month-old daughter, Lori, came here from Bible Baptist Church at Girard, near Youngstown.

Sunday, Rev. Wright is to begin a Prophetic Bible Conference which is to continue through November 23.  At 7:30 each night and at 10:30 a.m., and 7:30 p.m. on Sundays, he will preach sermons based on the general theme, "Striking Signs of the Second Coming." 

On November 23, the congregation of the church is to observe annual homecoming with a dinner following the special worship service.  During the 7:30 p.m. service, a concert is to be presented by the New Image Trio of Cedarville College. 


Article from The Portsmouth Times, November 21, 1970, p. 7:

Anniversary Service Set at Minford 

Grace Baptist Church at Minford is to observe its 11th anniversary Sunday with an all-day program.

The observance is to begin at 10:30 a.m. with a worship service, featuring Rev. Clarence Townsend of Faith Baptist Bible College at Ankeny, Iowa, and the Word of Life Teen Singers.

Rev. Townsend, who served as pastor of the church from 1965 to 1969 is to be accompanied by several students from the college, who also are to speak during the service.

Special services also are to be conducted at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  A family fellowship dinner is to be held at 1 p.m.

The church was founded in 1959 and held its first meetings in Glendale Elementary School with Rev. John Lawhead as its pastor.  The present church was constructed in 1961, since which time a new nursery has been added to the structure.

Rev. Tom Wright, pastor, said future plans include the additional of an education unit. 

Grace Nursery 
Above:  The Portsmouth Times, January 16, 1971, p. 11


Grace Remodeled 

Church Remodeled
Above:  The Portsmouth Times, September 28, 1974, p. 5 


Article in The Portsmouth Times, March 28, 1991


The year 1991 will see Grace Baptist Church on Minford Route 2 continue to increase its support of mission endeavors, both at home and abroad, according to Pastor James M. Brown.  Started January 13, 1959, it is an independent, fundamental, Bible church, associated with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches and the Ohio Association of Regular Baptist Churches.

It offers Sunday school classes with a graded curriculum for all ages, two adult Sunday school classes and a children's church ministry.  Word of Life Clubs operate for grades 7 through 12.  Know your Bible for grades 1 through 6, and Tots for Christ for 4 and 5 year olds.

The past year saw the remodeling of the fellowship kitchen, a home provided for a missionary family on on furlough (Bill and Debbie Tobias), a new heating and air conditioning unit, and a $10,000 project to help Goroka Baptist Bible College of Papua, New Guinea.

The mortgage will be paid off on the current church building, and planning is underway for major improvements to grounds and facilities, as well as possible new additions.

The church has set a goal an average attendance of 135 in Sunday school through 1991.  This would make six straight years of growth.

Pastor Brown said, "My vision for the Portsmouth area in 1991 is to see a continuation of growth in the retail sector as well as new growth to the industrial base.  We also desire more families to be saved and strengthened by the message of Christ." 

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