Hampton Place Baptist Church
By Mildred Collins
A large crowd attended the Seventieth Anniversary of Hampton Place Baptist Church on Sunday, March 14, 1999 for a time of worship, praise and reminiscing.
This seventy-year-old church grew from the concern of a retired pastor and a group of neighbors. Late in 1928 Oak Cliff extended to Ravinia on the west; the Hampton Place streetcar line extended to Pierce and Brandon. There was no Baptist church in the area.
On February 21, 1929 Rev. and Mrs. J.T. Bell organized a Baptist mission in their home. When the group outgrew their home, they found a building on Pierce Street renting for $5 per month, a garage with large double doors, which they changed to French doors. They strung a cord from Rev. R.H. Sneed’s nearby house for lights, made pews of boards placed across apple crates, and borrowed a piano from Rev. Bell. As one member said, “They were ‘complete greenies’ who knew nothing about starting a church.”
On April 28 the mission was constituted into the Bell Baptist Church, with twelve charter members. On June 6 Rev. Bell died, and on June 24 Rev. Sneed was called as pastor. On August 7 a Woman’s Missionary Union was organized with the help of Miss Delta Carroll and Mrs. C.E. Mahoney from the Dallas Baptist Association, with Mrs. J.E. Morgan as its first president. On October 7 they purchased two lots on Emmett Street and started a building.
First services were held in the new unfinished building on March 9, 1930. Such a happy day!
In 1931 the name was changed to Bell Memorial Baptist Church. That was a difficult year: finances were low, they were in debt, and they had trouble finding a pastor. They were discouraged, but persevered, came to better times and felt the Lord had blessed them.
In 1932 Lacy R. Keele, manager of the Baptist Book Store, was called as pastor. The name was changed to better fit the community: Hampton Place Baptist Church was chosen, taking its name from the nearby streetcar line. Soon a baptistery was added to the still unfinished building. Fielden Starkes, Jr. was the first person baptized in it. They also bought three portable buildings from Cowart School to accommodate their 455 members. Several couples maintained the buildings until the church hired its first janitor, Flo Nell Murphy.
Rev. Keele resigned in 1940 and Elmer Page was called, to serve until 1942, when Rev. Roy Sutton became pastor. Sue Middleton was hired in 1943 as the first full-time secretary; the church was growing and in need of additional staff. Rev. Sutton traveled to Southwestern Seminary and hired “the best singer in the Seminary,” Eugene Quinn, as the first Music/Education Director.
The church also prepared for its first formal wedding: Jo Alice Stovall and Bob Mayo. As it was Bro. Sutton’s first formal wedding, he visited Dr. Bassett at Cliff Temple Baptist Church for pointers. Bob was in military uniform and when Bro. Sutton said, “You may salute the bride…,” everyone thought of a military salute (including the bride) until he added, “…with a kiss.”
In April 1944 the church began construction of an education building. Just as it was being completed Rev. Sutton resigned to enter missionary work and the church voted to name the building “Sutton Hall.”
On February 23, 1945 Rev. M.E. McGlamery became pastor. On February 2, 1951 Dr. J.M. Price from Southwestern Seminary presided over the laying of the cornerstone for a new sanctuary, “Dedicated to the Glory of God and the Service of Men.” The library opened in 1953 with Mrs. A.W. McNutt as the first librarian.
It was under the ministry of “Bro. Mac” that my husband and I joined the church in 1952 with our infant son, Larry.
Missions organization began for all youth?Sunbeams, Girls’ Auxiliary, and Royal Ambassadors. The Westside Baptist Mission was started in West Dallas. The church was active in Training Union, averaging 300 at monthly meetings and hosting a Dallas Baptist Association Training School in 1956.
1960 saw the groundbreaking for a large education building, which housed church offices, library, fellowship hall and kitchen and chapel, as well as Sunday school rooms. The church sorrowfully accepted the resignation of Rev. McGlamery. During his fifteen-year ministry the church had grown in many directions and missions were taking an uppermost part in the life of the church. A ministry to the deaf started with Mrs. Jonnie Boswell as Interpreter, Vacation Bible Schools, baseball leagues, and mission trips for youth expanded church outreach.
In July 1961 Lon Tyndall, a former Louisiana legislator, came as pastor and served until 1963. During this period gifts reached $174,945 and membership 2,324.
In May 1964 Rev. James D. Springfield was called as pastor and it was during his ministry that Hampton Place reached its pinnacle in size and programs. The church slogan, “Things Happen at Hampton Place Baptist Church” was created. With great zeal “Bro. James” promoted Sunday School and Training Union, strong teacher training, and developed an extensive visitation and witnessing program. Scores of members participated in “Thursday Night Visitation” and fifteen bus routes brought hundreds of children to church each Sunday. The church received the “Advance Standard Sunday School” award several years consecutively. An outstanding staff of ministers aided Springfield. Bob Wright was Minister of Music and Carl Smith was Minister of Youth. Much beloved T.R. “Randy” Parsons succeeded them as Minister of Music & Youth, resulting in an increase in the breadth and depth of youth programs, mission trips, and music programs. Our son was very active in these programs, as were scores of area youth. The church saw many youth commit to entering full-time ministry. Charles McDaniel served as Minister of Education followed by Hugh McMurrain. In 1970 Rev. Bill Moore joined as Minister of Outreach.
“Bro. James” resigned in 1971 and the church entered a difficult period; during the next eighteen months several interim staff members kept the church moving. Dr. Milton Ferguson, interim pastor, used every quietly spoken message to strengthen and shepherd the church. D.K. Harrell served as interim Education Director, remembered for his big smile and hug (he taught us to be a hugging church). Perry Taylor served at several different times as Minister of Music.
Rev. Robert E. Jenkins became pastor in 1973, aided by Ron Trammel, Minister of Education; David Wood, Minister of Music; and Ronnie Adams, Youth Director. A new fellowship building, “Jenkins Hall,” was added. A literacy class for internationals was started by Mrs. Marvin Clark, who also served for more than twenty-five years as church organist. A Hispanic mission begun with Rev. Sergio Sandaval, pastor, and Rev. David Reyes, assistant, soon outgrew the Chapel in which it met.
Staff changes brought Minister of Education Bob Crane, Youth Directors Wayne Groves and Scott Atkinson, and Outreach Directors Dennis Barton, Alan Lefebre, and Franklin Beam. Rev. McGlamery, retired from Home Missions, was called back as Minister of Visitation.
In 1979 the church celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, with over 1,000 attending. I was chairperson for the event and it was during this time I became deeply interested in the church history and active in reunions and staff recognitions.
Dr. Jenkins resigned in 1982 to become Director of Missions for Smith County. Eight months later Rev. Maurice Martin was called, and he brought to the pastorate a caring persona that helped establish a feeling of well-being among members.
The church was in transition-the Caucasian congregants were growing older and the neighborhood becoming more Hispanic. In 1982 Matthew Redon was called as Hispanic Associate Pastor and served until 1990. In 1992 and 1993 mission trips to south Texas were made to assist the First Baptist Church of Elsa. The women held Bible School while the men built and repaired church buildings.
When Tom Cardwell, a deacon and Director of Sunday School for thirty-five years, died in 1994 the church named the library the “Tom Cardwell Memorial Library.”
In late 1995 Bro. Martin retired and Dr. Harvey Tingle from Mississippi became pastor in 1996. Dr. Tingle brought many talents: chalk talks, writings, and drama. In 1998 we invited Iglesia Bautista Hampton Place to merge with us. Their pastor, Rolando Rodriguez, became associate pastor and the church started English and Spanish services, with joint services in the evening.
(Hampton Place Baptist Church later merged with Cockrell Hill Baptist Church.)