Shady Grove expands
Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church has begun expansion of their building. The addition, which will double the size of the church, is being partially constructed by Universal Builders of Corning. After the shell is completed by the end of August, the church members will do the rest of the work. The building committee, comprised of Dallas Pollard, Allen Morris, Charles Pollard, Steve Hill, Terry Pollard and Wallice Gookin, hopes to convert the addition to an auditorium and education and fellowship center. The current fellowship hall will be converted into classrooms. Don Pitts donated the land for the addition. D & G Plumbing is in charge of the heating, electricity and plumbing.
The church has been housed in three buildings during its 58-year history. The church was organized on Sunday, May 7, 1944, at the end of a ten-night revival held in the Mann School community. Services were held the first and third Sunday each month in the old Trinnon dance pavilion, located at two-mile turn, which still stands today, but is now a family house. The church picked the name Shady Grove because of the many big shade trees in the grove where the two roads met. Several of these trees still stand today.
The church had eight charter members according to Dallas Pollard, oldest active church member. "I remember when the church was organized when I was 13. My mom, dad and oldest brother were charter members."
The church held services in the dance hall for about two years. In March 1946, one half acre of land, where the current church is located, was purchased from John Carter for $150. The first new building was approximately 30 X 40 feet. In 1974 classrooms and a fellowship hall were built on to the original building.
In December 1989, Robert Sanders donated one acre of land for the second new building. The church saved money and had various fundraisers to accomplish building the second new church. On the first day of building, they had $45,000 in their building fund. The church had services in the new building in December 1993. This was also the first time the church had a baptistry.
The church has had 27 pastors in its long history, which has been compiled into a written history by Una Pollard. The first pastor was Clyde Branson of Boydsville. The first full-time pastor was Harry Belyew, father of Mildred Beaver. It was his first full-time job as a pastor. Belyew also preached his last sermon for the church before his death. Joe Brandon was the pastor for 11 years from April 1978 till March 1989.
The current pastor, Michael Book, has been the full-time pastor since April 1999. He has been a member of the church since 1989. He and his wife, Theresa, live in Piggott and have two children, Addison, six, and Savannah, 16 months. Book, in addition to being the pastor, is also dean of students and transportation coordinator at Piggott High School.
The church has approximately 120 members, and usually has 80 in attendance at services.
There are four deacons in the church -- Carl Pollard, Dallas Pollard, Allen Morris and Wallice Gookin. Services begin at 10 a.m. Sunday for Sunday school, 10:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday for worship, and 7 p.m. Wednesday night for Bible classes. The public in invited to attend services.
The church supports several missionaries, including Andy Young of Phoenix, Ariz., and Randy Stimach of Colorado, by setting aside a percentage of offerings every month. The church also supports Stone Ridge Youth Encampment.