The History of Kolola Springs Baptist Church


Kolola Springs Baptist Church was organized in 1928 under the leadership of Dr. Jesse Dee Franks, pastor of First Baptist Church, Columbus (1921-1947) and Mrs. Phillips, a loyal member of First Baptist.  The organizational meeting was held in a railroad coach car.  Sunday school for the new church met in the home of Mr. and Mrs. C.N. Dale.  From the railroad coach car and the Dale home, the church moved to Kolola Springs Railroad Depot.  Sunday School was held in the waiting room and worship services in the freight room.  During this time, Kolola Springs was widely known for its natural mineral springs that attracted many.  In approximately 1930, the church moved to the Kolola Springs School.  In 1932, the school consolidated with Caledonia School and soon after the church purchased the school property.  During the late 20’s and 30’s the church was supplied with speakers from First Baptist.  Bro. Askue and Bro. Perkins were among the pastors of the church in the late 20’s and 30’s.  The pastors were paid the collection and dinner.

During the 40’s the church was pastured by Lester Stokes, Pat Patterson, and Bill Fields.  During 1946, under the leadership of pastor Fields, the wooden structure of the school building was torn down and a block building was erected.  The blocks were donated by Hoyle Grant who owned a block plant in Kolola Springs.  The block structure was used until 1969, when it was renovated with exterior brick.

Pastors during the 50’s were John Stevens, W.O. Pippin, William D. Dawkins, and James Garner.  Pastors in the 60’s and 70’s were Robert Huffman, Howard Money, Jack DeWeese, and Jim Varnon.  In 1977 the church called the current pastor Don Harding.  Charlie Farrar served as Director of Music from 1977-1981, Clayton Ledbetter joined the staff as Music Director from 1981-1985.  Charlie Farrar returned in 1985-2006.  Currently, Chris Harding serves as Music Director.

The church continued to grow and expand its physical structures.  A new pastorium was begun in 1975, a large fellowship hall was added in 1981, Brotherhood pavilion, and an addition to the sanctuary were added in 1986 to make offices for the pastor and minister of music.  In 1990, the next building program added a new educational building that created 14 classrooms, office space for Sunday School and the pastor.  On August 3, 1997, a new sanctuary was dedicated that would seat over 300 people.  A state of the art sound system with a sound room, choir loft, baptistry, office suite, and large choir room allows the church to effectively worship and reach out to the community.

The men of the church renovated the old sanctuary into a large fellowship hall that is used for many church and community events.  The renovation uncovered parts of the original block structure built in 1946.  The fellowship hall was renovated and updated to form a place for the Youth of the church.  Mike Gambal was called to become Minister to Youth in 2001.  The Focus on Christ Youth began participating in the World Changers missions program of the North American Baptist Mission Board.

In 2004 a multi media system that enhances the praise and worship and growth of members was installed. We started the AWANA program for ages 2-12th grade, and also put in a lighted, concrete parking lot in 2008. In 2012, we renovated our fellowship hall.  Most recently, in 2013, we updated our computer/printing technology and networking throughout the church.  In 2014 our Fellowship Hall was completely remodeled, and in 2015 renovation is under way in our Educational Building.