A Need Arises
Around 1932-1933, the need of Randolph County for an association grew out of the fact that in the county there were 28 Baptist churches and these churches were divided up among four associations: Piedmont Baptist Association, Sandy Creek Baptist Association, Liberty Baptist Association, and Montgomery Baptist Association. Because of this situation, there was very little Baptist unity or fellowship among the churches in the county. Many of the churches in Randolph County felt they were in the “twilight zone” and it was almost impossible to develop the churches as they should be.
For months, several leaders in Randolph County worked hard to enlighten the churches of the need for an association of the Randolph churches. For one reason or another, the idea of an association had not been accomplished. But in the “fullness of time,” at the right moment, pastors began to lead the churches to consider an association in Randolph County.
An Idea Takes Shape
On April 30, 1934, the following pastors of the county met in the home of Herman T. Stevens, Pastor of Asheboro Baptist Church: H.M. Stroup of Franklinville, R.E. Heath of Center Cross and Deep River, J.C. Edwards of Sandy Creek and Mt Lebanon, O.P. Dix of Balfour, and J.C. Kidd of Union Grove. Also present at the meeting were Rev. J.M. Page, J.C. Pearce, and E.E. Morgan.
After prayer and full discussion of the matter, a motion was made by O.P. Dix and seconded by J.C. Kidd that we seek the organization of an association within the boundary of Randolph County. Rev. J.M. Page of Piedmont Association suggested that when sixteen churches voted to unite with the new association, that the Randolph Association be formed. This suggestion was accepted by the group.
An Association is Born
Immediately after the closing of the Piedmont Baptist Association, which met at Franklinville Baptist Church according to previous understanding on Thursday afternoon, the messengers from the Randolph county churches gathered in a nearby school auditorium and proceeded to organize this new association. There were thirty Baptist churches in Randolph County present. Seventeen of the churches voted in favor of organization.
The Founding Member Churches:
Asheboro First Baptist Church
Balfour Baptist Church
Beulah Baptist Church
Center Cross Baptist Church
Central Falls Baptist Church
Glenola Baptist Church
Gravel Hill Baptist Church
Franklinville Baptist Church
Huldah Baptist Church
Liberty First Baptist Church
Macedonia Baptist Church
Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church
Ramseur First Baptist Church
Randleman First Baptist Church
Sandy Creek Baptist Church
Shady Grove Baptist Church
Worthville Baptist Church
Within 5 years the RBA had grown to thirty member churches. Our constitution was developed to promote relations among the churches and objectives and purpose were promoted within the association.
Growing Pains and Construction
In the summer of 1944 Miss Daphne Boone was employed as a part time Associational Missionary. By the fall there was need of a full time Associational Missionary.
In 1945 Rev. J.T. Briddle was called to the position. In 1946 funding for an associational parsonage was underway. Rev. John Briddle and family occupied the new home on South Elm Street in Asheboro, North Carolina in May of 1948. Rev. Briddle retired do to his wife’s health.
In August 1950 Barron E. Honeycutt was called as the new Associational Missionary. He would leave the position to become the pastor of Greystone Baptist Church in late 1951.
Rev. R.T. Smith was called to be the Associational Missionary in 1952.
Remembering our Heritage
From 1953-1954 the association worked to increase Sunday School enrollment within its member churches. By the end of this period the RBA saw an 18% increase in enrollment. This would coincide with the 200th Anniversary of Sandy Creek Baptist Church and the erection of a monument to Rev. Shubal Stearns the founder of the Baptist movement throughout the south. The marker pictured to the left was one part of several improvements to the cite and surrounding cemetery. The improvements were funded by the Baptist State Convention, Sandy Creek Association and the Randolp Association.
A New Home
In May of 1975 a committee was appointed to look into the possibility of securing an office for the association separate and apart from the Associational Missionary’s home. In August 1976 the committee recommended that the associational purchase the West Side Methodist Church building. The purchase was approved and the building was placed in use after some minor remodeling by April 1977. An open house was held on May 29, 1977 at which Rev. Smith was presented with a plaque in recognition for his 25 years of service to the association. In October 1980 the building was remodeled to include new rooms for the Director of Missions, Conference Room and a Resources Center.
In October 1976 the association decided to sell the Associational Missionary’s home. Rev. Smith planned to retire in May of 1977. The association sold the home to Rev. Smith and used the sale’s price to set up a trust to pay future Directors a housing allowance.
In September 1977 Rev. Judson Rotan was called as the next Associational Missionary.
50 Years in Service 1984
The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the association was held at Balfour Baptist Church on October 22, 1984. The celebration included drama, music and slides. It was an hour of reliving the history of the association. Around 500 members were in attended.
60 Years in Service 1994
The 60th Anniversary was celebrated with the publication of “Reliving Our History” a historical book on the RBA. Included in this book is an expanded version of the history you see above along with a brief history of each member church at that time. A copy of the publication can be obtained at the association’s office or viewed at the Randolph County Public Library.
In November 2003 Rev. Frank White was called as the next Associational Missionary.
75 Years 2009
In 2009 Dr. Steve Sells was called as the next Associational Missionary.