History of Mt. Pleasant Church of Christ
In 1838, a group of the citizens of this community went to hear Alexander Campbell preach near Smiths Grove, Kentucky. They were so inspired by his plea to return to simple New Testament Christianity, that they organized the Mt Pleasant congregation. Soon a log meeting house was erected in which to worship. The seed of the gospel had been planted on the Mt. Pleasant hill. By 1848, this “seed” had grown to forty members.
Even during the Civil War, the gospel did not cease to be preached from this church. In August of 1864, a gospel meeting resulted in twenty three baptisms and seven restored!!
The old log meeting house was replaced in 1890 when the wood frame church building was erected. This frame church building would house the Mt. Pleasant congregation from 1890 to 1998. The 1890 membership list shows that the membership had grown to eighty-nine.
Many of our earliest preachers came from this community. Such gospel preachers as John Nelson Tinsley, Samuel W. Basham , Gideon Floyd and Lewis P. Arnold were also local residents from the 1840’s to 1900. Mt. Pleasant has always stood for the truth. From at least the 1890’s, gospel meetings usually last for ten days or more. Pioneer gospel preachers traveled on horseback from surrounding counties to preach the gospel at Mt. Pleasant.
From earliest days up to the early 1950’s, preaching services were usually conducted only once or twice per month. In 1954, our first full time preacher was secured. At this time, classrooms were first added to the church building and Wednesday night services were added as well.
Mt. Pleasant’s 150th Anniversary services took place on May 15, 1988. Speakers for the special services that day were E. G. Nash and Woodrow Hazelip(former ministers). Former members and ministers from eight states were also in attendance.
In 1998, the new brick church building was completed replacing the white frame building.
Plans to Expand
Early in 2008 plans were being made to build a two-story addition on to the church building. We needed additional classroom space very badly plus were in need of extra seats for the church. As the money was being set aside for this growth project, the actual plans and design of the addition had been drawn up. By August 2008 the construction of the addition was to start in two weeks.
On August 13, 2008 the Mt. Pleasant church building (only ten years old) burnt to the ground. No signs of forced entry were found. It was already on fire by seven o’clock that Wednesday morning. After a month of investigation by county and state fire marshals, it was finally determined that arson was the cause of the fire!! On August 15th the Mt. Zion Church of Christ also burnt to the ground. There was no doubt that arson was its cause. Just prior to and just after these fires, area houses (vacant ones) and barns burnt. Nearly everything in our building burnt in the fire. The old church bell, old communion table and the old clock were saved.
After the Fire
While our church building was still burning that Wednesday night, our congregation met at the Anna Community Center to hold Wednesday night church services. Permission was granted to Mt. Pleasant by the Warren County School Board to use the Richardsville School gym in which to worship. After Mt. Zion’s fire in two days, they also were allowed to use the Richardsville School for their services. For many months, Mt. Zion met in the school’s basement while Mt. Pleasant met above them in the school gym! Mt. Pleasant worshipped in the school for eleven months.
The New Building
Within a few days, a decision was made not to rebuild at the same site on top of the Mt. Pleasant Hill. To do so, much needed parking space would be lost plus we could never add on to that building again due to the lack of space. Willard and Linda Raymer gave to the church their three acre lot on Highway 185 to use for a new building site. Mrs. Mae Raymer gave an additional three acres. Groundbreaking for the new church building took place on October 26, 2008. The Alliance Construction Company of Glasgow, Kentucky got the bid to erect Mt. Pleasant’s fourth church building. That firm was also to have constructed the addition had the building not burnt. The new church building was to cost $1.7 million but our insurance money from the fire would barely pay for one-third that amount!
The first church services in the new building took place on July 12, 2009. Attendance for that day was 315. The dedication of the new structure was on July 19, 2009 with special services that afternoon. During the special services, the Austin Raymer family was honored for donating the land plus the building committee was honored for their work with the day to day efforts overseeing the project. Members of that committee were: Mark Young, Chris Young, Willard Raymer, L.W. Jackson, Sam Haynes, Eddie Harlow, Brian Raymer, Andy Wagoner, Kenny Johnson, Gary Miller, Lee Hughes, Doug Depp, Matt Williams, Brian Martin and Travis Young.