Ground Breaking Ceremony for Education Building - 1952

By Reginald Carter, Church Historian

On July 15, 1951 Charles E. Maddry, Pastor, and J. F. Blake, Chairman of the Building Committee, sent a letter to church members to encourage them to undertake the construction of an Educational Building. Other churches in the community had expanded their facilities, but the First Baptist Church remained much as it had been for 100 years. They noted that the children and young people of the Church deserved better and it was time to move ahead. The church had available $18,000 of the $40,000 to $50,000 needed for the building project. Church members were asked to make a pledge toward raising $25,000 by March 1, 1952 when construction would begin so that the building would be ready in time for the church’s centennial in November 1953.  The letter closes, “Let us rise up and build! God is leading us. We must not fail!”

Money was raised and a ground breaking ceremony was held in the summer {exact date?} of 1952.  The church is fortunate to have in its archives two photographs taken during this time.  The first photograph was taken during the ceremony showing Dr. Maddry and the congregation singing along with the choir (short white robes) on the northeastern corner looking toward West King Street.  Note the shovel in the ground and the 1950s automobiles parked on the street.

The second photograph shows the congregation lined up and facing the camera on the northern side of the church. Notice the open windows.  Air conditioners had not been installed at this time.  Also, there does not appear to be a sidewalk leading from the back to the front of the church.  And the “Maddry” Magnolia trees have yet to be planted.

Working from a 1953 membership list, the History and Records Committee have been able to identify most of the individuals included in this photograph.  To do so the image is divided into three zones for better definition.

Members shown in Zone One are:
1. Unknown                   2. John Clayton            3. Dr. Charles E. Maddry          4.  Unknown
5. Henry Walker             6. Herman Strayhorn     7. Mrs. Henry Walker               8. Sybil Rosemond
9.Carolyn Strayhorn       10.Unknown                  11.Unknown                          12. Unknown

 Members shown in Zone Two are:
1. Elsie Scott               2. Dolly Strayhorn                   3. Hilda Strayhorn          4. Mary Spurgeon
5. Mrs.  Addie Cole      6. Patricia Beck                       7. Unknown                   8. Mrs. Gary Lloyd
9. Jackie Lloyd             10. John Bivins                      11. Shirley Bruno           12. Phylis Blake
13. Jim Rittenhouse      14. Mrs. J.G. Godwin              15. Linda Crawford        16. Clarence Rosemond
17. George McBane       18. Unknown                         19.Charlotte Cole          20. Paul Goodwin
21. Unknown                22. Modena Blackwelder         23. Betty June Hayes     24. Harold Strayhorn


Members shown in Zone Three:
1.Unknown                   2. Gary Lloyd               3 Fred Blake                4. Alpha Blake
5. Lucille Strayhorn       6. Unknown                  7. Billy Riley                8. Jimmy Allred
9. Unknown                10. Helen Carr              11. Brittain Sawyer        12. Mary Gray
13.Unknown                14. Fred Sharpe, Jr.      15. Joe Blackwelder      16. Marshal Cates, Sr.
17. Fred Sharpe, Sr.      18. Unknown                19. Unknown               20. Richard Blackwelder
21. Mrs. Laura Reeves   22. Unknown                23. Unknown               24. Roy Crawford
25. Elva Lee Crawford   26.Unknown                  27. Alma Clayton         28. Alice McBane
29. Unknown                30.Emma Maddry

If you can identify any of the unknowns in the photograph or believe that an individual is wrongly identified, please contact a member of the History and Records Committee.

Copyright 2012
First Baptist Church of Hillsborough, 223 West King Street, Hillsborough NC 27278, 919-732-8174