The oldest baptist church in Caldwell County, Yadkin Baptist Church was first known
as the "Church of Christ at the Head of the Yadkin", in Patterson, N.C.
In its earliest years, the church met on the fourth Saturday of each month, and acted
as a governing body for social issues and disputes among members. The earliest known house of worship was a large log house standing on the banks of the Yadkin south of the present location. That building was badly damaged in the flood of 1916.
After the flood, a house of worship was purchased from the Presbyterians on the present site. This building was enlarged and used until 1951 when the educational building was built. Services were held in the adult assembly until the current sanctuary was built. The first service was held in the new sanctuary January 15, 1956. The children educational annex was added and dedicated May 15, 1966. The first parsonage at Yadkin Baptist Church was built beside the church in 1948, and the present parsonage was built across the road in 1960.
Yadkin has been active in associations for most of its existence. It was a member of the Strawberry Association of Virginia. In 1790, a group of North Carolina churches, including Yadkin, petitioned the Strawberry Association to be released so they could form a new association. This became the Yadkin Association. Yadkin Baptist was a branch of this association until 1797 when it was dismissed to join the Mountain Association. In 1872, Yadkin joined with other churches to form the Catawba River Association. Finally, the Caldwell Association was begun in 1885, and Yadkin was
one of the original members. Several churches in Caldwell County were begun as branches of Yadkin, and some of these are still in existence today. Among these churches are Mulberry Baptist, Globe Baptist, and Lower Creek Baptist.
Many outstanding men of God have served as pastor of Yadkin Baptist Church.
In 1885 H. D. Lequenx of Ellendale rode a circuit in the area, coming to Yadkin on the third week of every month. At that time, the church had thirty-two members. I. W. Thomas, a Baptist minister who was very interested in missions, became pastor in 1890. Mr. Thomas lived in Boone, and is probably better known among the churches further west in North Carolina.
The year 1893 saw Yadkin ministered to by H. M, Croom from the Globe, followed in 1894 by C.C. Poole from Partee, North Carolina. In 1898, the minister was J.H. Nelson who lived in Patterson. At that time, church membership was up to sixty. However, between 1900 and 1906, when I.W. Thomas returned as minister, membership fell to twenty-six. J. H. Nelson returned for one year in 1907. In 1908, E. D. Crisp served as minister. He was the father of Rev. J.H. Crisp, who is well known throughout Caldwell County. In 1911, J. B. Reid of Route 2, Lenoir became the minister, and is the only known minister who died while serving at Yadkin Baptist. After his death, P.H. Eisenhower of Sawmills became minister. 1914-1915 saw John C. Carlton come from Boone to minister to the people. The year of the flood, 1916, I. M. Hawkins of the
Yadkin Valley served the sixty-three members. J. H. Watts was the minister beginning
in 1917. He moved to Patterson from Taylorsville. During his service, church membership grew to eighty-eight. In 1920, I.C. Miller from Stony Fork served as minister. Many of Rev. Miller's descendants are very active in the church at the
The year 1921 saw the church membership pass one hundred under the leadership
of P.S. Barbour of Whitnel. T.E. Paine from Taylorsville became minister in 1923, and during that year, twenty-nine members were excluded from the church. W.E. Wilson from Lenoir served as supply pastor in 1926.
Between 1927 when the church began having bimonthly meetings and 1945,
ministers included: J.H. Watts, J.L. Greene from Deep Gap, D.B. Cannon from
Granite Falls, T.E. Paine, and R.C. Cook.
In 1946, the church began meeting weekly. The minister was Eugene McMillan. He
left in 1947 to go as a Missionary to the British West Indes. B.F. Peeler became
minister in 1947 when the first parsonage was built.
Robert A. Frye from North Catawba was the first to service as pastor for a decade.
He served Yadkin from 1949 until 1959. During his pastorate, a new educational building was completed in 1951, and in 1956 the current sanctuary was completed.
In 1959, Romulus Setzer served as a fill-in pastor. Reverend W.R. Kimberlin served approximately eight years followed by J.E. Ledbetter and Henry C. Cook, Jr. Cook served as pastor from November 1971 - January 1979. Rev. Knolan Benfield served
as interim from March 1979 - May 1979. Jerry Y. Allen served as pastor from
June 1979 - April 1986. Our present pastor, Rev. Robert Livingston, has served the church faithfully since October 1986. During his pastorate, the educational buildings and the offices have been completely renovated. This was funded through the Challenge to Build program and the sale of church bonds. Renovations of the sanctuary were completed this summer (2008), including installation of a new ceiling with better insulation and sound quality, improved lighting, including stage lighting
and chandeliers, replacement of old wiring, and an extension to the choir and pulpit areas.
Since 1987, several members of Yadkin have been able to fulfill a dream of participating in mission projects in other countries. Rev. Sherrill German ministered in Togo, West Africa. Mrs. Lydia Bryant served in Argentina. Several participated in the Sao Paulo, Brazil partnership, including: Rev. Robert Livingston, Ms Jennifer Miller, Mr. Claude Griffin, Jr., Mr. Wayne Braswell, and Mr. Dean Ford. Mrs. Wayburn Braswell served in the Philippines. This mission vision and participation continued as Rev. Robert Livingston, Rev. Sherrill German, and Monteen German went to South Africa on mission trips. Walter Ford and Tom McRary traveled to American Samoa, and Walter Ford, Tom McRary, David Townsend, Tim Dunn, and Ned and Ben Triplett have taken recent mission trips to Alaska. During the summer of 2008 William Hyatt, David and Darlene Townsend participated in mission work in Brunswick County North Carolina.
The church staff members are:
Rev. Stuart White -- Interim Pastor
Melanie Kirby -- Secretary