The First Southern Baptist Church of Hawthorne celebrated their 68th Anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 25 as the oldest Southern Baptist Church in Nevada. On hand for the occasion was Reverend Kevin White, the President of the Nevada Baptist Convention. He brought a message to the congregation that challenged everyone to leave a vital and relevant legacy which will be life-changing for all.
“This church was established in 1947, and history reveals a dedication of ministry and a heritage that is important. But think about today – what are we leaving for the generation of tomorrow? What will we be known for as individuals, as a church or as a town and a nation?”
White remembered coming to Hawthorne as an 18 year old, to lead the music for a revival, under the ministry of Pastor Tom Bacon.
Pastor Mike Fontaine and his wife, Annette share in this Hawthorne church ministry, with an evident desire to reach beyond the walls of the church. Fontaine shared that the First Southern Baptist Church has been involved in planting churches through northern Nevada and within California, while outreaching missionaries throughout the world. This church is among the 217 Southern Baptist churches within Nevada and there is a continued belief that working together to unify a Christian direction will bring about a stronger community.
Following the service, a full turkey and dressing meal was shared to say thanks for the church blessings over many years. It was announced that the church will host a real potluck style Thanksgiving meal on Nov. 26, for anyone without family close by.
Among the many desserts, there was a birthday cake to share in the 68th year, while a historic outline was on hand to view memories. On the information board were vintage pictures showing church members outside the civic center, at a time in history when they were initially having church in rented buildings. A picture of a Sunday school class was shown from the late 50’s, which was taken in Babbitt.
The church was originally organized by members that had moved to Hawthorne from Arkansas, Texas and other southern states. There was a groundbreaking photo showing Tom Bacon as pastor, Lester Hampton as deacon and Barney Horn as building chairman, taken on Sept. 11, 1977, when the fellowship center and new classrooms were going to be part of the churches expansion project.