Church History

Established by a rancher and missionary, Reverend George Webb Slaughter, The First Baptist Church of Soda Springs was started about 1858. This was the first church, for Baptist preaching, west of Weatherford and was constructed of logs. The church was built near and named for the ever-running spring waters, located a short distance southwest of the present building site. The spring waters taste of soda.

The first church served people across the river and surrounding areas. They met with many hardships. There were times in those days, the outlaws from the East were as much trouble as the Indians from the West. There was a gun battle in the churchyard that left three outlaws wounded or killed by church member, J. R. Couts, as he and his family arrived for church.

In the face of the hardships the people continued in their faith in God and kept the church in service.
In 1895, M. S. Emberlin deeded two acres of land for a church and school. The school was built first. Church services were held in the school building until 1896. Then a second building was constructed of lumber for the church. The lumber was hauled by wagon from Weatherford. In early years Sunday school was held each Sunday. Preaching was once a month, Saturday night, Sunday morning and Sunday night. The building is currently maintained and used for a fellowship hall. The rostrum has an inscription carved in wood, “Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself”.

Back in the early days and continuing until 1941, the ‘Big Summer Revival’ was held under brush arbors. The men put log poles in the ground and built a log frame. Each summer, willow brush was cut and hauled in wagons from the banks of the Brazos River for the arbor. The Summer Revival was one of the big events of the year for the Soda Springs Community. In the summer of 1941, a metal-topped tabernacle was erected. It was used for many years for open-air revivals and reunions. Although the tabernacle still stands, revivals are now held in the air-conditioned church building constructed in 1974. All through the years, it has been the practice to baptize in the nearby Brazos River.

The present brick church building was financed and built by members of the church. The building project included new furniture and modern conveniences. In 1986 a steeple was added.

In the summer of 1982, a two-bedroom parsonage was built next to the church – all being paid for when finished.