Cooper Baptist Church was established in 1898.
All of the following information was taken from the 100th anniversary booklet.
Cooper Baptist Church has a rich and diverse history. Over one hundred years ago members of the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church withdrew their letters for the purpose of constituting a new church. On October 30, 1898 they adopted a covenant and Articles of Faith and Gospel Order.
Interestingly, the minutes of the early church record all of the meetings of the church. Each time the members met for worship the church was called into session during the meeting. The phrase, the church was at peace is prevalent in early records. Soon after its organization the Cooper Missionary Baptist Church of Christ became the Cooper Missionary Baptist Church. By 1913 the name was shortened to the Cooper Baptist Church.
During the 1920's the church continued to strive. In 1922 the total membership of the church was 149. However, there were periods in which the church only met once a month. Following a week-long revival meeting in July 1931, those present renewed their church covenant. Those present signed the new roll of the church covenant and those absent were invited to come and do the same.
By the late 1940's the church had reached a level of stability. At this time minutes were being kept for only the business sessions of the church which appear to have been monthly. The minutes record the church voting on issues such as literature, fans and a well. The well was a topic that was considered for several months before a decision was made. The church membership in 1946 was 167. The value of the church property was $4000 and the yearly expenditure was $2,483.30. In October 1948 the deacons presented their recommendation for the annual church budget which was the following: Pastor's compensation-60% Church needs-30% Cooperative Program-5% Children's Home-5%
During the 1950's the church seems to have become more involved in the association. Messengers were being elected to attend the annual association meeting. The church approved paying for the meals of the messengers attending the meetings. Special event programs such as Thanksgiving and Christmas services began appearing in the activities of the church. In June 1953 Vacation Bible School was conducted with an enrollment of 64 and an average attendance of 57. By this decade revival meetings were being conducted on a regular schedule. Many were in connection with the Southern Baptist Convention simultaneous revival events. Interestingly, the well appeared again in the minutes of the February 2, 1955 business meeting. It was in need of repair. If volunteers could not repair it, then someone would have to be hired to do so. The well was repaired by volunteers.
The church experienced challenging times during the 1960's. Minutes of several business meetings record much discussion and volatility among the membership. In 1965 the Sunday School enrollment was 140 with an average attendance of 137. By the latter part of this decade, the church seemed to have regained its perspective. Revivals, January Bible study, and Vacation Bible School, along with the regular weekly programs, were significant items in the minutes.
During the early 1970's much detail is included in the minutes. The church voted on issues such as the Vacation Bible School date, the purchase of a speaker for the nursery, the repair of the adding machine and the purchasing of sheets and tarps for the nursery. In February 1976 a bus was purchased by the church. In December 1976 a van was purchased by the church. A church constitution committee was elected in March 1977. By the latter part of this decade the church was experiencing growth and a discussion concerning a new auditorium was begun.
The 1980's were busy years as a new sanctuary was built and occupied in 1983. The former church was converted into a nursery and preschool department. Church growth continued, fellowship space was limited, so desires for a Fellowship Hall were expressed and discussed . Planning began in the late 1980's. The Fellowship Hall served two purposes. It gave membership a place to have activities and dinners and also provided five additional Sunday School rooms.
As the 1990's arrived so came the awareness that we were rapidly outgrowing the education wing that had been built over 50 years earlier. As it could no longer be renovated, the church voted to build a structure that would accommodate all classes. The new building was finished in July of 1998, just a few months before the 100th year anniversary celebration.