Putting the cherry on top

With the sun peeking through the live oak branches, many members of the Spring Creek Baptist Church stood in the early morning, dabbled shade to see, photograph and film how the Knight Brothers – Jim and Richard – placed a newly built steeple and bell on their beloved Bosque County church dating back to 1874.

It was an anxious moment Saturday when the addition was placed – would the lift be able to come high enough, would it fit? It cost the live oak tree by the door a bough, to get the lifting equipment close enough to the church, but within an hour, the new bell tower and cross stood out against the steel blue sky. The finishing touches were to secure the addition and attach the bell rope.

“This is just the cherry on the cake,” Church Trustee Nancy Massengale said. “This is the best little church with the best people. We never thought this is what the church was missing but doesn’t this look pretty? It just gives me the chills.”

Tolling the inaugural bell were the oldest and the youngest members of the congregation soon-to-be-ninety Fred McDowell and his great-grandson three-year-old Wyatt Robinson. Wyatt is designated to be the future in-house bell ringer.

The Knight brothers have a ranch down the road and had built the steeple for their church and orchestrated the whole placing of the bell tower – a precision exercise requiring patience, expertise and a few sweat drops.

The church was founded as Spring Creek Missionary Baptist Church of Christ on May 24, 1874, with nine charter members. It was the eleventh Baptist church in Bosque County.

But by 1883 the membership had increased to 85 and on Sept. 26, 1883 four acres was deeded for religious and educational purposes. Services were conducted in the school until the building was dedicated on May 23, 1909.

The church closed in 1970 because of lack of attendance but reopened in 1986. Since then it has been an active church meeting every Sunday with its congregation led by Pastor Rane Carpenter, with loving members who cherish their little church in the country side and embrace it’s motto Experience Family, Experience Faith, Experience Spring Creek. The church was incorporated in 2016 under the name Spring Creek Baptist Church of Bosque County.

Covering the entire wall behind the altar is an impressive, enlightened painting of the Jordan River by Mary Cree Cosby. Cosby started baptistry painting at the age of 56, and in her lifetime painted 411 of them - many depicting the River Jordan, directly flowing into the baptistery.

The Spring Creek Church painting dating from 1952 was discovered, rolled up in storage and lovingly restored by Nell Bates in 1999. The painting alone, as is the cemetery, and now the bell tower is worth the scenic drive through Bosque County to the church.

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