West Tawakoni Baptist Church was first started in 1980, in the blue building at the entrance of Hales Retreat with four members, Cecil & Edith Cole and John& Corinne Davignon. In October, a classroom was built. Tom Sawyer built it and sold it to us at a reduced price; He put it in the dry for us. Pete Mercer finished it for us.
Sunday School for youth and children was held in this unfinished building on December 28, 1980.
Morning church services started with 4 members and 1 visitor on November 16, 1980. First contribution was $86.00. On the fourth Sunday, we had 6 children and 4 adults. February 8, 1981, adults started their Sunday School class.
On June 21, 1981, the Building Fund was started with $10.00. The adults of the community were not anxious to come to class or to church services. We started Sunday evening class for children on July 26, 1981. Sunday morning, Corinne Davignon had class for youth and children during Sunday School hour and then had class for the 3year olds through 2nd Grade during church services. We started Wednesday night children's class on October 4, 1981. Tommy Mercer was the first child to attend this class. Finally, on October 11, 1981, adults had two more in their class. These were Pete & Inez Mercer. Our first Vacation Bible School was held in August, 1981, with an average of 17.
Land was purchased across the highway for the present church building in 1982. We still had only four members. In March, 1983, our church building was started. As God provided the money, the building began. Building was going great until July 4, 1983, when a storm tore down the west wall and most of the rafters. The storm left three rafters in tact. A group of men from Ridgecrest Baptist in Greenville came and helped put the rafters back.
July 22, 1984, the children had their first class in the new building, even though it was not finished. We had twelve children and Corinne was the teacher. The children were Jeffrey & Bobby Pierce, Christy & Kyle Foster, Richard Crow, Dawn David, Misty Jennings, Jeanna, Jonathan and Jackie Nichol, and Cathy & Allen York. On September 22, 1984, we held our first worship service in our new church building. Sixteen people were in the first service. They were Cecil & Edith Cole, Michael & John Ellington, Dave, Della & Richard Crow, Charles, Jan & Charlie Peters, Gary Braziel, Brenda & Lola Tullos, Renee Jenkins and John & Corinne Davignon. At this time, the building was still not complete. We still had to finish the rest rooms, plumbing, trim on the outside and some of the electrical work.
We were waiting for God to provide the money before the work could be done. In 1987, we needed to expand so the next phase of Lord's work was begun. The church added more classrooms, restrooms, office, kitchen and a baptistery.
Our first baptism in our baptistery was on August 30, 1987. Those baptized were Jeffrey Nicholson and Randall Gentry. At this time, our resident membership was 46.
When the Church was started in 1980, we promised God that if He wanted this work here, we would not borrow money, but would build as He provided the money. He led us in this work and provided money and His work progressed. Our membership had grown from 4 in 1980 to 125 resident members in 1990. As God is working through our church, seems that soon God would provide money for the next phase of His work.
November 10, 1985, organization service for our church was held. There were 32 charter members. Bro. Cecil L. Cole of Greenville, Texas, was called as pastor. Bro. Harry Ball, Associational missionary, was moderator and brought the message from Matthew 16:13-16. Bro. Thomas Cook directed the singing and he sang a special, "He Touched Me". Juanita Taylor was the pianist. Bro Bill Reisor, Bro. Ben Smith and Bro. J. B. Harlin took part in the program. Bro. Bernie Payne, Bro. John Davignon and Bro. Cecil Cole from our church also took part in the service. The following churches were represented: First Baptist, Cash; Paradise Baptist; Faith Baptist, Quinlan; Faith Temple Baptist; East Tawakoni Baptist; Lone Oak Christian; Muddy Creek Baptist; First Baptist, Quinlan; Elmwood Baptist, Como; and First Baptist of Dallas.
The congregation sang, "To God Be the Glory" and "Victory in Jesus". Bro. Reisor read from Acts 16:4-5. John Davignon made motion to constitute a church. Bro. Bernie Payne brought church covenant. Bro. J.B. Harlin had the prayer and talked on "Heaven Will Move". Bro. John Davignon brought the motion that the church adopts the "Complete Bible as the Truth". Bro. Bernie Payne made motion for Bro. Cecil Cole to be called as pastor of West Tawakoni Baptist Church. Bro. Cole brought the "History of the church and Practices and Belief".
John and Corinne Davignon