BAKER, FIRST Baker Louisiana

Baker, LA

Date Founded: 1897

     The Baker church goes back to Pipkin Chapel for its beginnings. Pipkin Chapel, located on Bayou Sara Road (old Scenic Hwy), was formed in the 1830's. In 1889, the some of its members left to form the Zachary Methodist Church.  In 1892, a parsonage was built for the Pipkin Chapel pastor. Since most of the members lived around Baker, the home was built there on a lot donated by Mrs. Kate Young.  
     Pipkin Chapel was on a circuit with Deerford, Blackwater, and Brookstown at this time. But in 1896, Pipkin Chapel was disbanded. The Baker community was without a pastor until 1897, when Rev. W.H. Benton was assigned to the circuit. He held services in the auditorium of the Presbyterian Church on the fourth Sunday of each month until a church could be built.  
    When Rev. Benton organized the church, there were 36 charter members. In 1898, a lot next to the parsonage was purchased for $50 from Albert Converse. The church was soon built. The debt was paid off in 1906 and was dedicated by Rev. Notestien of the Zachary church.
     The congregation was on a circuit with Blackwater, Deerford, Brookstown, Beech Grove, and Bethel. Of these churches, Beech Grove was disbanded in 1907, Brookstown was destroyed by a storm in 1908 and disbanded, and Bethel was destroyed by a storm in 1908 and rebuilt. The wood from the Brookstown church was sold and the money used to repair the Baker parsonage. When Blackwater (1939) and Bethel (1944) left the circuit, only Deerford and Baker remained. In 1945, Baker became a full-time charge while Rev. William Mayo served as pastor.
     The present church was built in 5 stages. A concrete block building was built in the late 1940's and now serves as part of the educational building. The building was renovated and bricked on the outside in the 1950's. The northern part of the educational building was also added at that time. The present sanctuary was completed in 1966 under the leadership of Rev. Lael Jones (1960-1965) and Rev. Albert Collins (1965-1968). In 1980, the family room was added. 

SOURCE:   "The First United Methodist Church of Baker Celebrates 100 Years"