B.H. Carroll/Grace Fellowship
Baptist Church

50th Anniversary
(1946-1996)

In the spring of 1946, the Rosemont section of Fort Worth, began to develop extensively, but there was no church to minister to this blossoming community God, however, has his eye on Rosemont. It was in June, 1946, that God led JW Thomas to Forth Worth to enroll in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary J. W. Thomas had been at the Seminary for only a short time, when in addition to his seminary training, God had Original Buildinganother mission for his dedicated heart. Thomas became deeply concerned about the spiritual needs of his new community, and this concern drove him to his knees. As he looked upon the community with prayerful concern, the Lord seemed to guide him to the vacant lots on which an open-air revival was held and the present sanctuary of our church now stands. Following the revival, others joined Thomas in prayer began meeting "from house to house." It was only a short time until a Sunday School grew out of these prayer meetings. The Sunday School was organized and first met in the home of Mrs. Vina Hodges at 3775 McCart, which property was later purchased by the church and now serves as parking space. In the memorable month of November 1946, B.H. Carroll Memorial Baptist Church was organized in the B.H. Carroll Elementary School cafeteria with 12 charter members. It was only fitting that J.W Thomas was called as the first pastor.

The church later met in the home of J.W Kirven at 3900 Wayside until June of 1947, when the first building (an army surplus barracks) was purchased. A second unit was added in 1948 where our present education building now stands. In 1949, a frame auditorium was constructed, and in 1956, under the leadership of pastor Frank Denton, the present education building was begun. It was completed in 1957. Guided by Dr. Buell Wells the church constructed its present auditorium in 1959. In July 1962, during the pastorate of B. Condred Pirkle, lightning struck the auditorium, resulting in heavy fire damage. The church, encouraged by a sense of divine commission, rebuilt and remodeled the building. Our baptistry, in which the testimony of baptism is still being portrayed, was made by the hands of Carl Hefner. He was one of the first to be saved as a result of the witness of our church in its early days. Mr. Hefner not only made our baptistry, but he was the first to be baptized in it. A close bond of friendship has existed between our church and Southwestern Seminary, dating even before the formal organization of our church. Over the past 50 years our church has served many students who have shared it its fellowship and ministry and departed to "preach the Gospel" all over the world. In order GFBC Todayto better serve and let others know our concern, the church voted to change its name to Grace Fellowship Baptist Church in 1995. As our church continues to mature, we have seen Godís hand in establishing a Compassion Ministry whereby our church reaches out to serve the needs of the community. The Education Building gradually deteriorated but is currently being rebuilt and has been dedicated for use as a Community Center. This center will be the focal point for our Compassion Ministries, serving as a Free Clinic; providing programs for latchkey children; giving Senior Citizens a place to have a hot lunch; job clearing house; and food distribution point. Grace Fellowship Church has had a colorful history, but its future is where the excitement begins. God has blessed this church and placed it here for a purpose. We have been serving the community for 50 years and will continue until our Lord comes to take us home.

The following have served B.H. Carroll/Grace Fellowship as pastor during its history: JW Thomas (1946-1951), James Wray (1952-1953), Frank Denton (1953-1956), Buell Wells (1956-1960), B. Condred Pirkle (1961-1964), John P. Wheat (1964-1969), Billy G. Thomason (1969-1974), Russell Kaemmerling (1974-1977), Delmar P. McBeath (1977-1980), Charles D. Burleson (1980-1981), Charles E. Bernal (1982-1987), Hall B. Owen (1988-1989), and M. Steven Munson (1989-Present).

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