Grace Fellowship Baptist Church
As Mr. Thomas 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. The present sanctuary of our church now stands on this site. Following the revival, others joined Thomas in prayer, and they began meeting "from house to house." It was only a short time until a Sunday School grew out of these prayer meetings. They first met in the home of Mrs. Vina Hodges at 3775 McCart Avenue. This property was later purchased by the church and now serves as oue parking lot. 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 Mr. J.W Kirven, 3900 Wayside Avenue, until June of 1947, when the first building (an army surplus barracks) was purchased. A second unit was added in 1948 where the old Education Building now stands vacant. In 1949, a frame auditorium was constructed, and in 1956, under the leadership of Pastor Frank Denton, a permanent 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 was made by the hands of Carl Hefner, 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 existed between our church and Southwestern Baptist Seminary, dating even before the formal organization of our church. Over the past 74 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 to 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 god’s hand in establishing a compassion ministry whereby our church can reach out to serve the needs of our community.
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), M. Steven Munson (1989-2001), and Oscar K. Pruitt (2001-Present).