On Dec. 3, 1860, eighteen people met at the home of William S. Freshour for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church for the Centertown community. Before the church was started, people had their memberships at Sardis, in Elston, MO and in California, MO churches. A building was started immediately but because of the war, it was not finished until 1870.
Lumber used in the first church was chopped from virgin trees and finished by hand. Except for one carpenter, the work was done by men of the church.
First services were held in the church before the floor was laid or the ceiling finished. After the building was completed, each man of the church brought lumber and made a pew. Later, when the membership grew, a carpenter was hired to make additional pews. At the beginning, candles were used for lighting. Later, wall lamps with reflectors replaced the candles.
This building was used until 1898. At that time, Bro. William S. Freshour gave the land on which the present building was constructed.