On June 1, 1920, plans were begun for a new building for the First Baptist Church in Big Sandy. The decision was made to build on the lot southwest of the old church building. These were hard times in Big Sandy, but everyone did what they could in the way of donating money and labor. C.D. Shamburger, a Big Sandy man who made good in the lumber industry, gave a generous donation to the building fund. He continued his generous contributions to the church as long as he lived. A stained glass window of Jesus and the Sheep was dedicated in memory of Mr. Shamburger’s mother, Mrs. J.M. Shamburger. This window was originally placed where the baptistery is now.
The bell from the old church was placed in the belfry built on the north side front of the church. There was a problem of leakage around this belfry so it was removed and the bell was placed on an outside stand in front of the church. This bell is the only remaining relic of the original church and resides at the current building for the First Baptist Church located on 155 South of town.
Mrs. W.L. (Mary) Perdue, daughter of N.C. and Eugenia Kay, was the church’s first organist and pianist. The organ was a pump model. She and Mr. Perdue would lead the music for any and all churches that had summer time revival meetings.
When the church was built in 1922, the pastor was Bro. C.L. Elder. Deacons were S.P. Kay, N.C. Kay, A.F. Lutonsky, W.H Farrar and H.E. Speer. G.C. Ferrell served as Church Clerk. The church was dedicated on October 29, 1931, with Bro. A.A. Duncan officiating. Bro. John W. Smith was the pastor.
Members serving on the Building Committee chaired by H.E. Speer: Mrs. H.E. Speer, L.R. Kay, H.G. Ferrell, D.G. Robinson, Mrs. W.L. (Mary) Perdue, B.W. Seago, S.P. Kay, O.J. Bruce, N.C. Kay, W.H. Farrar and G.C. Ferrell. Architects were Lindsey & Kilman of Greenville, Texas and Foreman O.S. Davis.
When First Baptist Church moved to their current location in 2015, Wayne Davis, grandson on O.S. Davis, purchased the building and decided to turn it into a music hall for the community. It was called “A Joyful Noise The Music Hall for a year and a half with many successful shows featuring world-class talent.
In 2016, Davis partnered with Andrew and Kate Kirby to host a monthly Singer Songwriter Show in January 2016. The Kirby’s also owned The Big Sandy and Hawkins Journal, the local newspaper, and a full-service media company. Attendance and notoriety grew with each performance, and Kirby’s purchased the building from the Davis’ in the spring of 2016.
The mission remains the same, to use this incredible historic building as a wonderful music venue to bring world-class music to a comfortable atmosphere that’s close to home. In addition to musical acts, the venue is available for community theater, band, orchestra, private and special events. Our hope is that this venue will bring people together and give joy to generations to come.
In the late forties, during the ministry of Bro. John W. Smith, an addition was built that included the baptistery, two adjoining class rooms, the downstairs kitchen, pastor’s study and the class room directly across from the study. This addition was built by C.W. Davis.
The parsonage was built in 1954 during the ministry of Bro. James T. Garrett. It was built on Highway 155 North by Gid and Tol McDonald.
The annex to the church was completed in 1956, while Bro. R.D. Yancy was pastor. The annex included the youth class rooms and the nursery. Hugh Carter, Jr. served as contractor.
The church library was organized and put into service in 1962, during the ministry of Bro. Gene Davenport.
December 14, 1971…After an electrical storm, there was a fire at the church. The interior suffered extensive damage and included the baptistery, two adjoining class rooms and the pastor’s study. Bro. A.A. Bendele, Jr. was pastor. A contribution toward the repairs was made by Mrs. Ellnanne Bearden and a number of other members.