From the United States Senate, the Honorable John Cornyn writes, “I recently learned that First Baptist Church of Blanco is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Congratulations on this significant milestone. It is encouraging to see congregations such as yours continuing to share hope and goodwill. Sandy and I send our best wishes for the continued ministry of your church.”
The Baptist Young People’s Union was organized in 1902 with a few minutes recorded earlier.
In the early 1900s, Miss Louella Bell, a youth group member, served as the first missionary sent out by the Blanco Baptist Church, on a mission to Mexico.
In the later 1900s, Michelle Wagner ministered in Mexico, prefacing several large groups of FBC teens doing hands-on mission work in Mexico, usually coordinated by Dan and Marcella Murrah. Teen missionary Eric Lane served in Scotland and England, while Leighton Tatum ministered in South Africa. In recent years, large groups of FBC youth have ministered nationally, with some international destinations by Sarah Culpepper, Mary Cummings, Daniel Culpepper and Eben Gourley.
On October 25, 1903, the Young People’s Union reorganized with President A.W. Capt and officers T.J. Alexander, Mary Capt, Rebekah Baines, Mary Alexander, and Earle Capt.
On April 8, 1956, a series of youth fellowships began with President, Joan Bigden; Vice-President, Ginny McFarlin; Secretary, Pat Meeks; Program, Angie Ellison; Publicity, Darlene Smith, and L.J. Wagner; Refreshments, Helen Wagner and Marjorie Smith. In May, the group toured the Capitol and University of Texas, where they enjoyed “a huge tower with a lovely clock. We were really high up and could feel the closeness to God.”
Faculty for the 1957 Vacation Bible School included Pat Meeks, Ginny McFarlin, Angie Ellison, Shirley Greenhaw, Frances Wagner, Elizabeth Martin, Sibyl Greenhaw, and Mrs. Richard Abbott. “Because of mumps and measles, attendance was below expectancy.”
In 1958, VBS Faculty added Linda Martin, Wilma Cage, Melba Page, Joan Bigden, Ida Crow, and Claire Gloor, with the offering given to The Braille Evangel; the offering of 1964 went to Buckner’s Boys Home.
During the 1970s, youth activities blossomed. Rev. Tommy Walden laid a foundation with Teen Time, being held in a building on the west side of the Square. Rev. Tom Lanier held a “Jesus Alive” crusade in the old Blanco theater. Serving on the Youth Committee during the decade from time to time were: Ann Beckham, Wilson Blackburn, Darlene and Delbert Brockway, Fern, Irene and Lee Cage, Charlotte Calhoun, George and John Covin, Claire, Karen and Kristen Gloor, James Greenhaw, Margie Latham, Andy Mann, Ivanne Moore, Larry Moore, Gene and Nancy Smith, Angie Smith, Charlie Tatum, Linda Tatum, David Vause, Carolyn Walden, and Cliff Wilson.
The 2000 Youth Committee included: Dan and Marcella Murrah, Harley Bowman, Shirley Smith, Sandy Terry, Mike and Lisa Lyons, Steve and Chris Hall, Leif and Crystal Henderson, Ken and Bea Eastman, Vickie Pautz, Gwendolyn Reynolds, and Charles Brenner.
Carlton Pridgeon (wife Angie) now serves as Minister of Youth, preceded by Darrell Fishbeck and Keith Beck. Carlton can be reached at 833-4632.