Our History

Brief History of Andice Baptist Church

The Reverend Freeman Smalley, one of the first Baptists in Texas, began preaching in the area in 1850. Our church was organized as a result of this in 1851 with Reverend Josiah Andrews from Arkansas becoming the first pastor of the Baptist congregation. During 1851, Joshua Stapp bought 369 acres for $184.00, and in 1854 he built a log school house that served both as a school and church. This was located about 300 yards north of the present Andice Cemetery. The church was known as Stapp School Baptist Church. The pulpit used by Reverend Andrews was an oak tree stump hewn out for a “stand” as it was referred to in early times. On the side of the “stand” was a wooden peg to hold his six-shooter while he preached. Indians still lived in this area and raids by warlike tribes were feared by the early settlers.

In 1876 the Christians of several faiths meeting at the Stapp School began to search for separate places to worship. The Baptists chose the new White House School. It was named White House because it was the first painted structures in the community. By 1894 the Baptists has a vision to build a place of worship of its own. Land was given about a mile west of present day Andice and the new church was named Pilot Knob for the nearby landmark. The church was built of planks and painted white. On the 6th of October, 1908, a severe storm completely destroyed the Pilot Knob Church. The following week the members met under the Live Oak trees on the church grounds and after a season of prayer, voted unanimously to rebuild.

In 1854 our community was known as the village of Lone Star. Later it was called Berry’s Creek and after that Graysonville after a Dr. Grayson. In 1899, Isaac Newton sent the name of his son, Audice, as the name for the new Post Office. The Post Office Department mistook the “u” for and “n” and consequently the name of Andice was born.

In 1936 the Pilot Knob Church membership voted to tear down the old church and rebuild in Andice. C.M. Stapp, great grandson of Joshua Stapp, deeded the church 1.76 acres of the original Stapp tract, near the site where the church was originally organized. The new church became Andice Baptist Church. The Church was built of materials salvaged from the Pilot Knob Church. The depression was still hurting all of the people, so very few materials were purchased for the church. The men did the construction work mostly in the winter, when no work was needed in the fields.

The new building was occupied on Easter Sunday, in April of 1937. Every phase of the church began to grow and in 1938 a large building that had been used as a grocery store and chicken hatchery was bought and moved to the church. This building was added behind the sanctuary and used for classrooms.

On February 16, 1976 the church applied for a Texas Historical Marker and this was approved on March 19, 1976. This marker is still on the church grounds. On November 28, 1976, the church celebrated the renovation of the sanctuary at a cost of $14,000.00. Also, at this time the fist baptistery was added and the first baptismal service was held on Sunday, March 7, 1976.
More space was needed for Sunday School so on July 28, 1980, ground was broken for and educational building combined with a kitchen and dining area to be known as the Bell Tower because it would have a tower with a bell in it. The bell had been a dinner bell, a bell for Andice High School, and now a church bell. The building was paid off ahead of schedule.Because of the leadership of the Lord and generous gifts from its members, the church has been able to make improvements and additions to the church plant while remaining debt free.

The first parsonage was a house that was bought and remodeled in 1947. Later the church recognized the need for regular worship services on Sunday and at the same time realized it would be difficult to pay an adequate salary for a pastor to reside on the field full time, therefore they adopted a plan to seek ministerial students as pastors. The students arrived on Friday or Saturday and lived in a new mobile home through Sunday before returning to school. Andice Baptist Church has provided many young pastors an opportunity for in-service training. The need for a nice home for the pastor was recognized and ground was broken on September 20, 1987 with completion and open house on November 15, 1987. The note was paid off before its due date.

Church attendance began to grow again in 1993. Gifts, savings and $5,000.00 from the State Missions Commission allowed for renovation of the buildings, which included new windows, doors, floor and carpet and the building being bricked. Work began on June 21, 1993, and by September 24, 1993 the work was finished.

Generous gifts enabled the church to place new pews in the sanctuary in 1995 and begin construction on a 50 foot by 100 foot fellowship hall. This building contained space for a kitchen with custom made Birch cabinets, corian counter tops, new appliances, two restrooms and two classrooms. Work began on January 1996 and was dedicated in February of 1997. Upon completion of this building, the Bell Tower was converted into five classrooms and nursery space.

In May of 2002, a bad hailstorm damaged the roofs on all church property, and they were replaced with metal roofing. By the fall of 2002 there was a great need for more space to accommodate the children in Sunday School with four large classrooms and an assembly room that was built adjoining the fellowship hall.

In 2005, members of Andice Baptist Church voted to build new and improved facilities. About the same time the church was able to purchase 15 acres adjoining the church grounds. The church entered into a building program called Bridge to Tomorrow. Families in the church were asked to make commitments for 3 years, in addition to their tithe, paid in weekly or monthly payments. This would allow the church to pay for the building in 3 years instead of having a long-term mortgage. Commitments began to be paid on December 1, 2005.

On February 1, 2009, a dedication celebration was held for the new facility. This included a large worship center, pre-school wing with four rooms, library, church offices, 7 classrooms, large restrooms, a wing containing baptismal changing rooms, a music room, and additional restrooms connected to the refurbished fellowship hall.

Several items from the old building have been included in the new building. A wooden cross on the back wall of the worship center came out of the baptistery in the old building. The etched glass doors that were at the entrance of the old building were used as the window in the library. The bell from the Bell Tower hangs from the rafters of the porte-cochere at the entrance of the new building.

Mary-Louise Wade
Andice Church Member