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In the years following the Civil War, many changes took place. Southern Plantations were broken
up in favor of smaller farms; however,
cotton prices fell and farmers suffered from the low prices. Southern manufacturing began to rise as factories were built,
with the farm families furnishing the labor.
It was during this period
that the Thrift Company built a plant and a later a community that became known as Thrift, NC (also known as Paw Creek, NC).
New communities were developed around mills located in the countryside. This phenomenon is easily seen at Thrift. Growing
with the construction of Thrift Mill and the P & N Depot in 1912 (and still visible today), the curved
streets of the Thrift Mill Village were laid out around 1913. Although engulfed by urban expansion today, this was a rural
area when construction began. As Thrift Company hired more people for their textile plant and built houses
for them, the area became an active community. (1)
|Reverand S F Conard
|Thirft Baptist Founding Pastor (click)
The birth of Thrift Baptist Church was somewhat like a husband
and wife coming together to be one person under the eyes of God. Rev. S. F. Conard, the first pastor, invited the good
people of Long Creek Community - Long Creek Baptist Church - to join the people of this community of Thrift in forming a new
Baptist Church. Since that day, we have seen their wise planning, and the wisdom and benediction of God upon such a
|Thrift Baptist Original Church
|Thirft Baptist Founding Memebers in front of church. (click)
The name “Thrift” was accepted by the church primarily
because the community and industrial plant at the time were named Thrift. In the light of such a move, the Thrift Company
donated this location of ground to the church. The company also contributed the gracious amount of $500.00. The
Thrift Company also donated land for a cemetery (Also See)to be used by both Thrift Methodist and Thrift Baptist churches. On May 12, 1971, Thrift Methodist gave Thrift Baptist
their rights to the cemetery. On a hot day in July 1914, more than a 100 people (50 members)
gathered for the ceremony of officially starting another New Testament church. Rev. S. F. Conard invited Rev. L. R.
Pruett of Charlotte to assist in the Organization of Thrift Church. Rev. Conard was pastor from 1914 to 1918.
He gave the church full-time services, although he received half-time salary. Sunday School was held as soon as there
was a sub-flooring, framing for the walls and rafters. Benches were made of nail kegs with planks laid across them.
Source Info:(1) http://www.cmhpf.org/properties/ruralresources.html; Thift Baptist Archives;
On December 9th, 1962, Rev. Albert Helms became pastor. Sunday School
and Church membership increased with the growing economic conditions of the sixties. The church growth prompted the building
of a fellowship hall valued at approximately $30,000 was constructed with the members contributing many hours of their time
to this effort. The building was completed in six months. It was dedicated in February 1964, and named Troy Harkey Fellowship
God Blessed, Thrift continued to grow, and the need arose for more space. In August 1966 a house and lot was purchased behind
the church for $5,800. In January 1969, the old nursery was torn down to begin constructions of the new sanctuary. On Sunday
Morning, October 1969, the church voted to borrow $225,000 through a church bond issued to build a new sanctuary and education
|New Thrift Baptist Santuary
|New Santuary and Bell-tower ca 1990's
Construction began; however, it was clouded by a tragic accident.
As Jesus Christ died for the people of Thrift, so did another. At 7:00am on March 16th, 1970, a member of the construction
crew; Mr. Donald Dunlap fell to his death and Mr. James Gaskins was also injured. But despite the great loss, the new
sanctuary was finally completed in July 1970 with seating for 642 souls and with a new education building.
On Sunday evening, July 26th, 1970, Thrift's members gathered for the last regular worship service in
the old church auditorium. Mixed emotions were shared by all in attendance, happy at the prospect of worshipping in the new
building and with some degree of sorry at leaving a hallowed place that we held so dear. It was like saying good bye to an
old friend. The first regular worship service was held on Sunday, August 2nd, 1970. Prayers and songs
of praise to God for this bountiful blessing were on the lips and in the hearts of all.
|Time Capsule Marker
|Recommended Open July 2014
A time capsule including a "Biblical Recorder"
, church directory, copy of the minutes of the eighty-sixth session of the Mecklenburg Baptist Association from October 1971,
church Treasurer's report, 1971 church budget, List of current officers and teachers, bulletin of the dedication service of
the new building, A number of pictures and other articles. A suggested date for the opening of the time capsule in the cornerstone
is in the month of July 2014, the one hundredth anniversary of Thrift Baptist Church.
Day, September 4th, 1972 brought an end to an era in the Thrift community. The original Thrift Baptist Church, a landmark
for some 58 years, fell victim to the wrecker's hammer. Having been vacant for two years and considered unsafe for future
use. The old building was torn down and hauled away as scrap. Many people stood by and watched as portion after portion came
down in a cloud of dust and flying timber. One can only imagine the fond memories brought to mind that will be cherished for
|New Santuary and Bell-tower ca 1980
|Sunrise Stained Glass
On February 4th, 1978, the bell-tower was dedicated. Rev. Guy Longshore
guided Thrift to construct a bell-tower to house the bell from the original church. The bell-tower can still be seen today
and heard every Sunday morning, faithfully!
New Stained Glass Windows were dedicated on January 24, 1988, with donations of $15,000. These
windows added great beauty and improved the atmosphere of the sanctuary. Each window represents the events in the life of