Our History

New Hope Baptist Church of Newtonville was organized as part of the Evansville Baptist Association on October 5, 1857 at the schoolhouse on the crossroads in Newtonville, according to church records dating from the 1800s. Little Pigeon Baptist Church, Bakers Creek Baptist Church and Ohio Baptist Church were listed in the old records as the founding churches. Elder J.H. Crow was elected as the first pastor. Services that first day included one baptism. The church flourished in the coming years, with multiple baptisms being reported as the 1800s went on.

New Hope began a building project around 1909. On June 19, 1910, New Hope dedicated the new church building. Dr. William Owen Carver of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville (founder of the missions department at Southern) preached both morning and afternoon services at the dedication.

The church continued to be active until about 1927. From 1927 to 1949, the church building only held occasional services for funerals. That changed in 1949, under the leadership of Pastor Mitchell Lewis. On October 30, 1949, New Hope was then re-launched and organized into the Southern Baptist Convention through the assistance of Elder Z.E. Clark of the Seventh Street Baptist Church in Cannelton. The church continued to prosper in those early years. The current church building was dedicated in 1968 under the leadership of Russell Dazey.

New Hope has had a faithful legacy of preaching the gospel ever since. New Hope has also been active in planting churches over the years. Since the reorganization in 1949, New Hope has planted or helped plant four churches around the area: Tell Street Baptist in Tell City, Heritage Hills Baptist in Santa Claus, True Vine Baptist in Ferdinand and First Baptist in St. Meinrad.

The following men are known to have served as pastors of New Hope Baptist Church since the organization in 1857. It is assumed there are likely many more from the late 1800s which were not recorded in the church records.

  1. Elder J.H. Crow, founding pastor – 1857
  2. B.E. Cosby, 1880-?
  3. F.G. Ellis, 1886-1888
  4. J.F. Winchel, 1888
  5. R.A. Stevens, 1889-1893
  6. J.E. Covert, 1894-?
  7. J.E. Watson, 1901-1902
  8. C.J. West, 1903-1904
  9. W.V. Harrell, 1905-1906
  10. Stewart Long, 1906
  11. Charles Sigmon, 1907
  12. Noah F. Gabbert, 1909-1910
  13. J.D. Hudson, 1911-1912
  14. J.C. Wyatt, 1913-1914
  15. J. Aubrey Sandefur, 1914-1917
  16. J.T. McGee, 1919-?
  17. L.S. Sanders, 1922-1924
  18. C.J. Herring, 1924-1926
  19. Mitchell Lewis, 1949-1950
  20. V.M. McClanahan, 1950-1951
  21. Clayton Harrop, 1951-1955
  22. R.W. Dorsey, 1955-1957
  23. Jim Heneisen, 1957-1960
  24. Ezra Meador, 1960-1961
  25. Russell Dazey, 1962-1999
  26. Brian Cook, 1999-2000
  27. Bradley Gray, 2000-2003
  28. T.J. Milam, 2003-2015
  29. Michael Wilhite, 2015-current