The History of Little Milligan Baptist Church
In 1903 there was no church or school in the Little Milligan community. A small group of people decided to build a one room building. The parents who could read, write and count were the teachers. The men split logs for benches. The community had been called Mulligan after a gentleman who lived in the area. The citizens decided to change the name to Milligan and added “Little.”
The 1st Pastor Reverend W. Joe Potter began preaching in the building, holding revival services resulting in several people from the community being saved.
Reverend Potter then walked with the candidates to Elk River where he baptized the group.
Under leadership of the Holy Spirit, Rev. Potter as well as 31 charter members came together to organize Little Milligan Missionary Baptist Church. Salary was $24.00 per year. Rev. Potter and Elder A.F.J. Hyder began to organize Little Milligan Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Potter read the Declaration of Faith as was kept by the Missionary Baptist Churches. This was received by the people on a motion and second carried. He then read the Church Covenant and a motion and second was carried to accept the Church Covenant. Rev. Potter led a dedicatory prayer. Elder Hyder declared the church as Little Milligan Missionary Baptist Church. The 1st members were voted room inside the church. on and fellowshipped into the Little Milligan Missionary Baptist Church outside the building since there was not . The church was accepted into the Watauga Association of Baptist in 1905. As the congregation grew, plans were carried out for the construction of a larger building. A new one room building was built by the men and boys in the community. The only thing in the building was a pulpit. The building was also used for a school. A curtain was drawn through the center of the building so two teachers could teach school. A larger church auditorium was built. These rooms were removed when the auditorium was moved to its current site due to the construction of the Watauga Dam. Sunday School rooms were added to each side of the auditorium.
The church was remodeled in 1948 adding 11 rooms for Sunday School, an office, nursery and restrooms. The building was bricked and the basement finished. From 1963-1968 new pews were purchased, handrails were installed up the front steps, the organ, the piano and choir loft were enclosed and new pulpit furniture was purchased. From 1973-1979 the fellowship hall was built and furnished, a cub scout troop was organized, choir pews purchased and carpet installed in the Sunday School rooms and office.
During this same time period the parking lot was paved and a baptistry was installed.
Sunday School was first recorded in March 6, 1909 with J.A. McCurrey as the Superintendent, our first Vacation Bible School was in 1946, this was an exciting time for the children as Miss Gertrude Hale or some other associational leader came to lead the school. They stayed in the community in someone’s home for the week. By early 1960’s we staffed VBS with our local members. Paul Whaley served as our first principal. Training Union was organized in 1949 and continued until the Mid 1990’s. WMU was organized October 14, 1960 with Acteens, G.A.’s and Sunbeams organized April 2, 1961.
Little Milligan has ordained 6 ministers and licensed 3. During the history of LMMBC, we have had 30 Pastors, all of whom loved and served this church well, caring for the physical was well as spiritual welfare of this membership and outreaching to the community.
Our 31st pastor and present, Sammy Icenhour, was elected in November 2009. Sammy has served this church faithfully and is a very missions minded pastor.
He visits in the hospitals, homes, nursing homes and anywhere else his flock may need him. We enjoy a loving fellowship under his leadership. He encourages us to be faithful and to give Jesus Christ our Lord glory for all things. At the present time we have approximately 75-80 active members, and our numbers are growing due to the loving way in which our pastor ministers to us and his delivery of Holy Spirit inspired. We love and appreciate him and his family more than we can say.
We continue to obey the Great Commission stated in Matthew 28:19-20. We support the Cooperative Program with 8% of total offerings and suggested projects of the Association. We currently have active G.A. and WMU groups. We have had several members volunteer for mission trips to Canada, Michigan, New Orleans, Louisiana and Townsend, TN Ecuador and Uganda/Kenya New York.
God had blessed out church with many capable teachers, musicians and leaders in all age groups. One of the most well known members of our church was Mrs. Beaulah Rainbolt. She started teaching the Junior Sunday School Class at age 13 after being saved and baptized in Watauga River on November 11th, 1924. Many Christian adults credit “Miss Beulah” for the Scripture committed to memory in her class. She was Church Clerk for over 50 years and her mother was Nettie Campbell, whom was one of the charter members.