By Thomas Richardson
April 3, 2014 at 10 p.m.
Dr. Monty Pierce, 53, has been called and accepted as pastor of First Baptist Church in Hallsville at a business meeting Sunday morning.
Bro. Pierce was elected by secret ballot after the pastor search committee had unanimously recommended him. He had been with the church 11 years and served as associate pastor of Education Administration. It's hard not to say "Monty," served as interim pastor while Dr. David Massey was ill and has continued since his death last year.
Pierce is from New Boston, graduated from high school there and received his college degree from ETBC in 1983. He received his Masters Degree from New Orleans BTS in early 1991 and his Doctorate from the same school in December of 1991. He worked at churches in Arkansas and the panhandle of Texas before coming to Hallsville.
Bro. Monty is married to Candice who works at Eastman and strongly supports him. They have a son, John Calvin Pierce, who is a senior at HHS. He is an accomplished singer and pianist who performs at church and school.
The Pierces live on Willow Road in what we call the Noel Fielders place. Those on the pastor search committee were Dan Cunningham, Wesley Dollahite, Bonnie Jones, Dennis O'Quinn, Shane Sherwood, Linda Sides and Mike Smith.
Pierce is the 36th pastor of FBC since the church was set up in Hallsville in 1870. My grandmother's grandfather, Wilfred Ferrell (1811-1885), was the first pastor. He had preached at the church when it was in Ash Springs. The First Baptist Church in Hallsville was in the present parking lot area off 450 and Pine St.
It was near a saloon, but was moved before too long over on Green Street across from the 1936 white brick school. The church was there until 1912 when a frame church was built on the lot where the present church is. The first pastor I remember was Bro. Goff in the early 1940s. He lived in the parsonage when it was on US 80 East. He married Ethlyn and Weldon Hickey. I didn't know Bro. Savage, ask Wesley Dollahite about him.
During WWII, Bro. Davis was preacher. He was an older, big man from Dallas. The parsonage may have moved to Cypress Street in 1946, his last year, or the next.
W.D Petersen had an evangelistic style and could really preach; the one I remember pounded the pulpit and then left in 1960. The 1952 church was built during his tenure. He baptized me once.
Barney Walker was interim in the late 1960s and left in 1961. Herman Hendricks served 1961-64. He was from Lufkin, had been a running back for SFA. He played football with Votto Gaddis. Very fitting he was the pastor when Hallsville had a great football team. Calvin White served as pastor from 1964-67. He may have worked in the oil field once. He loved to fish and was good at it. He had a son, Buddy, who attended HHS.
An older man from Killeen, George English, served from 1967-1978, His wife ran a flower shop. He preformed my wedding and it took. He was the first preacher to retire here.
John R. Taylor came to the church in 1979 and stayed until 1996, 17 years longer than anyone. He may be our most loved preacher. He was in command when our present auditorium was built in 1984. He is having some hard times; Amelia broke her hip and is in the rest home. Go by to see him when you can and remember them in your prayers. He has been a faithful servant of the Lord's work.
He attended ETBC and pastured Second Baptist in Marshall. He can really sing and preach.
Dr. Franklin Atkinson served part of 1996-97 as intern. Dr. David Massey came to FBC in 1997 and served until his death last year at age 56. He came from New Diana. He was a smart man in the Bible and was noted for well outlined short sermons. Our beautiful Children's Center and Activity Building was built when he served. He may have seen the church at its highest attendance around the turn of last century. He re-baptized me after his trip to the Holy Land. His wife Becky was an outstanding Hallsville High School teacher and leader. She loved her students and strived to make them the best they could be.
Bro. Massey and Becky left this world too soon. His family lives on their home place on MP cutoff.
Speaking of MP, the Bobcats had a good 6-4 win over the Tigers last Saturday in a 5 p.m. game. MP has some good hitters at the top of their line up. They caught some hits we made a couple of errors. MP went three up on Coby Weaver. He settled down, pitched great several innings. We scored six runs on five hits. They really made errors, six in the infield. Conner Reich pitched two innings and gave up a run. The Bobcats are 3-1 in district, several teams are 2-2, and SS is 1-3 with a win over us. We play Texas High tonight; they got only 7 hits last week.
The Friday game will be on Bobcat Radio, 104.9. The Ladycats scored 4 runs in the 1st inning against MP and won 8-0 just in time for the rain. I went to get a hot dog from Monica Bailey Gabriel, as Virgil Tulles granddaughter looked on: then, I came back to my seat and the game was over. The bottom fell out and large bolts of lightening hit.
The Lady cats are 6-0, and play their toughest opponent Texas High tonight. They beat us once last year. We should get to see the "stats" on one of the best softball teams in ET this week. We play at Marshall and Pr next week. The game will be on 104.9 on Tuesday night.
The boys track team placed 3rd with part of the team at Whitehouse. The Ladycats placed 2nd. Allie Bayne ran well. Ladycats run in Spring Hill tomorrow. The district track meet is April 9 and the finals on the 10th in Pine Tree. Kirk McMaster does a great job on the radio, 104.9. You can get it on the Internet or your cell phone, (903) 668-5990 ex. 2121.
Christiana Anderson will speak at Lions Club Monday night at 7 p.m. at the high school.