Near the close of the 19th century, White Pine was a prosperous and growing little town. A number of strong Baptist familes had settle in the community and as the number increased, they felt the need of the a place to worship. The Southern Presbyterian Church "in the Pines" was the only church building in White pine. The United Brethren was organized and had built Edwards Academy which was used as a place to worship. There was no Baptist church.
We have the following record of the birth of White Pine Baptist Church:
Some of the Baptist brethren had met Rev. E. Allison of Morristown, pastor of Oak Grove Baptist Church (later First Baptist Church of Dandridge) passing regularly through town, going to and from his church. They asked him if he would stop by and preach for them sometime, if a time and place could be arranged. He agreed. A service was planned for the last Sunday night in June, 1891. The use of the First Presbyterian Church building was granted for the service, but the place of meeting was changed to Edward's Academy due to unexpected circumstances. There was a good attendance. (We can plainly see God's hand in the following events.) Brother Allison's sermon stirred such interest in the community, especially the Baptist, that is was decided to continue into a protracted meeting which continued through Sunday, June 12. On the following Monday morning the Baptist brethren met in the home of Mr. Tom White, and organized a Baptist church. That afternoon they went to Long Creek where Brother Allison baptized five candidates. Brother Allison became pastor of the new church with sixteen members.
The following are some of the highlights of the first hundred years of White Pine Baptist Church:
Ground was broken on July 5, 1893 for the building on a lot where the present building stands. Bricks were burned by Sam Bell in a field east of town. Fifty-seven thousand bricks were used at a cost of $6.50 per thousand and laid at $2.00 per thousand. When the work was finished in the summer of 1894, the church was faced with a debt of $500.00. There was much sacrificial giving during the early days of the church. When a note became due, and there was no money in the treasury, a member would sell a cow, calf or some other animal to help meet the payment.
White Pine Baptist Church was formally dedicated on May 28, 1905. Dr. M.D. Jeffries preached the dedication sermon.
In 1907, an addition to the building consisting of two rooms at the back of the church and a baptistry was built at a cost of $500.00.
In September 1914, Dr. W.D. Hudgins, State Sunday School Superintendent, visited the church in an effort to improve Sunday School work. He taught the Sunday School manual and stirred great interest in Sunday School work. As a result, the church voted to put the Sunday School under church control and properly organize the program. This was a significant step.
In 1916, a church pastorium was built at a cost of $1500.00 on a lot adjoining the church, donated by Dr. W.B. Helm. Rev. W.B. Rutledge was the first occupant.
In 1920 White Pine Church withdrew from Nolichucky Association to join the newly organized Jefferson County Baptist Association.
In 1928, a very significant achievement was the erection of an addition to the building at a cost of $9,000.00. The floor plan consisted of six classrooms, one of these a large 23' x 27' room opening into the north side of the auditorium. The basement plan consisted of a furnace room, a fuel room, a kitchen and a large assembly room. This finished work added much to the beauty and the usefulness of the church.
The first church sponsored Vacation Bible School was held in 1928.
On May 15, 1949, Rev. Roland Hudlow was called as pastor. The subject of a new building was beginning to gain interest. The church membership was near three hundred and the prospect of growth demanded more space. A meeting was called to discuss a building program on October 16, 1950. No action was taken at this meeting but on November 19, in a called meeting the deacons recommended the church launch a building fund drive for $10,000.00. The recommendation passed and it was voted to put all funds in excess of $800.00 per month into a building fund. This was the beginning of our present facilities.
Rev. Hudlow resigned on September 28, 1952 to accept a pastorate in Miami, Florida. Brother Bill Blevins supplied the pulpit until the calling of Rev. Judson Taylor from Chilhowee Baptist Church on May 3, 1953.
The building program actually began with the appointment of a building committee and a finance committee on July 15, 1953. Mr. Clarence Ailey of Newport, TN, was contracted for the job of the first unit to cost $30,000-$40,000.
In a regular business meeting on March 10, 1954, the name of the church was changed to First Baptist Church of White Pine.
In May 1960, the church called its first "paid" choir director. Mr. Leroy Surrett was paid $10.00 a week to lead the music during the summer and practice the choirs for Adults and Youth.
On July 6, 1966, the church voted to purchase the Helm property. In November 1966, the property was transferred to the church. At this time the membership continued to discuss the plan for the building of new sanctuary.
On November 24, 1968, Rev. Judson Taylor presented his resignation to be effective December 31. Dr. Bill Blevins and Dr. Edwin Richardson served as interim pastors until September when the church voted to call Rev. Kenneth Richey as pastor. Brother Richey accepted the call on October 5, 1969, taking the pulpit November 2, 1969.
The prospect of a new sanctuary was of great interest to the congregation at this time. On July 12, 1970, the building fund drive was launched and a planning committee was elected.
The first Sunday in October, 1972 was chose as "Rally-Day" for the building fund. At this time a building committee was elected. Cash and pledges on this day amounted to $29,455.00. The lowest bid was Burle Frazier Construction Company at $267,000.00. The church voted to borrow up to $175,000.00 and the work began.
The building was dedicated November 3, 1974. Improvements in the physical area include construction of a drive-through canopy and an extensive renovation of the educational wing.
The church has been faithfully served by the following pastors:
Rev. E. Allison, 1891
Rev. Charles E. Brown, 1892-1893
Rev. John H. Helm, 1894
Rev. S.M. McCarter, 1895-1898
Rev. Jessee Baker, 1898-1902
Rev. H.B. Clapp, 1902-1905
Rev. J.M. Lewis, 1905-1908
Rev. J.N. Garst, 1908-1910
Rev. J.B. Tallant, 1910-1911
Rev. J.A. Lockhart, 1912-1913
Rev. W.B. Rutledge, 1913-1919
Rev. Joseph Connell, 1919-1920
Rev. G.W. Wilder, 1920-1921
Rev. T.C. King, 1922-1924
Rev. W.L. Patton, 1924-1925
Rev. J.M. Anderson, 1926-1932
Rev. J.R. Johnson, 1932-1939
Rev. E.C. Masden, 1939-1944
Rev. T.C. Christmas, 1945-1948
Rev. R.C. Hudlow, 1949-1952
Rev. Judson Taylor, 1953-1968
Rev. Kenneth W. Richey, 1969-1997
Rev. Randy Irons, 1998-2004
Rev. Brian Osborne, 2007-