Community Baptist Church is a loving community that welcomes everyone, and we need someone to lead us! After 17 years as pastor, Dr. Tim Hobbs retired in the spring of 2022. If you’re looking for a flock to lead, read ahead to learn more about our church.
For the time being, Dr. Chuck Summers is our interim pastor minister of pastoral care and Rev. Gary Chapman is our interim pastor.
It all began with a business meeting like most great Baptist stories do. The majority requiring a signature on a restrictive statement of belief in order to serve in leadership. The minority deciding to leave for something new.
Thus, out of the small mindedness of some, a new vision of a fellowship founded in radical love and inclusion was formed. A love that so resembled that of Jesus that there was strident opposition. Jesus was criticized for welcoming sinners and tax collectors, talking to women, and caring for the oppressed. When the Community Baptist Church built her building, vandals wrote on it before it opened “This is not a church it is a cult”.
Community Baptist Church chose the harder path of loving in the way of Jesus. A love that manifested in taking in a homeless woman with one leg in a wheelchair and providing her support and welcoming her into the congregation. A love that embraced those that the traditional religious community ostracized and condemned. The communal strength is captured in the words spoken to new members: We are all ministers here. We have a ministry to you. You have a ministry to us.
Over the 30 years of her existence, Community has been a blessing to Henderson occupying a place that other churches have chosen to ignore. Rather than looking inward, the congregation has always focused outwards. Whether it be Upward Basketball, Runway Red, the Arts Festival, Halloween Party or hosting the Boys and Girls club, the church’s facility was built and has been used as a communal center embodying more clearly the love of Christ than many churches who consider their place so sacred that others are unwelcome.
This ethic of love has been expressed in the leadership of its two longest serving pastors. John Dunaway who had the can-do attitude that led the church in building a building that seemed far beyond their means but met the community need for a multipurpose facility. As a gym it has been a place for fun and frivolity, but for the church it has been a place for marriages, tears, laughter, holy worship, Easter Sundays, and Christmas Eve worship. The building is a thin place
where the distance between God and the community collapses in a profound and sacred way.
John led the church with his can-do attitude. He had big ideas that were latched onto by the little group. The congregation became a place of adventure. He pulled people into his projects, and they joined them with joy.
Tim Hobbs was the kind of pastor who brought candy and cookies at Christmas and dressed in full costume for Halloween. The church expanded its role in the community with his participation on 10 local boards. He was not afraid and could be seen marching at the front of the Pride parade and working in a real way for justice through personal action. Tim will also be remembered for the construction paper chain that he brought to service symbolizing the church’s debt. He saw the continued financial commitment of the loan payment as something that imprisoned the vision of the community. Slowly week by week, month by month, year by year, the links were cut until last year with great joy the church was free of the bondage of debt.
If there is someone working for good in the community, there is the certainty that a member of Community Baptist will be there. Community members are leaders in Henderson and have a disproportionate impact on improving the local environment.
It says something important that the past two pastors retired at Community after long ministries. It is the kind of place someone comes and never wants to leave. The church continues to have charter members and their families but also has folks who have joined more recently.
But the Community “community” is not just the world outside. It is also the Ekklesia the gathering of the saints. It is a community where the people’s love of Jesus brings them to a love of each other. One of the most formative moments came when the daughter of members was diagnosed with viral encephalitis. The church rallied in care and worried, prayed, and carried the family during the long crisis. Today, that daughter is now one of the active members of the congregation.
The church has a real commitment to youth ministry. Despite not having many youth in the congregation, youth group meetings have 20 or more young people who are attracted to the vibrancy of the ministry and the openness and love. Members of the group say they are not the kind of people who hang together at school because they are so different, but they are united by the group.
If you really want to understand the Senior Adult group, The Upperclassmen, you just need to ride with them in the back of a van. At one moment they are talking about friends, another the church, then the 1619 Project, and also the dates for the blood drive at the church.
Music is important in the church and of high quality. But even with that emphasis, the values of the church are promoted. As a joke, the new minister of music played a tape of an awful singer and said they would be singing at the church. No one laughed. Even though they knew the sound was awful, the choir members who heard believed that anyone who wanted to sing would be welcome, no matter their ability.
Henderson is a diverse community. Main Street is a classic Southern small town. It is still a place of life and activity even today as so many other small towns have failed to thrive. This is seen most clearly in the commitment to arts, food, and activities. A few blocks over, the tugboats stream up and down the river reminiscent of a Mark Twain novel. A few blocks the other way is a major commercial route with parking lots, restaurants and strip malls stretching as far as the eye can see. Beyond that are suburban neighborhoods where you will find the church nestled in behind the local swimming pool in a residential area.
Community Baptist reflects all of that and more in its progressive theology, receptive attitude, good natured and humble members. They are mission minded, a church of second and third chances, a place that is Christ’s presence in the world. It is a vibrant place.
When the lawyer asks Jesus what is necessary for a person to be saved, Jesus replies, “Love the Lord your God with your heart, soul and mind and your neighbor as yourself.”
If that is the way to salvation, Community is a place where salvation is being worked out every day with fear and trembling.
Brief Historical Overview
A small group of folks met in a home in May 1994 with the beliefs of the inclusiveness of Christ’s church, the priesthood of the believers, and the autonomy of the local church. The newly formed congregation began meeting at the Green Valley Baptist office located at the south end of Henderson KY, June 1, 1994. They soon moved to a downtown store front at 115 N. Main Street under the interim direction of retired minister Dr. David Nelson. On December 11, 1994, the charter for Community Baptist Church was signed by 68 members.
March 1995 brought Dr. John Dunaway from Corbin, KY. Dr. Dunaway’s “church in motion” leadership helped establish a deacon body, a church document, a budget, and a building committee, and the church added more members to the congregation, growing to 117 by August 1995. The church’s first service in it’s new $1 million building was held on January 26, 1997, at 1026 Pebble Creek Drive.
Dr. Dunaway retired in 2004, and on August 1, 2004, Dr. Tim Hobbs and his family came to us from Atlanta, GA beginning his 17 years of service, with a retirement which commenced on April 24, 2022. Dr. Hobbs led the congregation in a direction of even more inclusiveness and mission work. In addition, he ably guided the church through the COVID-19 pandemic, and under his leadership, the church boldly retired the building debt on February 25, 2021, after an aggressive 5-year debt reduction campaign. Dr. Hobbs’s servant spirit spread throughout the community as he actively served on the boards of a variety of non-profit, human service organizations.
The pandemic also brought the church its first Facebook Live service orchestrated by the workmanship of the late Rudy Belcher on March 22, 2020. Today, the church continues meeting both in person and on-line for Sunday worship services. In addition to weekly worship, Wednesday services, and bible studies, the church building became the temporary home for the Cliff Hagan Boys and Girls Club on August 1, 2019. The current plan for the Boys and Girls Club is to remain in the church building until completion of their new facility in 2023.
The ministries of Community Baptist Church are both focused internally to meet the needs of parishioners as well as externally with a rich history of community outreach.
The current primary internal ministries of the church include:
- Weekly Sunday School offerings: there is one adult intergenerational class taught by a rotating group of lay teachers. There were classes for a full array of ages prior to the pandemic, and this has not yet been restored with the exception of the youth program which engages outside of Sunday morning (see below).
- There is a Sunday morning worship service that occurs both in-person and is broadcast on Facebook live.
- The children of the church have a children’s church opportunity that meets during Sunday morning worship.
- As a function of worship, the order of Holy Communion is taken to shut-in members with the same regularity that communion occurs in worship.
- There is a bible study that occurs weekly on Wednesday evenings. Historically, these bible studies have revolved around a time-limited Study Series. More often these bible studies have been led by the Pastor, but from time-to-time lay teachers will lead a series.
- There is an adult choir that sings in Sunday worship (except July), and the choir meets for practice and fellowship each Wednesday evening after bible study.
- The Deacons of the church in conjunction with the Pastor (the Pastoral Care Minister during this interim period) each are assigned parishioners for whom they are responsible for direct monthly outreach. The Deacons and Pastor work together to meet the ministry needs of individual church parishioners and families.
- The church engages in intentional social activities scattered throughout the year, including pot-luck meals, trips to ballgames, etc.
- The Senior members of the church take (usually monthly) day trips within a few hours of Henderson to share fellowship, dine at popular regional eateries, and engage in sightseeing and tours at regional attractions.
The current primary external ministries of the church include:
- The church youth minister engages primarily with high school young people through a weekly youth group Bible study and sharing session as well as through regular youth group social and recreational activities. This is enumerated as an external ministry as in recent years a significant percentage of the young people involved are based in other churches or in no church at all. However, their involvement bleeds into the regular ministry opportunities of the church.
- Historically the church engages with a few other ecumenically minded, local, mainline churches for a weeklong Vacation Bible School in the early summer. Regular partners for VBS have been St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, The Presbyterian Church of Henderson, and First Christian Church of Henderson.
- On any fifth Saturday of the year, the church serves lunch at the local Salvation Army Center of Hope.
- The church hosts a Red Cross Blood drive at least semi-annually.
- Participating annually in CBF Kentucky’s Extreme Build weeks typically in Eastern Kentucky as well as regularly assisting with storm relief trips around the region.
- Annually hosting one of the Lenten Lunches and worship services in conjunction with the Henderson Ministerial Association.
- The church hosts a community Harvest Festival annually at Halloween.
- The church is a regular financial contributor by budget to CBF Kentucky, CBF Global, and Henderson Christian Community Outreach.
- The church assists with local mission projects as requested, such as doing yard work or home clean-up, building wheelchair ramps, etc.
- A variety of church members have a regular volunteer affiliation with Habitat for Humanity of Henderson.
Since the church building has very few specific church-related functions during most daytime hours of the week, intentionally sharing the church building with other community organizations for their endeavors has long been considered an important ministry of the church. Regular current uses of the church’s building include but are not limited to:
The temporary home for the Cliff Hagan Boys and Girls Club. This will end in late 2023
when the Boys and Girls Club moves to its new and permanent location elsewhere in
- Regular fundraising events or community events for local human services organizations, including but not limited to: Matthew 25 AIDS Services, Habitat for Humanity of Henderson, Henderson Christian Community Outreach, Brain Injury Adventure Camp (Brain Injury Prom), and others as needed.
- Serving as an American Red Cross shelter during periods of extreme weather events.
- Hosting a local weekly pickleball gathering.
- Countless other community endeavors have been held in the church building throughout the years, namely the church’s robust Upward Cheer and Basketball leagues that occurred over a significant period of the church’s relatively young history.
Finally, the church engages in fundraising endeavors to raise money for a variety of community outreach efforts as guided by the Missions Team. The primary annual fundraising effort has been the rummage sale which occurs in conjunction with the U.S. 60 Rummage Sale each autumn.
Weekly Worship Attendance Averages May-August 2022
TOTAL=64 people per week
Average online views per week=376
A likely theme for the financial picture of Community Baptist Church over the past 6 years could be “Consistently Overcoming Challenges.” Here are highlights of those 6 years with accompanying metrics.
In 2015 the church still owed more than $600,000 on the mortgage of its $1.2 million building, a debt that had lingered around the church’s proverbial neck for 20+ years. That year the church set out on an aggressive path to retire the debt within a 5–10-year period. After 5 years of incredible intentionality, sacrifice, and financial reaching, the debt was retired in March 2021. After the debt was paid in early 2021, the church was relatively aggressive about accomplishing a variety of overdue building maintenance challenges. In addition, the church invested significantly into the compensation structures of its team members as well as other missions & ministries.
The net income for the church was largely break-even, usually with a late year rally in giving, for many years (excluding the large contributions being made to the debt reduction campaign). An interesting occurrence was that giving to the church actually increased significantly at the outset of the pandemic in early 2020, and this increased giving trend continued until spring 2022. In the last 6 months since the announcement of the previous pastor’s retirement, regular giving has decreased by approximately 20%. Church leadership is currently in the process of encouraging regular giving again of the congregation. The net income for the most recent 6+ year period is:
- 2016: -$6,867
- 2017: -$5,449
- 2018: $5,971
- 2019: -$12,405
- 2020: $16,902
- 2021: $14,565 (including paying for several capital projects)
- 2022: $13,965 (through July)
The church has 50-60 regular giving entities. This number was in a gradual decline for a few years until the pandemic increased the number of regular givers, primarily as a result of a farther reach with worship services being broadcast on Facebook.
The average monthly expenses for the church in 2022 are $19,124 which equates to a needed weekly income of $4,423.
Related to the church’s intentional mission outreach (outside of its internal programs), the church gives:
- $1,000 per year to CBF Kentucky
- $1,000 per year to CBF Global
- $2,400 per year to Henderson Christian Community Outreach
- $3,000 per year to general missions (as determined by the Missions Committee)
Staff positions include:
- Pastor (full-time)
- Secretary (full-time at 32 hours per week)
- Music Director (part-time)
- Pianist (part-time)
- Organist (part-time)
- Sunday Children’s Director (part-time)
- Youth Director (part-time)
- Technical Director (part-time)
- Custodian/lawn team (part-time)
The church’s two restricted accounts are the Building Contingency fund and the Scholarship fund.
- The Building Contingency fund has an approximate balance of $30,000 with $500 being added to it each month.
- The Scholarship fund has a balance of approximately $16,500.
Henderson, Kentucky Demographics 2022
Henderson is a city located in Henderson County Kentucky. It is also the county seat of Henderson County. With a 2020 population of 27,598, it is the 14th largest city in Kentucky and the 1402nd largest city in the United States. Henderson’s growth rate is flat or slightly declining. The most recent official census recorded a population of 28,757 in 2010. Spanning over 18 miles, Henderson has a population density of 1,712 people per square mile. Henderson County has an estimated population of 44,329.
The average household income in Henderson is $55,926 with a poverty rate of 22.73%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $685 per month, and the median house value is $120,700. The median age in Henderson is 39.7 years, 38 years for males, and 41.2 years for females. 85.6% of residents have a high school diploma. 17.6% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
According to the most recent American Community Survey, the racial composition of Henderson
- White: 83.20%
- Black or African American: 10.35%
- Two or more races: 3.92%
- Other race: 1.60%
- Asian: 0.63%
- Native American: 0.27%
- Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.04%
The Henderson County Public School System has 8 elementary schools (k-5), two middle schools (6-8) and one high school (9-12). In addition, there is an academy for alternative education. Henderson County High School ranks 39 th in the state in public schools according to U.S. News & World Report and 3 rd in the Evansville Metro area among public schools. Henderson County has one catholic parochial school (k-8). The Thelma B. Johnson Early Learning Center is a public pre-school. Henderson has a community college with a Fine Arts Center that has hosted such notables as: Amy Grant, Burt Bacharach, Glenn Campbell and the Count Basie Orchestra as well as numerous pop/country performers, touring Broadway shows, etc.
Henderson’s noted past residents are John James Audubon for whom the John James Audubon State Park and Museum is dedicated and W.C. Handy, the “father of the blues” whose musical formative years were spent as a Henderson resident. Former two-time Governor, U.S. Senator and Major League Baseball Commissioner, A.B. “Happy” Chandler is a native of Henderson County, Kentucky.
Henderson hosts many festivals including the Tri-Fest (a street festival), Porch Fest where music is shared in walking tour format along select Henderson downtown homes, the W.C. Handy Blues and Barbeque Festival in June, the Sandy Lee Watkins Songwriters Festival in July, Bluegrass in the Park in August, and the Lions Club Arts & Crafts Festival in October.