History of the Buncombe Baptist Association
In the winter of 1882, a group of the brethren in Buncombe County met at the Old Bethel Church for the purpose of considering the propriety of organizing a Buncombe County Association. It was found that the prevailing sentiment among the brethren was favorable to the enterprise. Later, when the Salem Association was dissolved, Buncombe County Association was organized at their first Annual Session held at the Flat Creek Church, September 5-7, 1882. It was named the Buncombe County Missionary Baptist District Association. Later, in 1928, the name was changed to the Buncombe Baptist Association. Organizing churches were Asheville (now Asheville First), Flat Creek, Berea, Cane Creek (now Fairview), Hominy, White Rock, Morgan Hill, and Big Ivy (now Barnardsville). In 1944, Rev. H. M. Hocutt became the first associational missionary. He worked out of a small office, which stood in the backyard of his home and was constructed at his own expense. In 1955, the Association office was temporarily housed in the West Asheville Church and Miss Pauline Snelson served as Interim Missionary. In a few months Rev. Robert Hughes was called to be the Superintendent of Missions and the office was moved to the basement of Calvary Church. The office was expanded to include a second room and sheltered the administrative ministry of the Association until 1967.
1967 marks another leap forward for Buncombe Baptists. January of that year saw the opening of the doors to the office building at 2 Sulphur Springs Road. The building cost little more than $22,000 and represented an enormous gain in physical resources for the Association.
1984 the dream of a new Resource Center was born and in 1988 property was purchased at 227 Hazel Mill Road. The building was completed in 1992 and became the new home of the Buncombe Baptist Association. The last payment on the $450,000 debt for the Buncombe Baptist Resource Center was made in January 1999. A Note-burning Ceremony was held on Sunday, April 25, 1999 and that same afternoon a Groundbreaking Ceremony was held for the Gayle D. Brown Ministry Annex. The purpose of the 3000 square foot building is:
- To receive and store items collected for natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes; and
- To store equipment and materials for ministries, such as the WNC Mountain State Fair, Rest Area Ministries, Literacy, and other
The new Ministry Annex was completed in August 2000 with the first items stored being near the end of August for the Mountain State Fair. Today the Ministry Center also houses materials for the Rest Area Ministry, literature to be recycled for third world countries, Mountain Impact Missions supplies, Bair Foundation materials, and other needs. Also, the building houses the call center for Sufficient Grace Outreach. Buncombe Baptist Association continues to grow and reach people for Christ. In 2010 the association made history when 8 new churches were taken under watch care at the same time, the most ever in a single year. We look forward to serving our growing association of churches in the coming century. The Buncombe Baptist Resource Center is a place where pastors, church staff members, volunteers, lay persons can come and find “new” resources to help in reaching, teaching, and discipling people in the name of Jesus Christ. It is a place where:
- Individual or corporate worship can be experienced
- One can learn about ministry opportunies and be trained to give oneself in ministry
- One can find a sense of “belonging and becoming”, finding oneself and integral part of the “family of faith” known as Buncombe Baptists.
Today Buncombe Baptists represent 110 churches and missions!
- Manley Hocutt, 1944 – 1955
- Robert Hughes, 1955 – 1960
- Erskine Plemmons, 1961 – 1972
- John Hicks, 1972 – 1984
- Gayle Brown, 1985 – 2000
- Ron Kiser, 2001 – 2004
- Craig Bailey, 2005 – 2011
- Perry Brindley, 2013 –