Theta Baptist Church History
Theta Baptist Church, formerly known as Carter’s Creek Baptist Church, was organized under the ministrations of Elijah Hanks in about 1845. A wood-frame building was erected on Carter’s Creek Pike across from the Ernest Trimble farm.
In the 1850s, some dissensions crossed among the members, and many withdrew. About 1860, the old building was sold. The remaining members, with others in the vicinity of Theta, erected a hewn log building in Theta, calling it “Walnut Grove” however, the name continued to be reported as Carter’s Creek Baptist Church in the associational minutes. Masten Fitzgerald gave the land site for the church and graveyard.
Later in 1884, the old building was torn down, and the present building was erected on a half-acre of ground. This property was added to the property already owned and given by Mr. Fitzgerald’s sons, Carol Green and Morgan Fitzgerald.
The Carter’s Creek Baptist Church was probably affiliated with the Duck River Missionary Baptist Association, organized in 1845, and later with the Judson Baptist Association, which was organized in 1849. The church was a charter member of the Ebenezer Baptist Association when it was organized in 1893 and helped organize the Maury County Baptist Association in 1923 (Southern Baptist Convention), being a charter member of it.
In the minutes of the Ebenezer Baptist Association in 1899, the name of the Carter’s Creek Baptist Church had been changed to Theta Baptist Church to correspond with the name of the community. The Ebenezer Baptist Association held its annual meeting at Theta on September 6, 7, and 8, 1916. Reverend W.L. King preached during the meeting.
On September 28 and 29, 1927, the Theta Baptist Church was host to the Maury County Baptist Association Annual Meeting with Mr. Tanner as moderator and Reverend J.D. Sullivan delivering the annual sermon.
A Union Sunday School, first reported in 1894, was held at the Theta Baptist Church, with Jim Fitzgerald as superintendent. Other Sunday school superintendents of the church have been John Walters, George Hawkins, Dr. J.P. Moon, J.C. Godwin, Lendo Fitzgerald, George Priest, Pleasant Fitzgerald, Curtis Fitzgerald, Grady Jack, Tommy Parrish, Carl Waggoner, John Davis, and Renis Baker. Early clerks include J.H. Hull, Mrs. Ida Dalton, Mrs. George Hawkins, Mrs. C.K. Dodson, and Mrs. Will Hastins.
A Woman’s Missionary Society was organized in 1915 with Mrs. J.G. Anderson serving as the first president, followed by Mrs. R.R. Oakley, Mrs. Sallie Priest, Mrs. C.K. Dodson, and others.
The white frame building erected in 1884 still stands with an addition of three Sunday school rooms, and much interior remodeling was done in the 1950s.
In 1972, after the Reverend Curtis R. Fitzgerald suddenly passed away, a very good Christian friend had the church building bricked in his honor, and the church placed a cornerstone in his memory. A new communion table, pulpit, and pews were placed in the church through donations from many in honor of their friends and relatives. A dedication service was held on April 30, 1972. Dr. William Delaney of Highland Park Baptist Church preached the sermon.
Two of the early pastors of the Carter’s Creek Baptist Church were Elijah Hanks and Reverend Meachum. Roland Hull was pastor sometime after 1855, possibly after the church moved to Theta. Dr. R.K. Dawson was ordained and became pastor in 1877. Other records show that he was pastor from 1891 to 1895, but as for the intervening years, we have no record.