By Fred Engle
Do you ever wonder what ever happened to a business, a church or a school when it disappears from the public eye? We have recently seen the demolition of a series of long-time landmarks on church corner and farther on down Lancaster Avenue.
Farther out in the Richmond community, where are the Royce Baptist Church, Dixie Park Baptist Church, the Dixie Park Full Gospel Baptist Church, Flat Gap Baptist Church and the Dixie Park Cornerstone Baptist Church?
Royce Baptist was named for long-time area minister, missionary and associational missions director, W.R. Royce. In December 1965, it changed its name to Clarksville Baptist, by which it is known today.
The Dixie Park area of Berea has been common ground for a number of churches. In 1970 the Dixie Park church opened. Later it added Full Gospel to its name. The church outgrew its space, and moved out in the country where it is called Church on the Rock. They sold their old building to Flat Gap Baptist Church. The new church in the building was called Dixie Park Cornerstone Baptist of Berea. So that is what happened in that part of county.
Churches, schools, businesses and landmark homes are built, become part of the fabric of our lives — to be walked by, viewed and mused upon waiting in traffic or even entered, worshipped in or patronized — and then move on or are replaced by other, newlandmarks.
All these changes are a part of Madison’s heritage.
W. R. Royce was born in Jessamine County on April 25, 1885. He came to Richmond in 1933 as pastor of Calvary Baptist Church on Big Hill Avenue. Calvary was originally a mission church (1919) of First Baptist Church on Main Street. Dr. Royce left Calvary in 1944 to become associational missionary for the Tates Creek Association. Dr. Royce also was affiliated at one time or another with Peytontown, Broadway, Clarksville and Gilead as well as other Baptist churches in the association. He died October 2, 1981.
PUBLICATION NOTE: Readers are reminded that a compilation of some 60 Richmond Register articles from over the last 40 years by Dr. Grise and myselfare now available in the paperback book “Madison’s Heritage Rediscovered.”
Combined with relevant photographs selected from Eastern’s Archives by my granddaughter, Kathryn Engle, who edited the volume, this book is available for $19.99 plus tax.
Autographed copies may be found at the Richmond tourism office in Irvinton House on Lancaster Avenue, ClearsightOptometry and Baldwin and Associates on Main Street in Richmond. Autographed copies are also available by calling Kathryn Engle at 893-0947 or 623-1150.
These books make excellent birthday or Christmas presents for family or friends.