The First Fifty Years: 1858-1907
Wise Baptist Church was founded in 1858 by Rev. Levi C. Perkinson under the name Sharon Baptist Church. Sharon Church was a simple wooden building located near the center of the current Wise Cemetery. Before Sharon was built, people of Wise had to travel many miles to hear an occasional circuit preacher or go to other communities, such as Tanner`s Meeting House in Warren Plains, to worship and hear a sermon. Rev. Perkinson, seeing the need, donated a one-acre plot of land on which to build the first building.
The Second Fifty: 1908-1957
After fifty years, the Sharon building showed noticeable deterioration and members saw a need to move closer to town. In 1908, J. R. and Lee Paschall led the building of "the rock church." Mules and wagons were used to transport rock from the Wise Granite Quarry to the site. In 1925, the name was changed from Sharon to Wise Baptist Church. An education building was added in 1954 and stained glass windows installed as memorials in 1955. The second fifty years ended in 1957 with work beginning on a major renovation of the sanctuary under the leadership of Oscar King, Bob Dunn, and Pastor E.E. Ballard. The back of the building was lengthened and a baptistry and tow rooms added, along with new floors, wall paneling, lighting, organ, and refinished pews. The pulpit was renovated and choir space moved to a loft behind the pulpit.
The Third Fifty: 1958-2007
The third fifty years began with completion of the 13-month renovation and the joyful move back into the beloved sanctuary. in 1960, during Pastor Alfred T. Ayscue`s term, a parsonage was built on a lot donated by Miss Carrie Dunn. This fifty years saw many acts of Christian love and service in Wise and surrounding communities. Members practiced their faith through an education program, fellowship activities, missions, and music. Wise Baptist benefited from the strong leadership of good pastors, many of whom dreamed and nurtured the dream of one day building a larger education building and connecting it to the sanctuary. In the summer of 2005, a Building Steering Committee was formed and planning for the building of a new education building began. The first Annual Harvest Festival was held in October 2006. The Wise Church family celebrated its 150th birthday in 2008 throughout the year culminating in a big homecoming celebration centered around the theme "Building on the Rock."
The Forth Fifty: 2008-Now
The fourth fifty-year period began in 2008 and is still in the making. A key theme during this time has been "grow the People-Build the Building." As members continued to emphasize fellowship, education, service and missions, we also managed time to complete three stages in building---survey, planning, and construction---resulting in the 2014 completion of our new education building. Members cut the ribbon and moved into the building in August 2014. On homecoming day 2014, the new building was dedicated after a sermon delivered by former pastor A.T. Ayscue titled "A Chunk of the Dream." The building dedication theme "To God Be the Glory" emphasized that the dream which had been born more than fifty years before had come to fruition because of the mercy and grace of God who has blessed our humble efforts immeasurably. We are grateful to our former pastor Rev. Kenny Davis for his guidance and help during the early design stages, to our Building Steering committee for its diligent service, and to our Interim Pastor Dr. Marion Lark for providing spiritual leadership during the construction phase; but in the end all concur that, if there be any glory, it all belongs to God.
The origional educational building shortly before it was to be torn down to make way for the current fellowship hall.
Cornerstone of first education building.
Replica of what the first education building looked like from the outside.