WINONA – Members of First Baptist Church of Winona held a community-wide farewell reception for Bro. Tim Mims on Saturday in the church’s Family Life Center.
The congregation used the reception to show their appreciation for Mims, who served as pastor from August 2014 until Sunday, July 16; his wife, Mandy; and son, Zach, according to Cindy Boone, member of First Baptist.
The First Baptist Church of Winona was organized in 1837 at Middleton as the Baptist Church of Middleton with the Rev. Joe Morris as pastor, according to church history compiled Dr. Tom Dulin.
After several years, the church at Middleton grew to 500 members, with about 300 of them being white and 200 being black.
The Middleton Baptist Church moved about two miles east to Winona and became the First Baptist Church of Winona in 1867 after the railroad came through the town.
For several years after the Civil War, First Baptist was the only church in Winona, and all local denominations used the building for their individual worship services. The church organized a Sunday school in 1874.
In 1894 and 1909, First Baptist Church hosted the Mississippi Baptist State Convention, which was organized in November 1824, and in 1924, the congregation welcomed the State Convention of the State Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU), which was organized in 1878, according to the church’s history.
The congregation erected and dedicated a new building for worship on Dec. 1, 1907, at the church’s 309 Summit Street location, where the current sanctuary is located.
They completed an educational building in 1963 and dedicated a new church on Feb. 29, 1976, according to the church’s history.
Pastors who have served First Baptist since the church moved from Middleton to Winona in 1867 were A. H. Booth, Henry Pittman, Mat Lyon, Henry Pittman, H. F. Sproles, R. A. Cochran, J. T. Zealey, L. S. Foster, A. V. Rowe, R. W. Merrill, T. J. Bailey, Rev. Price, Rev. Rosamond, Martin Ball, George Barton, the Rev. Bostick, John Hooks, the Rev. Wroten, Y. E. Boston, the Rev. Hickman, Joseph Flowers, C. B. Hamlett, John Green, Dr. Kermit McGregor, David Pratt, Dr. Jerry Mixon, John L. Walker, Dr. Phillip Dancy, and Dr. Christopher Aldridge.
Members of First Baptist meet each Sunday at 10 a.m. for Sunday school, 11 a.m. for worship service and 6 p.m. for evening service. They come together at 5:30 p.m. during a meal and 6:30 p.m. for prayer meeting on Wednesday.