A Need for a Church


Mr. Harry Morgan started having tent meetings in the summer of 1949.  The weather was getting colder so they moved into a small building made of logs that belonged to Nathan Brown.  After services began in the building, fifteen or twenty people attended the services.


In 1950, another place was found to hold church.  The property was owned by Emil Brammer.  The house was located approximately where the fellowship building now stands.

The building had hardwood seats and bare floors.  There was a pot belly coal stove in the middle of the room.

In order to gather people together for church service, Mr. Morgan would go outside and ring a cow bell to let the people know that service was about to begin.

That same year, there was a joining of hands organized and gave the church the name of Campbell Chapel Free Will Baptist Church.  Those included in the naming of the church were Ona Morgan, Bill Morgan, Alfred Kelley, Ruth Kelley, Willy Kelley, and Harry Morgan.


Campbell Chapel "aired" a program on W.I.R.O. Radio in 1952.  The song "I Saw the Light" brought the program on the air and also off the air.

1956 or 1957

The church was built by Tom Kelley with the help of Eddie DePriest and Art Bailey in late 1956 or early 1957.  This church had one room upstairs and two downstairs.

The property was owned by Mr. Emil Brammer and the church made payments to him.


Today's Church Building

Built in 1969 by James R. Maynard

Edward Pierce helped to build the church.  The church was ready to move into in 1970.


The following is a story that was printed in a local newspaper.

The Church that Tom Built

First Anniversary of Church Easter


IRONTON--Fruits of two years of labor by one sincere man, will come to light Easter Sunday afternoon at 3 P. M. at the Ohio River at the foot of Center Street, when perhaps three-score or more converts will accept Christ and be baptized.

Tom Kelley, 44, has been a workman at the Dayton Malleable Iron Co. the past 24 years.  He and his wife, Nola, live on Campbell Drive a half-mile north of Beechwood Park.  About three years ago Tom decided he should do something for his fellow men and the community.

The Campbell 'Chapel' Free Will Baptist Church, near his home, where a revival is now in progress, was the goal of his dream.  Since the revival started five weeks ago by the Rev. Tommy DePriest, 67 conversions have taken place.  Those new members will be baptized on Easter.

Tom Kelley, the builder, saw a need for the church and started a campaign three years ago.  The membership of the small church raised $700.  With this small fund Kelley started work on the foundation.  Being a carpenter, he described his work as "Building for Christ."  During the many months of building Mr. Kelley never lost a day on his regular job at Dayton Malleable.  Most of his work on the church was in the evenings and on Saturdays.

Response to his efforts was wonderful.  Fellow employees at the big iron works passed the hat for financial assistance.  Business firms gave him a religious discount on material and several made outright gifts.  Less than half a dozen volunteers in the neighborhood helped him with heavy lifting of the frame work.  His estimate is that materials would have cost $4,000 not to mention... 
(the copy was unreadable here)

Thousands attended the baptismal service conducted early April, 1958 along the Ohio River in Ironton, OH.  Ministers officiating were Tommy and Eddie DePriest, B. C. Stumbo, and Calvin Evans.  This baptism concluded a revival which lasted thirteen weeks with 119 conversions. 

The churches that gathered included:

Mt. Calvary FWBC
City Mission
Wurtland, KY
Campbell Chapel FWBC

Ninety-three public confessions were from Campbell Chapel and the revival was held there for five weeks.

The article concluded with,This church is truly "A Church that Cares About You."