The Rev. Jerry Reed uses the King James Bible and doesn’t hold with rock music and praise bands in his Sunday morning services.
In keeping with his traditional approach, he opted for a building that’s been around for decades instead of new construction when he and his 20-member Landmark Baptist Church flock recently moved into its first permanent home.
It’s a solid-looking little brown-painted, one-story brick building at 404 S. Caddo St. in Cleburne, a stone’s throw from the Caddo Street Grill and the courthouse.
“We’re about 18 months old,” Reed said. “We’ve been over at the Holiday Inn Express. We used the swimming pool to baptize.”
There’s no swimming pool at the new home, but his congregation will step into a building with some history.
“It was called Grace Awakening. It was built in the ’30s; bricked in the ’50s,” Reed said, “All the owners have taken impeccable care of it. It’s an amazing little building.”
“I’m guessing Church of Christ built it,” Reed said. “I know they had it for years and years.”
Wilma Reed, a lifelong Cleburne resident, knows the building and agreed with Reed, saying it was always “neat appearing.”
Wilma Reed didn’t recall exactly which denominations have occupied the space, but said she remembered it as a church for “the people who didn’t believe in doctors.”
She’s apparently on the right track.
Although a state-by-state Wikipedia list of buildings that formerly housed Christian Science churches does not mention it, the 1938 Cleburne phone book lists a First Church of Christ Scientist at the address, Rhonda Dempsey, an assistant at Cleburne Public Library, said.
However, if the Christian Scientists did build it, the building has, Jerry Reed said, been used by other denominations subsequently because there’s a built-in baptismal tank under some panels down front.