The rain that greeted the dawning of Thursday, October 29, 1970, continued throughout the day. However, it could not dampen the spirits of the messengers and visitors who filled the sanctuary of Witcher Baptist Church.
This was the appointed hour, day, and year for the constituting services. All the people gathered and poured out their praise and joy to God! It was pouring rain outside. It was pouring joy inside.
The service began with the youth choir of Pioneer Baptist Association, under the direction of Phil Tallant, presenting a music program. This was followed by the worship period. Cliff Holcomb, from the Music Department in Nashville, led the music throughout the sessions. Wellington Johnson, member of First Baptist Church, Fairlea, WV read the scripture and led in prayer. Tom Lang gave the president’s message, in which he listed past accomplishments and then emphasized the challenge before the people and churches of West Virginia to fulfill the theme “Give Me This Hill Country.”
Now it was time for the long prayed for moment. The clerk, Elmo Cox, read the recommendation of the Executive Board of the Baptist General Association of West Virginia to constitute into a convention and made the motion. No hand was raised, no voice vote was taken — all stood, making the vote unanimous. And West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists became the 33rd State Convention in the Southern Baptist Convention. West Virginia, with 52 Southern Baptist churches and 13,648 members, affiliating with the newly formed convention, was the second state convention to meet all the guidelines for a convention since they were set up.
-Excerpt from “Go Tell It on the Mountain”
Read the special WV state paper published in 1970 marking this historic event:
Watch our 2020 online annual meeting:
2020 WVCSB Book of Reports