A meeting was held in the Tar River School in April 15, 1917, for the purpose
of establishing a church. Eleven men and women presented their letters and
statements to Rev. Parrish of Muskogee who served as moderator.
Grant Kenny presented himself as a candidate for baptism thus becoming the first baptized member. C.C. Petts was called as a part-time pastor, preaching the first and third Sunday for $25. a month. The church was named "The Tar River Bethel Baptist Church." A one-room building was purchased. It was paid off in November of 1917.
The envelope system was adopted in 1918 and freewill offerings were taken at each service. Eleven new members were baptized at the close of the first revival. The WMU was formed in 1919 with the BYPU and RAs to follow in 1923 and 1927.
In 1924 the church sold its present building and purchased the Methodist Church property for $950. Since the town of Tar River had changed its name to Cardin, the church changed its name to the First Baptist Church of Cardin.
Revivals were important to the early church. Cottage prayer meeting, morning and afternoon, and Bible Studies were always a part. One report tells us that in 1933 there were 52 decisions made and 41 added to the church.
The church took Century Baptist Church as a mission in 1938. A baptistry was added to our church in 1940. The educational part (fellowship hall) was built in 1941. The sanctuary was enlarged in 1959.
A cabin was build at Grand Lake Assembly in 1963 and a new parsonage in 1964. Work on our new sanctuary began in 1968 and was completed and dedicated in June of 1969.
The highlight of the 80ís was the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of our church. An overflowing crowd took part in the program and reception. The 80's also brought the closing of Goodrich. It was during this time that our church balance was as low as $123.10 for the month. God's care and the members' faithfulness in attendance and giving saw us through this time.
The 90's saw the retirement of Clyde Stilley, the calling and coming of a new pastor, improvements to the church parsonage, and the additional restroom/dressing area at the church cabin.
Without the volunteer help of the members of the church, the many gifts we have received, and the commitment of the members we would not be as we are today. We thank God for his leadership and many blessings he has given us through these past 75 years.