Memories and Stories

These are memories and stories as submitted by current and former members of the body. This seemed a good way to tell the story of the last years. Some have been edited for length or clarity.

Oct. 30, 2000
Wendy & Ivan Wooden, and their children Jessie and Taylor came to FBC in the summer of 1987, from North Phoenix Baptist Church in Arizona. where they were Baptized the same day Glen Campbell was.. Craig was like it is now, but not so many crazy teenage drivers and hunters! Woodens were new Christians looking for a church, and liked the people at FBC, and especially the Tuesday Morning Women’s Bible Study. Dan Canady was the Pastor then.

Ivan and Wendy got very involved in the church, serving on the Advisory committee, Teaching Sunday School, AWANA and even singing in the choir.

Their son David was born after they came to FBC, in Feb of 1990, and he has been a special blessing. When David was a baby, he had a blocked tear duct that was about to require surgery. The Woodens prayed, and the church family prayed and God healed David’s eye.

Wendy remembers the time she and Joy Fox did a skit for the 50-Day Adventure and says “it was a very stretching experience, but I grew through it. Also, in the 12 step Bible Studies with Pastor Craig Blair and through his counsel, God led me through necessary and sometimes painful self-examination. What a mighty God we serve!” Other memories—the church camp outs at Sherman Youth camp on Black Mountain were some of the most wonderful times together when we as a church had to live and work together, cook and eat together, have Bible study and worship together. “I felt God’s presence during these times–they were some of the most fun, most work and most rewarding.”

“Having secret Prayer sisters has been an awesome ministry in being accountable to God to pray for one of my sisters in Christ for a year. It has built my perseverance and shown me that I have a faithful God.”

“How did FBC influence my life today? Women’s Bible study was & still is a lifeline for me as a small group ministry, through prayer fellowship-friendship and accountability. AWANA is a children’s ministry I love & I now have the desire to reach boys and girls with the gospel and train them to serve Him.”

November 17, 2000
Gary and Mary Tague first came to First Baptist church in 1978. The town was booming! Housing costs were up, schools were overflowing and business thriving. Dave Chambers was pastor. Gary and Mary have 4 children: Amy, April, Daniel and Alyssa.

Gary baptized Mary here, with Pastor Chambers presiding. They were drawn to the church by the preaching of God’s word and because of the people and the pastor.

The first adult Sunday school class Mary remembers attending was taught by Gary, to a group of young married couples. Heaven Help the Home by Howard Hendrix was the book they studied and they met in the church kitchen, because all the classrooms were full.

The Tagues have been involved in most of the ministries of the church, including choir, teaching Sunday School, Children’s Church, Vacation Bible School Christmas Plays and skits, Camp, Gal’s Night out, Fellowship and discipling and the Tuesday Morning Ladies Bible Study that met for abt. 20 years, from 1979 to 1999.

Mary remembers the fun of Sunday school picnics, the good food and conversation, going out to Aisles’s Grove, and playing baseball and volleyball. She also mentions her memory of Pastor Chambers reading from the Bible like God speaking directly to her, and his voice during services—singing from his heart “I always sensed that heaven was near” she said. She also recalls teasing Pastor Blair about his bald spot, Tammy Dryer popping balloons in 3 inch spike heels, and Joy Fox playing Gruffy Bear in the Jungle Jam Christmas play “Three Men and a Baby”.

And Speaking of Christmas Plays, Mary says, “ I remember picking up kids from the middle school for practice, and packing my van front and back with sweaty, bouncy children (they were on the floor, sitting on laps and in the luggage space in the back). No one played the King better than Kevin Foster, (whom I actually think believed at that moment that he really was King!) He played King at least two years in a row. And no one entertained the troops and improvised better than Adam Peer. One never knew when he would be inspired during the performance to change a scene or a line!

Memories from Gal’s night Out include Beth Ann Stevens riding a tricycle in a leather jacket as; Leader of the Pack: and dying after the crash, but not before pulling a spray of flowers from her jacket and placing them on her chest. “I was supposed to be mourning her, but couldn’t’ help laughing…so I pretended to be crying really hard” the men  served us hamburgers and malts in jeans and t-shirts with cuffs and short sleeves rolled up. And who could forget Dianna Russ and the Superbs singing :Stop in the Name of Love” I was Dianna complete with shimmering gown and fake lashes. Betty Covalt and Jane Stout were my Superbs. On one occasion Mildred Herring dazzled us with a Hula Dance. I think she was about 82 then. The men entered the scene again that night as they presented each lady with a lei and a kiss on the cheek of course. My memory isn’t very clear about one other time the men joined our festivities by lip syncing and pretending to play instruments. I remember George Moyer clearly, but cannot think who his companions were that night maybe Tom Sheley and Mark Gorham. Patty Rosine holds our all time record for keeping a hula hoop going and Becky holds the record for blowing the largest bubble gum bubble.

Birthday parties included several trips to McDonalds, where Mary Pat Dunn was arrested by a police officer for being too old. We had to play the children’s games for another party, and I have film somewhere of Mildred Herring and many others sliding down that play slide. Carey Trantham stopped a church picnic in it’s tracks once when he whistled to get Bertha’s attention to see if she’d like him to bring her a piece of watermelon.

I remember ladies at Tuesday morning Bible Study praying for one another in small groups, comforting one another, teaching one another , laughing together, holding one another accountable and getting t know one another as sisters.

Mary says First Baptist Church has influenced her life. “I have been challenged and held accountable for growth in my relationship with God. I have been taught to be a better parent. I have a close family of God that supports me and prays for me.

George and Theresa Moyer and their children first came to First Baptist Church in 1980. Craig was growing—the power plant was just coming on line, and there were new people everywhere. Dave Chambers was the Pastor, and George Swanson and Ed James were the Sunday school teachers.

George and Theresa have done almost every job in the church, including teaching Sunday school and children’s church, and VBS . Theresa attended Tuesday morning ladies Bible study and has been the head of the fellowship committee. George was a deacon and has served on the advisory board, as well as the Mt Elim Camp board. Their children, Christina and Jason, were baptized at Mt Elim.

The first Sunday School picnic that Moyers attended, the kids fed the adults chocolate pudding while the parents were blindfolded, and all the kids were wearing crowns that said I am a child of the King on them.

Some high lights of the years at First Baptist Church include the Progressive dinners, where each course was served at a different person’s house, and people got to know each other. The elaborate Valentine dinners put on each year by various groups, The Larry Burkett finance Seminar, all the Gal’s night out activities, men’s bible studies and choir.

One year when we went Christmas caroling, everyone piled into the motor home to drive between homes where we were singing, and there were a lot of people in there.

Friendships and learning to trust in the Lord, growing in the Word and raising our children have been the things that FBC influenced most in our lives.

Kathy and Jim Ross first came to First Baptist Church when Craig was a small town with less than 10,000 people. Their children are Sterling and Allison. There were only about 3 restaurants in town then–the Midwest Café, the Golden Cavy and Signal Hill. That was in 1972, and Ken Lindow was Pastor.

Kathy was raised Baptist and attended a church in Delta before moving to Craig. And that is what drew them to FBC. They were members then, but moved to Calvary Baptist when Pastor Chambers resigned.

Pastor Lindow was their first Sunday School teacher here. Their class met at the parsonage and he and his wife, Ruth, used to make homemade donuts for the class. Kathy took care of the nursery (pastor’s study & library now) many Sundays and led crafts at Vacation Bible School.

They have never served as officers of the church, but they do remember progressive class dinners, where a course of the meal was served at each home, and people got to know each other. Paula Kinkaid met her husband, John at one of these dinners and voila! Instant romance!

One Christmas, the ladies of the church got together to make a stained glass Christmas window for the sanctuary out of cardboard (a refrigerator carton) painted black and different colored tissue paper for the panes. It was quite intricate and the ladies spent until 1:00 am finishing it!

Kathy says “ We came back to FBC after a long absence. When Jim and I walked back in the doors we felt we had come home.”

Larry and Elise Schmedeke stared coming to FBC in December of 1995. Craig Blair was the Pastor. They came because of the friendly people and the bible preaching and teaching they found at FBC. They have become a part of the church, with Elise serving on the Worship team, and Larry being the chief greeter and hugger at the front door on Sunday morning, and head of the stewardship committee.

When Allene and Howard Silver first came to FBC, it was 1960. Craig was much smaller. It had 2 grocery stores in the center of town One was Buy-Low Market and the other was Bill’s Market. There may have been a Safeway also, in the building across from the Museum, and doctor’s offices on main street. Dr Kramer was in a white house in the center of the 600 block of Yampa Avenue.

Silvers had 3 small children, Jane, Don and Jim, and were drawn to a church where they found the Bible teaching they were not getting anywhere else. John Pim, Harold Kline and Alton Welch were Sunday School teachers then and John Fischer was the Pastor. Allene says that she was discipled by Pastor Fisher’s wife, Grace, for 3 weeks, an hour in each afternoon. She remains in contact with Grace even now, 40 years later.

They became members and were baptized and were active in FBC. Howard was a Trustee. Allene sang in the choir and taught Sunday school under Edith Dalrymple’s direction in the Jr. Department. She says her best teaching though, was at Good News Club on Wednesdays after school in the church basement. It was a wonderful ministry to children. They learned to memorize scripture, sang, fun songs and had a missionary story every week. A lot of kids trusted Christ as their Savior at that Good News Club.

Allene and Howard left FBC for a time, but after his death in 1981, she eventually returned to this safe place, and is again worshipping God here with family and friends. Her daughter Jane and son-in-law Claud and their kids, Jen and Stacy have also been a part of FBC. (Allene passed away in 2005)

Randy and LuAnn Kline have been a part of FBC all their lives. Randy’s parents probably brought him for the first time when he was 2 weeks old—in 1954, and LuAnn remembers coming with her Gramma Pankey by the time she was about 4. Randy’s Grandfather was one of the charter members of the church and one of the first pastors. He was ordained at FBC in 1917.

LuAnn’s Grandfather Pankey was one of the early Deacons. The church met at 700 School Street then, in a white building with green windows. The nursery was in the basement, and Olive Jean Smith and Polly Siminoe were in charge.

In the primary department, Olive and Elizabeth Kline taught the 1st and second grade. Craig Browning, Allene Silver and Helen Perry were the Jr. Department teachers and by the time we reached Jr. High, the boys and girls were split up. Bertha Trantham taught the girls and the boys were with several brave men. Mrs. Perry taught lessons on the Tabernacle, and used a scale model that made everything seem so real. Mrs. Trantham had the Jr. High girls over to her house sometimes. We played a game with our shoes that was hilarious at the time.

During the early 1970’s Jim Covalt was the teacher in the high school Sunday School Class. What a bunch of rowdies he had to contend with.

The Merricks—all 4 at once one year. Greg and Michael Smith, the Browning boys, Dennis Siminoe, and Warren and Curtis Hejny kept him on his toes. Karen and Kathy Kelly, Ray, Budd and Rena Parfrey, his own boys, Tim and Mark—they were all there. He was teaching for a while from a book called So what’s the Difference—it was a study of different religions and cults. Later he dealt with all the popular teen topics of the time—situation ethics and morality and doing what God said, not what seemed right. We all learned a lot in those years.

We used to have special meetings every winter at FBC. An Evangelist or Preacher would be invited to come and preach every night for a week or more, and people came to hear them. One year it was Ron and Don Corely—twin preachers who worked on the Indian reservations in the area of Gallup New Mexico. Anther year it was Bobby Mur —a pro or semi-pro basketball player turned Evangelist. He held contests all week long, with prizes for inviting the most people who came out for the meetings. Randy and I worked together, and won a basketball as our prize. Probably our first joint possession and years before we were married.

I remember the things that the moms planned for all us students. After the home basketball games, they had juicy pig parties, where they served up BBQ pork sandwiches and arranged games and fellowship times, always including a devotional .

Every year, the moms planned a Senior Banquet, to honor the graduates. Boy did they get carried away! The banquets always had a theme, and beautiful decorations and entertainment. One year it was Mexican food, another a Luau, and another a circus theme. I think scrapings from the main tent floor were on the menu that year, and Beulah Kline came to entertain us as a snake charmer. (That huge plastic snake may still be in her garage, scaring the birds away.)

About 1970, a guy named Ed Zellner (not the one from Victory Baptist in Denver) came to Craig, and decided we needed a new kid’s ministry. He started Kid’s Club. It met on Monday evenings and probably served in much the same way AWANA does now. Randy and I helped with the games and the singing for a while, and in taking the kids to the East School Gym every week to burn off some of that excess energy. After a time, Ed moved away, and a tall thin young man from Kansas, who had not been coming to the church very long, took over. His name was Steve Foster, and he can be found most Sundays now days sitting at the sound board in the back of the church.

Around that time the church had a school bus. It was bright blue and made a lot of trips to pick kids up for Sunday school, and VBS and to haul them to Mt Elim camp in the summer. I bet Steve Foster was in on maintaining that bus too.

In August of 1965, Neighborhood Bible Time came to FBC. It was a version of Vacation Bible School but seemed much more exciting. A real missionary, a young woman named Bobbie Eakins came and told stories about mission work in Puerto Rico, and her helpers led games and taught many of the classes. They listened to kids recite memorized bible verses and the books of the Bible, and ran a zillion Bible drills. Prizes were given for achievement, and ribbons for nearly everything. I have a photo taken at the awards program that year. Randy is standing in the back row. He was 11 years old. I am standing in the front row and I had just turned 9. That was an exciting year.

We used to have a Sunday school picnic every summer. They were held in various locations from year to year, but I remember going to Isles Grove and up Black Mountain to the Johnson Ranch. Randy says they used to go out to Elkhead before the lake was there, and picnic in the trees along the creek. Years before that, the church minutes talk about the picnics at Green Patches farm. It belonged to a man named Eben Hamilton and must have been near where Mary and Harry Dunn live nowadays, out on N Highway 13.

Randy and I sang in the church choir. Betty Covalt was the director when we were teenagers, but later other people directed, including Betty Smith and Joy Fox. We did Cantatas for Christmas and Easter and a call to worship and special number most Sundays. We had a choir potluck dinner at our house on the ranch one summer, and everyone brought either fried chicken or chocolate cake. I had to scramble to make a salad and put together an adequate meal, but it was a lot of fun anyway.

We did not have choir robes until about 1972. When Randy’s sister Gayle Silver died, money for choir robes was given in her memory, and the blue robes with white stoles were purchased. The choir used to handle Christmas Caroling. Some years we all gathered at the church and walked around town to sing. Brrrr! Occasionally we had a trailer or wagon to ride on, or we all piled in cars and drove to different houses. One year we all tried to pile into Moyers motor home.

Gal’s night out was started to give the ladies in the congregation something to do on occasion besides go to City Market or take babies to the doctor. We have done so many neat things and had such good times over the years. In May of 1984 we held a wedding gown fashion show. Brianna Rosine was born that week and Patty modeled her wedding gown that same week. A Recycling fashion show was another one of our hits. Imagine Helen Browning garbed in foil and berry baskets. Joy Fox was in charge of one evening and we played laser tag in the dark.

A few times we did silent auctions—silent only because the items to be auctioned were wrapped up. One time the item sold was a wild colored hat—brought or bought by Ruth Anne Greenwood. After a while, someone wrapped it up again, and passed it up to be auctioned again, and again. By the third time, people were laughing so hard they could not stop.

A Christmas tradition with the ladies began years ago as a cookie exchange in the ladies Tuesday Morning Bible study, but has expanded to include all who care to participate. Now it includes a game of exchanging wrapped presents, drawing numbers in turn till each present is gone, but until it is over, all gifts are up for grabs—literally! We will all remember the Booger game. It kept re-appearing in different forms as a beautifully wrapped gift from year to year. And the poor aquarium fish that someone put in a ziplock and wrapped as a gift. We all thought it was a waterbed for a Barbie doll. The fish survived and lived in Markham’s fish tank for quite a while however.

Calling a Pastor has always been a challenge at FBC. The new system of a search committee works very well, but other methods have been used in the past. When Sam Dryer first came to us, we held a fellowship night to get to know him. Part of the fun included giving him a suitcase and asking him to sell us whatever product was inside. He did a great job, and had us all laughing a lot.

Don Wasey was the Pastor when Randy and I got married. I always thought he dressed like a gangster. Anyway, we planned our wedding and he and Grampa Kline officiated. We never did get in all our vows, because the preachers were too busy trying to figure out who was doing what in the ceremony. They even forgot to tell Randy that he could kiss his bride. Oh well, that was years ago, and things have worked out fine.

Theresa Tatum and her kids, Jake and Kelsey started coming to First Baptist Church in Jan 1997, drawn by the friendly people the music, the Bible studies and the non-denominational feel of the church. There are good fellowship times—actually getting to visit with members instead of just running out the church doors after services “I always try to talk to someone I don’t see all the time.” she says.

Memories of our time at FBC–Camp at Mt. Elim is so fun—a mountain –top experience for all of us. We were all 3 baptized at camp in that cold water. Going through the worst time of my life, a divorce; and knowing for the first time how a Christian family truly treats each other. The people of the church helping me move, and so many times finding me homes to move to.

Worship times on Sundays are important to me. AWANA for my kids and Bible studies are helping me grow in the Lord.

Theresa and her kids moved to Atlanta Georgia in august of 2001.

Beulah and Earl Kline are longtime members of FBC. Earl was born at the Kline Ranch and raised there. He met his wife, Beulah Acuff, at Grand Mesa Bible Camp when a group from Craig traveled there for camp during the war years. (They rode down in Francis Johnson’ truck—in the back!) Earl was baptized as a youth, in Elkhead Creek.

Earl and Beulah were married in June 1944, and she moved to Craig, from Cedaredge. The town was not much then—Ranney Street was the west boundary , Highway 40 was the south. The north side was just lots of hay fields. Lawrence Duncan was the Pastor at that time., and Mary Johnson and Myrtle Hix taught their Sunday School class. Soon Beulah began teaching in the beginners and primary departments in Sunday school, and she taught for 35 years. She and Earl had 3 children—Gayle—(deceased) Sheila and Randy.

Beulah was involved in Women’s Auxiliary, and they spent a lot of time preparing bandages for the missionaries, making quilts and doing some Bible studies.

Sunday School picnics were a big part of every summer—some were on the creek down at Hamilton, some at Elkhead Creek, Some at Johnson’s sawmill in California park.

Some church memories—Myrtle Miller used to give 80th birthday parties for any of the ladies that reached that milestone. The Women’s Auxiliary had a celebration in 1949 of its 35th anniversary. Beulah’s sister-in law was expecting a baby, and began labor at the celebration. They must have missed most of it, as Beulah’s mother-in law, Elizabeth Kline, is not in the group photo taken that day—she had to go help deliver the baby!

“First Baptist Church has just been an important part of our lives. Our children were raised going to the church, and now some of our grandchildren are a part of it.” Beulah said.

Clair Longuevan was a part of FBC in the 50’s. Town was small and friendly, and he really enjoyed going to high school in Craig. The pastor then was Aubrey Nelson, then Jim Dolan, and Clair was baptized in the church and was a member until he entered the Army.

It was in Craig that his Dad, brother and sister accepted the Lord. His mom had become a Christian only a year earlier, and Clair was saved as a boy. His whole family was baptized at FBC.  Clair played on the church basketball team and it holds special memories for him, because “ he was too short to play for the school teams” One night he made most of the points for the church team!

First Baptist influenced Clair’s life. The pastors and Christian friends and neighbors, (the Swanson Family) were godly examples to him and to his family. “Mayann and I have many happy memories of fellowship at FBC when we visited during out furloughs from missionary service in Africa and numerous times since then. We are very grateful for your prayer and faithful financial support these past 38 years.”

Clair and his wife, Mayann have 4 children, Iris Antonucci, Sonya Becker , Jewel Most and Nathan Longuevan. They are supported missionaries of FBC, with Gospel Missionary Union.

Carey and Bertha Trantham moved with their family to Craig from Yampa, Colorado in August, 1956 and started attending First Baptist church.

They had been in Craig just a month when their middle son, Duane, was accidentally shot and died. The members  of FBC helped so much in getting through this sad time.

In 1957 our son David and young Carey were baptized and the family was taken in as members of FBC. George and Laura Swanson directed and taught the Sunday School Program at Hamilton. When they gave it up, Carey and Bertha, with the help of Myrna Wickham, carried on the work with Sunday School for two years.

They have had the opportunity and privilege of singing in the choir, teaching Sunday School Class , and directing a Vacation Bible School; working with the Woman’s auxiliary, attending the Bible Study and Prayer Meeting, and enjoying the good preaching and fellowship at FBC for 54 years.

Carey and Bertha are deceased.