Adaton History

"The work of salvation is always local... And so it is necessary that a love of locale be recovered: this street, these trees, this humidity, these houses. Without reverence for the local, obedience floats on the clouds of abstraction. Every time a rock is named, a flower identified, a house number located, a street walked, the gospel is served. By observing texture and color, by insisting on immediate particularity, space is cleared and location provided for yet another spin-off of the Incarnation, most of which came to its definitive form in small towns and down country roads."

~Eugene H. Peterson, Take & Read

In 1923, Adaton was a small community made up mostly of Oktibbeha County farmers, located nearly eight miles west of what were then the city limits of Starkville, Mississippi. Members of First Baptist Church in Starkville believed that Adaton needed a local Baptist church of its own to share the gospel with and minister to the community. Therefore, on May 27, 1923, nine members of First Baptist were dismissed in good standing from the fellowship of that local church for the purpose of forming a new church in Adaton. 

Adaton Baptist Church was organized following a worship service held on June 17, 1923. The church had 23 charter members, including two who professed faith in Christ during that first worship service. Services were conducted twice a month by J.D. Ray, who also served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Starkville. Brother Ray would serve faithfully as Adaton’s pastor for more than ten years.

The church grew steadily over the following decades. The church facilities were erected on the old Greensboro Road (what is now Christopher Road) in the Adaton community. When old Highway 82 (current Highway 182) was constructed in the 1950’s, the church sanctuary did an “about face” so as to face the new state highway. The current fellowship hall was built in 1986, while the present auditorium was completed in 1992.

By 1995, Adaton Baptist averaged over 170 in Sunday School and around 240 in the Sunday morning worship service. The church witnessed tremendous growth in the late nineties. By 1999, Sunday School attendance jumped to almost 300, while crowds of 500 or more were not uncommon during the two Sunday morning worship services.

By 2000, Adaton Baptist was on the verge of outgrowing its facilities. The church continued to grow steadily in the first years of the new millennium and moved to three worship services on Sunday morning. The church purchased more land around the present facilities to accommodate future growth. However, many in the church believed the fellowship needed to build on a more visible location on either the new Highway 82 or Highway 25 bypass in order to allow Adaton to reach its fullest potential. Others believed the church should remain in the Adaton community to continue its original mission.

Therefore, in May, 2005, after serious and sometimes difficult discussions and votes, the church voted unanimously to start a new church. On July 24, 2005, the church divided, with 225 members and the church staff deciding to leave and form Crosspoint, a Southern Baptist church, in Starkville. Crosspoint held its first service on August 3, 2005. The prayers of both churches are that God would use each church for his glory by presenting all men complete in Christ and loving more and more people into God’s kingdom.

After Crosspoint was formed, those who remained with Adaton Baptist Church called various men to serve as ministers in an interim capacity, including Tom Daniel as interim pastor. On July 16, 2006, the church called J.D. Shaw to serve as pastor. In January, 2007, the church called Brian Brasher as Associate Pastor for Worship Leadership. Tom Daniel remains on staff as Associate Pastor for Christian Education and Students. 

As Starkville continues to grow westward, Adaton has been transformed from a community made up almost entirely of farmers and is taking on more of a suburban feel. However, the mission of Adaton Baptist has not changed. Our hope at Adaton is to fulfill the mandates God has given us as his church. We pray that we become a fellowship of believers who grow more and more in their love for God and each other, that we become more faithful to the calling God has given us to be completely satisfied in Christ, and that we eagerly and inventively seek out ways to share God’s love and gospel with our community, county, region, and world.