Baptists and the American Civil War: August 8, 1865

Good Hope Baptist Church, Clinton, Missouri

Good Hope Baptist Church, Clinton, Missouri

Four months following the conclusion of the war, some Baptist churches in the Mid-West that were shuttered during the war are just now reopening.

Among those that start afresh this month is the Good Hope Baptist Church of Clinton, Missouri.

Founded in 1860, the Baptist congregation, while acquiring land in the form of a gift from the James McFarland family, did not have time to build a meeting house before North-South hostilities erupted. A few meetings did take place in the Pretty Bob Schoolhouse.

August is the beginning of revival season in Baptist life, and the reassembled Good Hope congregation experiences a period of growth. Added to the seven charter members this month are 19 persons newly converted.

Fall revival season proves pivotal for many post-war churches seeking to return to normalcy, the trauma of the war and economic struggles driving many common folks to search for meaning and stability by turning to religion.

In 1867 the Good Hope congregation builds their first meeting house. The church exists to the present day.

Source: “History of Good Hope Baptist Church,” including image (link)