// history

3: Rev. McDonald — 1946-1957

Sowing Seeds of Kindness
The Pastorate of Rev. McDonald — 1946-1957

Old Church Building
In 1947, after a pulpit committee composed of Jess Morrow, Hoyt Elrod and T.J. Cawood had delivered a favorable report, North Cleveland issued a call to Rev. C.E. McDonald, a McMinn County pastor, to become her second pastor. A quiet, but compassionate individual, McDonald served as North Cleveland’s pastor for eleven years. Many members recall his sincerity and humility in serving the spiritual needs of his congregation. An exuberant visitor, McDonald often called on church members weekly. He was considered by many to be the finest example of a pastor who could truly minister even in times of deepest sorrow. His pastorate at North Cleveland was characterized by a period of spiritual growth and of warm Christian fellowship.
While McDonald was pastor, the church added the present sanctuary to the church plant. On March 27, 1950, North Cleveland purchased the land behind the 1938 church, which bordered North Lee Highway. At that time, the church bought the property from H.H. Farris and T.F. McKeown for $3,000. Having established a substantial building fund, members elected to begin construction on a new sanctuary in 1955. Supervising the building were Building Committee members Hoyt Elrod, J.L. Myers, D.M. Stephenson, Walter Townsend and Alden Harris. At this time, North Cleveland voted to borrow $25,000 from both Cleveland National Bank and from Cleveland Bank and Trust.
Groundbreaking Ceremony of Present Sanctuary

In 1956, the church borrowed an additional $2,000 from each bank. The church also commenced a massive fund-raising effort to finance the remainder of the building. Characteristic of the building drive, church members charted the fund-raising with a poster of a rising thermometer. On April 1, 1956, the church worshipped for the first time in the new red brick sanctuary. Due to the efforts of North Cleveland members, the debt of the new building quickly evaporated.
During this time, the music program at the church continued to prosper. Under the direction of T.J. Cawood, Bill Turner and John Dantzler, respectively, the adult choir grew in size as more members became interested and involved in using their musical talents. Members were also urged to take an active role in congregational worship, particularly through singing. Other church programs also increased their membership roles. For instance, the W.M.U. added more members as more women became actively concerned about the importance of Christian Missions.

Rev. C.E. McDonald with Grandson

In addition to the growth in programs already active, three new programs began at North Cleveland during McDonald’s pastorate. Men of the church initiated a Brotherhood program in 1947, wih Boyd Kibble as the first director. Beginning with thirteen members, the Brotherhood experienced a slow start, but it became an active church organization by 1960. Around 1946, the church also recognized the need for a properly read membership, and began the present church library. Mrs. Hoyt Elrod served the church as the first librarian. Finally, North Cleveland seeing the rapid growth of the church and swiftly increasing budget, decided to use the Baptist envelope system on June 5, 1957. In this way , each church member could exert his responsibility to the church finances and the church’s monetary accounts could be adequately balanced.
In providing for McDonald’s well being, in 1941 the church purchased a small pastorium near the church on Franklin Avenue for $4,000. She also elected to provide for her pastor’s future needs by joining the Baptist Minister’s Retirement Plan on May 12, 1954. Since that action, the church has also provided for her pastor’s annuity. McDonald seemed appreciative of such church action, and at least on one occasion, refused to accept an increase in his salary. At that time, he reportedly asked that any proposed increase by directed toward the church debt payment. This action was characteristic of McDonald’s ministry, and endeared him to the hearts of his congregation.

Note Burning on New Building

When the Bradley Baptist Association began in September 1950, North Cleveland had a leading role in its organization. Rev.
McDonald served on an advisory committee which found substantial need for a new Baptist Association to be formed from the older Ocoee Association. Once the Bradley Association was organized, North Cleveland members were present and active in irs early years. T. J. Cawood served as one of the first Associational Trustees, and Raymond Ledford was the first Associational Training Union Director.
McDonald’s humble service and dedication to North Cleveland made him a very respected and well-loved individual. As a result, in 1957, the church sadly accepted his resignation as pastor to accept the pastorate of a McMinn County Baptist church. His pastorate had fostered an atmosphere for proper Christian concern for both the church member and the outsider. Even to this day, C.E. McDonald remains one of the church’s dearest and most cherished Shepherds.

Inside the Sanctuary, 1956
The New Sanctuary Building, Erected in 1956