// history

4: Rev. Frazier — 1957-1962

The Church Comes of Age
The Pastorate of Rev. Frazier — 1957-1962

Rev. and Mrs. I.C. Frazier

After Rev. McDonald had departed from North Cleveland, Rev. Wayne Tarpley, Director of the Baptist Children’s Home in Chattanooga, served as interim pastor from July 10 – October 23, 1957. On October 27, the church called Rev. I.C. Frazier as her third pastor. Reportedly a former army official, Frazier was probably one of North Cleveland’s most scholarly pastors. During his ministry, the church continued to grow both physically and spiritually. Church membership increased from 618 to 716 while Frazier was pastor.
In 1958, the church had become large enough that a new system for electing deacons was necessary. As a result, the church adopted a rotation system, in which several men could actively serve as deacons simultaneously. At that time, ten men served the church as deacons. In 1974, church action changed that number to twelve.

Rev. I.C. Frazier

Building also continued during Frazier’s pastorate. In August 1958, the church voted to lease the property of Mrs. Chloe Beck, whose family had offered the property for North Cleveland’s usage, at an annual rate of $120. This agreement was to last for a two year period, after which the church had the option to purchase the property. The property was finally purchased in 1965. Located on the church’s northern side, the property was basically a large tract of land and a small house, still occupied by Mrs. Beck. The church used the land primarily for recreational purposes.
In 1960, faced with another opportunity for growth, North Cleveland decided to
build an Educational Building to compliment the 1956 sanctuary. On July 31, church members approved a building plan developed by architectural specialists at the Baptist Sunday School Board. This plan apparently suggested that the proposed Educational Building wing be a two-story building with classrooms, church offices, a large fellowship hall, and room for a library and similar facilities. The church began construction on the project in early 1961. Members elected T.J. Cawood (chairman), Glen Greene, J.L. Taylor, Erwin Townsend, Raymond Scoggins and Bill Leamon as the Building Committee. The committee’s responsibilities were:
(1) Employ an architect to draw detailed plans for the building and supervise
its construction according to the plans and materials adopted bythe church.
(2) Employ a superintendent of works to construct the building. Employ workmen and see that the work is done according to church-adopted plans.
(3) Purchase or see that all materials are purchased to the best advantage of
the church.

However, before the Educational Building could be constructed, the old church
building, built in 1938, had to be demolished. The church had previously decided to proceed with the demolition, and during the January 1961 business meeting a committee composed of Hoyt Elrod (chairman), Walter Townsend, J.L. Myers, Ernest Visage, and C.L. (Shan) Hamilton were designated the following duties:
(1) To dispose of the old building for the best interest of the church. Set
date to have the building removed by April 15, 1961.
(2) To work out suitable arrangements for Sunday School and Training Union for those now meeting in the old building during the construction of the new building.

Educational Building, Erected 1962

To finance these building projects, the church authorized the Finance Committee, composed of active deacons, to borrow the necessary money at a rate most suitable to the church’s financial situation. Based on that direction, the church borrowed $70,000 and reserved the right to acquire more funds if needed. However, the church received a large sum of money from the settlement of a church member’s will. Mrs. Mattie Tucker, who had recently died, left the church $23,608.92 to be used at the church’s disposal. Due to this generosity, the church was able to effectively finance the Educational Building cost, and the new facility was completed in August 1961. In 1964, the church paid tribute to Mrs. Tucker by dedicating a special day to her memory, and by erecting a plaque on the eastern wall of the Educational Building.

Nursery, Vacation Bible School 1959

While the church was building a new Educational facility, the church departments continued a constant increase in size. Sunday School enrollment reached into the 400’s by 1962, and the Training Union reported gradual additions in attendance. Along with these programs, the W.M.U. and Brotherhood organizations had a time of significant growth. However, it was Church Music that seemed to experience the largest amount of improvement. This program so vital to the spiritual life and the family atmosphere of North Cleveland Baptist underwent a major transformation during Frazier’s pastorate. In 1957, Jack Tullock became the church’s part-time Music Director, and under his leadership, the choir grew in size and in musical knowledge. Soon after Tullock’s arrival, the church also voted to use the new official convention-wide Baptist Hymnal (1956). Many North Cleveland members were excited about obtaining the new hymn books. One member, in particular, reportedly stated that he could finally recognize North Cleveland as being truly Southern Baptist. In 1959, the church also purchased an organ for $1,700 to be placed in the church sanctuary and to be used in the worship services. This organ was replaced in 1962 with an electronic organ. Chimes were later added by an anonymous donor in 1965.

After four years of pastoral service to the people of North Cleveland Baptist,
Rev. Frazier resigned his position without notice on January 28, 1962. In his
resignation statement, he thanked the church for its positive attitude and for
its cooperative spirit. He also called attention to North Cleveland as a church
that was motivated to Christian service. Frazier was recognized as a good preacher by some members, and one member specifically mentioned his willingness to offer spiritual assistance if it was desired.