How we got here
The history of East Side Baptist Church follows the history of Woodside Mills in Liberty. The mill began operation in 1901 and quickly recognized the need for a church to provide spiritual strength for its workers. Thus, in 1904, this need was met by the building of a church. Rev. W.T. Abbot was chiefly responsible for the organization of the church and he served as pastor for ten years and was followed by Rev. W.M. Walker, then by Rev. Tom Durham.
Originally, East Side was known as Old Hall and was located off West Beattie Street on top of the hill off Hunt Avenue. The saga of East Side took a turn in 1915 when the original building was torn down and another building, called Second Baptist Church, was built on property located between Mills Avenue and Highway 178. Under this name, the church was served by the able leadership of such pastors as Rev. Tom Durham, Rev. Mitchell, Rev. Jim Davis, Rev. Berts, Rev. Jones, Rev. C.V. Martin, Rev. E.O. Edwards, Rev. Phil Jenkins and Rev. R.W. Bailes.
In 1935 Rev. Jim Davis was called back to the church. He felt the church was second to none, and the name was changed to East Side Baptist Church. Following Rev. Davis were Rev. W.A. Loudermilk, Rev. Clyde Johnson, Rev. Robert Wheeler, Rev. M.A. Bryant and Rev. Doug Baker. Rev. Marion Hudgens served from 1957 to 1965, during which time a new auditorium was added to the church. Rev. Leroy Stewart served from 1965 until 1967 when Rev. W.J. Lockaby was called.
Rev. Kenneth Moon served from 1975 to 1982 during which time (1978) construction of a new church building began. Located at 920 Anderson Drive, this building is the present site of East Side Baptist. The first service was held in the new building on Easter Sunday, April 16, 1979.
Rev. Ralph F. Carter served from 1982 until 1988. Rev. Carlton R. Cleveland served from 1989 until 2000. In 2001, Dr. Rick Lee began his pastorate and served until 2014. Dr. Tim Harris served from 2015 until 2018. Rev. Josh Hughes started in 2019 and was called to another church in 2022.