Our Heritage

Beginnings 1944-1954 

Parkwood Baptist Church began as Parkwood Mission on January 23, 1944. It was started in the home of Rev. Charles B. Althoff, and 19 people were in attendance for the 3:00pm meeting. Rev. Althoff's sermon that day was entitled "To the Church That Is In Thine House." 

A few months later, the first weekly prayer meeting was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore R. Burkhart on Thursday, May 24. 

On June 1, 1944, Rev. Vaughn Tollett became the first pastor of Parkwood Mission. It was soon decided to rent the Edgewood Inn on Palatka Road for $12.00 per month while looking for a permanent site. 

Later that same year, on October 1, 1944, Parkwood Mission gained a sponsor in Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church. On November 5 of that same year, 28 charter members joined Parkwood.

A tent revival and the first Vacation Bible School in Parkwood's young history were held July 15-22, 1945.   

On April 11, 1946 an acre of ground on Manslick Road was purchased for $3,000. This would become the future site of Parkwood. 

Rev. Carl B. Robbins became the second pastor on October 6, 1946. 

A new structure was built on the Manslick Road property and was first used on February 2, 1947.

On June 8, 1953, Rev. Gene Hitchcock became Parkwood's third pastor.

Ground was broken for a newer building on January 7, 1954, and was first used on April 25 of the same year. The building, which consisted of the modern-day basement and first level of the education building, was dedicated on June 27, 1954, with 170 people in attendance. 

Rev. Hugh Brooks became the fourth pastor of Parkwood on March 17, 1957. 

In 1958, Parkwood Mission became self-supporting and became Parkwood Baptist Church. They held a Service of Constitution on November 2.

Expansion 1959-1984

Once Parkwood became self-supporting, expansion happened rapidly. 

Dr. Sherman E. Towell became the fifth pastor on January 1, 1960. Dr. Towell served as pastor for 21 years, making him the longest-tenured pastor in Parkwood's history.

During the early 1960s, the top floor of the education building was added on, and the sanctuary building was built and first used in October 1964. 

In July 1981, Rev. Jerry H. Mantooth became Parkwood's sixth pastor.

In September of 1981, Rev. Mantooth and Hazel Dobrick organized a senior citizens group that would be known as the Eat & Travel Club. Their first meeting was on October 6, with 15 people in attendance. Later that fall, the group went to Brown County, Indiana, the first of many trips that would take them around the city, state, and nation.

The church mortgage was paid and the note burned in November 1984.

Growth 1985-2000

With the loan on the expansions paid off, Parkwood began to take care of some other projects during this time. 

In September 1985, Rev. Kenneth Whitehouse became the seventh pastor.

In the mid-1980s, the parking lot was enlarged and air conditioning was installed in the educational building. 

In August 1988, Dr. Eric Lethco became Parkwood's eighth pastor. 

The pews in the sanctuary received padding in the late 1980s and the sanctuary itself was redecorated. 

In March 1996, Rev. Thomas Dail became Parkwood's ninth pastor.

Security was upgraded in 1996 with the addition of new doors and locks on the buildings. Parts of the educational building were also refurbished.

In November 1997, Rev. Randy Stinson became the tenth pastor of Parkwood.

Reaching Out 2001-2009

n June 2001, Rev. Benny Phelps became the eleventh pastor of Parkwood.

In 2002, Parkwood began working with other churches in the south Louisville area to hold an annual crusade at the Iroquois Park Amphitheater. Called "Faith for Today, Hope for Tomorrow", the crusade started in a tent on the property of Rockford Lane Baptist Church, and quickly expanded into the larger facility at the Amphitheater one year later.

In 2003 the Global Outreach (GO) mission projects began with a trip to Boston, MA. In the years following, Parkwood also sent missionary teams to Seattle, WA; Alexandria, KY; Rio Grande Valley, TX; Dixon, KY; New Orleans, LA; and Atlanta, GA.

Also in 2003, a program entitled "Renewing His House" designated $40,000 towards much-needed upgrades and repairs throughout the facility. In October 2003, the church parking lot was repaved and expanded to add some additional spots. Shortly thereafter, as part of the program, the sanctuary was given a fresh coat of paint.

Another Renewing His House project was updating the entrance to the educational building. The church offices were moved to this location, the hallway was repainted and re-carpeted, and the restrooms were refurnished. 

The Parkwood Baptist Church website first launched in August 2005. Since it's inception, it has continued to grow and develop into the website of today. It has also been helpful in providing an online archive of pictures, events, and the life of Parkwood.

As part of the ongoing Renewing His House program, repairs to the church steeple were made in November 2006, and included a cleaning, repainting, and removal of damaged or broken pieces.

Throughout these years, Parkwood began celebrating a Constitution Sunday on the first Sunday of November each year. This was a day of celebrating the history of Parkwood and thanking God -- not only for all He has done in our past, but for what He is doing today, and for the plans He has for our future.

In May 2007, the exterior woodwork was cleaned and painted as part of the Renewing His House program. This project included repainting the windows of the sanctuary building, as well as the pillars, doors, breezeways, and framing. Additionally, the rear breezeway's railing was reinforced during this time to make it more stable and secure. 

July 2007 was the first edition of a new church-wide Sunday School series designed to let all ages of our fellowship study the Word of God together. The topic was "Battle For the Sexes", and the month-long study helped us see what the Bible teaches about the equal, yet different roles of men and women. Other topics included the Bible, what it means to be a Baptist, prayer, death, and the family.

Continuing to Spread His Word 2010-Present

As we look forward to what God will do in the future of Parkwood Baptist Church, we are reminded that Parkwood is more than historical facts and figures. It is more than a set of buildings. It is a group of believers in Christ that have come together with a unified purpose: to share the truth of God revealed to us through His Son, Jesus Christ, and His Word, the Bible.