Organized in 1870
Information is lacking as to who conducted the first religious services in the area, but during the year 1870 a Baptist Church was organized in what was called Elm Flat, near the place where the power plant is now located on Lake Granbury. Since Elder J.N. Chandler is credited with helping to start every Baptist church in Hood County between the Civil War and 1900, it is a safe guess that he had a part in it. Evidence indicates that the new church was called Shady Grove Baptist Church from the beginning. In 1885 this church was moved to the Ras Umphress place near the junction of F.M. 2425 and Mitchell Bend Road, and a small house was erected as a meeting place.
Shortly after the turn of the century when the members of the Shady Grove Church saw a thriving village springing up on the corner north of them with stores, shops, a school, Methodist Church and a post office called Mambrino after the name of a favorite race horse, they realized that this was to be the central meeting place and decided to move their church to the center. A two-story building was built with the upper story being used by the Masonic Lodge. However, when the lodge disbanded in 1936 the upper story was removed.
It is interesting to note the cooperation between the Methodists and Baptists of this community. When the churches had a revival both would participate, and when people were converted they would join the church of their preference. When a need for a water supply was agreed upon, both shared a well drilled on the property line between them. Both churches built tabernacles in 1909, and the Baptist tabernacle still stands and is used on many occasions. A fire in the home of one of the members destroyed all the early records in the 1930’s. However, some of the members remember a baptismal service in 1909 when Pastor M.M. Robinett baptized 55 candidates.
After the move to the present location the church was known as the Mambrino Church, but it was not until 1949 that the name was officially changed from Shady Grove to Mambrino. In 1950 four Sunday School rooms were added on the east end of the building. In 1968 two restrooms and a nursery were added, and in 1975 a fellowship hall, including a kitchen and more restrooms, was added to the south side of the church. In 1980 Gerald Wessels, Jr., who had been called as pastor, was ordained in the church. The ordaining council was composed of R.E. Jackson, C.G. Carter, and the deacons of the church. Since the early records have been destroyed, the only other known preacher ordained in the church was S.L. Tarrant in 1884.
With the influx of population in recent years, the church is enjoying remarkable growth, even though it is without a pastor since Rev. Wessels resigned. Rocky Pope is the very capable music director.
Information furnished by Gerald Wessels, Jr.
Paluxy Baptist Association Centennial Story
1880 – 1980