The history of Hawthorne Baptist Church dates back to 1854, when it was known as the Penile Baptist Church in the Penile Community on Caney Creek.  Some of the first to worship together were the grandparents of the Hardys, Jacksons, and Knights.  These faithful Christians traveled by wagon, horseback, and even on foot.

Among Penile Baptist, our church body has been under several other names.  In 1859, it was called Holly Springs Church, and then Old Waverly Baptist as it appears in this 1905, church family portrait.  Those worshippers joining those already mentioned are the Moffetts, Ellisors, Welshes, Rockets, Jenks, Fraziers, and Jordans.
By 1916, the church members agreed to move the church to a more central location and it has been known as Hawthorne Baptist Church since that time and remains in the same location. 

Thanks be to the faithful members of our church history who made it possible for this church to endure such changes.  There was no land available around this time and no funds in which to purchase land.  It was because of generous offers by two members: W. G. Ellisor and Dr. Gustine that land was provided for our building. 

Soon the church members outgrew the church facilities; this growth of the church prompted reconstruction and additions in 1953.  In the summer of 1967, Mr. W.P. Ludwig, John Robert Hardy Sr., & John Robert Hardy Jr. built the front portion of our current fellowship hall.  The building we worship in today was completed in 1980, and the “old church” was moved back to serve as Sunday school rooms.  Then, in the early 1990s, the larger back part of the fellowship hall was added. (And, we no longer had to fight the love bugs at our September Homecoming gatherings.) In 2013, we were able to expand with another building for our youth class.  With all that 2020 brought, we expanded our ministry technologically through livestream of our services on Facebook and also posting to our YouTube channel. Again, because of the faithfulness of our members, funds were and are being provided for the provisions that we enjoy today.

Many times the future seemed unclear for our church but many of our pastors instilled in us the Spirit to move forward. Some of the pastors who labored through the years are:  Brothers G.M. Daniels, Gray, Morrison, Brown, McFarlen, Fouts, Parker, Spraker, McGinty, Kahill, Commander, Andrews, Luper, Lee, Ingram, Busley, Landford, Hobbs.  (After 1954): Noel Baker, Carl Landford, Noel Smith, Don Gallatin, John Wilson, Fred Sanderlin, Richard Dugger, Bob Clogston, Jack Carr, Gene Rotramel, & Jason Pennington. 

Thanks be to God not only for these men called by God to shepherd the flock, but for a steadfast body of believers that have through the years served our Lord Jesus Christ faithfully.

May we always until Jesus comes for us:

                                  Exalt the Savior, Equip the Saints, & Evangelize the Sinner.

                               Be thou faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of Life. – Revelation 2:10