About Us

Welcome to Cedar Grove!

Are you looking for a church? Have you been searching for a place where you fit in? We would love to invite you with open arms to join our next service so that you can experience what our community at Cedar Grove is all about.

Our congregation has been blessed with a lot of growth in recent years, but we still offer the welcoming atmosphere of a small country church. We often spend time at the beginning of our Sunday morning service recognizing birthdays, anniversaries, outstanding achievements, and special prayer requests. You will be greeted by a family of friends and neighbors who share a common love for God and each other. We even include the kids in the service by having a short children's sermon during our worship time. We hope you will enjoy a Spirit-led worship service and that God will speak to you through a message that is grounded in Scripture. Occasionally we may even have a great lunch after the service, and guests are always encouraged to attend.

Come early and be encouraged by a weekly devotional presented by different Cedar Grove members each Sunday at 9:45 in the sanctuary. This brief time of worship and reflection on scripture will prepare you for the rest of the morning’s worship opportunities. If that’s too early, join us at 10:00 as we go to our Sunday school classes for all types and ages. Don't miss this opportunity to fellowship and study the Bible before our morning service, which starts at 10:50. Preschool and nursery care are available for all activities.

That's just the beginning! We hope that after your first visit, you'll want to come back and get involved in many of our other activities.

Our Beliefs

  • Authority of Scripture. The Bible is divinely inspired; it is the final authority in all matters of life (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
  • Worship. We are created to worship God—this is the ultimate reason for our existence (John 4:23-24). We seek to praise & worship—as individuals, families, & a local church.
  • Salvation. We believe redemption is offered freely to all who accept Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior, who, by His own blood, paid the price for our sins (John 3:16).
  • Baptism. Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water (Acts 8:36-39). It is an act of obedience symbolizing faith in the crucified, buried, & risen Savior, the believer's death to sin, the burial of the old life, & the resurrection to walk in a new life in Christ Jesus.
  • The Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper is a symbolic act of obedience whereby members memorialize Jesus’ death & anticipate His return.
  • Prayer. Prayer is a privilege and a responsibility of every believer; God releases His power and leading in the lives of those who spend time in prayer (Matt. 6:7; 1 Thess. 5:17).
  • Life Transformation. Christians should daily pursue a growing, personal relationship with Christ, and are responsible for becoming more like Christ in their beliefs and conduct (Eph. 4:13; Col. 1:28). We provide opportunities for believers to develop a Christian worldview and thus love others as God so loved us.
  • Personal Evangelism & Missions. Every person is loved by God, who has entrusted us with communicating the message of salvation (Matt. 28:19-20; 2 Cor. 5:18-20). We seek to share that message with all people—regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic status—at home and around the world.
  • Stewardship. In that God owns everything, Christians should adopt a lifestyle of stewardship, practicing the Biblical principle of tithing (giving at least one-tenth of income) to support God’s work through the church (1 Cor. 4:2; 1 Peter 4:10). We also believe that Christians are called to give offerings above the tithe as God leads in order to further God‘s Kingdom work on earth.
  • Message of Faith. Our Message of Faith is stated generally in the Baptist Faith and Message of 1963.

Church Staff

Dr. Tim Watson, Interim Pastor

We are blessed to have Tim Watson serve as interim pastor and guide us while we are searching for the next pastor that God has selected to lead us at Cedar Grove.

John Pages, Next Gen Pastor of Youth

John Pages and wife Katelyn began serving with Cedar Grove in October 2015. John has served in ministry for several years at the local church level as well as extended ministries in camps and retreats. John is passionate about building relationships with the youth and helping them form strong ties with Jesus and serving Him. He also serves on the board of Mission Carthage and gets his students involved in that ministry.

Susan Corley, Children's Ministry Director

Susan is a dedicated Christian wife and mother who shares the love of Christ with the children here at Cedar Grove. Susan organizes our children's activities and Bible studies each week as well as planning children's camps and other activities throughout the year.

Joshua Carter, Worship Leader

Joshua and his wife Caroline both grew up in Carthage, and they have been members of Cedar Grove for many years. They are actively involved in the community and also serve in various ministries in our church.

Stacey Morris, Office Administrator

Stacey has been a member of Cedar Grove for many years and has faithfully served as the church secretary since 2001.

Stacey married her high school sweetheart, Wayne, in 1992. They have one daughter, Paige, who graduated from Panola College and now works in the oil and gas industry.

Stacey enjoys baking, gardening, and going on road trips with friends and family. Her favorite Scripture passage is Psalm 100; it is a reminder to not take for granted the many blessings our Creator has given us and to always give Him the praise and glory for it all.

Freddy Mason Jr., Pastor Emeritus (Retired)

“Brother Freddy” as he is lovingly referred to by all, came to pastor at Cedar Grove in 1967. He has an AA from Panola College where he taught speech and served as Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences, a BA from East Texas Baptist University, and a Master of Divinity from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Brother Freddy has received many other honors including being named “Panola County’s Citizen of the Year” by the Panola County Chamber of Commerce, an excellence in teaching award at the NISOD convention at the University of Texas at Austin, and was named “Man of the Year” by the One Hundred Men of Texas.

Brother Freddy is married to Suzanne, “one of the best things that ever happened to me.” With many tears and hugs, we said our farewell to him when he announced his retirement in August of 2023, and he was honored with the emeritus title shortly thereafter.

History of Cedar Grove

On May 14, 1905, a group of mission-minded believers who were members of Six Mile Church in the Snap community met and organized the Baptist Church of Christ at Old Six Mile Church. In 1911, they secured the means to build a new church and changed the name to Cedar Grove Baptist Church of Christ. Their first meeting in the new sanctuary was on April 14, 1912. Around this time, a new Sunday school program was established, with prayer meetings often being held at night. In the year 1916, the congregation became affiliated with the Panola County Baptist Association, and within a few more years it became known simply as Cedar Grove Baptist Church. At this time, various preachers from nearby towns led services once a month, often sharing their time with other churches in neighboring communities.

Although the population of the Snap community slowly declined during the mid-20th century following World War II, the church continued to grow. While they were able to fund the construction of a one-room, wood stove-heated building to host their services, they still lacked many modern conveniences such as running water, bathrooms, and air conditioning. However, the congregation remained passionate about the Gospel, and they eventually conducted services twice monthly until finally establishing a full-time pastorate in 1951. During this period, they were able to make some improvements to the building, such as Sunday school rooms and new furniture. However, the church had many young pastors that were just starting their careers out of the two-year East Texas Baptist school in Marshall, so none of them stayed for a long time.

That all changed in 1967, when Bro. Freddy Mason was called to pastor Cedar Grove while he was still in college. Over almost 56 years of his leadership, both the church building and family grew significantly. As new programs were added, including women's, men's, youth services, and annual vacation Bible schools, the congregation grew and also continued to expand its facilities to support our various programs.

In recent years, the church has seen significant growth, as newer facilities and quality programs for children and youth have attracted young families from all over Panola County. We continue to expand our reach in the community and around the world with our focus on service and missions to affect change in God's kingdom. We pray that our recent addition of the Doug Waldrop Educational Wing and the expansion of our gym will be used to prepare this next generation to make its impact on the world for Christ.

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