SHARON BAPTIST CHURCH
In June 1963, Ironton was reported as a new work sponsored by Grace Baptist Church, Credo, West Virginia. May 14, 1964, a Southern Baptist Rally was held at the Chapel located on South Fifth Street. Bro. Don Bennett served as mission pastor from August 1963 to August 1964. From April to July 1964, an intensive effort was made to strengthen the work at Ironton under the sponsorship of West Moreland Baptist Church of Huntington, West Virginia. Financial assistance was provided by Greater Huntington Baptist Association. In January 1965, C.B. Coots was called as full time misison pastor of the Ironton Chapel with the financial aid of The Home Mission Board under the sponsorship of West Moreland Baptist Church. After Bro. Coots left in March 1966, the work disbanded.
Two Vacation Bible Schools were conducted simultaneously with the aid of summer student workers and a group of youth and their pastor, Rev. Paul Lack, from the First Baptist Church Ormond Beach Florida, during July 8-17, 1968. Revival services were held in the evening at the Kingsbury School. One school was held in the U.C.T. Hall and the other in a rented store on Third Street. Five people (Mrs. Luther Tackett, Mrs. Dianne Oliver, Mr. and Mrs. Danny Tackett, and Mrs. Edith Woods) agreed to begin the new work with the financial aid of The Greenup Association of Baptists in Kentucky. Preaching Services and Sunday School were begun on Sunday, July 21, 1968, meeting in the band room of the Junior High School. Bro. Ben Newell, Pastor of Burlington Baptist Church, preached at the Chapel during Burlington's Sunday School hour, then returned to Burlington for the morning worship service. After four months, the group begin meeting on Thursday nights at the home of Danny and Judy Tackett. Burlington Baptist Church assumed sponsorship of the new work in the spring of 1969. Again, summer student workers conducted a Vacation Bible School in Ironton during July 1969. It was held in the backyard of the home of Danny and Judy Tackett with 48 enrolled. As results of this school more interest was stimulated in the work.
Bro. Lamar O'Bryant, Christian Service Crop Volunteer from The Home Mission Board arrived on the field from Smyrna, Georgia on August 5, 1969. The Chapel called Bro. Lamar O'Bryant as Mission Pastor and he was ordained on April 17, 1971.
Property was purchased on South Fifth Street with the aid of a loan from The Home Mission Board. With local financing, an adjacent lot was also purchased.
The Chapel constituted into Sharon Baptist Church on November 13, 1971 with 39 charter members. Ground breaking ceremonies were held on May 7, 1972 at the 5th Street property. The facilities were dedicated on November 5, 1972. In November 1979, a two story educational wing was dedicated.
In August 1984, Sharon Baptist Church was listed in Mission USA as being in the top one-half percent of the fastest growing churches in The Southern Baptist Convention.
As more space was needed, the church purchased property adjacent to the sanctuary in August 1985 and at 2026 South 5th Street on December 6, 1989. Property at 2022 South 5th Street was purchased on February 5, 1991.
Bro. Lamar O'Bryant resigned in 1968 to accept the pastorate at First Southern Baptist Church, Pomeroy Ohio. Bro. Bill Baer served as pastor from 1986-1988. Bro. Bill was called to serve as an IMB missionanry to Chilie. The current Pastor, Bro. Steve Harvey was called in 1989.
During the years, Sharon Baptist Church has called 3 men to serve as Associate Pastors: Mike O'Byrant in 1991; Brian Carlise in 2006 and the current Associate Pastor Aaron Fields in 2008.
The growing congregation had the vision to purchase several adjacent lots for future expansion. In 2005, additional property was purchased for the purpose of much needed parking. Two more lots were purchased in 2007. As the need for more space for thier ministries a multi-purpose facility was planned in 2008. Over $140,000 was raised. Baptist Builders for Christ arrived in 2010 to being the construction of this facility. First services were held in the new sanctuary in October 2010. With the additional space the congregation now could worship together in one service.
Two successful missions were started from Sharon Baptist Church: Fairland Southern Baptist Church located in Proctorville and Shiloh Baptist Church located in Wheelersburg.
Throughout the years, Sharon Baptist Church has been ministering to the Ironton Community. Such events with youth, adults and children help to reach the community for Christ. Some other minstries are Real Meal Ministry (3rd and 4th Saturday; Small Scholar Preschool (Friday morning); Handing out of water at local parades; Youth and Adults mission trips. In 1999, Sharon Baptist Church baptized 98 people. The church has grown from 6 members in 1971 to close to 500 today.