EATON — The Eaton Baptist Temple will soon be celebrating 55 years of sharing the Gospel in the Eaton vicinity and the surrounding area, as well as worldwide through the church’s mission program. Rev. Lowell T. Spencer will be celebrating his 50th anniversary as pastor of Eaton Baptist Temple on Sunday, Nov. 20.
The first service of EBT was held Sept. 5, 1961 at Fort St. Clair Park in Eaton, with 26 people in attendance. Rev. John Frost, graduate of Baptist Bible College, Springfield, Missouri, was elected as pastor. Upon his resignation, Rev. Lynn Randall, a Tennessee Temple graduate, pastored from 1962-1966.
Pastor Spencer was born Aug. 4, 1935, in Key, Kentucky to Sheridan and Sinda Spencer. He was the fourth of nine children; he joked, “he received an education before he left home.”
The family moved to Middletown when Pastor Spencer was four years old, and then moved to Eaton when he was in the 2nd grade. He graduated from Eaton High School in 1954. He was active in football, baseball and most of all in track, winning the state 440 title in 1954. He was recently inducted into both the Preble County Athletic Hall of Fame, as well as the Eaton High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
He received a scholarship to Miami University but turned it down to go to Bible Baptist Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, where he received his Bachelor of Divinity degree in May 1958.
Spencer and his wife Carol were married in August 1955 and moved to Orlando, Florida in September of 1958, where he accepted a call to Orlando Baptist Temple where he served as youth pastor and music director until June 1960. He served as pastor at Northside Baptist Church, Orlando, then returned to Eaton, in January 1964.
He served as music director and Sunday School Superintendent at the Eaton Baptist Temple with Pastor Randall. He went to night school, taking courses to operate the Eaton Water Plant which he did until he accepted the pastorate of Eaton Baptist Temple in 1966.
According to Pastor Spencer, he had felt the need for a Christian School in Preble County and Preble Christian Academy opened in 1975. Due to several circmstances, the school closed in June 1995, after 20 years.
Under Pastor Spencer’s leadership through 50 years, he has come to be known to his Pastor friends as the “marrying and burying preacher.” Many say he has touched many lives with his caring and loving ways through these years.
Spencer says he “feels very blessed and thankful to the Lord for his good health and God’s provisions these 81 years, for five wonderful children and all of the grandchildren and five great-grandchildren — also, for the wonderful people at Eaton Baptist Temple, many who have served 50 years with him. God is and has been good.”
The Anniversary Day begins on Sunday, Nov. 20, with a combined morning Worship Service at 10 a.m. at the Eaton Baptist Temple, 416 East Decatur Street, Eaton. A carry-in lunch will be held at 12:30 p.m. at the Grange, 501 Nation Avenue, Eaton, followed by an afternoon service to honor Pastor Spencer at 2 p.m., also at the Grange.