History of the Youngsport Church and It's Community
Youngsport is on the Lampasas River and Farm Market Road 2484, nine miles south of Killeen in southwestern Bell County in the state of Texas. Michael Young brought his family to the area sometime before 1850. A wagon-train led by Joel Cosper came with 106 people in 1870. The town most likely got its name from Michael Young when he arrived as the earliest settler who reputedly was a former ship’s captain in 1870s.
In 1875 the first church was established, Live Oak Baptist Church. A Church of Christ congregation began meeting in a brush arbor by 1882. In 1884 Youngsport became a cotton-shipping town with upwards of 200 inhabitants and had the first local school of record. It became one of the larger rural schools in the county in the early twentieth century. During its earlier days the community had a post office, hotel, three churches, two cotton gins and a flour and corn mill.
In the summer of 1882, the members of the Church of Christ met under a brush arbor. The brush arbor was located close to the Lampasas River and not at the present church site. The brush arbor was made out of cedar branches for the roof and poles used to hold up the roof. During a windy day the members would hang a wagon sheet around the poles in order to keep the sound of their singing inside the area. The families brought their drinking water and kept it in a barrel at the brush arbor. Everyone drank out the barrel which had three or four dippers. During this period of time there were no fences so the families going to church could cut across the prairie.
For many years the Church of Christ baptized their members in the Lampasas River. The preacher would lead the individuals into the river to be baptized. During this service the preacher would say a few words and there would be a song service. Most of the conversions happened during the summer time.
During this time all the church services were held under a brush arbor. Later the Church of Christ met in the school building for many years with Mr. Speed as its first minister. The members arrived at the church site in hacks and buggies.
It is believed that the Church of Christ in Youngsport continued to meet in the area during the early 1900’s due to the efforts and dedication of Troy Ray and Grandpa Robert Vick.
The population began to decline by 1890 and by 1914 Youngsport had approximately 70 citizens.
For many years the Church of Christ had camp meetings which would last for at least 10 days. Some families would come from miles around in order to attend the camp meeting. Families who belonged to other churches would come to Youngsport and attend these meetings. The meetings were also the families’ social outings. These camp meetings were held around the brush arbor.
In the fall 1925 or 1926 after members had their crops in, they built their first building. This building was a small, white, wood-framed building with small classrooms in the rear. There was no baptistery and new converts continued to be baptized in the small creek behind the church building or in some cases in the 1970’s and 1980’s in Edd Melton’s swimming pool. The main auditorium was small and contained a pot-bellied stove for heat during the winter. The congregation would circle around the stove to keep warm during Bible studies, many wondering when the old floor would give way under the stove.
The post office closed in 1930 and by 1948 there were only two churches and business remaining. By 1938 the school was incorporated into the Killeen Independent School District. In 1988 the population stood at 40 inhabitants, no business and two churches, the Church of Christ and a Baptist Church.
Edd Melton, Jr. became the minister of the Church of Christ in Youngsport on March 12, 1988. The Church of Christ meets every Sunday for Bible classes and church services. There were and are still no regularly scheduled evening worship services conducted Sunday, however, Bible classes are still held on Wednesday evenings.
By the mid 1980s the congregation had out grown the original building and efforts begin to build a new building. Mr. T. E. Beck supervised the construction of the new church building. The cornerstone was laid in 1987. The men of the church built the new building but some of the work was contracted. The building is brick veneer on a concrete slab with a steeple adorning the roof. Dr. Woody Ray designed the church steeple. Completion of the building was accomplished in February 1988. The building was dedicated on May 1, 1988.
In 1988 the population stood at 40 inhabitants, no business and two churches, the Church of Christ and a Baptist Church.