Dixie Lee Baptist Church was originally called Midway Baptist Church to denote its location midway between Knoxville and Kingston.
Most records of the early church are missing except for some information contained in a letter to Deacon Hugh Watt from a Mr. Hartley. In the letter, Mr. Hartley writes, “A child was born in our home in 1876 and there was no building. Another child was born in 1878 and there was a building.”
Based on this information, it is assumed the original construction was completed in 1877. The church was constituted as Midway Baptist Church in 1882 with the Rev. J.B. Ginn as the first pastor. The land for the original building was donated by John Marshal Montgomery. Mr. Montgomery, Mr. Hartley, and George Hand were part of the construction crew that built the original building. All the framing consisted of hewn logs held together by wooden pegs or “draw” pins.
The church grew rapidly in the 1940s and on June 25, 1947, the church voted to begin construction on a new addition consisting of a single two-story building with Sunday School classrooms and a furnace room. In 1948, before the new addition was paid for, the old hewn log building was abandoned because of its deteriorated condition. In November 1949, construction on a new basement was started that would eventually be the foundation of a new sanctuary. Meetings were held in the basement for six years until the sanctuary was completed. In 1953, construction began on the sanctuary and the third floor of the education building directly behind the sanctuary. The first service in the new sanctuary was held Easter Sunday 1954.
On June 2, 1954, the church voted to change the name of the church from Midway Baptist Church to Dixie Lee Baptist Church. The church chose to use the name of its local community, which got its name from the junction of Dixie Highway (U.S. 70) and Lee Highway (U.S. 11) located only 100 yards from the church.
The Rev. Dan Dunkel came as pastor in 1954 and served until 1957. A pastor’s home was completed in 1957 just in time for the Rev. J.C. Parrish, who was pastor from 1957 until 1970. An educational wing was added to the existing buildings and two additional acres were purchased.
In October 1970, the Rev. E.M. Sherwood accepted the pastorate. Under his leadership, the church undertook the support of a mission pastor, John Christy, and the establishment of a new church work in Vermillion, South Dakota. The mission church prospered, calling the Rev. Wayne James as pastor and constituting as Grace Baptist Church.
In November 1978, the Rev. John Burleson was called as pastor and served until his retirement in October 1990. During his pastorate, the sanctuary was extensively remodeled and 3.5 acres were purchased west of the present buildings to assure room for expansion.
In March 1991, the Rev. Bobby Mullins was called as pastor, followed by the Rev. Bruce Yates in August 1994. In August 1996, the church dedicated a new Family Life Center, which provides Sunday School classrooms, office space, a kitchen and a gymnasium that doubles as a fellowship hall.
The Rev. Jim Clayton was called as pastor in February 1999 and served until March 2015. The church completed major infrastructure renovations in parking and landscaping in preparation for the construction of a new worship facility. On Jan. 18, 2009, the church held the first service in its new temporary Worship Center by utilizing half of the 14,930-square-foot structure.
The Rev. Steve Meadows became pastor in March 2016 after serving as interim pastor for nine months.