WPA History of
Lamar County, Mississippi
The beautiful church
buildings in the towns of Lamar County and the attractive
appearance of the small rural church throughout Lamar County
speak mutely of the deep spiritual life of the people of this
section and here, whether in some secluded rural spot, at the end
of some quiet street, or whether bordering on some busy
thoroughfares of human endeavor--wherever men's hearts have been
inspired to build--there they have founded a Temple to God.
The investment represented in church property in Lamar
County runs into large figures, and the activities and influence
of the various denominations are far-reaching and are being
extended into new fields.
There are eight different denominations and 43 church
organizations of white churches in Lamar County, as follows:
One Seventh Day Adventist, one Catholic, twenty four
Baptist, ten Methodist, five Holiness, one Presbyterian, one
MT. ZION LANDMARK BAPTIST: Duval Stuart, pastor; services
held once a month. It is located on Black Creek near Burnt
Bridge, three miles south of Highway 24. 125 members.
PURVIS BAPTIST CHURCH: D. A. Hogan, pastor; services held
twice each Sunday, Sunday School each Sunday, located in the town
of Purvis, 275 members.
MIDWAY LANDMARK BAPTIST CHURCH: pastor Vance Hill,
services held once a month, located in Midway Community, 86
members.(Reference: Ras Cameron)
LITTLE BLACK LANDMARK BAPTIST CHURCH: Vance Hill, pastor;
services held once a month, 58 members, located four miles north
of Lumberton on the West Purvis Lumberton Road. (Reference George
ORAL LANDMARK BAPTIST CHURCH: pastor Troy Sumrall;
services held twice a month, Sunday School and B. Y. P. U. each
Sunday and W. M. U. meeting each week. Located near Victory
School on Highway 42 six miles east of Sumrall. 147 active
members. (Reference Harmon Aultman)
CANAY LANDMARK BAPTIST CHURCH: pastor Riley Anderson,
services once a month, located on Old Wire Road, from Lumberton
to Columbia. 132 members. (Reference George Thompson)
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF LUMBERTON: pastor R. N. Ready.
Services twice each Sunday, also Sunday School and B. Y. P. U.
and W. M. U. once a week. Located in the town of Lumberton, 220
members. (Reference Minutes of the Mississippi Conference)
PINE GROVE LANDMARK BAPTIST CHURCH: Pastor (illegible)
Crawley; services held once a month. Located in the Pine Grove
Community seven miles west of Purvis, 143 members. (Reference Dan
ROCKY BRANCH BAPTIST CHURCH: pastor M. Walters, service
once a month, Sunday School every Sunday. Located in Rocky Branch
Community (illegible) miles west of Oloh; 126 members. (Reference
Mrs. Mack Smith)
BAY CREEK LANDMARK BAPTIST CHURCH: Pastor N. Lott;
services once a month; located 10 miles west of Purvis on the
Sumrall and Oloh Road. 126 members. (Reference Geo. Thompson)
PLEASANT HOME PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH: Services
discontinued, no record of membership. Located 7 miles southwest
of Purvis. (Reference Geo. Thompson)
OLOH BAPTIST CHURCH: pastor N. Roberts; located in the
village of Oloh; services once a month, Sunday School every
Sunday, 150 members (Reference Mrs. Mack Smith)
MILITARY BAPTIST CHURCH: Pastor T. A.(?) Sumrall,
services once a month . Sunday School every Sunday. Located 2
miles south of Sumrall on the Military Road. 186 members.
(Reference Rip Bond)
SUMRALL BAPTIST CHURCH: Pastor Troy Sumrall, preaching
service twice each Sunday. Sunday School and B. Y. P. U. Located
in the town of Sumrall, 276 members. (Reference Troy Sumrall)
OAK GROVE LANDMARK BAPTIST: pastor Rev. Simmons; service
once a month, Sunday School every Sunday. Located in Oak Grove
Community 11 miles south of Hattiesburg on Old Highway No. 11.
100 members (Reference W. D. Kittrell)
BAXTERVILLE BAPTIST: pastor Joe Lowe, services once a
month, Sunday School every Sunday. Located in the village of
Baxterville. 44 members. (Reference Illegible Walker)
CLEAR BRANCH BAPTIST: Pastor Illegible Cole, services
once a month. Located four miles east of Purvis, 84 members.
(Reference Illegible Slade)
EPHESUS PRIMITIVE BAPTIST: pastor Albert Easterling,
service once a month, located 2 miles west of Purvis, 49 members.
(Reference John Patten)
RICHBURG BAPTIST CHURCH: pastor A. C. Barrett, service
once a month, Sunday School every Sunday, located 12 miles north
of Purvis on the Richburg Road, 40 members. (Reference Minutes of
CORINTH BAPTIST: pastor V. W. Malley, services once a
month, Sunday School every Sunday. Located six miles west of
Purvis on Baxterville Road. 176 members. (Reference Jack Miller)
GOODHOPE BAPTIST CHURCH: pastor L. H. Harper. Service
once a month Sunday School every Sunday, located 3 miles west of
Purvis; 214 members. (Reference Jack Miller)
HICKORY GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH: pastor Z. A. Polk, service
once a month, Sunday School every Sunday, located on the Sumrall
and Prentiss Road; 136 members. (Reference Minutes of the Lebanon
CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH: pastor C. S. Moulder; services
once a month, Sunday School and B. Y. P. U. every Sunday; located
in Oak Grove Community nine miles south of Hattiesburg on Highway
No. 11. 68 members. (Reference Dan Walker)
PROVIDENCE BAPTIST CHURCH: pastor, Vance Hill. Service
once a month, located 5 miles north of Lumberton. 12 members.
(Reference Jim Perry)
TATUM CAMP BAPTIST CHURCH: pastor D. A. Hogan, service
once a month, Sunday School every Sunday. Located at Tatum Camp
ten miles north of Purvis. 80 members. (Reference Mrs. Alice Lee)
FAIRVIEW BAPTIST: Rev. Nobles, pastor. Services twice a
month. Located 3 miles west of Sumrall, 78 members.(Reference
GREENVILLE BAPTIST: pastor Bro. Watts. Located 7 miles
north of Baxterville. Services once a month.(Reference M.
TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH: pastor Crawley, services once
a month, located in Purvis, Sunday School every Sunday, 153
members.(Reference Lucy Morehead)
PURVIS METHODIST: pastor G. K. Allen, services twice each
Sunday, Sunday School and B. Y. P. U. Located in the town of
Purvis. 223 Members. (Reference G. K. Allen)
SUMRALL METHODIST: pastor L. M. Reeves, services twice
each Sunday, Sunday School illegible. Located in the town of
Sumrall. 175 members. (Reference L. M. Reece)
LUMBERTON METHODIST CHURCH: pastor G. H. Thompson,
services twice each Sunday. Located in the town of Lumberton. 275
members. (Reference G. H. Thompson)
TALOWAH METHODIST: pastor G. E. Allen. Services twice a
month, located in the village of Talowah, 6 miles south of
Purvis, 63 members. (Reference G. E. Allen)
UNION GROVE METHODIST: pastor Illegible Allen. Services
twice a month, located on Highway 11, 6 miles south of Purvis. 61
TATUM CAMP METHODIST: services in the same building with
Baptist, about 30 members. (Reference Lucy Morehead)
OLOH METHODIST: pastor Rev. Martin; services once a
month, located in the village of Oloh, 10 miles south of Sumrall,
95? members. (Reference Mrs. Mack Smith)
SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST: pastor, Rev. W. W. Walker, service
each Sabbath, also Sabbath School and Young Peoples Volunteer,
located in the village of Talowah, 78 members. (Reference W. W.
CATHOLIC CHURCH: Father Shermanmesser, pastor; services
early mass each week day, regular service every Sunday and all
special holidays, located at Seneca on Southern Railroad four
miles north of Lumberton, 105 devout members. (Reference Father
PENTECOSTAL CHURCH OF GOD: pastor J. C. Parker, located
seven miles south of Purvis on Highway 11. Service every Saturday
and Sunday night. This is a free religion. No records are kept.
(Reference J. C. Parker)
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: services discontinued, located in
EPISCOPAL CHURCH AT LUMBERTON: services discontinued.
There are members of the Church of God, Gospel Trumpet,
but no church with regular pastor in Lamar County; also there are
some so called Holy Rollers but have no regular church. This is
also true of the Mormon Religion. The nearest church is in
Columbia, Marion County.
MT. ZION BAPTIST CHURCH: about eight miles from Purvis on
the Sumrall and Purvis Road stands a one room lumber building
known as Burnt Bridge Church. In 1878 a group of nine members
organized this church under the name of Mount Zion Church. It was
built near a bridge on Black Creek which later burned and has
ever since been known as Burnt Bridge Church. The charter members
of this church were Robert Whiddon, Samuel Scarborough, William
Lee, W. S. Street, Sarah Graham, Martha Bounds, and Margaret Lee,
the only surviving member. The first pastor was H. Graham. He and
R. L. King composed the Presbytery. The first building was of
logs, roughly thrown together, but the membership soon required a
larger and better building which was built in 1890 and is the
present building. They now have a membership of 125. (Reference
PURVIS BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized in 1882 by Reverend
H. R. Curtiss and Jimmie Johnston. Rev. Curtiss was pastor for a
number of years. The first meetings were held in a school house
built of logs. In 1885 a frame room building was completed on the
west side of what is now Main Street at its northern end. 13
years later this building was destroyed by the cyclone that
destroyed Purvis. Then the Home Mission Board of the Southern
Convention erected the present building. One of the charter
members of this church is still alive; Mrs. Nancy Purvis.
(Reference Mrs. Nancy Purvis)
MIDWAY BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized by J. P. Johnson in
the year of 1883. It is a frame wood building. Church discipline
is very strict, being in the hands of deacons and pastor.
LITTLE BLACK BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized in the year of
1883, by J. P. Johnson. The first building was of logs, built on
Little Black Creek. Later this building burned and the church was
moved to Red Creek, and the present frame wood building was
erected. It is still called Little Black Church, financed by free
will offerings. They have a Sunday School every Sunday and a
singing school every summer. (reference Geo. Owens)
PURVIS METHODIST CHURCH: was organized in 1882 by Melvin
Purvis, J. B. Purvis, W. H. Fillingame. Religious services were
held in private homes and on logs under pine trees. Later a wood
building was erected. In 1886 Rev. Van Guice established Purvis
as a regular preaching appointment. During this same year Rev. B.
S. Raynoor, P. E., of the Seashore District was instrumental in
incorporating Purvis as a charge composed of Ellisville,
Hattiesburg, Purvis and Poplarville. In April 1908 this building
was destroyed by the cyclone. Soon afterward another building was
erected. Since then Purvis Church has held high rank in the
charges of the Miss. Conference.
ORAL BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized in 1886 by Rev. J. P.
Johnson then a Missionary worker sent to this section by the
State Mission Board. He served as first pastor here. The first
church house was a small log building put up by members. In 1893
the present lumber building was erected. Mr. Herman Aultman gave
the timber and one of the northern men who came into this section
cut the timber for one half of the lumber. The following list of
charter members of this church are still living: Harmon Aultman,
Mrs. Elizabeth Lambert, and Mrs. Nannie Bynum. The 50th
Anniversary of this church was celebrated in the fall of 1936.
(Reference Harmon Aultman)
CANAY CHURCH: was organized in 1887. It is a small frame
building built from collections. The first services ices were
held in the little school building. It was organized by Rev. G.
W. Burge, pastor of the church. The church is built near Little
River. Some of the Charter members are G. W. Burge, B. P. Henley.
(Reference Geo Thompson)
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF LUMBERTON: was organized in 1889.
Rev. Thomas Smith was first pastor. HE led in the erecting of the
first church building and was succeeded by Rev. W. B. Holcomb who
served as pastor for ten and one half years. In 1898 the present
location was secured and a wood building erected and dedicated in
1899 by Dr. A. N. Rowe, then corresponding secretary of State
Missions. In 1925 Rev. L. A. Materne led the congregation in
erecting the present modern brick building. This church is
financed by its members. (Reference Minutes of State Conference)
PINE GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized by Rev. Jimmie
Johnston and Rev. Bill Holcomb in 1890. This meeting took place
under a group of large pine trees near the school house, one
Saturday evening. Some of the charter members are still living,
there being twenty of them at that time. The first sermon was
preached was preached under these pines by Rev. Johnston. First
building was of pine logs, covered with boards. In 1904 the
members erected a building of lumber, a one room house. Rev.
Johnston was first pastor. In years past Pine Grove Church had
one of the finest choirs that could be found in any rural church.
They still have choir practice every Sunday night, a Ladies
Missionary Society and Sunday School. (Reference Mrs. Mary Davis)
PURVIS CATHOLIC CHURCH: In 1894 James O'Connell came to
Purvis. He was Catholic and there being no Catholic Church in
Purvis, Mr. O'Connell had a room built to his house and services
were held here. Father Ennis came from Prentiss. Those who were
members of the Catholic Church were: Lavinis O'Connell, Mr. and
Mrs. G. F. Blackburn, Mr. W. A. Blackburn and daughter, Delia
Blackburn were living in the Pine Grove Community 7 miles west of
Purvis, attended service here. Father O'Sullivan from Bassfield
held service in the country in their home. In 1905 Rev. Father
O'Riley of Hattiesburg came to Purvis, a priest from Paulding,
Jasper County, Miss., came to Purvis and held service here. In
1921 Father Shermanmesser was sent to Seneca to preach and he
came to Purvis and took charge of the services.
ROCKY BRANCH BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized in 1898 by
Rev. Abner Walker. It was a small frame building that built by
collections, near the Little River Bank. Some of the charter
members are as follows: Mr. and Mrs. Shep Herrin, Mr. and Mrs.
Bill Hartfield, Mrs. Nancy Slade and Mrs. Acy Hartfield. Services
are held once a month by Rev. Walters.
BAY CREEK LANDMARK BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized in 1900
by Rev. J. L. Bryant. Some of the charter members are J. L.
Bryant, Oliver Sudden, Will Powell, and Jeff Rawls. It is a small
frame building that was build from collections. This church is
often referred to as The Oaks. The first sermon was preached
under large oak trees.
PLEASANT HOME: was organized in 1900 with Rev. Easily as
preacher. It is a small frame building that was built by
collections from members, a Primitive Baptist, sometimes called
Hard-shells. Some of the charter members: Mark Parker, Jeff
Massey, Israel Beach. Services are discontinued and the members
go to Ephesus church for services.
OLOH BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized in the year of 1901
with Rev. J. J. Justice as minister. He was the first pastor.
Some of the charter members are: Mr. and Mrs. Silas Baggette, Mr.
and Mrs. Julias Collins, Mrs. Bell Lott, Mrs. S. D. Pace.
MILITARY BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized by Rev. Jimmie
Johnston. It is a small frame building paid for by donations.
LUMBERTON METHODIST CHURCH: This church was organized in
the year of 1886 and built by H. A. Camp, R. W. Hinton, J. H.
Hinton, D. P. and A. S. Hinton. This was a small frame wood
building. Later a new wood building was erected on Main St. and
was dedicated by Rev. Huntley on Sunday, March 8, 1896. Brother
Huntley was a former pastor of the church. Some of the charter
members are still active. They are: J. M. Jenkins and wife, Mrs.
R. W. Hinton, Mrs. N. J. Bethune, Mrs. H. A. Camp. Some of the
outstanding preachers of the conference were pastors of this
church, as: Bro. Hays, Howell, Emery, Partridge, Selby, Parker,
Huntley, Thompson, and Adams. (Reference G. H. Thompson)
SUMRALL METHODIST: organized in 1906. The present modern
brick building was erected in 1914. Has all modern equipment and
a live Sunday School. Is financed by the members. (Reference
THE BAPTIST CHURCH SUMRALL: was organized in 1906 and
began its work as a Mission Station for the state. The present
building was erected in 1927, is of brick, cost $32,000. Financed
by the church. There is a W. M. U. and B. Y. P. U. (Reference L.
OAK GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH: organized in 1907 with Rev.
Jimmie Johnson as pastor. The first building was a small one room
frame building that was built from contributions. In 1936 the
members of this church tore the old building down and made a new
one room building. It is a very attractive building. They have
Sunday School.(Mrs. Sam Williams)
PURVIS PRESBYTERIAN: was organized in 1907. The first
building was a small frame building paid for by donations. The
first preacher was Rev. O. C. Dorphy. The building was completed
in December but services were not held in the new building until
Sunday, March 8, 1908. The church was organized by Harris Magee,
Luther Magee, and Reuben McNair. The membership grew into fifty
members. The cyclone of 1908 blew the building down. Sunday
School was organized in this building January 26, 1908 at 3:00
o'clock. Services have been discontinued.
BAXTERVILLE BAPTIST: it is a small frame building that
was built when the Hinton Lumber Co. had their sawmill there. The
Baptists and the Methodists made the building, one paid half and
the other half. When the building was completed the Methodist had
their Sunday School in the morning, the Baptist in the evening.
The Sunday School was called Union Scnool. (Reference W. D.
CLEAR BRANCH: was organized in 1910 by Harrison Davis and
Rev. Geo. Lee. There is no church building, services are held in
the school building.
EPHESUS PRIMITIVE BAPTIST: was organized in 1912. It is a
small frame building that was built from donations. Some of the
charter members are Rev. M. F. Patton and wife, Mr. and Mrs. John
Patton, Mrs. Phoeba Miller, Mrs. Mille Johnson. Rev. Patton was
the first pastor.
ST. ALBANS EPISCOPAL MISSION: was built in 1913. Bishop
T. D. Bratton, Bishop of the Diocese. Dr. D. B. Waddell was
Rector in charge. J. W. Williams, Sr., Warden, R. W. Hinton, Jr.
Treasurer, H. L. Deval and Lee E. Williams, building committee.
Corner stone was laid by the Masonic Grand Lodge, Dr. Bays, G. M.
Subsequent rectors: Rev. J. Lundy Sykes, Rev. L. L. Malone, Holly
Wells, and then Circuit Jones. At one time there were 24
communicants and 37 members of the Sunday School. Services are
RICHBURG BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized in 1915. It is a
small frame building paid for by donations. Sunday School each
CATHOLIC CHURCH AT SENECA: was organized in 1912 by a
colony of 14 Catholic families who came to this county from
German Town and Breeze Ill. Services were first held in an old
saw mill hut by Father O'Riely of Hattiesburg, Miss. who came
down once a month until the present building was erected in 1913
by Fred Harr and Fred Neimeyer, the building costing $1380. The
Priest's modern home was completed in 1922, has all modern
conveniences. The church I financed by members.
TALOWAH METHODIST CHURCH: was organized and established
in 1918, a frame wood building made possible by donations and
subscriptions through the efforts of Bro. Edd Rutledge, and Rev.
Williams, the building was erected by community labor. It is
financed by the members.
CORINTH BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized in 1888 by Rev.
Jimmie Johnston. Some of the charter members are Sidney Johnston,
Jepsey Cole, Matison Holcomb, John Saucier, Sam Courtney. First
house was made of logs in 1888. In 1898 a small frame building
was built by members. Rev. M. N. Broadus was pastor of church
from 1900 - 1903. In 1820 Rev. J. M. Gibbs reorganized Corinth
Church from Landmark to Convention.
HICKORY GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized in 1921, is a
small frame building financed by members. They have a Sunday
School and a B. AT. U.
GOOD HOPE BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized in 1920 by Rev.
J. M. Gibbs of Alabama. It is a small frame building paid for by
CALVARY CONVENTION BAPTIST: organized in 1920 by W. W.
Byrd, E. S. Mullins, J. W. Traylor, and O. R. Armstrong. It is a
square wood building with a steeple and will seat 500. It has a
Sunday School and a B. Y. P. U., is financed by members.
(Reference Dan Walker)
SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST: was organized July 21, 1922. W. R.
Elliot presiding, there being 18 believers in this location. By
permission they met in the Methodist Church. J. L. Walker was
elected leader, F. E. McKee as Deacon, Mrs. McKee as treasurer,
Mrs. Lula Hendershot as clerk. The Seventh Day Adventist church
is a worldwide organization divided into units. It is supported
by tithes and free will offerings. The returning of the tenth of
the income of the members for the support of the gospel is a
fundamental teaching of the church. All Seventh Day Adventist
ministers are on a regular salary, paid by the local conference.
In 1936 Talawah sent $1600 to the conference. It is a frame wood
PROVIDENCE CONVENTION BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized in
1923 by Rev. J. M. Voss and Rev. Miller. Services were first held
under the trees, later in the schoolhouse, until the present
frame wood buildings were erected. This was accomplished through
the efforts of Mr. Jim Perry and Lee Owens, funds were raised by
donations and subscriptions.
UNION GROVE METHODIST CHURCH: was organized in 1924 by
Bro. Williams, M. Morris and W. Morris, Funds raised by donations
and subscriptions. Is a frame wood building, painted, seating
capacity about 600. It is finance by members.
TATUM CAMP BAPTIST: organized in 1929. It is a small
frame building built by the Tatum Lumber Company. They have
Sunday School and the Ladies Missionary Society.
TATUM CAMP METHODIST: organized in 1929 in the same
building as the Baptist Church.
PENTECOSTAL CHURCH OF GOD: was organized in 1930. The
present frame wood building was erected in 1931 by donations. Is
financed by members and free will offerings.
FAIR VIEW BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized in 1933, is a
small frame building that was built from donations. No pastors
TABERNACLE BAPTIST CHURCH: was organized in 1920 by Rev.
T. C. King of Purvis, Miss. It is a small frame building that was
built by collections and sponsored by members.
THE LANDMARK BAPTIST have all day services and all day
sings once or twice a year. Singers from other churches are
invited; also other preachers. They meet at 10:00 o'clock in the
morning and start song service. The committee is appointed by the
church members to look after the program, they also take charge
of refreshments to be served at noon. Solos, duets, quartets,
etc. are a part of the program. It is announced in the local
paper a week or so ahead. Singers from other states often attend.
The churches take turns having sings.
If there is a traveling minister of the same faith and
order who wishes to preach at one of the churches he writes and
asks for permission, stating the time. Arrangements are made and
an all day affair is planned. Dinner is brought and served on the
church grounds at 12:00 o'clock. Collections is taken, none are
under obligations to pay.
They have their annual revival once a year, during the
summer months or fall. It lasts about a week with one all day
service. The remainder of the time two services a day are all.
Next with the Landmark Baptist comes the annual
association. The churches that belong meet at an appointed place
on the second Saturday in October. It lasts three days, dinner
being served on the church ground all three days. They have three
services a day at the association. The members of the home church
take care of all the visiting delegates and ministers. All the
yearly business is read and adopted and a place selected for next
Communion day is sometimes an all day affair. Regular
service is held then feet washing is done before communion. Then
they have communion of unleavened bread and wine. Only those of
the same faith and order takes part in their communion. No one
but a deacon's wife bakes the bread, the service being held in
The fifth Sunday service is none other than the day for
church business. In the Associational they put a member of the
churches in a group to meet on the fifth Sunday to plan the
church business. (Reference Mrs. Fannie Blackburn)
A singing school is taught in many of the Landmark
Baptist Churches once a year. This is in the summer months.
Pupils pay the teacher a small fee for 10 days teaching. The
pupils are taught to read and sing music. The classes begin at
about 6:00 o'clock and last until four. On the last day an all
day sing is in order. Some of the teachers in this county are: E.
M. Dyar, Lee Lassiter, John Lott, Van Anderson, Joe Cameron, W.
N. Matthews, etc. In some of the churches choir service or
practice is held once or twice a month.
Years ago when these pioneer churches were organized the
members cleared about an acre of ground and fenced it. They set
this plot of ground aside for their cemetery. In some of the
oldest, small sheds are still found built over the graves. The
graveyard workings are held at different times during the year.
An announcement is made, a time set and all who have relatives or
friends buried there are invited to attend. The ground is hoed
and raked, rubbish burned, sunken graves are filled and flowers
are transplanted to open spaces, shrubbery is set out. It is the
custom of some of the churches to clear they graveyards and
decorate the graves on decoration day. In some of the churches
they have a set of tools that are kept locked up for this
These people have a few customs that seem peculiar to
some people. One is foot washing. They hold conferences where a
member is brought before the church if he has committed a deed
contrary to the rules of the church. Rev. Hughie Graham organized
the Burnt Bridge Baptist Church in 1878, the first one organized
in this county. It is located near Black Creek, six miles south
of Oak Grove.
SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS. These people believe in the
Second Advent of Christ. Observe the seventh day of work as the
Sabbath. Believe in Baptism by immersion. Believe that the dead
are only sleeping, awaiting resurrection. The beginning of this
denomination was in the year of 1844; they have local conferences
in individual states, then as a group of states, then the General
Conference is world wide. They boast a membership of 44,509. They
support their church and maintain their own day schools by
tithes. These people do not eat meat of any kind, say it is
THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AT
SENECA . When the children reach the age of seven years they
take their first communion (as Lord's Supper) The members of the
Catholic Church do not eat any meat on Friday. Lent begins on Ash
Wednesday and lasts until Easter Sunday. During this period
Catholics who are between the ages of 18 and 60 years who are
able bodied are not supposed to partake of but one meal a day,
this period being the Trial, Death and Resurrection of Christ.
THE CHURCH OF GOD OR HOLY ROLLERS. This denomination have
small churches, some have a parsonage nearby but do not have a
regular parson. They have traveling preachers who come in and
hold meetings at intervals. They worship by shouting, reading
scripture which they interpret to fit any need or point they want
to emphasize, singing and clapping h ands. After the reading of
the scripture and a song or two they call for those who are
seeking (page missing).
MENNONITES. These people wear long black or dark blue
dresses, tight fitted waist and full gathered skirts. Elastic is
used instead of buttons on both men and women's clothes. On their
heads they wear black bonnets lined with white? Underneath this
bonnet is worn a white cap, which is kept on all the time except
when the hair is combed or when in bed. The men's suits are hand
made as well as the large hats which they wear. After a man
marries he does not shave his whiskers.
Rev. Jimmie Johnston was the founder of some of the
pioneer churches in the eastern part of Marion County, now Lamar.
He was sent out from Smith and Jasper Counties by the State
Mission Board as a Missionary to teach and preach the gospel. He
traveled in a buggy and usually spend the nigh along the way in
the home of friends, and hold service. He traveled from the above
counties to the coast. The roads that he traveled were lonely,
the people lived far apart, and in this way he held services
while making his trips. He was an honest man with only a common
education. He was a leader in every thing that he undertook, an
eloquent speaker. Sometimes he would be away from home for weeks
and weeks asking people along the way to join the church. He
usually wore a frock tail coat, as that was the fashion for men
at that time. He died about 25 years ago and just where he is
buried is not known to us. He organized six Baptist churches in
Lamar County and also many others in adjoining counties.
(Reference Mrs. Mary Davis, Harmon Aultman)
Reverend George H. Thompson, 48 years a member of the
Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. His
early education was limited. When 18 years old he went to
Centenary College at Jackson, La. He only had the sum of $140. He
was admitted on trial to the Miss. Conference. He is now in the
48th year of his ministry and seven of those years have been
spent as pastor of the Methodist Church at Lumberton, Miss.,
Lamar County. (Reference Rev. G. H. Thompson)
Rev. Abner Walker, Baptist Minister came to this county
as a missionary sent out by the Red Creek Baptist Association. He
was the founder of several churches in this association, one in
Lamar County, that of Rocky Branch. During his work as a
missionary for this association he held services in churches,
school houses, camps and h homes. He worked in this association
for a number of years, coming here from Van Clive, Miss., near
the coast. He entered the Civil War when a young man and fought
for our "Sunny South". During his last few years of life he spent
his time in Beauvoir, (home for confederate soldiers), at Biloxi,
Miss. He was a leader in this home in the Religious Services. In
his last years when he was not able to attend the Association he
sent a letter to them expressing his desire to attend, but could
not on account of failing health. During this time he composed a
religious song which he sold for 10 cents a copy. He gave this
money to the support of aged Baptist Ministers. He died in 1920
at the Beauvoir home at the age of 82 years. He is buried in the
Walker Cemetery. Some of his work he began in the Red Creek
Association is still being carried on by other workers.
(Reference A. Q. Broadus)
Rev. M. H. Broadus, Baptist Minister, moved into this
county from Harrison County, Miss. He preached in nearly all the
pioneer churches in this county as a missionary sent out from the
Red Creek Baptist Association, was moderator of Red Creek Baptist
Association for a number of years doing outstanding work in this
line. During his pastoral work he always taught the people the
works of God, just as long as he was able to travel, about two
weeks before his death he held a revival meeting in Sun Flower,
Baptist Church in Stone County. He died in 1932 at the age of 78
years. Rev. M. H. Broadus has been missed in his work in Lamar
County since his death.
Rev. J. L. Bryant, Baptist minister, was considered one
of Lamar County's best pioneer preachers. He was the founder of
Bay Creek Baptist Church and was pastor for a number of years. He
was church moderator of the Black Creek Association during this
time, and made a record in the work that will always be
remembered by this Association. He died in 1935 at his home in
Bay Creek Community near Baxterville, Miss.
Rev. W. M. Williams was pastor of the Methodist Church in
Purvis for four years. He was instrumental in establishing the
Methodist Church at Talowah and Union Grove and present at the
dedication of these churches in the summer of 1936. He is now
chaplain at the State Sanitarium at Magee, Miss.
Three of the most promising young men of the Miss.
Conference were born in Purvis, Lamar Co., received their
Christian training and called into the ministry here. Namely:
Bro. W. B. Alsworth, P. E.; James Slay and T. R. Hott. Following
is a list of ministers who were born or lived in Lamar County:
Rev. James Slay
W. B. Alsworth
T. S. Entrekin
Charlie Entrekin (deceased)
Roy Leslie Lane
Rev. Alvin C. Kelly
Jessie L. Boone
E. R. Boone
T. R. Holt
T. C. King (deceased)
Johnnie Neimeyer (priest)
M. H. Broadus (deceased)
N. A. Lott
J. L. Bryant (deceased)
T. J. Smith
W. M. Holcomb
D. A. Hogan
R. S. Steele
M. L. Benton
M. D. McKee
J. C. Parker
Jimmie P. Johnston
T. A. Sumrall
M. F. Patten
H. L. Harper
J. M. Gibbs
A. L. O'Bryant
H. R. Curtiss
There are 13 different denominations of Negro Churches in
Lamar County; 5 Methodist, 6 Baptist, 2 Church of God.
LOVES ADDITION MISSIONARY BAPTIST: pastor Rev. W. M.
Mallory, service once a month, Sunday School every Sunday,
located in Love Quarters in Lumberton, 120 members. (Reference
MORNING STAR BAPTIST CHURCH: W. P. Nobles, pastor.
Services once a month, Sunday School, located in Big Quarters 6th
Avenue, Lumberton. 50 Members.
ZION MISSIONARY BAPTIST: C. L. Marker, Pastor; service
twice a month, Sunday School every Sunday, located in Lumberton,
Big Quarters, 28 members.
THOMAS CHAPEL METHODIST CHURCH: George Brandon, pastor.
Services once a month, Sunday School every Sunday, located in Big
Quarters, 624 6th Avenue, 45 members.
BETHEL CHAPEL METHODIST CHURCH: J. H. Brandon, pastor;
service once a month, located in Wells Town, Lumberton, 14
EVENING LIGHT: has no pastor at the present time but
prayer services are held twice each week. Located in Big
Quarters, 7th Avenue, Lumberton, Miss. 32 members.
CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST: Dancing Saints, G. D. Dukes
pastor. preaching once a month, prayer meeting once a week.
Located in Big Quarters, Lumberton, 11 members.
SPRING HILL BAPTIST CHURCH: pastor A. H. Hardy, preaching
once a month, Sunday School, located in Purvis Quarters, 45
ST. JAMES METHODIST CHURCH: pastor Tom Sharp. Services
once a month, Sunday School, located in Purvis Quarters, about 40
COLORED CHURCHES IN SUMRALL
During the saw mill boom in Sumrall, hundreds of Negroes
moved here, and established churches of the different
denominations. At that time there were 7 churches in the
Quarters. Since the cutting out of the saw mill the majority of
the Negroes have moved on. Only the ones who were stranded here
and could not get away are left. Those few hardly are able to
support one church. In our research we find that there are only
three churches that are able to keep a pastor. None of the
churches have kept records. Very little information can be gotten
as the ones who established the churches have gone on. Those few
that are here are as follows: (Reference Porter Messer)
MT. HEBRON BAPTIST CHURCH: Rev. Fortenberry, pastor;
preaching service once a month, Sunday School every Sunday,
located in Sumrall Quarters, 75 members. (Reference Mandy Morgan)
ST. LOUIS BAPTIST CHURCH: Rev. May, pastor. preaching
once a month Sunday School every Sunday. Located on Main Alley,
Sumrall Quarters, 40 members. (Reference Mandy Morgan)
AFRICAN METHODIST CHURCH: Rev. Williams, pastor; services
once a month, Sunday School, located in Sumrall Quarters, 10
The Methodists have Revival meetings yearly, quarterly
Conference and Communion.
JAMES CHAPEL METHODIST: organized in 1897 by ?. F. ?udley.
The church went by his name until the building burned. The new
church was built by J. W. James and named for him. It is a wood
BETHEL CHAPEL METHODIST: organized in 1899 by Jessie
Husband and Will Rogers, a wood building, financed by collection.
ZION MISSIONARY BAPTIST: organized in 1899 by Lee Winston
and Jim Scott. Wood building, financed by collections. (Reference
MORNING STAR BAPTIST CHURCH: organized in 1902. Wood
building financed by collections. Organized by J. F. Fortson.
EVENING LIGHT CHURCH OF GOD: organized in 1906. Wood
building financed by collections.
THOMAS CHAPEL METHODIST CHURCH: was organized in 1906 by
Mr. Tompkins, Wood building, financed by collections.
ST. JAMES METHODIST CHURCH: organized in 1906 by Rev. Sam
Ray...?. Charter members are Will McCall, Robert Spears, and
Johnnie Jon(es). A frame building built from collections when the
sawmill was in operation here. When the saw mill cut out most of
the members moved away.
MT. HEBRON BAPTIST: organized in 1912 by J. Carlyle. J.
Collins, E. King, and G. Parker. A small frame building built
when the J. J. Newman Company was in Sumrall.
ST. LOUIS BAPTIST CHURCH: organized in 1912, built then
J. J. Newman Co. was in Sumrall.
AFRICAN METHODIST: organized in 1915. Financed by
members. Wood building
SPRING HILL BAPTIST CHURCH: organized in 1896 by Rev.
Jarrell. The first church was built near where the city hall is
now located. It remained here for a number of years and when the
Negro quarters were moved to the end of town (south) the church
was torn down and moved. When the church was organized there were
20 charter members. The church was built by collections and is a
small frame building.
LOVE'S ADDITION: organized in 1904 by Charlie Phillips,
wood building financed by collection, disciplined by the Baptist
CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST: organized in 1905 by Jesse
Eaton, wood building, financed by collections.