Early History of the Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church Pleasant Ridge, Greene County , Alabama
by Scott W. Owens
Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church. Feb. 6, 2001
Pleasant Ridge School Children 1940.
In accordance with an appointment of the Tuscaloosa Presbytery, Rev. J. L.
Kirkpatrick and Rev C. A. Stillman met on November 18, 1848 , and organized a
Presbyterian church at Pleasant Ridge. The church was formed with the
following charter members: James H. Archibald, Mary A. Archibald, Elizabeth
Archibald, Samuel S. Archibald, Andrew B. Archibald, William Steele, Eleanore
Steele, Elizabeth W. Steele, William P. Kennedy, Elizabeth A. Kennedy, James
M. Kennedy, William Leroy Kennedy, and Elizabeth A. Hutchins. The Steeles
and Archibalds had been members at Mesopotamia Presbyterian Church in Eutaw,
the Kennedys and Miss Hutchins from the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in
Clinton . Rev. Stillman preached from I Timothy 5:17 at the organizational
service, with Rev. Kirkpatrick presiding, this service being held at a home
near the present site of the church. On motion it was resolved that the
church elect three ruling elders. Elected as the first Session of the
Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church were: James H. Archibald, William Steele,
and Dr. William P. Kennedy. All these men had previously been ordained as
ruling elders; they were installed at the organization as elders of this
church. Dr. Kennedy was elected Clerk of the Session. Rev. J. L.
Kirkpatrick then gave a charge to the elders and also to the people. It was
then determined by a vote of the congregation that this church be called
Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church.
The Session met after the services of organization, Rev. Kirkpatrick
presiding and opening with prayer. The following persons presented
themselves to the Session for admission into the communion of the church, and
upon examination as to their religious experience were received: J. A.
Williams, R. T. Kennedy, Joseph Benton, Mary Benton, Mary Bostick, and Ann J.
The church continued to meet in the home for services. The pulpit was filled
by stated supplies A.P. Silliman in 1849 and Fields Bradshaw in 1851, as well
as Rev. C. A. Stillman, R. W. B. Kennedy, and M. Calvin from 1848-1855. The
first infant baptized in the church was Samuel Miller Archibald, son of Edwin
Addison and Ellen Jane Archibald, on March 14, 1851 by Rev. N. R. Morgan. By
this time there were twenty-three communicant members of the congregation. On
February 18, 1854 , the church elected, ordained, and installed its first
deacons, Samuel S. Archibald and Richard M. Kennedy. This same day, Edwin
Addison Archibald was elected ruling elder of the church.
On September 8, 1855 , the 41 communicant members convened in a Congregational
Meeting, Rev. R. W. B. Kennedy presiding. "After a reading a portion of
Scripture, singing, and prayer, the moderator proceeded to take the votes of
the congregation for Pastor of the same. Whereupon Rev. J. P. McMullen was
unanimously elected. A call was then drawn in due form, and subscribed to by
the Electors." Thus the Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church called its first
James Porter McMullen was born July 21, 1811 in Abbeville District, South
Carolina , the youngest son of Archibald and Mary (Dunlap) McMullen, members
of the Associate Reformed Church. He did not profess Christ until the
twenty-third year of his life. When he reached manhood, he moved to Alabama
where his brother Robert B. McMullen, D.D., then resided. At a Tuscaloosa
Presbytery meeting at Eutaw, at the Mesopotamia Presbyterian Church, in 1833
that he joined himself to the church, and shortly thereafter he gave himself
to the sacred ministry. He attended the " Manuel Labor School " at Marion ,
Alabama during the years 1834 and 1835 to begin his literary education.
Thereafter he entered Franklin College in Athens , Georgia in 1836, graduating
with honors in 1838. On November 4, 1838 , James married Miss Martha S. Fulton
at the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in Clinton . James was a member of this
church until at least 1840. He studied theology privately under the
direction of his brother the Rev. Dr. McMullen until 1841. In April of 1841
he was licenced by the Tuscaloosa Presbytery and in December he was ordained
and installed as pastor of the churches of Mt. Zion , Concord , and Carthage
Presbyterian churches in eastern Greene County , now Hale County . Here he
labored thirteen years, and was much blessed in the successful result of his
Upon his acceptance of the call to pastorship by the Pleasant Ridge church,
James McMullen also was pastor of the Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Pickens
County. The effects of his ministry at Pleasant Ridge were even more
fruitful than his previous ministry. From 1855 to 1860 eighty-three members
were added to the rolls of the church, including twenty African-American
members. The first of these was Jacob, servant of William Porter, who was
received into full communion of the church on letter of the Hebron
Presbyterian Church in Union . Although all the African-American members were
servants in the community, half of those who joined the church during this
antebellum period were servants whose masters were not members themselves or
most certainly did not attend the church, or were members at churches of
other denominations in the community. Clearly the African-American members
attended the services of this church by their own choice. Session records
reveal that examination of religious experience, admission to membership, and
matters of church discipline were administered equally regardless of race or
social status. On March14, 1856, the church elected James M. McGowan ruling
With the growth of the congregation a permanent and appropriate house of
worship was needed. In 1859 a Greek Revival church building was constructed
on land which had been purchased on the Mouth of Sipsey road, near the
Baptist church. The central double entrance doors led to a shallow
vestibule, with stairs in the right corner leading to the upper gallery
entirely above the vestibule. The double isle sanctuary was heated by pot
belly stoves at the four corners. The rostrum at the front was surmounted by
a railing, with a box pulpit. Walls and ceilings were plastered; woodwork
was stained oak. Three brass whale oil chandeliers were over each isle, with
one larger chandelier over the pulpit. The tower over the west facade was
fitted with louvers in the belfry. A hipped copper roof topped the bell
During this time the church mourned the death of one of the founding elders.
On February 17, 1859 , Mr. William Steele died at his home in Pleasant Ridge.
A lengthy tribute to Mr. Steele was prepared by the Session and published in
the Tuscaloosa Presbyterian. George Washington Knox and Abner Alexander
Archibald were elected ruling elders January 28, 1860 .
With the coming national crisis in 1861, the growth of the church continued
under Mr. McMullen's ministry. While no new members were received in 186l, a
couple and their servant were received on letter, as a family, in 1862; one
communicant joined in 1863 and seventeen in 1864, the latter number including
three African-Americans. During 1861 and 1862 many of the men of the church
answered the call of the colors. No less than twenty-five members of the
Pleasant Ridge church are documented in Confederate service. This little
church furnished two chaplains, one each for the two major field armies.
William P. Kennedy, a founding elder, was chaplain of the 11th Alabama
Infantry in the Army of Northern Virginia; the pastor himself answered the
call of the chaplaincy in 1864, ministering to the 42nd Alabama Infantry of
the Army of Tennessee . Of those who served in their country's armies, eleven
did not return:
James William Horton was the son of William Horton, a substantial planter in
Pleasant Ridge. The Hortons were members of the Baptist church, but on
September 20, 1860 , James was received into membership in the Pleasant Ridge
Presbyterian church on examination of his religious experience. Nine months
later, June 11, 1861 , James enlisted in Company C, 11th Alabama Infantry for
the duration of the war. He arrived with the regiment in Manasass , Virginia
shortly after the battle there in July. On July 24 he was admitted to the
General Hospital in Charlottesville , Virginia , and was discharged July 31. In
August he was present with the regiment in camp at Bristoe and Centreville
near Manasass. In September 1861 James contracted typhoid fever and died in
camp on September 20, 1861 , one year to the day after he had joined with the
Pleasant Ridge church.
Robert N. Archibald was the son of James Hall Archibald, a founding elder of
the church, and he became a founding member of the church on his letter from
Mesopotamia church in Eutaw on November 18, 1848 . He enlisted in Company C,
11th Alabama Infantry, on June 11, 1861 , and was present with the regiment
throughout 1861 and early 1862. On June 27, 1862 , the second day of Lee's
offensive against the Northern Army of the Potomac , Robert N. Archibald was
killed in action in the Battle of Gaines' Mill.
William M. Garrow was received into the membership of the Pleasant Ridge
church on May 30, 1857 on examination of his religious experience. He
enlisted in Company K, 3rd Alabama Infantry on April 24, 1861 in Mobile . He
was present with the regiment through February 1862. Church records indicate
that he was killed in action in a battle around Richmond , Virginia , likely
during the Seven Days' campaign in June 1862.
Robert Hinds Miller, the son of William Miller of Pleasant Ridge, was
received on examination of the Session of the Pleasant Ridge church on
September 18, 1860 . Over a year later he enlisted in Company E, 20th Alabama
Infantry on October 31, 1861 . He was appointed Fourth Corporal of the
company on July 7, 1862 , and on December 17, 1862 was promoted to Third
Corporal. On May 16, 1863 he was wounded in the Battle of Baker's Creek,
Mississippi , and he died of these wounds in Vicksburg soon after on May 25,
Thomas Hall Steele, son of William Steele, founding elder, was received on
examination into the membership on September 23, 1853 . On September 21,
1863, ten years later, he was killed in action at the Battle of Chickamauga,
Andrew W. McGowen, son of elder James M. McGowen, was received into
membership of the Pleasant Ridge church by certificate on July 29, 1856 . He
enlisted in Company D, 42nd Alabama Infantry on March 17, 1862 , and was
commissioned 2nd Lieutenant on May 10, 1862 . On April 23, 1863 he was
commissioned a 1st Lieutenant. He was captured at Vicksburg July 4, 1863 and
paroled July 10. On November 25, 1863 , Andrew W. McGowen was killed in
action at the Battle of Missionary Ridge, Tennessee.
Andrew B. Archibald, son of elder James H. Archibald, was a founding member
of the Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian church. He enlisted in Company D, 8th
Confederate Cavalry on November 14, 1861 at Columbus , Mississippi . He was
commissioned a 1st Lieutenant on August 8, 1862 . After Capt. McCaa was
killed in action at Murphreesburo, January 1, 1863 , Andrew Archibald was
promoted to Captain and commanding officer of Company D. On June 24, 1863 he
was captured at Shelbyville , Tennessee . He was taken to Nashville , and on
July 3, 1863 transferred to Louisville , Kentucky Military Prison. On July 7,
1863, he was transferred to the notorious prison camp at Johnson's Island ,
Ohio . On February 6, 1864 , he died at Johnson's Island , Ohio from chronic
diarrhea, and was buried on the island; there is no record of his receiving
medical attention during his confinement at Johnson's Island .
William F. McMullen, eldest son of the pastor James P. McMullen, was received
on examination on May 30, 1857 . On March 3, 1863 , he enlisted at Clinton ,
Greene County , in Company B, 36th Alabama Infantry. He was employed as a
nurse at the Newsome Hospital , Cassville , Georgia from July to December 1863.
On May 15, 1864 , he was killed in action at the battle of Resaca , Georgia ,
within sight of his father, serving as a chaplain with the 42nd Alabama .
James P. McMullen, after being called as the first pastor of the Pleasant
Ridge church in 1855, was "moved by the spiritual wants of the soldiers in
the army of the South, engaged as they believed in defending their national
liberties. He left his church and home and friends for a time to labor as
missionary in the field. He was appointed by the Executive Committee of
Domestic Missions of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the
South, of the Confederate States. He then was called to labor in the Army of
Tennessee under the command of Joseph E. Johnston. He left Pleasant Ridge on
January 24, 1864 . He labored three months to comfort the afflicted and to
save souls with the 42nd Alabama Infantry.
On Sabbath morning, May 15, 1864 , he preached to the entire Baker's Brigade
while standing in line of battle. This was on the eve of the terrible battle
of Resaca, preaching solemnly and impressively. Very soon after, the battle
began and raged with great fury. Urged by a patriotism long cherished in his
quiet home, but now rendered intense by the magnitude of the pending crisis,
sublime in the forgetfulness of self, and sustained by a courage that thought
not of danger, he rushed into the battle, cheering on the men in a most
perilous and even desperate charge upon a strong battery of the enemy; and
after seeing his eldest son slain before his face, he fell, himself pierced
by a fatal bullet." According to the after action report of the 42nd
Alabama , the particular action in which Mr. McMullen was killed occurred
later in the day after the assault on the battery, when the brigade emerged
from a wood and faced a Union force across an open field. Col Lanier,
commanding Baker's Brigade, said afterward that Mr. McMullen "rushed ahead of
the command waving his hat and cheering the regiment and was soon shot and
instantly killed." Col Lanier, an ruling elder at the Bethesda Church ,
further stated that "if Mr. McMullen had been officially identified with the
Army (I) would have placed him under arrest and sent him to the rear."
That this is the instance in which Mr. McMullen was killed is corroborated by
Col E. A. Cannon, commanding the 13th New Jersey Infantry regiment, with
which the 42nd Alabama was engaged in the action in question. Col Cannon
states that "They (the 42nd Alabama ) came on in good shape (order) until they
emerged from a thicket on my right, and came under a heavy fire, which, for a
moment, staggered them; they soon rallied and again came on, not, however, in
good line. They had now come within a few paces of our line, and it seemed
as though they could not be stopped. It was just at this time that I saw in
front of the right of my regiment an aged man, calling on the troops to
follow him, urging them on, etc. I could not, in the din of musketry, hear
his words, but I could see his motions, etc. Just at this time my attention
was called in another direction, and about the same moment the Confederates
gave way, and the fight was over. (It was about five o'clock on Sabbath
evening.) . . . He was a brave man. Several of my men assured me that when
they saw him, with hat off, urging the men forward, they did not have the
heart to harm his gray head (he had a heavy head of long white hair). From a
prisoner or wounded man of the regiment to which he belonged, we learned of
the death of his son. They lay about twenty feet apart, and the father was
about fifteen or twenty paces from our lines."
James P. McMullen was one of the few chaplains killed in action during the
War Between the States. He and his son are buried with the unknown
Confederate dead on the battlefield of Resaca , Georgia . Recently, monuments
to each have been placed at the gravesite.
Leroy H. Archibald enlisted in Company B, 36th Alabama Infantry on May 1,
1863. On July 22, 1864 he was captured near Atlanta , Georgia . He was taken
to Nashville , Tennessee , and on July 30, 1864 transferred to the military
prison at Louisville , Kentucky . The next day he was sent to Camp Chase ,
Ohio , where he arrived August 2. On December 8, 1864 , Leroy H. Archibald
died of typhoid pneumonia and was buried at Camp Chase .
Edwin M. Archibald was received on examination by the Session on November 7,
1859. On August 22, 1863 he enlisted in Company B, 7th Alabama Cavalry for
the duration of the war. During the Federal investment of Fort Morgan on
Mobile Point, Edwin was captured by elements of the U. S. Navy. The next day
he was confined at Fort Pickens , Pensacola , Florida . In early September
1864 he was transferred to prisoner of war facilities at the Steam Levee
Press No. 4 in New Orleans , Louisiana . On September 29 Edwin was admitted to
the St Louis U. S. A. General Hospital, New Orleans, Louisiana for diarrhea.
He was released from the hospital October 5, 1864 , on which day he was
shipped to Ship Island , Mississippi . Edwin was then transported on November
5 to Fort Columbus , New York Harbor , New York , where he arrived on November
16, 1864. The next day he was admitted to the U.S.A. General Hospital , Fort
Columbus , New York , due to chronic diarrhea. He was to be transferred to
Elmira , New York , on November 19, but due to his illness he remained in the
hospital at Fort Columbus . On December 17, 1864 , Edwin M. Archibald died
from chronic diarrhea at Fort Columbus . He was buried in grave number 1269,
Cypress Hill Cemetery near Fort Columbus , Governor's Island , New York .
Abner Elmore Steele, son of William Steele, founding elder, was received into
membership of the church on September 20, 1860 , on examination by the
Session. He enlisted in Company C, 11th Alabama Infantry on June 11, 1861 at
Clinton for the duration of the war. He was present with the regiment from
June to October 1861, though October 24, 1861 he was sent to Richmond on
order of the regimental surgeon. Though there is no hospital record of his
admission, he did receive a furlough December 7, 1861 , apparently when he was
released from the hospital. Abner Elmore Steele was wounded in action on June
30, 1862 in the Battle of Malvern Hill, but there is no record of admission
to a hospital for these wounds. He was admitted to the General Hospital ,
Staunton , Virginia , on October 13, 1862 for convalescence from a fever, after
the retreat from Maryland following the battle of Sharpsburg . He was
admitted to the Chimborazo Hospital No. 4, Richmond , Virginia , on November 9,
1862, for typhoid fever. Elmore was transferred to Petersburg , Virginia on
November 14. He received another furlough March 23, 1863 after his release
from the hospital. He apparently was present with the regiment the first
half of 1864, but a company muster roll of October 1864 lists him as absent,
missing since August 16 and assumed to be a prisoner. Federal prisoner of
war records indicate he was captured at Deep Bottom, Virginia, August 17,
1864, at the camp hospital. He was transferred from City Point , Virginia to
Point Lookout , Maryland August 22. Elmore was paroled at Point Lookout on
February 10, 1865 , and transferred for exchange. He was among 2051 paroled
Confederate prisoners of war exchanged and received by Confederate officers
on February 14/15, 1865 at Coxes Landing, James River , Virginia . He was
admitted to the Receiving and Wayside Hospital / General Hospital No. 9,
Howard's Grove, Richmond , Virginia , February 15, 1865 . Abner Elmore Steele
died March 12, 1865 at the General Hospital , Howard's Grove, Richmond ,
Virginia . During the war he had suffered numerous attacks of typhoid fever
and had been wounded in action.
After the War, the church was faced with the challenge of continuing after
the loss of its pastor and ten of its membership. During 1864 and 1865 Rev.
A.P. Silliman and Rev. C. A. Stillman supplied the pulpit. On March 28,
1866, Rev. Cornelius Marion Hutton was called to be second pastor of the
Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Hutton was the son of William J. and Ann Hutton of Clinton, Greene
County. He was born November 26, 1835 in Clinton . He was first under the
instruction of Dr. Henry Tutwiler on Greene Springs School before he entered
the University of Alabama in 1854 and graduated in 1857. He was offered a
chair on the faculty at the University but declined it to answer the call of
the ministry. He taught near Clinton , Alabama for one year before entering
the Theological Seminary at Columbus , South Carolina in the fall of 1858,
where he remained two years. He was licensed and ordained to preach in 1860,
becoming the pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Sumter County , Alabama .
War came and Cornelius Hutton was elected chaplain for the 36th Alabama
Infantry regiment, which work he began in October of 1862 in camp four miles
west of Mobile . He held nightly prayer meetings with the soldiers as he
labored to meet the spiritual and physical needs of the men. From Mobile the
regiment was sent to Tullahoma , Tennessee , then to Manchester , Tennessee on
May 24, 1863 . He endured the hardships of war, even becoming a prisoner, for
in June 1863 after the heat of battle, the Confederates were surrounded by
the Northern army and surrendered. Mr. Hutton became a prisoner of war with
the rest of the regiment and was sent to Nashville Military Prison. There he
ministered the Gospel even to them in prison. After his parole and release,
his work continued among the soldiers, including the erection of a brigade
church in Dalton , Georgia . Mr. Hutton's chaplaincy ended in February 1864
when he was ministering to the army at Rocky Face Mountain .&
In 1864 he married Miss Jennie E. Gordon of Greene County . After the war he
resumed his pastorate at Bethel Church in Sumter County . On answering the
call of the Pleasant Ridge church, Mr. Hutton was also pastor of the Bethesda
Church in Pickens County . He also taught in the Pleasant Ridge Academy . On
May 31, 1870 the Pleasant Ridge church voted to secure Mr. Hutton as full
time pastor, $900 being raised by subscription for his call.
During this time the church held in August of 1870, in addition to regular
Sunday worship services and Wednesday evening prayer meetings, a series of
meetings resulted in the addition of twenty-three white and African Americans
to the church. The Sabbath (Sunday) School was very well attended, with one
hundred and nineteen on the rolls. The African American Sabbath School was
also well attended. In the special services in August twenty to forty
attended, and when the series ended August 28, 1870 , nine African American
adults were added to the church membership by examination. The church
reported a total of sixty-four communicant member in 1870. With the growth of
the flock, two elders were elected and installed October 27, 1870 : John J.
Steele and A. S. Steele. In December of that year Stephen F. Nunnelee was
elected Ruling Elder.
In 1871 Mr. Hutton preached at eleven o'clock Sabbath services and held an
evening Bible class, which was attended by most of the children of the church
and many of the community, as well as many adults. The Sabbath School
continued to grow, reporting a roll of 145. Fifteen in the Sabbath School
were received into church membership during this year. The young men of the
church and Sabbath School conducted their own prayer meetings. The
African-American Sabbath School and other services continued but it was felt
that there was some lack of interest in these services. The Sabbath School
continued to flourish the next year, 1872, and the young men organized
themselves into a weekly Christian Association. The membership of the church
reached its greatest in 1873, with 117 members on the active church roll. The
next year, 1874, the church counted 110 communitant members. With the death
of Deacon Samuel Archibald on September 12, 1872 , the church elected and
installed its third deacon, Thomas P. Archibald on November 3, 1872 . This
same day, Ruling Elders James N. Evens and William Henry Vernier were elected
and installed by the church.
However, by 1875 the membership was less than 100; by 1879 the church counted
66 active members. This was due mostly to the fact that regular worship was
held only once a month and on fifth Sundays as they occurred. Sabbath School
was held each Sunday with good to moderate attendance. There was declining
interest among the African-American membership during these later years. By
1885 the Session perceived that the church could no longer minister to this
segment of the community, for the African-American members had left the
church, and segregated themselves in churches of their own. During this time
the church elected and installed two deacons, Robert S. Archibald and S.M.
Archibald, on March 11, 1877 . The next year, on April 7, 1878 , the Session
was expanded with the election to Ruling Elder of
Dr. Samuel S. Murphy, H. B. P. Sanders, and S.M. Archibald.
In 1884 Mr. Hutton's wife died, and in 1885 he married Mrs. Laura Burke of
Georgetown , Texas . In 1889, the Hutton family moved to Temple , Texas . He
pastored several churches in Texas and served on the Home Mission Board in
that state until his death in 1923.For the period of nearly twenty years of
C.M. Hutton's ministry in Pleasant Ridge, 120 members were added to the
On April 5, 1888 , Rev. Robert Morgan was called to serve this church as
pastor for one fourth of his time and in addition the 5th Sunday. The
remainder of his time was to be given to the Oak Grove Presbyterian Church
(now First Presbyterian Church of Aliceville). This arrangement between the
two churches continued until 1954 when this church began having two early
morning services per month. Mr. Morgan continued as pastor until 1890. The
church about this time elected two deacons, duly installed: James Hall
Archibald (II) and Charles Stillman Steele. In 1891, Robert S. Archibald and
David M. Mongomery were elected Ruling Elders.
Rev. Francis Murry was pastor from 1890 to the end of 1893. During 1894 Rev
Robert Latimer was stated supply.
On January 7, 1895 , a call was extended to Rev. John Duff Dean, and his
pastorate lasted until March 1905. During Mr. Dean's pastorate Samuel A.
Grantham was elected and installed a deacon. In 1895 Robert P. Mathews was
elected Ruling Elder. On May 10, 1897 , Hugh Lafayette Owens was elected
Ruling Elder, serving until his death in 1915. On June 21, 1904 , Samuel A.
Grantham was elected Ruling Elder, and Andrew B. Archibald was elected to the
Diaconate. Rev A. E. Grover was pastor from 1905 to 1909. Rev. T. R. Best
pastored from 1909 to 1911, during which time Marcus A. Grantham was elected
Ruling Elder; Rev. R. L. Simpson pastored from 1913 to 1917, Rev. J. C.
McQueen from 1918 to 1922; Rev. Solon T. Hill from 1923 to 1930; Rev. John S.
McFall, Jr. from 1930 until his sudden and seemingly untimely death on
September 11, 1931 . During this period the to the Session was added Joel W.
Grantham in 1914, and H. B. Summerville in 1915. In 1916 the Diaconate
consisted of William Taylor Horton, Will Steele, Everett C. Owens, Sr., Elmo
Lafayette Owens, and Thomas Earle Norwood.
Rev. Robert F. Sloop served as pastor from 1932 to 1937. Rev. C. Lewis
Morrison from 1938 to 1944. In 1938 the Diaconate was comprised of: William
Taylor Horton, Will Steele and his son William Martin Steele, Sr., Everett C.
Owens, Sr., Thomas Earle Norwood, and Eugene Jones. Rev. Joseph Dunglinson,
D.D., after serving one year as stated supply was installed as pastor on
September 1, 1946 , and he served through April of 1954. During this time,
in 1848, the church calibrated the centennial of its founding with a special
worship service followed by dinner on the grounds.
Rev. Leland C. Jorgensen served as pastor from May 1, 1954 to 1958; Rev. John
Preston Simmons served from June 1959 through December 1972 and Rev. Charles
L. Wilson from January 1973 to September 1974. Rev. Thomas G. Kay, Sr. served
as pastor from February 1975 to August 1984.
It was during this time the Pleasant Ridge church along with the First
Church Aliceville inherited 385 acres of property and funds from Marcia
Horton Speir. Most of these were used in a renovation project on the church
building, including installation of central air conditioning and new
chandeliers with refinishing of the original pine floors.
Rev. Edward Spencer, Jr. became pastor in May 1986 and continued until
February 1993. Mr. Kay served as stated supply thence until January 1, 1994
when his son, Rev. Thomas G. Kay, Jr. was installed as pastor.
Sources: Information for this narrative has been taken from U.S. Census
returns, Schedules I, II, and IV, of Greene County , Alabama , Land and
Marriage Records of Greene and Pickens counties, Session minutes and rolls of
the Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church, tombstone inscriptions at Pleasant
Ridge Presbyterian Church cemetery, Alabama Confederate Pension
applications, Compiled Confederate Service records obtained from the National
Archives, interviews with family and others who lived in Pleasant Ridge.
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Scott Wilburn Owens;
5254 B Lott Road
Eight Mile , Alabama 36613;