|Greenville Advocate photo provided by Kathryn N. Head|
The following is an excerpt from from Rev. J. W.
Joyner's book A History of the Baptists in Butler County (1819-1957).
Surnames have been capitolized for easier visualization.
From an old record we quote the following as to time organized, by whom, and the names of the charter members:
"The State of Alabama, Butler County, Whereas, at a meeting held by Jesse LEE in the neighborhood of Friendship meeting house, it pleased the great head of the church to pour out his spirit on the people so that many turned to the Lord. And the persons whose names are recorded below have been baptized upon a profession of their faith in Christ by Elder Jesse LEE, missionary for the Alabama Baptist Association, we, Jesse LEE and James HARGWOOD, an ordained deacon, formed a presbytery and constituted a regular Baptist Church on the 25th day of Stepember A. D. One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty-Seven, upon the declaration of faith published by the names of Damascus." This was signed by Jesse LEE, clerk pro-tem, and James HARGWOOD.
Following is a list of the charter members: Henry A. STAGGERS, John THOMAS, Ashley AMBROS, John PICKET, Jacob THORNTON, Kinchen RHODES, Singleton BALEY, Henry PICKET, George WARREN, James THORNTON, John UPTON, Dauson W. LANE, Ely THORNTON, John THOMAS Jr., William SCARBROUGH, Stephens F. ANDRESS, Zebalon DICKSON, John McLEAN, Richmon BEDGOOD, Jacob TURNER, John McCULLOUGH, John T. HENDERSON, William J. THOMAS, Henry C. FULLER, JohnT. McTUIN, Daniel McCORMICH [prob. McCormick], John L. MIXON, Jasper BADGERS, Margaret C. THOMAS, Anky THOMAS, Mary STAGGERS, Levinia GRIFFIN, Christian GAYLER, Mary RABUN, Elizabeth PICKET, Hannah THORNTON, Drucilla WILLIAMS, Temperance SKIPPER, Caroline THOMAS, Martha UPTON, Amanda RODGERS, Nancy THORNTON, Tobitha SCARBROUGH, Deltha RABUN, Elizabeth RABUN, Nancy McLEAN, Sarah BAIGE, Rosa Ann DICKSON, Massy COOK, Isabella McCORMACK, Manala SPURLOCK, Quean ARD, George Ann ARD, Jane LINTON, Rachel McULLOUGH, and Loley CURRY.
The old record shows that thirty-five females of the negro race were enlisted as members. Some of the names were Rhosa THORNTON, Mariah THORNTON, Patience, the servant of R. GIPSON and Malinda WREN. There were fourteen male members of the negro race.
Feeling that the present generation would appreciate reading an old minute of a conference held 109 years ago, I am publishing a copy of the minute of the third Sunday in June, 1848:
"First, the doors of the church were open to receive members; one came forward, Jane COOK. 2nd. Call for matters of records, the case of Bro. RABUN was brought forward, and he was admitted unto the full fellowship of the church. 3rd. Bro. John McQUIN was excluded. 4th. Call for general business, none. 5th. Brethren McLEAN and John THOMAS were appointed to visit Bro. DICKSON on a charge of profain swearing. 6th. A charge of unchristian conduct was brought against brethren William THOMAS and UPTON that was laid over. 7th Motion for adjournment. -- Adjourned. Stephen F. ANDRESS, Ch. Clerk Protem."
Damascus is not only the oldest active church in the Association, but is one of the strongest. From this church community many people have gone into different places over the country. One of the greatest events of this church is the Homecoming the Third Sunday in July each year. The writer was pastor of this fine church for two years, and from a personal knowledge can testify to the loyalty of this church.
Two years ago the old church building was replaced with a new building in keeping with the growing spirit of her membership. This old church sent out to bless the world Rev. Judson M. COOK, J. L. P. COOK, Charley COOK, Leland TINDAL, and our own R. Z. MULLINS.
Page updated 9 Apr 2007.