Celebration of 200: Old Hebron Baptist Church celebrates bicentennial with October 31 celebration – Daily Leader
In early 1821, settlers from the Hebron community built a church and named it after the community – Hebron Baptist Church. In 1905, the church split when the village of Hebron was moved and the original Hebron Baptist Church became the Hebron Baptist Church.
Today, 200 years later, OHBC members are celebrating the bicentennial of the church with a special service on Sunday, October 31. Guest speakers for the 10 a.m. service include Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, Senator Jason Barrett, Representative Noah Sandford, The Mayor of Newhebron, Cindy Bryan, Reverend Randy Gardner, representatives from the Archives Department and the Mississippi History and Representatives of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Historical Commission.
When settlers first arrived in the area that became Hebron, it was part of Lawrence County, which had been declared an official territorial county in 1814, and then in December 1817, Mississippi became a state of the Union. . The pioneers entered an area mainly controlled by the Choctaw natives. Some of the first non-native settlers were Willie and Cade Weathersby, 1816; John Myers, 1817; Tom B. Slater, 1821; and Thomas Hutchens. Descendants of some of these families still attend Old Hebron Baptist Church.
“These pioneers were not afraid of the wild country they faced or the hard work of establishing a life from very little,” reads a Lawrence County Press article from May 2016. “The late Anne Story wrote: “They came in search of land, opportunity and the pursuit of the American dream, even though they didn’t know it. “
Fourteen lay people and two ministers – former George King and Shaderick King – were present during the organization of the church. The first building was constructed in 1821 on land donated to the church a year earlier by John Myers.
There is no record of the first pastor, but Norvell Robertson was said to have been a pastor in 1936. The first pastor listed in church records was James Powell, called in March 1840.
In 1905, when the railroad entered the area, new members and more contributions were made to the church. But then an unforeseen event occurred when the track went west of the village – the village was moved to the location of the new train depot. The merchants followed suit and “many members” were lost in the new location.
In June of the same year, letters of dismissal were granted to 13 people, most of whom became founding members of the Newhebron Baptist Church. Despite this, the Hebron Church – soon to be called “Old Hebron” – continued to grow.
In the fall of 1939, Southern Pine Electric brought electricity to rural areas and the church was then able to replace its lanterns and kerosene lamps with electric lamps, and freshen up the walls that had been blackened from use. of pine knots in a woodstove during the Inter-State War, when oil was scarce.
The church plans to share additional moments in its long history as it celebrates its growth to this day and looks to the future.
The bicentennial committee members are Diann Berry, Elizabeth Bryan, Donald Cole, Helen Little and the pastor, the Reverend Micah Rutland. Anyone who has photos or stories to share about the history of the church should email [email protected] or submit articles to PO Box 124, New Hebron, MS 39140.
From the records
Some interesting moments from the documents of the history of the church:
• In April 1831, members were excluded for moving and debts.
• In 1837, the church voted to observe foot washing as an ordinance at every annual meeting. The practice was abolished at the meeting of 1838.
• In July 1853, the church withdrew from the Pearl River Association because travel to annual meetings was becoming too difficult, and joined the Strong River Association instead.
• In 1855, the church was called Silver Creek Hebron Church.
• The first church Sunday school was organized in 1851.
• In 1856, a “new and modern church was erected” on seven acres donated by Isom Weathersby and John Myers.
• In 1861, two members were cited for lack of meeting.
• In 1861, it was rumored that a female member had danced at her house, but the case was subsequently dismissed.
• In 1868, one member accused another of dancing and playing the violin. The accused confessed and asked for forgiveness from the church.
• A new Sabbath School was organized in 1882.
• In 1882, the church declared that it “will not fellowship with a church that allows its members to sign whiskey petitions for the purpose of licensing wine and spirits retail, but will expel all these churches as being guilty of rude and immoral conduct. ‘”
• In the same year, rules of decorum were established whereby members could not miss more than three meetings, no one could whisper or laugh while someone else was speaking, and women had the “privilege of taking the lead. speak in conference or vote on any topic. to feel is their wish.