History recalls early days of churches in Brewton area

Published 11:02 pm Wednesday, March 17, 2010

By By Lydia Grimes
News Reporter

We are moving on to cover Ethel Holmes history of the churches in the area.  Read these closely because the information covers the early days of churches in this area.
The Baptist Church in Brewton grew out of a country church, which was situated one mile east of Brewton in what is now known as Alco. The name of the original church was Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church and it was organized Sept. 17, 1854 in the home of Aaron Lovelace. For many years the congregation was very small but in 1882 the Baptists got permission from the Methodists, who built a church on the corner where the present Methodist Church stands, to use their building one Sunday each month.  For a long time the Baptists and the Methodists held a Union Sunday School in this building. Later the Baptists and Masons erected a building where the present Baptist Church is and used it together.
In 1887, the name of the church was changed to Brewton Baptist Church. About this time Reverend H.T. Crumpton was called as pastor. The records have all been lost or destroyed from that time until 1911. In 1918 Rev. W.M. Murray accepted a call from the church and served 14 years. In the meantime, a new church was built but it was later burned and the church that now stands was completed in 1914.
Mr. Murray resigned in 1922 and Rev. J.B. Lasseter took his place and served four years. He was succeeded by Rev. T.M. Fleming who served until about two years ago when Rev. Cooke took his place. The church has membership of about 400.
In about 1875 Rev. David Wright came to Brewton as a Methodist minister. The first preaching appointments were held in an old storehouse where Brewton Motor Company is now located. It was during the pastorate of Rev. Joe Johnson the first Methodist Church was erected in Brewton. This building was completed between 1875 and 1880 and was a humble frame building that stood near the present Methodist Church.
In 1880 Rev. R.P. Baker was appointed to the Pollard charge. At that time Brewton was on the Pollard circuit and the parsonage was at Pollard. During the time the Rev. Baker was serving, a yellow fever epidemic broke out in Brewton and he came there to aid the suffering. While there he contacted the disease from which he died.
Rev. B.C. Glenn succeeding Mr. Baker in 1883. He was the first Methodist pastor in Brewton and since that time the Brewton church has been known as the head of the Brewton Charge. It was during the pastorate of Rev. J.P. Roberts, 1887-93, that the old frame building was replaced by a brick building, which is still being used, but has been remodeled. The organ was installed in 1913 or 1914, a gift of Mrs. Wiley Downing as a memorial to her husband. The old parsonage has now been made into a Church School building and the church playground is equipped with modern playground equipment. Mr. Guice is the present pastor.
Next week we will get to the Presbyterian Church and others in the area.