Bethany Baptist Church History
Contributed by: Paula Fancher
Submitted by: Ann Geoghegan
Persons listed as coloured, black, belonging to and references to, are denoted in bold and or italics letters.
Bethany Baptist Church
Organized by William E. Stamps
June 3, 1819
At White Sandy Creek, Lawrence County, Mississippi
Contents – Monthly Conference Proceedings Bethany Church Cemetery Records
William Stamps b-ca.1772 in either Henry or Pittsylvania Co., VA. married Frances (known as Frankey) ca.1790 VA. She was b-ca.1798 VA.
On May 25, 1825 he bought 160 acres on White Sand Creek in Lawrence Co., MS, at $2.00 an acre. On this tract, described as N. E. ¼ Section 22, T7N, R19W, he built his home.
On February 4, 1837 he bought 80 acres at $1.25 an acre described as N. W. ½ SE ¼ Section 22, T7N, R19W. He settled in Lawrence Co., MS between 1817 and 1820.
He and his wife were members of the Silver Creek Baptist Church. It was the first Baptist Church organized in Mississippi. It was near Salem Baptist Church and was located on Cole’s Creek near Natchez. William and Frankey Stamps transferred their membership to the Bethany Baptist Church.
Originally the members met under a large oak tree near White Sandy Creek, on property which he owned. The Church still stands on highway No. 13 near the Junction of the old St. Stephens Road between St. Stephens, AL and Natchez.
The following letter from Silver Creek at Zore, later Bethany:
“Greetings: We received your petition which meets our hearty approbation. We have dismissed the following. Williams Stamps and Frances Stamps.” The church building contract was signed on April of 1823 and William Stamps contracted to do certain work on the church building. He donated the land. In August of 1845 either he or his son (William Stamps) received ten dollars to build a new pulpit.
On July 19, 1851 his son (William Stamps) put on a new roof. William Stamps died in the fall of 1854 and his will proved November 28, 1854 in Orphan’s Court, Lawrence Co. A granddaughter of William Stamps (Sidonia Athelia/Kathryn Stamps) made several of the notes which appear in the records of Bethany Baptist Church. Towards the back of the church records are several pages of names, which she apparently copied from the records.
These church records contain many death records, usually giving only the month and the year. There are no marriage records,
though the names of married couples are frequently given. There are no birth records, or records of baptist.
MISSISSIPPI, LAWRENCE COUNTY
The church met at Whitesand, an arm of Silver Creek Church, which arm is called by the name of zone and said church, agree when ever they want discipline to call for the Word of God, which we take for our guide. Wm. Nall, Clerk
Saturday preceeding the first Lord’s Day in May 1819 the arm on Whitesand a part of the body of Silver Creek Church, east of Pearl River convened for the purpose of holding conference to receive members by experience, letter, recantatis or excluding of disorderly members. Conference opened by Brother Martin and Brother Joseph Parkman. Sister Susannah Parkman was received by letter in full fellowship with us also Brother Joseph Ford and wife was received by letter in full fellowship with us also Brother and Sister Joshua and Lavina Stockdale received by letter in full fellowship with us also Sister Nancy Mullens was received by letter in full fellowship with us also Brother and Sister William Martin and wife was received by letter in full fellowship with us. Done in conference, signed by order of the church.
Appointed B. Nall, pro tem Clarke
Wm. Nall Clk
Saturday June 3rd 1819, Conference opened by Brother Martin. No business came forward.
Signed by order of the church.
Wm. Nall Clerk
Saturday, September 4th 1819, the church met at Zore, Lawrence County, Whitesand and after worship pro-ceeded to business.
Saturday, September 4th 1819 - cont
First: A door was opened, Brother and Sister Charles Slater and Rhody Slater came forward with letter and was received in full fellowship with us.
Signed by order of the church. Wm. Nall, Clark
SILVER CREEK CHURCH
To the Brethen of Whitesand at Zore,
We received your petition for a constitution which meets our heart approbation. We have dismissed the following brethen in order to join in a constitution, to wit:
Brethen Names Sisters Names
William Stamps Frances Stamps
William Sparks Polly Sparks
Levi Tidwell Tempy Tidwell
Charles Slater Sister Slater
William Martin Nancy Martin
Joseph Parkman Susannah Parkman
Joseph Ford Sister Ford
A. Blackman Charity Simmons
Friday Nancy Mullens
May the Divine Benediction attend you in so great an undertaking is the prayer of your Brethren required in conference, this 11th of September, 1819
William Nall, C. C.
MISSISSIPPI STATE, LAWRENCE COUNTY
We, whose names here unto subscribed do certify that having been called upon by a little body of members collected together on the waters of Whitesand Creek, in order to form a constitution, we formed a presbytery and examined into their standing and finding them ripe for a constitution, we set them in order as a church to keep house for God to be known and distinguished by the church at Bethany. Given under our hands, this 18th day of September, 1819.
John P. Martin
ARTICLES OF FAITH ON WHICH THE CHURCH WAS CONSTITUTED:
We believe on one only living and true God and that there is a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, The Father, Sonne and Holy Ghost and yet there are not three gods, but one God.
Second: We believe that the scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the word of God, and the only Rule of Faith and Practice
Third: We believe in the full of Adam and in the corruption of human nature, and the impotency of man to recover himself by his own free will and ability.
Fourth: We believe in the everlasting love of God to his people, and the eternal election of a definite number of the human people, and the eternal election of a definite number of the human race to grace and glory, and that there was a covenant of Redemption, between the Father and the Son before the world began in which their salvation was made sure and that they in particular were redeemed.
Fifth, We believe that sinners are justified in the sight of God only by the righteousness of what Jesus Christ amounted to them.
Sixth, We believe that all those who were chosen in Christ will effectually called, regenerated, converted and sanctified by the spirit and supported by the spirit and power of God, so that they shall preserve in grace and not one of them be finally lost.
Seventh, We believe that water baptism is an ordinance of the gospel and that true believers in Christ are the only subjects and that simmersion alone is the mode.
Eighth, We believe that the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is an ordinance of the gospel, and that it should be kept in the church to show forth the Lord’s death until He comes.
Nineth, and lastly, we believe in the resurrection of the dead and a general judgment and that the happiness of the righteous and the punishment of the wicked will be eternal.
John P. Martin
NAMES OF MEMBERS CONSTITUTED
1. William Stamps
2. William Sparks
3. Levi Tidwell, dismissed
4. Charles Slater, dismissed
5. Williams Martin, dismissed
6. Joseph Parkman, Excom.
7. Joshua Stockstill, Excom.
8. Joseph Ford, dismissed
9. Fryday (colored), dismissed
10. Frances Stamps
11. Polly Sparks