A SHORT HISTORY OF
THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF COTTONDALE
Jackson County, Florida
By Doyle Reeves
In 1894 a group of 18 men and women were led to organize a future Baptist Church in the newly developing community which later, in 1905, came to be called Cottondale. For 17 years this church was known as the Baptist Church of Christ. Then the name was changed and for 41 years it was called Cottondale Baptist Church. Finally, in 1935 it became the First Baptist Church of Cottondale.
Twenty-seven years after the building of the first church, three Sunday school rooms were added to the auditorium. In 1947 the present brick building was built. Homecoming 1948 was the first service in this new building. In 1962 Grace Hall was added. The present Fellowship Hall was added in 1982, and an extension to Fellowship Hall is now under construction.
The church has had 27 pastors over its 106 years. It is located at 3172 Main Street. The mailing address is P. O. Box 128, Cottondale, FL 32431.
The founding members were as follows: Mr. A. F. Thomas, Mr. W. A. Walling, Mr. W. T. Graves, Mr. D. F. Cox, Mr. A. C. Thomas, Mr.G. M. Thomas, Mr. G. A. Fellows, Mr. J. L. Massey, Mrs. J. L. Massey, Mrs. R. A. Walling, Mrs. Levey, Mrs. Ada Graves, Mrs. J. L. Massey, Mrs. Benie Thomas, Miss Lula Massey, Miss Eunice Massey, Miss Eula Walling, and Miss Gussie Padgett.
The pastors of the church are as follows with two pastors serving at two different times:
1897-1899 W. A. Bryan: 1900-1901 G. W. McRae: 1901-1902 no pastor: 1902-1906 J. W. White: 1906-1907 no pastor: 1907-1909 C. L. Burns: 1909-1912 J. G. Black: 1912-1913 B. B. Blitch: 1913-1919 P. M. Jones: 1919-1921 R. W. Stuckey: 1921-1922 W. L. Spears: 1923-1924 R. W. Stuckey: 1924-1927 P. M. Jones: 1927-1928 O. B. Harris: 1928-1929 D. W. Hodges: 1929-1946 F. C. Hawk: 1946-1949 L. J. Larkins: 1949-1951 J. F. Hall: 1951-1953 W. A. Frye: 1953-1955 Joe L. Kaiser: 1956-1957 Frank Farris: 1957-1960 Ernest Olds: 1960-1961 W. C. Graves: 1961-1966 Pratt Dean: 1966-1969 Harry Powell: 1969-1978 Dan Thomas: 1978-1982 Dr. Wiley Richards: 1982-1983 Dr. Judson Vaughn: 1983-1985 Bob Anderson: 1986-1987 Thomas Melvin: 1987-present Jack H. Brock.
New Part of First Bptist Church Cottondale, Cemetery
Old part of First Bptist Church Cottondale, Cemetery (Old Callaway Cemetery)
Web Pages by
Betty James Smith
11 July 2000