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History of the Lathram Chapel Methodist Church

See a list of burials in the 1984 Survey and the 2000 Update.

In the fall of 1857, the Alabama Conference granted a request to establish a church in the west central part of Escambia County in the area now known as Barrineau Park. They were assigned a preacher: JOHN J. LATHRAM and it was decided to call the church Lathram Chapel. The idea of establishing a church in this area was first inspired by the REV. THEOPHILUS MOODY who had conducted a camp meeting at Brady’s Springs near the Roberts Community. Many who attended were converted; among them NATHANIEL TOWNLEY who went back home and brought his father E. R. H. TOWNLEY who was also saved and became what was known as a “local preacher.”

The “meeting house” was a one-room log cabin built for a schoolhouse in 1855.JAMES TENNANT who taught for about four months each year. The people met for a few years before they were granted a church.

No records are available of the charter members in 1857, but a church register of 1862 lists the members for that year with the words “old member” written after the first twenty-four members. Those names are:

  • MARY BOWMAHN
  • MARTHA FILLINGIM
  • WILLIAM FILLINGIM
  • WILLIAM MACKEY
  • HENRY A. PATTERSON
  • CYNTHIA RAY
  • JESSE RAY
  • ANDREW B. TENNANT
  • JOHN B. TENNANT
  • LOUISIANNA C. TENNANT
  • MARGARET TENNANT
  • MARY T. TENNANT
  • MATILDA TENNANT
  • R. J. TENNANT
  • W. B. TENNANT
  • CAROLINE TOWNLEY
  • IRENE TOWNLEY
  • MARY T. TOWNLEY
  • NATHANIEL TOWNLEY
  • E. R. H. TOWNLEY

A second church building was erected in 1874 and dedicated by the REV. DAVID C. STANDLEY. In 1906, the third building, a wooden frame structure was erected and also dedicated by Rev. Standley. The fourth building, which is the present one was erected in 1944 and was dedicated by the REV. I. W. CHALKER and received by NORMAN B. McLEOD, District Superintendent representing Bishop CLARE PURCELL.  THOMAS CHALKER built the pulpit in 1906.JAMES TENNANT used in the log cabin schoolhouse.

One of the best-loved visiting ministers was JAMES M. TATE, for whom Tate High School is named. Mr. Tate was both a teacher and a preacher. Another minister who made a deep impression on the community was REV. ALPHEUS D. DUCK who conducted revival meetings.

The first burial in Lathram Chapel Cemetery was a wheelwright who had applied for work in Molino. He fell from a wagon on the way to a logging camp and was crushed beneath its wheels.In 1968, as far as anyone knows, the wedding of LINDA KECK and ED BEASLEY was the first wedding ever held at Lathram Chapel. They were married by the REV. CHESTER BOLTON, the pastor at that time.

Preachers Who Have Served Lathram Chapel Methodist Church

  • REV. JOHN J. LATHRAM - 1857
  • REV. WESLEY B. DENNIS – 1858-1859
  • REV. GEORGE WATSON – 1860 – 1861
  • REV. WILLIAM H. CARTER – 1862
  • REV.W. W. GRAHAM – 1863 – 1864
  • REV. GEORGE W. JONES – 1865 – 1866
  • REV. ROBERT F. MOUNTAIN – 1867 – 1869
  • REV. E. M. TURNER – 1870 – 1871
  • REV. DAVID C. STANDLEY – 1872 – 1873
  • REV. W. HARGRAVE MORRIS – 1874
  • REV. WALTER P. DICKINSON – 1875 – 1878
  • REV. ROBERT SMILIE – 1879 – 1882
  • REV. C. S. PERRY – 1883
  • REV. BENJAMIN L. SELMAN – 1884 – 1887
  • REV. DANIEL W. BARNES – 1888 – 1889
  • REV. JOHN B. TATE – 1890 – 1892
  • REV. JOSEPH C. JOHNSON – 1893 – 1896
  • REV. AUGUSTUS H. MOORE – 1897 – 1899
  • REV. JOSEPH O. LAWRENCE – 1900 – 1902
  • REV. J. G. GRACE – 1903
  • REV. JOHN W. BREEDLOVE – 1904 – 1906
  • REV. EDMUND W. ROBERTS – 1907 – 1910
  • REV. J. A. McBRYDE – 1911 – 1912
  • REV. M. J. BOUTERSEE – 1913
  • REV. WILLIAM F. FLOYD – 1914 – 1915
  • REV. W. E. BRYANT – 1916 – 1918
  • REV. H. E. JONES – 1919
  • REV. J. W. MARBLE – 1920 – 1921
  • REV. DANIEL J. HARTZOG – 1922
  • REV. B. S. ELLISOR – 1923
  • REV. J. J. SMILIE – 1924 – 1927
  • REV. H. L. CONNER – 1928
  • REV. T. B. BARROW – 1929
  • REV. W. W. McFADEN – 1930
  • REV. O. H. VANLANDINGHAM – 1931 – 1932
  • REV. E. M. HOLMAN – 1933
  • REV. J. L. WHITE – 1934 – 1935
  • REV. H. A. JONES – 1936
  • REV. THOMAS ECKFORD – 1937 – 1938
  • REV. J. A. CREWS – 1939 – 1940
  • REV. J. A. ZELLNER – 1941
  • REV. J. E. JOYNER – 1942 – 1944
  • REV. N. H. CULP – 1945 – 1948
  • REV. J. E. ROBBINS – 1949
  • REV. H. E. HOUSEMAN – 1950 – 1951
  • REV. R. A. MOORE – 1952
  • REV. H. E. EDDINS – 1953 – 1954
  • REV. A. E. PRICE – 1955
  • REV. A. M. SHIRAH – 1956
  • REV. J. E. ROBBINS – 1957 – 1958
  • REV. E. G. HOWELL 1959 – 1962
  • REV. JAMES T. FARROW, JR. – 1963 – 1964
  • REV. WESLEY PRICE – 1965 – 1966
  • REV. RUAL MORRISREV. CHESTER BOLTON – 1967 – 1969
  • REV. FRED FULLER – 1971 – 1972

This sketch of the History of Lathram Chapel Methodist Church is excerpted from typescript pages that were given to the West Florida Genealogical Society at the time they surveyed the cemetery in 1984.


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