Fellowship Baptist Church & Cemetery
Courtesy of Dianne O. Woods
Fellowship Baptist Church and Cemetery located in Lamar County, Alabama, Township 15S, Range 14 W, Sections 6& 7.
We engage, therefore, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, to walk together in Christian love; to strive for the advance of this church in knowledge, holiness and comfort; to promote its prosperity and spirituality; to sustain its worship, ordinances, discipline and doctrine; to contribute cheerfully and regularly to the support of this ministry, the expense of the church relief of the poor and spread of the Gospel through all nations.
We also engage to maintain family and secret devotion; to religiously educate our children, to seek the salvation of our own kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in our dealings, faithful in our engagements and exemplary in our deportment; to avoid all tattling, back-biting and excessive anger to abstain from the sale and use intoxicating drinks as a beverage and to be zealous in our efforts to advance the Kingdom of our Saviour.
We furthermore engage to watch over one another in brotherly love, to remember each other in prayer, to aid each other in sickness and distress, to cultivate Christian sympathy in feeling and courtesy in speech, to be slow to take offense but always ready for reconciliation, and mindful of the rules of our Saviour to secure it without delay.
We moreover engage that when we move from this place we will as soon as possible unite with some other church were we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God's Word.CONSTITUTION ( Copied as written with their spelling)
State Of Alabama of the Sanford County. Brothern of this Section of County being desirous to be constituted into a Baptist church has called a presbytery together for that purpose on the Saturday before the third Sabbath in October 1870 consisting of Elder M. C. Owings and Elder N. H. Williams from Shune Creek. The Tuskeloose Association and R. G. Nolen a deacon from Shilo Church and J. M. Oakes from Blooming Grove Church, which organised them selves and commenced on the work. Brother M.C. Owens Moderator, Bro. T. B. Woods clerk which on a strict examination of the brethern present on their faith and principles, pronounced them Orthrodox as Missionary Baptist and were constituted with males 4 and 7 females total 11 whose names will show on the list below. Philip Woods, D. C. Hankins, J. S. Hankins, A. J. Rector, Catherine Woods, M. L. Woods, Martha A. Hankins, Mary J. Hankins, Mary J. Rector, N. C. Hankins and Louise Cash and in order to be united as brethern to advance the cause of Christ Kingdom on Earth now solemly enter before God in to a covanent for that Great object. Having been as we trust brought by divine grace to embrace the Lord Jesus to give ourselves up holy unto Him. We do now solemnly and Joyfully before God covenent to walk together with him in all our deportment and that we may be instrumental in the hand of God in the promotion of his cause to the salvation of many soles and that we will watch carefuly to keep pure the Doctrine of Christ and will faithfully inforce the diciplin of the church and will ___in the serport of the Gospell acording to our several ability and keep up the ordinances of Christ house as regular as possible and will watch over Each other for good the Lord being our helper agreed to before God and this presbytery on the day above mentioned the letters from the Brethern and sisters was handed in in and was red. The Right hand of fellowship was extended to the brethern and come to a dismission.History Highlights God has done great things at Fellowship Baptist Church since it was established in 1850 and we give God the Glory, Honor and Praise for it all.
We believe God also has a wonderful future for His church and we are thankful to be a part of it. Let us pray that as we work together in the Spirit of Christian Love, to advance the Kingdom of God, that our future will be a glorious adventure of faith that will be an effective ministry, which will bless the lives of people in our community, our city, our state and to the uttermost parts of the world. But let us also remember that this future must begin in the hearts of each believer.
We thank God for our ancestors who lovingly gave of their time, God given talents and their dollars and cents to establish a house to carry on the work of Christ, a sacrifice taken on lovingly, freely and faithfully by the people to whom God gave the dream.
Somebody plants, somebody waters, but God gives the increase. We are laborers together with God. We are called to teach, preach and live the word as best we can with God's help. Our task is to be true to Christ, win the lost and obey God's word.
We were fortunate to get the minutes of the 1870 and 1871 minutes and member's names. The minutes we received from Sanford University mentions the establishing of the organizational church in 1850, but we have no records until 1870. By Sammie Lee Elliott
These Highlights of History are as written and spelled from the FELLOWSHIP MINUTES by Sammie Lee Elliott and Dianne Woods:
1871 preaching by Aron Pennington: appointed delegates to association: Brother D. C. Hankins, A. J. Rector and G.K Thomas; set apart brethern for deacon: Bros A. J. Rector, G. K. Thomas were ordained on following Monday.
April 1873 It was ordered by church that we have communion at next meeting J.E. Corbett Mod. G. K. Thomas CC.
Aug. 1877 sermon W.C. Woods and W. J. Dyer
Dec. 1877 Sermon J. E. Corbell
June 1883 services Bro G. K. Thomas
July 1883 services Elder W. J. Kirk
April 1884 that we have communion and foot washing on next meeting
April 1886 services Elder J. M. Waldrop
May 1886 services W. C. Woods
Sept. 1885 elected pastor for the year: L. E. Corbett with Bro. W. C. Woods to our supply.
June 1890 that we build a new house or reframe this ole one. Appointed a committee W. B. Hankins, G. K. Thomas, J. W. Woods, W. B. Thomas
Nov. 1891 Elected a treasure to look after the finances: J. W. Woods
April 1895 Bro. G. W. Sheldon ordained to the ministry
June 1895 Elder W. C. Woods and A. J. Mayes ordained G. W. Shelton
Jan. 1897 paid Bro Green $10.50 for his services for past year
Aug. 1897 voted to ordain Bro. B. E. Cunningham on 5th Sun. in Oct.
Dec. 1902 Articles of Faith: B. E. Cunningham, S. E. Pennington, W.W.Smith
Aug 1901 Elected 3 more deacons: J. B. Hankins, J. F. Hankins and W. B. Thomas
Here we begin to see dark clouds arising. Church was having problems. We call this the Dark Ages in our church. We have no clear record until 1914. We feel for our Brothers and Sisters who went through the turmoil and confusion at this time. "Segregation or Division in the Body of Christ? To separate Christian Brothers and Sisters in Christ, by coersion or misunderstandings by man is unthinkable and unchristian to God Jesus came to unite mankind in Love"
March 1914 committee to employ a surveyor to lay out Fellowship Church land.
Sept 1914 trustees employ counsel to help secure a deed to land deed by J.M. Woods.
March Committee: the church chose to separate.
(Mrs. Lenona Woods Vaughn wrote an explanation and a copy appears within this booklet)
The skip in minutes were resumed in 1915 as "Fellowship Southern Baptist Church" continued to associate with the Yellow Creek Baptist Association: "We believe in ministerial education, giving to missions, Sunday School and Helping the orphanage at Evergreen".
Dec 1917 Sat before the fourth Sun in Dec. 1917 ask clerk to buy lights to put in church windows cost .90
April 1917 to pay Bro. W. C. Woods what money was in the treasury for his services, but by request of Bro. W. C. Woods that the money be sent to missions instead $10.25
June 1917 committee was appointed to buy a new organ having discharged their duties were now released. W. C. Woods mod J. W. Woods CC
May 1918 already our contributions on 4th Sun. in May $2.00
June 1918 the Sun. morning offering go to pay off the organ which is $4.20.
Jan 1919 a move was made to select Bro. G. H. Vaughn and wife as deacons in our church on Sat before the second Sun in April 1919 after a long talk by Bro. Waldrop, the church agreed to set apart Bro. G. H. Vaughn and wife as deasons for the church on Sun. morning at eleven o'clock. W. C. Woods mod. J. W. Woods CC.
The church met on Feb. 10, 1921 for the purpose of organizing a Sunday School. Officers: P. L. Maddox, Superintendent; L.V. Maddox Classification officer; Teachers: Mavis Woods, beginners; Addie Butler, Primary; J. W. Burnett and Dellie Woods, Juniors; G. H. Vaughn, Intermediate; Minnie Higgins, Seniors; Mollie Maddox, Adults.
The Baptist Young People Union (B.Y.P.U.) organized Oct. 1924. President Virgie Woods; Vice President L. V. Stockman; Secretary Eliza Jane Hester; Corresponding Sec. Mittie Woods.
April 16, 1927 Bro. G. H. Vaughn was ordained to preach the gospel of Christ. Nov. 15, 1931 a move was made to appoint a committee to cooperate with Bro. G. H. Vaughn's churches to help him buy a closed car.
Sept. 1933 Bro. G. H. Vaughn expressed his appreciation to the church for a bale of cotton which was made to net $50.00.
Feb. 4, 1934 Setaside P. H. Woods & Grady Butler to work with other deacons.
March 4, 1934 LORD's ACRE with P. F. Woods,chairman, W. M. Lawrence & Tildon Maddox .
April 16, 1944 church accepted resolutions to build a new church.
Feb. 17, 1946 empower the committee to buy or have sawed lumber to build seats for the church.
Sept. 20, 1947 investigate the wiring of the basement.
Dec. 18, 1948 have electric heaters for Sunday School rooms.
July 2, 1949 agreed to buy a sign for the church with the date established on it.
Oct. 1, 1949 decide by next conference about installing butain gas in the church.
March 4, 1951 committee to screen the church.
July 1952 wonderful revival with 17 additions.
July 18, 1953 hired Obie McAdams to build bookracks for the back of the church seats.
Jan. 15, 1955 nominated two deacons Rex Franks & Esker Oakes.
Jan. 1956 voted to place an altar bench.
March 1957 voted to ordain D. J. Perkins to the ministry.
Sept 1960 building of pastor home discussed but no agreement was reached.
Feb. 1961 voted to sell their part of parsonage at Shiloh.
March 1962 overhead of church sealed with lumber donated by Mr. John Coats.
Aug. 19, 1962 church voted to setaside Gerald Taggart and Leonard Elliott,ordained 3rd Sun in Sept.
Missing minutes 1962-1972.
Feb. 20, 1972 church voted to build new parsonage.
April 9, 1972 church voted to start a library with each family donating a book.
Nov. 1972 church voted to sell Pastorium to Daniel Elliott.
Jan. 5, 1975 Unanimous vote to open perpetual care cemetery fund.
Jan. 1975 suggested do further work on the log cabin.
July 9, 1975 voted to issue William Stanford license to preach.
Sept. 14, 1975 voted to buy used organ from Joan Jordan for $950.00.
Oct. 5, 1975 Voted central heating & cooling.
Oct. 12, 1975 Unanimous vote to ordain Wilbur Thomas on Oct. 19, 1975.
April 25, 1976 Presbtry for 2 candidates for deacon Jerry Robertson and Wade Hankins was held.
July 10, 1983 designated October 2 as High Attendance Sunday.
Jan. 8, 1984 voted to take an offering for Children's Home the first two Sundays in June each year.
Sept. 22, 1985 voted to repair pews - church purchased fabric and Jimmy George repaired pews.
August 30, 1987 voted to borrow $30,000 to complete a building program.
Dec. 15, 1991 licensed Perry Hollenbeck.
Aug. 6, 1995 paving project discussed.
July 1996 Betty Barnes presented church with a crocheted Lord's Prayer wall hanging.
Jan. 18, 1998 voted to buy new piano.
Aril 16, 2000 voted for stained-glass church windows.
Fellowship Memories by Sammie Lee Elliott
Most of my memories are from my mother's memories of growing up in the Fellowship Community and Church. She loved all of the people and talked about the things they did. Besides, she had many cousins her age that lived close by and went to church there too. After she married and moved away, she went back the First Sunday in May to Decoration/Homecoming. The ladies would spread a tablecloth on the ground and put out their food. Sometimes they ate together and sometimes they separated by families. I always liked their chicken pies, fried apple pies and canned sausage.
Jennie Thomas Butler, Maudie Gartman ?, Lunnie Thomas McDaniel (my mother), Emma Franks Richards, Mittie Thomas McDaniel, Lethia Finch and Rosa Franks Lawrence.
I thought my mother knew everybody and everything. Most of the people were strangers to me. She showed us the grave of the first person buried in the cemetery. She told us the story: A wagon train was passing through. They stopped and spent the night in the church building. A baby died and was buried in a shoebox. She also showed us Rube Burrough's grave. My Grandfather was neighbor to the Burrough Family. I couldn't understand why people would chip off pieces of his tombstone for souvenirs. Now he has a new one with no chips off.
As we got older, we got to stay with aunts and uncles that still lived near Fellowship for weeklong revival services which began the third Sunday in July. They had morning and night services. We visited Uncle Silas and Aunt Maudie Thomas and Uncle Pervie and Aunt Amy Thomas. Mr. Esker Oakes had a big flatbed truck that he made the rounds to pick up the ones that didn't have a way to go. There was usually a baptizing on Sunday after the revival. The ones I remember were at Mr. Tildon Maddox's pond. I always thought we had to sing "Shall We Gather At the River".
During the Depression, we lived at Morton Chapel Community and we would walk to Fellowship. We had to start a little early with our Sunday dresses on and shoes and socks in hand. We could make it to the morning service. It was hot weather! When we got in sight of the church, we stopped, wiped most of the dust from our feet and put on our shoes and socks. There was no air conditioning. All the doors and windows were open. To supplement the cool breeze, hand-held fans were kept busy. Some of the older ladies made fans from palmetto leaves that they had cut and bound. The rest had to use homemade fans. Some of the places of businesses would issue fans with advertising on the back and a pretty picture on the front. Mothers took quilts and made pallets on the floor between the pews for the smaller children and babies to lay on or sleep.
I remember going to the spring for water. Some of the girls got to walk back to the church with a boy. It didn't work with me. I walked back with some of the girls I went down there with, and we had to tote the bucket of water. A square table was set up in front of the pulpit. The water bucket set on the table with a dipper in it. I don't remember any glasses. It was surprising how thirsty some of the older children would get during services. There was a constant flow going to the water bucket. Why did they not put the water table in the back of the church?
This church was built around 1945. We moved our membership here in 1959 with our family. There's been lots of growth in the church since my "memories of away back when". The church hired a full-time pastor. New Sunday school rooms were added. An electric pump was put in the spring, and then we had indoor plumbing. The bathrooms were added. Then the Baptistery was put in. Leonard Elliott and Charlie Ballew thought it needed a picture behind it. They asked Sherry Elliott to paint it while she was in the eleventh grade. The church bought a parsonage for the pastor, but soon found out it was too small. So they sold it and built the one we now have. Rex Franks and Johnnie Elliott built the outside long cement table. Besides spreading dinners, the table has been used for homemade ice cream parties, cookouts, watermelon cuttings, etc. The fellowship hall and Sunday school rooms below were built in the late eighties. We've really enjoyed the use of the Fellowship Hall.
I'd like to say THANKS to all the people over the years that have given their time and talents to make God's House a place we can be thankful for. A place we can worship and have fellowship. I'm glad I've been privileged to be a small part of it.
OBIE MCADAMS by Sammie Lee Elliott
In reading the background and history of the church, I read the statement that Mr. Obie McAdams made the racks to put on the back of the church pews to hold the songbooks and sacrament cups. I don't remember that but I started thinking of some of the things I remember: He along with his brother Kell McAdams made our new church pews probably in the sixties.
The families were asked to give $25.00 each to pay for the material that went into each pew. Fay Robertson said Kermit and Franklin Robertson paid for the material that went to make the two pulpit chairs. Mr. Obie also made the pulpit we have now. The plaque in the foyer was put there in remembrance of or in honor of the family member that was designated.
During VBS the young boys went to his home shop and he helped them make wooden cutouts. I still have a set of bookends that Daniel made in VBS when he was an intermediate.
These are just a few of the things I remember Mr. Obie made. He was not a deacon nor do I remember him being a teacher, but he worked in the background to make a difference. He lived to be almost 105 years old.