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USGenWeb Archives for Alabama

Fellowship Baptist Church

Vernon, Alabama


Having been led, as we believe by the Spirit of God, to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour; and on the profession of our faith, having been baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, we do now, in the presence of God, and angels and this assembly, most solemnly and joyfully enter into covenant with one another as one body in Christ.

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, backbiting 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.


(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.

Fellowship Baptist Church 1870 Conference

Fellowship Church met Saturday before the 2nd Sabbath in Nov. 1870. An after servis by Elder Lewis sat in conference 1) invited visiting Brethren to seats with us the dor of the church being open called for the pease of the church all in peace. 2nd) persuade to election of a pastor for the insurayers an Brother Penington was the choice of the church by a motion an second conference closed. D.C. Hankins, Clerk.

Fellowship Church met Saturday before the 1 Sabbath in Feb. 1871 an after servis by elder W.A. Pennington, sat in conference the dore of the church was opened for the reception of members received by leters. 3) experience non (existing to seats with usmarked out). 1) invited visiting brethren to seats with us. 2) called for the regular business of the church. went in to election of a clerk. Brother G.R. Tomes was the choise of the church by a motion an secon conf closed. D.C. Hankins, CPT, Sanford Co., Al. June 1871.

P.M. Woods Deed to Fellowship Church filed 2 Oct. 1884; Indenture entered 1872 between P.M. Woods to Fellowship Church given as a donation to said church; 2 acres of the S A of SW 1/4 Sec. C, T15, R14 said church to be located in the "senter" of the 2 acres lying and being in the county of Sanford and the State of AL.

On the inside front cover page was written: David C. Hankins was born July 31, 1836 and married Jan. 5, 1855. David C. Hankins, his book. 11 Nov. 188(8?). G. Hankins was born 1857.

November 1870 Members: Names of males: Philip Woods, D.C. Hankins, J.L. Hankins, A.J. Rector, Louisa Cash, DuBose, A.B. Green, G.K. Tomes, Jones McNeel, John Dubose, Thom J. Eakes, James Neal, R.M. Bickerstaff, B.F. Pennington, T.B. Butler, M.H. Neal, Charley Hankins, James Cash, John Pennington, J.T. Burrow, Harrison Butler, S.L. Smith, S.B. Thomas, J.M. --- , Joel Burrow, Eli Neale, Wm. Clark, John Wilson, Wm. Rusell, Jehu Debose James Laurence, W.B. Hankins, John Stevens, Edwin Smith, James W. Woods, G.F. Thomas, Shelba? Hankins, Calvin Garrison, J.B. Oakes, Ed Barnes, Berton Hankins, Joseph H. Thomas, William Barnes, W.B. Thomas.

Names of female members 1870: Cathern Woods (dec. 19/31/1873), M.T. Woods, Martha A. Hankins, M.J. Hankins, N.C. Hankins, Louisa Cash, Elender DuBose, Rebeca Tomes, Luisa Jones, Susan Jones, Cathern Jones, M.A. Jones, Elizabeth DuBose, Nancy DuBose, Rachel Neel, Sarah Smith, Cornealius Neal, Matilda Finch, Matild Smith, Charlota Bickerstaff, Alta Breadlove, Louisa Oakes, Francis Cash, Martha Butler, Mary Whitehorn, Susen Stockman, Francis Godfrey, Nancy Thomas, Casa Oakes, Nancy Burrow, Elizabeth Neal, Sarah Hankins, Francis Hankins, Mary A. Laurence, Green, Elizabeth Willson, Martha Laurence, Elizabeth Hankins, Martha Burrow, Chaslita (?) Nelson, Maiden Ann Garrison, Mandy Carline Butler, Sarah Loretta Thomas, C.L. Hankins, Elizabeth DuBose, Margaret DuBose, Ann Woods, T.J. Thomas, M.M. Thomas, M.G. Thomas, M.A. Oakes, Malinda Oakes, Marey E. Hankins, Rachel Barnes, Alta A. Hankins, Allas Oakes, Sarah F. Hankins, Mary Oakes, M.J. Woods, Mry E. Woods, T.G. Oakes, M.G. Oakes, S.W.E. Woods, Rosa Bell Thomas, S.E. Thomas, Malinda Barnes, J.0. Oakes, M.B. Thomas, N.G. Graves, G.A. Guin, R.M. Woods, Mattie Stockman, Sallie Thomas, Malinda Cunningham, Margaret Oakes, S.A. Thomas, N.S. Thomas, Shelton, Mrs. Nanie Spann. Submitted by: Sabra Newell Sudberry Source: Microfilm, Samford University Archives, Birmingham, AL. This article was copied from the "Heritage of Lamar County, Alabama" book. There are two known corrections: G. R. Tomes, clerk is G. K. Thomas and J. M. is J. M. Oakes. Used with permission of Sabra N. Sudberry.

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 5thSun. 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 wtihin 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 4thSun. 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.


  • G. K. Thomas
  • Aaron Pennington
  • N. J. Dyer
  • L. E. Corbett
  • W. C. Woods
  • S. M. Waldrop
  • A. J. Mays
  • A. W. Green
  • B. E. Cunningham
  • C. D. Steward
  • 1915 - W. C. Woods
  • 1919 - H. H. Busbee
  • 1920 - L. A. Weathers was first to live in Fellowship-Shiloh parsonage
  • 1922 - D. B. Salter
  • 1924 - N. L. Gilland
  • 1925 - J. G. Cobb
  • 1926 - C. C. Holliman
  • 1931 - G. H. Vaughn
  • 1948 - S. E. Walker
  • 1948 - Gaines Traylor
  • 1950 - J. A. Kuykendall
  • 1951 - Comer Stokes
  • 1954 - John B. Andrews
  • 1955 - T. H. Perkins
  • 1958 - Ellis Lambert
  • 1959 - Herschel Hudson
  • 1963 - James Ferrell McCullough was first full-time minister
  • 1965 - George Henley
  • 1970 - Charles Ballew
  • 1977 - Clayton Hart
  • 1978 - Philip Vinson
  • 1980 - Mike St. John
  • 1982 - Rick Hopson
  • 1984 - Bobby Anderson
  • 1987 - Billy Abrams
  • 1991 - Mike Carroll
  • 1997 - Bobby Morgan

Fellowship ordained B. E. Cunningham 5hSunday Oct. 1897; George K. Thomas licensed to speak anywhere; ordained G. W. Shelton 1895; Eddie Barnes ordained to the full gospel 1936; George H. Vaughn ordained; ordained D. J. Perkins to ministry; Silas M. Thomas liscensed to preach early sixties; William Stanford licensed to preach 7-91975; Wilbur Thomas ordained 10-19-1975; Perry Hollenbeck licensed 12-15-1991.


(to be continued)



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