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Ebenezer Church History

See Also:  History of Ebenezer Cemetery

Written by Reba Ussery

This first official paper on record of Ebenezer Church was dated August 30,
1858. But in listening to people who are living today and who are between
eighty and ninety years old, the Church has to be older than that. They will
tell me about their grandparents going to school in the first Church. They
remember hearing them tell about how Preachers used to just pass through
occasionally and stop in somebody’s home and preach. No Preacher was paid a
regular salary until later when Churches were organized and placed in
Circuits. Then a Preacher was assigned to each Circuit. They either went by
horseback or rode in a buggy. History has since recorded them as Circuit

So the people of the community decided to build a Church. Judging from
these grandparents ages it was decided to use the year 1829 as its official
date. The people of the community met and organized the Church and built a
log cabin in which to worship. It had only one room with no windows. They
used the ground as a floor and hewn logs for seats. This building was later
improved and used as a school house as well as a Church. Since there is no
written records we are left to assume that this same building was used until
1883. In 1858 we have a record a where Fayette County Surveyor named Lewis
Bobo surveyed a plot of land for the trustees of Ebenezer Church and


During the time between 1850 and 1860 there was a lot of friction between
the north and south over the question of slavery. In 1860 President Abraham
Lincoln declared war and the Civil War was officially under way. The people
of Ebenezer came to the church to pray and to say goodby to the men as they
marched off to join the Confederate Army. Their families returned to their
homes to work for their living and to await whatever the future held for
them. Of course the war was over in 1864 and the South lost. Some of the men
lost their lives. The ones who survived were discharged from the Army in
Georgia. They were given no food, clothing or money. They were simply set
free to get home the best way they could. The community began to grow and
soon they were talking about building a new church. So on January 20, 1883,
Mr. J. M. Delk and his wife, Mary, signed papers before F. B. Seay who was
the Justice of the Peace and Mr. R. L. Bradley a probate Judge giving land
to Ebenezer on which to build a better Church and enlarge the Cemetery. This
building was made of lumber. It was much larger, had two front doors, a side
door and six windows. The windows had wooden shutters for several years and
seats made of lumber. These old soldiers held a reunion each year at the
Church. It was used as a school house and for singing schools as well as for
Church services.

In 1909 Mr. J. T. Seay and his wife A. M. Seay had surveyed four acres of
land. They gave two acres and two were already owned by the Church. The
trustees of the Church at this time were Mr. W. L. McReynolds, R. L. Brown
and Mr. R. B. Ray. This deed is recorded in Lamar County, Alabama records –
Volume 32 and page 28.


On November 22, 1943, Mr. Charles P. Odom signed a deed giving three acres
of land which joined the Church property. This deed is also in Lamar County
records – in File 3444, Volume 67, page 407.

In 1946 the old Church was torn down and a new brick building was erected.
Since then five Sunday School rooms, two rest rooms and a steeple have been
added. We are happy to say the Church is free of debts. Since its inception
it has not always been so. Over these one hundred fifty years our Church has
had the loyalty and love of a lot of good people. We have had a lot of good
Preachers, some of whom have gone on to contribute much to the Methodist
Conference. Some of these people as well as some of the Preachers deserve
special recognition but since all of them had Ebenezer Church and Cemetery
at heart it would not be fair to point out just certain ones. We love and
appreciate them all. I hop that those of us who worship at Ebenezer today
can leave a legacy such as this for future generations.

There have been people from Ebenezer who have gone out into almost every
field of Christian endeavor, but only one man became a Methodist Preacher
and spent his life in his work. Since there was only one we will mention his
name. He was Reverend Nathan Moore. He was born September 10, 1879, and died
March 21, 1959. A record of his life and death can be found in the Journal
of the North Alabama Conference in 1959. It was written by Dr. G. M.
Davenport, who was District Superintendent of the Decatour District.


In part he said, “In the span of time between his birth and his death he
kept the recording angel busy taking account of the deeds of a marvelous man
of his ministry.” “Under his ministry saints were edified, sinners were
converted and the devil fled.” “He pioneered in building Churches. His
record of Church and Parsonage building is in Heaven and it is a worthy

“It was a sad day for a great congregation who overflowed the Church at his
funeral. I was and am deeply thankful for his life and example. May the
glory of his example ever shine upon his family and his Conference.”


The Cemetery was probably started before the first Church was built but
there were no markers, so the graves were lost. The first record of a grave
in the Cemetery is a tombstone erected to a little girl. Her name was Milly
Stratton. She was born December 7, 1855, and died in July, 1856.

There are tombs erected to men who fought in the Civil War, Spanish
American War and World Wars One and Two. The Cemetery has grown as the
Community has grown. It was kept up by the people of the community until
1957. In this year the graves were lined up and numbered and the ground was
sodded in grass. In 1972 a fund was started for perpetual care. At this
writing the fund is almost complete.

On the third Sunday in May, each year people of all faiths and people of
almost every state in the Union come back to Ebenezer to decorate the graves
of loved ones and to meet again with friends and families. We call this
Memorial Service, Decoration Day.

1883 – 1946
[2 photographs]

1946 – 1978
[2 photographs]

[1 photograph]

1879 – 1959
[1 photograph]

[1 photograph]

[1 photograph]

[1 photograph]

[1 photograph]

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