Pickens County, Alabama
BETHESDA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, ROUTE 2
The pioneer Presbyterians in the southern part of Pickens County, many of whom came in from the Carolinas planned to organize a church. On the 29th of September 1838, the Rev. Thomas Morrow of the Tuscaloosa Presbytery organized the church, near Crawford, with fifteen Charter Members, who were:
Thomas Lofton Edwin Bridges Mary K. Eddings Andrew Lofton Martha Bridges Nancy Davis Elizabeth Loftin Harry Burnsides John S. Knox David C. Russell Elizabeth Burnsides Rachel R. Knox Ann B. Russell Jane Craig Elizabeth Love
Thomas and Andrew Lofton and John S. Knox were elected the ruling Elders. On September 30, 1828 the Session met and decided to name the church -BETHESDA.
Some of the early members were:
Julia Crawford Mrs. Nancy G. Herndon Francis Weir Nelson Crawford John Herrington Mrs. Sarah Weir Eli T. Going Sarah D. Lanier Eliza Willisams Martha A. Going Thomas C. Lanier Michael Williams Mahala Going Mrs. Jane Lavender Rebecca Going Mrs. Prudence Weir
Members added in 1824 - 1852:
Mrs. Margaret Craig Miss Sophronia Lofton Miss Elizabeth Lofton Mrs. Elizabeth Lofton Miss Jane Caroline Richard
Members added in 1853 - 1860:
William I. Going Rebecca Jane Going Mrs. Ann Somerville Amanda C. Bailey Josephine Going Dr. C. W. Somerville Martha J. Bailey Sarah A. Going Henrietta Somerville Miss Mary Crawford Alfred E. Going J. D. Weir Mrs. Elizabeth Gardner James Huffman Elizabeth White Mary Ann Gardner Martha Jay Mrs. Wright William Gardner Louis Jay Hudson Gardner
Members added in 1863 - 1873:
Mrs. Caroline Boutwell Tyler Polk Jay Mrs. Elizabeth Cunningham Harry Boutwell James Jay Rosaline Cunningham H. D. Boutwell Mary Jay Thomas G. Duncan Mrs. H.L. Hutton Going Jay Dr. James A. Fulton John S. Going Lewis Jay Miss Mary Fulton Job. Going Laura E. Lanier Edwin E. Fulton H. Graham Thomas B. Lanier James H. Fulton Duncan E. Lockhart James G. Lanier William L. Fulton James H. Nunnellee Ellas Lofton Miss Davis Wilson, from Centerville Church E. E. Nunnellee Mrs. Amanda Nunnellee John K. Spence, Feb. 28, 1869, from Greensboro, Ga, Carrie Nunnellee Mary Nunnellee
Members added in 1875 - 1882:
S. S. Stanton and hi& wife and their baptized children: Mary, Jessie, Porter, Elizabeth and Martha.
Mrs. Maggie B. Osborne and her children: Lula C, Elizabeth, Martha E., Walter R., and Willie F. Osborne.
Mrs. Maude Going William Akines James M. Weir A. Hood Mrs. Jane S. Murphy M. R. Hood Mrs. M. P. Paden Miss Rebecca Russell Eugene Stanton Minnie Sommerville
Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Morrow came into the church several years later. She descends from the A. E. Going family and Mr. Morrow was a descendant of Rev. Thomas Morrow. They being the only ones of the congregation descending from one who was present at the organization of the Church one hundred years before.
Rev. John K. Spence who was a well known Presbyterian Minister of Alabama, was at one time an Elder of this church. He being the only person who had once belonged to this church - to enter the ministry. The early churches were a sort of court - where grievance of its members were threshed out.
As was custom in the South, before the War between the States, quite a number of slaves were regular members of this church. In later years, the younger generation preferred an organization of their own.
The cemetery at Bethesda, where the older members were laid to rest, is well cared for. A Revolutionary war Soldier - Thomas Lofton lies buried in this adjoining cemetery.
Early Presbyterian Churches were located at Carrollton, Pickensville Reform, Franconia, (2) Bradfords, over Sipsey and Sipsey Turnpike.Source: Pickens County, AL Records by Mrs. C. P. McGuire, Sr. & The Birmingham Genealogical Society, Transcribed by C. Anthony
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