Pickens County, Alabama

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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:

Martha Bailey

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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