Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church History (1888 - 1988)

Written By Doris Comeens
Thanks to Trevia Hood for her help in obtaining this file.

Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church is located about six miles southeast of Haleyville, Alabama on County Road 19. Macedonia was organized in the late summer of 1888. Records show that Elders L. M. Taylor, W. W. Davis and G. W. Davis and probably others constituted the presbytery. The constituent members were J. T. Hackett, Margaret Hackett, Lloyd Comeens, Martha Comeens, Bill Hicks, Clem Hicks, William Fowler, General McDonald, Jane McDonald, Billy Brooks, Lucinda Brooks, John C. Long, Sr., Mrs. J. C. Long, John Butler, and Mrs. John Butler. These members came from Union Grove and New Prospect Churches. The first delegates were T.P. Sutherland, L.A. Comeens, and J.T. Hackett.

The first Church house was of a log structure, built in the late summer of 1888. The roof was made of boards and was covered by Br. John Sutherland. The seats were made from split logs, and lamps were used for lighting.

Macedonia joined the Clear Creek Baptist Association at Sardis No. 1 Baptist Church on October 19, 1888 with J. C. Long, Sr., J. J. Butler and J. T. Hackett as messengers to the association. Br. L. M. Tayior was the first Church Pastor and J. T. Hackett was the first Church Clerk.

Services were held at Macedonia each third Saturday and Sunday in each month, with all the business of the Church being taken care of on Saturday. Services were later changed to each first and third Sunday in each month. Br. J. T. Hackett, the first Church Clerk, was noted for being the best penman in his day. He served in this position until 1906 and was a charter member of Macedonia. He died December 1, 1930 and was buried in the Macedonia Cemetery.

John Sutherland began preaching around 1885 and died August 1, 1933 and was buried at Macedonia. Br. W. M. Brooks was liberated to preach in September of 1890. Br. T. P. Sutherland was ordained to the ministry in May of 1890. The presbytery was made up of Elder G. W. Davis, appointed to examine the brother on his qualifications on the scriptures and on the declaration of faith and was found to be sound in the faith and was so ordained. Also, during this conference, the Church gave Br. W. M. Brooks permission to use the money on hand for the purpose of purchasing basins for the use in "washing feet". According to minutes of Macdonia, the Church participated in "foot washing" back in the early history of the Church.

Prayer meetings were started in 1890 by Br. W. M. Brooks and Br. T. P. Sutherland. During these years Macedonia preferred charges against its members for drunkenness, fighting, non-Christian conduct, swearing, trespasses, and fornication. These members were required to make their acknowledgements to the Church before they were restored to full fellowship of the Church.

The nineteenth session of the Clear Creek Association met at Macedonia on October 14, 15, and 16, 1892. The introductory sermon was preached by Elder J. W. Hood. His text was taken from Mark 16:15.

Elder John Philip Pugh was ordained in 1904 at Macedonia Church. He died on December 18, 1927 and was buried in the Macedonia Cemetery.

W. C. Fowler and wife, M. C. Fowler made deeds to 1/2 acre of land where Macedonia Church stood and gave to the Church on December 16, 1902.

The 31st session of the association met at Macedonia on September 20 and October 1st and 2nd, 1904. Elder W. T. McClung preached the introductory sermon with his text taken from Isaiah 28:20. The religious question concerning foot washing was the main topic during this session. The majority of the Churches was for foot washing. The leader for foot washing was Elder T. P. Sutherland, and the question of foot washing was unsettled for the next few years.

During the conference of May 1915, the Church appointed a committee of Br. L. A. Comeens, J. A. Defore, Br. McDonald, Br. Dunkin, Br. W. H. League, Br. Sims, Br. Pierce along with the clerk, W. H. Hicks to revise the Church book.

On May 19, 1911, M. C. Fowler, J. A. Fowler, and wife gave an acre of land to the Macedonia Church.

The second Church house was built around 1915 and was made of a wood structure with high swing back shutters on each side for the windows and high door steps. While the old Church house was being torn down, the Church held worship services at the Defoor School.

The following Rules of Decorum was adopted by Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church on August 11, 1915:

Article 1. Conference shall begin with prayer.
Article 2. To invite brothers and sisters to seat with us.
Article 3. Call for peace and fellowship of the Church.
Article 4. Open doors of the Church for membership.
Article 5. Call for reference.
Article 6. Call for general business.
Article 7. Only one member must speak at a time and he must rise to his feet and address the moderator.
Article 8. No member must speak more than twice on the same subject matter and leave of abstain from the moderator.
Article 9. No member must be interupted while speaking unless he departs from the subject matter or unless words of personal reflections used.
Article 10. When a motion is made and seconded, it must be disposed of before making another, except it be withdrawn by the person making it.
Article 11. No charge can be brought against a member without first taking gospel steps.
Article 12. Public offense must be publically disposed of.
Article 13. The Church must choose a moderator and clerk annually whose duty is to serve until another moderator and clerk is chosen.

Macedonia had a membership of 185, second only to the Haleyville First Baptist Church in 1924, through the leadership of their Pastor Rev. T. M. Moles.

After a series of revival meetings in July 1926, the Church received 36 candidates for baptism, they were as follows: Edd Rhodes, Melvin Tittle, L.V. Dennis, Ottis Hicks, Cora Knight, Perlie Wilson, Elvin Victor, Ellafair West, John League, Eula Sargent, Opal Comeens, James Cagle, Pernie Rhodes, Wallace Sims, Josie Tittle, Perlie Sims, Lula TIdwell, Ida West, G.R. Berry, Bart King, Ever League, Traney Bailey, Prencie Pugh, Tafton Cagle, Hubert Dennis, Ollie Gilbert, E.M. Tittle, Arthur Knight, Minnie Knight, Winnie Brock, Alfred West, Dora King, Lillie Sargent, Brantley Bailey, Lottie Gilbert, and Vergie Berry.

Received by letter 7, these were: Offie Dennis, Lora Berry, Osie Knight, Bronson Boyd, Faye Sargent, Lille Staford, and Alice Page. Received 1 by restoration: Andrew League.

On March 15, 1930, the Church voted to have the minute read at the close of each conference service. Also on the 14th of June, 1930, the Church communed and washed feet. The minutes were read at the end of each conference, until August 6, 1932, when the Church voted to change the act of reading the minute until the next month's conference.

The members of Macedonia Church met on August 2, 1930, for revival services with Br. H. E. Alls Brooks as the evangelist and received 26 additions to the Church during the meetings as follows: Tilman McNutt, Dora Swims, Lessie Tittle, Ruby Dennis, Almos Cagle, Clara Aderholt, Pearlie Comeens, Velma Comeens, Holtice West, Bertis Elliott, Dessie Cooper, Alta Berry, Luther Ward, Jessie Whitman, Eunis West, Bessie Hicks, Learlie Elliott, Nelson Bailey, Dave Aderholt, Lena Comeens, Letha Comeens, Jessie Sexton, Stanford Cooper, Genafair Mayfield, Vier Dennis, and Homer Aderholt.

Macedonia began to grow in many ways. The congregation built a new house of worship in 1934, which is the third building for the Church. The house was made of a wood structure and painted white with a front door and a door on each side. Lights were from kerosene lamps, heat was from the pot belly stoves. The Church had three rows of seats. The value of the grounds were $1,500.00.

The 64th session of the association was held with the Macedonia Baptist Church on September 16 & 17, 1937. Rev. G. F. Campbell preached the introductory sermon, with his text taken from John 20:31. Rev. T. J. Mote was elected as moderator and Will Burns as Clerk.

Br. Lloyd Comeens, deacon died February 1, 1939 and was the last of the original Charter members of this Church and was buried in the Macedonia Cemetery.

During the series of revival meetings in August 1939, the Church received 46 new additions to the Church, they were: Alton Elliott, Flora Comeens, Rob Hogans, Robena Berry, Claude League, Cletis Rhodes, Gaynell Cagle, J. D. Comeens, Marie Elliott, Mary Mayfield, Ordie Comeens, Pernie West, Carl Tittle, Bertha Harris, Antha Bailey, Cranford Bailey, Gertrude Hogans, Bernard Norris, Ray League, Vemice Comeens, J. C. Ward, Vaudie Taylor, Amy Hicks, Calvin Riddle, Alpha Berry, Theo League, I. V. Ward, Janet Comeens, Russel Berry, Ivery Mayfield, Otho Hicks, Lelton League, A. V. Riddle, Lindle Rhodes, Bertha Jack, Wilard Crane, Adell Tidwell, Pearl Knight, Emilo Godsey, Ora League, Eva Tidwell, Aaron Kidd, Clora Lee Wilson, Lonzy Taylor, Charlie Crane, and I. V. Riddle.

Charlie Crane was received by restoration and Bertha Harris who had departed from the faith was received again. The visiting evangelist was Br. Hugh Barnett, with Bro. Chester McCrary as the Pastor. The helper in the revival received an offering of $23.25.

Macedonia voted to begin having full-time preaching services in January 1941, which would begin on the first Sunday in January. Special services were held on the third Sunday in May, 1941. The new Sunday School Annex was dedicated in conjunction with the annual decoration and singing. The new annex was sixty feet wide and contained 5 Sunday School rooms, the Young People, the Intermediates, the Juniors, the Primaries and the Beginners. A new choir loft, rostrum and pulpit stand had been built. The new annex would enable the Church to seat nearly 700 people. The annex was built and formed in the shape of a "T". Bro. Chester McCrary, pastor help build this Church annex. Arthur Knight was superintendent of Sunday School and was expecting around 150 people for the first Sunday School in this new annex. W. W. Knight was chairman of the singing and John Ward, Oscar Knight, and Lum Cagle were committeemen. Pastor's salary for the day was $4.85, Missions $2.00. Electricity was installed in Macedonia Church during the late summer of 1946.

During the period of time from January 1950 through October 1963, the records of the Church minutes were destroyed in a house fire, while Br. Marion Bailey was the Church Clerk. No other records of these years have been found.

A new Church house was built in 1953 and is the fourth house to be occupied by the Macedonia congregation. The outside of the building was of white siding and the Church had three rows of seats. Br. Cyrus Defoor and Br. Bascom Fondren built this new building. Mr. Claude Defoor bought the old Church house building and moved it when the new house was completed. The membership of Macedonia was reported to have been around 205 in 1955.

In December 1953, Clarence Helton and Pauline Helton gave Macedonia Church 1 acre of land, where the Church house is now standing.

The 82nd session of the association met with the Macedonia Church the first day on September 14, 1955. The devotional was given by Br. Nelson Bullard.

Macedonia has held Singing Schools, Bible Schools, New Book Convention Singing, and Sacred Harp Singings throughout the early years of Macedonia's history. These sings are still being held with the New Book Singing each 2nd Sunday night, the Hymn book singing each 4th Sunday night. The Sacred Harp Singing is held the 2nd Sunday in August which was changed from the 2nd Sunday in February. The annual decoration day is always the 3rd Sunday in May. Uncle George Knight would always be the chairman over the all day singings, decoration, and revival meetings. He would come to the door of the Church and peck on it with his knife when it was time for the services to begin.

During the conference held on March 1, 1964, the church voted to have Almos Cagle keep the Church deeds. The deeds were formerly kept by Deacon C. M. Cagle, Jr., who is now deceased. The deeds have now been passed on to Deacon Cletis Rhodes. According to the deeds in the Court House in Double Springs, Alabama, the Landowner map shows calculated acres of 5.9 acres of Church property for the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church.

The old Church rostrum was given to Bill Sibley for the Boar Tush Church. A new rostrum was donated by Lonnie and Jane Cummings, in memory of Leslie Cummings, 1961.

Macedonia has licensed several ministers to preach the gospel. Br. Opal Comeens was licensed on June 13, 1965, Br. Haskel McKissack was licensed on November 7, 1965, and Br. J. B. Miller was licensed to preach on April 2, 1967.

Numerous changes have been made throughout the last few years at Macedonia. Tinnie Crosswhite donated two new chairs for the pulpit. The Church put restrooms inside, hand rails on front steps, the Church yard was paved at a cost of $5,955.00. A new roof was put on the Church. New pews were purchased and later padded. When the new pews were installed, the seating was changed from three rows to two rows of seats. Central heating and cooling were installed and the Church bricked at a cost of $10,000.

Br. Lowell Kirkpatrick made an open confession to Macedonia Church on June 13, 1971, of his calling to the ministry of the gospel. Almos Cagle was elected chairman of the Deacons during conference in 1976.

Macedonia has held its baptism services at Gilbert Creek, Marshall Bonds Lake, Learlie Elliot Pond, Beach Grove Church, and probably others not known. The Church built a baptstry in 1982 along with additional rooms on the back of the Church at a cost of $16,229.44, with Parnell Henderson doing this work. The cost of the picture behind the baptstry was $100.00 and was painted by Mr. Luther Tittle. Flois Gilbert donated the curtain material and rod for the baptstry with sisters Clavis Comeens, Lenus Rhodes, and Amy Burleson making the curtain. The first to be baptized in the new baptstry was Jay and Imogene Godsey on July 31,1 983 by our Pastor Rev. Haskel McKissack.

Macedonia Church has its communion service on the third Sunday in June each year. Preparations for these services have been prepared by Aunt Ruth Cagle, Uncle Jim and Elizajane Comeens and others not known. They are now prepared by Br. Odie Comeens and wife, Sara Ruth Comeens.

Macedonia sends a bouquet of flowers to it's members who are in the hospital, also flowers to members and their immediate family members in the event of a death. The ladies of the Church prepare a meal which is carried to the home of the family at the time of a death.

Macedonia currently has preaching each Sunday morning, Bible Study each Wednesday night. Our spring revival runs during the week of the AEA spring holidays in March each year. The summer revival runs during the week of the fourth of July each year with day and night services.

Macedonia members have always met a little early before each revival service for a Grove Service and still carries on this way.

Macedonia Church members prepare a fruit basket for it's elderly members of the Church at Christmas time; also the Church sends a love offering to the Troy Children's Home at Troy, Alabama each year at Christmas.

Macedonia has been very fortunate throughout the years in having numerous people who can lead the singings and many piano players. The song director calls on different ones to lead who in turn call on the piano player they choose.

The men of the Macedonia Baptist Church built a new shed with a concrete floor and an eating table to be used on our decoration, all day singing days and anytime we meet for a fellowship meal. This shed was finished for the 3rd Sunday in May 1988 Decoration Day services. The cost of this new structure was $3,582.51.

Macedonia Baptist Church built a new porch on the front of the Church in November, 1987, with steps all around the front and also a ramp on each side. Flower beds were built on either side of the porch, and the roof was repaired at a cost of $9,000. This work was done by Seymour Services of Double Springs, Alabama. A new steeple was placed on the Church on Tuesday, March 8, 1988. The steeple was purchased from Fiberglass Specialties, inc., Henderson, Texas at a cost of $2,954.75.

The Church has a beautiful cemetery located across the highway from the Church. The first one buried there was Martha Fowler, a three year old girl, daughter of William and Margaret Fowler. This funeral was held in the late summer of 1888, with the log house just half covered at the time of this funeral. About two weeks later, Uncle Bill Brooks was buried there and was the second one buried in the cemetery. Third was funeral for Mrs. Billy Brooks, fourth was for Joe Brooks, son of Mr. & Mrs. Billy Brooks, fifth was Jerome McDonald, older brother of Probate Judge Henry McDonald. Many have been laid to rest since that time, including three of the early ministers, H. L. Dock McCrary, J. P. Pugh, and John Sutherland.

In April 1961, Ordie and Clavis Comeens gave one acre of land for the new part of the cemetery to the Church. The Church approved and adopted a set of rules for the cemetery and a sign was erected with the names of the Deacons to contact for permission to use the cemetery.

The Church members usually meet anytime during the week prior to the decoration day and the all day singing, for the purpose of cleaning off the cemetery. The Church has loads of white sand hauled for use on the cemetery.

Deacons of Macedonia Church and Year Ordained:

Marion Bailey1924
Willie Ward1924
Jim Comeens1924
Bill Hicks 
E.H. Taylor1930
Cyrus Defoor1930
C.M. Cagle1939
John Ward1939
Arthur League1939
Lee Rhodes1939
George Rhodes 
Alce Clark1946
Dock Cagle1957
Leo Rhodes1959
Cletis Rhodes1959
H.W. (Doc) Tittle1959
Raymond Fannin1959
Almos Cagle1959
Odie Comeens1967
Floyd Hess1967
Jerry Jones1977
Donald Comeens1977
Michael Lee 
Willis Crane 

Ministers Ordained at Macedonia:

Marion BaileyAugust 6, 1932
John Sutherland1885
W.M. BrooksSeptember 1890
T.P. SutherlandMay 1890
John Philip Pugh1904

Church Pastors:

L.M. Taylor1888 - 1891
T.P. Sutherland1891 - 1895
William M. Brooks1895 - 1896
G.W. Davis1896 - 1900
T.P. Sutherland1900 - 1902
G.W. Adams1902 - 1905
W.T. McClung1905 - 1908
John Philip Pugh1908 - 1909
J.K.P. Taylor1909 - 1910
John Philip Pugh1910 - 1912
J.K.P. Taylor1912 - 1913
J.C. Steel1913 - 1914
J.T. Thomason1914 - January 1915
T.J. KelleyJanuary 1915 - 1920
G.W. Davis1920 - 1921
T.J. Kelley1921 - 1923
T.M. Moles1923 - 1931
D.S. Smith1931 - 1933
J.M. Burns1933 - 1938
David Dodd1938 - 1939
Chester McCrary1939 - March 20, 1943
A.B. CurtisMarch 20, 1943 - 1943
C.B. Campbell1943 - 1945
James Hood1945 - 1946
J.M. Burns1946 - 1948
Will Love1948 - 1950
James Hood1950 - 1953
George Fretwell1953 - 1957
Bill Grissom1957 - 1958
Jack Sparks1958 - 1960
Johnny Winstead1960 - 1966
Jack Sparks1966 - 1967
Ganus Wakefield1967 - 1968
Raymond Kerby1968 - 1970
Garthie Blaxton1970 - 1972
Jack Sparks1972 - 1974
Earnest Vandiver1974 - 1975
Wiley LouAllen1975 - 1976
Darell Comeens1976 - 1979
Nathaniel Bennett1979 - October 1981
Ike FordOctober 1981 - 1982
Haskel McKissack1982 - 1984
Amos Hood1984 - ?