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The History of Little Mount Baptist Church

By Berttye Sue Brown


The Little Mount Baptist Church was organized on August 21, 1801 with 35 organizing members, who came from a as far away as Rivals on the north to Little Beech Creek on the south. The first location was on a ridge off Snake Run or the present Little Mount Church Road. The log structure was used for forty years before the church was moved to its second location a mile to the north. This brick structure was used from 1840 to 1897, when a third building was constructed across the road. The present building, located on Highway 44 East in Little Mount was completed in1954. It was constructed of Bedford stone and bricks from the old church. The beautiful stained glass window's in the balcony, the brick bulletin board out front were donated by church members and families along with most of the labor.

Little Mount Baptist Church has a rich and colorful history, faithfully recorded in minutes dating back to its inception. Preachers were uneducated members of the community licensed "to exercise their talent in publik". Brother Stephen Ashby was the first pastor. They were not paid, lest their congregations would mistrust them. Members were usually generous in providing for their needs. Later, the church began to provide a salary. From the time of the patorarate of Brother B.F. Hungerford (1861-65, 1878-87), whose diary provided a detailed and insightful account of the church, Little Mount pastors have been men with advanced education.

There is evidence of sharing the meetinghouse with the Methodists for a time. In December 1889 a vote of the church was taken to determine whether "out Methodist friends" have half of the new meetinghouse. Since the Methodists were not in attendance that day, they decided to proceed with raising funds without them.

Much of the early record concerned disciplinary action taken toward members. All members were expected to attend business meetings on Saturday once a month or present an excuse at the next meeting. People were called before the membership and reprimanded for sins such as drinking "spiritus liquor", "prophene" language, card playing , "pitching money in public", dancing - or even suspicion of dancing, "back biting", gossip, adultery, and non-attendance. Pastors were not immune. In April 1807, a member complained to the church against the pastor for "prophene language". The church agreed to exclude him. Two months later, after offering repentance to the church, he was reinstated.

This see images of the various buildings that have been home to Little Mount Baptist Church, click on this image.By the early 1900's, concerns oft he business meetings were mostly related to repairs and upkeep of the church buildings, property, and cemeteries. Money began to be raised for missions, and in 1904 the Women's Missionary Union was organized with four charter memberships and continuing benevolent projects here in the county and far away.

The cemeteries of the first three churches had long been a concern regarding proper maintenance. There are only four stones remaining in the earliest one. The second and third cemetery grounds, located on each side of Little Mount Church Road are maintained by the church through a memorial fund established with funds donated by individuals having family members buried there. Once in a while, members still request burial in the beautiful country setting.

 

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(Page revised on 11-Jun-12)  Disclaimer