Where is Vaiden,
Methodist Church -- April, 2000
Vaiden United Methodist Church of Long
Before Steeple Was Added (Top Photo) and Episcopal Church (Bottom
Hollingsworth Educational Annex Dedication
Announcement -- May 10, 1959
Church Annex Dedication
Church was the
outgrowth of pioneer Methodists who settled in this area. They met and
worshiped in homes and schools until they could build churches.. The first
organized congregation was
in the late 1830s. The Rev. James Applewhite was
assigned to the Carroll Circuit in 1838. His territory reached from Old
City. He later
settles on a farm east of Vaiden, reared a family, and is buried in the
Applewhite family cemetery. He was too old for military service in the
Civil War, but gave much service to the Vaiden area during these years.
Mr. Allen Turrentine and step-son, J.C. Wright, built a gin house and when
the body of the house was covered, the Rev. Humphreys Williamson, assisted
by the Rev. James Applewhite and Lorenzo D. Langford, held a ten-day
meeting and "such another protracted meeting was never held before or
since," according to their accounts. This was known as the Gin House
circuit riders were God-fearing men of great faith. They had to have
super-courage, strength, and convictions to face unchartered forests,
unbridged creeks, and rivers. The dangers of wild beasts, unfriendly
Indians, exposure, and other hardships often caused impaired health and
church was built at Old Shongalo by early settlers Messrs. Turrentine,
J.C. Wright, Mr. Stone, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Kaigler, Rev. James Applewhite and
others. Some retained their membership until their death.
Robert Paine was the first Bishop to reside in North Mississippi, and that
was in the year 1846. In 1850, he traveled almost a thousand
miles on horseback. He became sick with "chills." Physicians of that day
gave calomel, blue mass, and quinine.
is not available for all years, but a search of Advocate Material Volume
1869 from the Pastor,
Rev. P.A. Johnson, told of a revival at Vaiden where 40 conversions and
prospects were made.
present Methodist Church was built in 1870 -- finished and dedicated by
Bishop Kenner in
May, 1871. The Rev. T.C. Parish was
pastor. Members who helped build the church were
Wilson, owner of Briarwood, and David Durrett Fullilove I. They were among charter members.
Mr. Milton Amos Wilson and his family, 17 in number,
were the largest number attending.
April 24, 1879 of the Christian Advocate
some of the ladies of Vaiden Church met at the residence of Rev. K.A.
Jones, Presiding Elder of Winona District and organized a Woman’s
Missionary Society, Auxiliary to our conference society. Mrs. E.P. Sage, President; Mrs.
Ada Williamson, Vice-President; Miss Sallie Jones, Secretary; and Mrs.
K.A. Jones, Treasurer. These
Ladies Mean business.
Health of the
county good, farming interest progressing satisfactorily. I am busy in my charge, people
attentive to the Word and we are hopeful of a revival of God’s Work. Respectfully, A.P.
letter to the New Orleans Christian Advocate, May
part), noted that the District Conference held at Carrollton focused
primarily on the evils of the day which seemed to be whiskey, and they
waged a vigorous campaign to correct this. Also a parsonage was completed
and a tribute was paid to the women of the church who worked hard and
inspired everyone and, due to their efforts, the work was completed. D.M. Codgell, Pastor. These letters to the
Advocate reveal that the Methodist Church has always been concerned
with the social and economic problems of the day and has met the challenge
in a positive way.
Following soon after the Rev. Page and the Rev. D.M. Codgell, the
Rev. W.B. Murrah served from 1881-1884. He was later to become the
first president of Milsaps College, and was later made a Bishop.
the Rev. W.S. Lagrone came to Vaiden as Pastor “with a family of
nine.” The members gave this
family a “pounding.”
Women's Missionary Society was organized by Mrs. J.F. Evans, wife of
Pastor, Rev. J.F. Evans. The eight charter members were: Mrs. Ellen
Grantham, Mrs. B.R. Lowe, Mrs. T.W. Fullilove, Mrs. W.P. Stuckey, and Miss
Christian Advocate, Volume
1892. January 28, 1892.
Jones, Vaiden, Mississippi, January 14
We are in the
parsonage at Vaiden at last.
A change being made after conference caused considerable delay in
getting moved. We met with a
very warm reception, just such as makes a preacher and his family feel at
home at once. On New Year’s
Day the ladies stormed us with a pound party, supplying a very important
part of a Parsonage home. I
believe we are to serve a kind and appreciative people. Work is abundant. The man who follows such workers
as Brothers’ Evans and Lagrone will have his heart and hands full to keep
up. We have received one into
the church on profession of faith, and trust that we may be able to add
many to this name during the year.
Pray for us brethren that we may have a prosperous year at
New Orleans Christian Advocate,
(giving this information):
Rev. L.P. Lipscomb, Presiding Elder gave an interesting account of
a revival when a 78-year-old man, who had not heard a
sermon in 29 years, due to having been out west,
joined, and a 4-year-old child joined. The Rev. J. Ritchie and the Rev.
S.M. Thames assisted with the revival.
the appointments listed at the end of this chapter, the Rev. J.F. Evans is
listed as pastor in 1890-91, and again in 1895 for the next four
years. He continued to make
his home here and is buried in the Vaiden Cemetery.
Orleans Christian Advocate,
January 13, 1903: A letter written by the Rev. E.P.
Craddock relating an inspirational quarterly conference states that Rev.
T.S. Dorsey, Presiding Elder, gave the message. An interesting thing mentioned
that the Vaiden Furniture Factory sold a set of furniture to the
Rev. E.G. Boyett is listed as Pastor from 1912-1913. He made his home here. His son, the late C.G. Boyett, was
lay leader in the Methodist Church for years. He and his family served the
Church in many useful ways.
W.L. Duren was born near Vaiden. He preached his first sermon at Enon.
After finishing his education, he later became editor of the New
Orleans Christian Advocate. For years, he was the Presiding Elder of
the City of New Orleans. He was the author of The Life of Bishop
the turn of the century, Mr. W.M. Armstrong was Superintendent of the
Sunday School in Vaiden Church for approximately 25 years. Following him was Mr. E.G.
Randle. He and his family
were faithful workers in the church.
His son, the Rev. Charles G. Randle, was called to
are highlights in the life of every church. Vaiden Methodist had a mountain
top experience in the late summer of 1921, as recorded in Volume
68 of the
New Orleans Christian Advocate,
September 22, 1921.
We have just
closed here one of the most successful and far reaching revival meetings
ever held in this midst. So
the old residence say. The
preaching was most ably done by our capable and talented Rev. E.R. Smoot
of Amory, Mississippi. Rev.
Smoot is a great preacher; he is sensible, sane and very
evangelistic. He is a great
scholar and his knowledge of men and the ways of the world makes him
indeed very acceptable and worthwhile to have in a meeting. He ought to be filling the largest
pulpit in Southern Methodism or at the head of some district in our
conference. Our beloved Rev.
W.W. Woolard of Grenada, Mississippi was with us sometime during the
meeting. He, too, says Smoot
is one of the biggest preachers in Southern Methodism. Brethren, those of you who can get
Smoot’s services do so for he will help you in many ways. He does not resort to any
clap-trap methods – just gives the plain pure Gospel in its simplicity,
yet in a most attractive way, with choice English and impressive and
emphatic manner. With the
help of the Lord he moved men to action and to take a stand for the cause
of righteousness who had heard Sam Jones and McIntosh and others and had
yet never moved before. We
indeed had a glorious meeting.
The entire community is on higher ground spiritually. Pray for us that we may scale
greater heights. All glory
and praise to the dear Lord for what is done.
W.V. Shearer, Pastor”
experiences are necessary for a continuousness of courage and hope,
necessary to carry through the oft times turbulent eras through which a
congregation lives and a
faith to sustain.
of 1930 a letter
from the Rev. W.O. Hunt reporting to Dr. Robert Harper, Editor, on five
years of service to the Vaiden charge states:
lost many valuable records in a fire that caused this damage before being
discovered and brought under control. Fortunately the damage otherwise
could be replaced.”
the need for church expansion and renovation, the membership started
giving memorial donations and on May 10, 1959 the Educational Annex was
dedicated, honoring Rev. and Mrs. R.T. Hollingsworth, and Miss Annie
Alford. They helped so much
to make this goal a reality.
organ chimes were given in memory of Margaret Cade Bennett, by Mr. and
Mrs. James Charles Bennett.
Later the pulpit was given in memory of Mrs. Maggie Louise Cade
Bennett. These valuable items
were given by Mr. P.A. Bennett and dedicated by Rev. Grady Ss.
Bailey. The hymnals were
given in memory of Vivian Welch in 1967, dedicated by Rev. Jack M.
Nabors. The Carillon Chimes
were given in memory of William Russell Cross and his son, James Russell
Cross, by family and friends Christmas of 1970 and dedicated February
Bishop Marvin Franklin, Rev. E.C. Abernethy, Pastor.
sanctuary was refurbished next.
Gifts were as follows:
in memory of Dr. and Mrs. P.T. Flowers, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Eddins, Mr. A.E.
McMonigal, Vivian Welch, Estell Welch, Russell and Rusty Cross, Mr. Jesse
Wilson, Mr. Anderson Austin, and W.B. Smith
of pews were given by Mr. and Mrs. M.L. Boykin, Mr. and Mrs. P.A. Bennett,
Mr. and Mrs. Luther A. Braswell, Mr. and Mrs. Haggard Yates and family;
pews and annex pews were given in memory of Mrs. Thelma Canon;
Font and lighted cross was given in memory of Mrs. Mynelle Vaiden;
collection plates and urn were given in memory of Mr. Willie P. Crook;
urn was given in memory of Mrs. Alice Johnson;
hand rails in memory of Mrs. Gertrude Gray;
stands in memory of Mr. L.H. Braswell;
curtains and hand rail curtains in memory of Dr. and Mrs. P.T. Flowers;
and Christian flags in memory of Mrs. Estelle Welch;
lighters in memory of Mr. Tom C. Vaiden;
for carpet fund – L.H. Braswell, Roy Crook, Mr. and Mrs. G.V. Crook, Dr.
and Mrs. M.O. Huffman, Dr. and Mrs. J.P.T. Stephens, D.D. Fullilove, Sr.,
and D.D. Fullilove, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Word and Roy, Mrs. Alice
Johnson, Mrs. Lura Armstrong, Mrs. Clarence Cook, L.D. Pullen.
for air conditioning: W.R. Boykin, Mrs. Thelma Canon, Mr. Winston Cook,
Mrs. T.A. Crook, Dr. and Mrs. P.T. Flowers, Mrs. Angie
picture in memory of Mrs. John Fisher, Sr.
Building Memorial: Mrs. Charles Sampley, Mrs. E.G.
service for these was held November 25, 1973 by Bishop Mack Stokes, the Rev.
Garland Holloman, D.S., the Rev. Larry Goodpaster was Pastor. Special donations on air
conditioning and building funds were given also.
Rev. Jack M. Nabors came to Vaiden as his first Pastoral assignment after
graduation from Emory Candler School of Christianity. Under his leadership the church
gained an awareness of better organization. He accentuated the different
ministries and as a result of his leadership the church has had excellent
trained organists and pianists.
The highlights of his ministry was a visit to the church by the
Milsaps Singers, and a Lay Witness Mission, and a Charge-Wide Revival with
Bishop E. Pendegrass as Evangelist.
previous dedications, a Pulpit Bible has been given in memory of Mrs. T.A.
Crook and Pew Bibles in memory of Mrs. John Fisher, Sr.
minister with his individual talents, left his imprint as he passed the
torch to his successor. Three
Ministers in the past four decades stand out as wearing a cloak of
Spirituality: Rev. E.C. Driscoll, Rev. N.L. Threet, and Rev. Warren
Black. They typify the St.
Francis of Assisi image in Ministry.
Rev. Larry Goodpaster came to Vaiden Methodist Church as his first
appointment from Candler School of Christianity. He did much Bible teaching as well
as other studies in the church.
He worked hard toward making the church a true community of
services have been held in the beautiful sanctuary
over the years, and the church still proudly stands as a reminder of the
hard work of its members.
membership of Vaiden United Methodist Church over the years has varied
little in numbers, according to conference journal listings. No church
history is complete without acknowledging those who served in different
official capacities and the general membership that faithfully supported
the church through the years. Their names are legion, and we are unable to
list them. However, the Lamb's Book of Life contains the names of all
faithful servants of God.
OF MINISTERS: James Applewhite, 1838; J.J. Jones and D.A.J. Parker,
G.W. Gould, L.D. Lankford, Associate, 1840; John D. Deskin, Robert R.
Gill, Associate, 1841; J.J.E. Bird and H. Avery,
Associate, 1842; Peter James,
James Walton, 1844-1845; Edwin Phillips, J.S.I. Bird,
Associate, 1846; Humphreys Williamson,
John J.E. Bird, William Hines, Associate, 1848; John J.E. Bird,
Peter Green, 1850; Green Rogers,
George T. Vickers, 1852; Joseph Nicholson,
1853-1854; James Carlisle,
1855-1856; Wiley P. Dickerson,
1857-1858; James Carlisle,
Asbury R. Hines, 1860-1861; Louise Kendall,
1862-1863; Asbury Hines,
T.W. Castle, 1865; H.C. Buck, 1866-1867; P.A. Johnson,
T.C. Parish 1870-1871; George W. Brown,
1872-1873; No Conference Journal Records
for 1875-1876; T.J. Newell,
A.P. Sage, 1878; A.T. Scruggs,
J.W. Lawrence, 1880; W.B. Murrah,
1881-1884; B.M. Cogdell,
W.S. Lagrone, 1886-1888; J.F. Evans,
H.L. Vaughn, 1891; R.A. Meek, 1892; Lee P. Lipscomb,
1893-1894; J.F. Evans,
1895-1898; H.T. Cunningham,
1899-1900; R.I. Allen,
E.R. Craddock, 1902-1904; R.M. Evans,
J.H. Smith, 1906-1909; G.W. Gordon,
W.M. Langley, 1911; E.G. Boyette,
1912-1913; W.M. Langley,
E.G. Boyette, 1915; H.M. Young,
J.A. Patterson, 1917-1918; W.B. Shearer,
1919-1920; J.W. Raper,
R.I. Collins, 1923; R.G.A. Carlisle,
W.O. Hunt, 1925-1929; W.W. Bruner,
1930-1931; J.W. Raper,
H.R. McKee, 1933-1934; J.C. Wasson,
1935-1937; E.C. Driskell,
1938-1940; A.L. Davenport,
1941-1943; J.W. Holliday,
1944-1945; N.L. Threet,
1946-1950; J.T. McCafferty, Jr.,
1951-1952; A.N. Gore, Jr.,
W.C. Black, 1954-1955; Robert Y. Butts,
R.T. Hollingsworth, 1957-1960; L.M. Wright,
1961-1962; D.L. Sampley,
G.S. Bailey, 1964-1965; J.M. Nabors,
1966-1968; E.C. Abernathy,
1969-1970; R.N. Wade, 1971-1972; Larry Goodpaster,
1973-1974; Harold Street,
Cantin also served in the late 1970s/early 1980s, but the
dates are not currently available.
Prior to territorial and conference organizations, itinerant
pioneer preachers visited this area.