Red Level, Alabama
Contributed by Sue Grantham Wilkinson as taken from old church brochure. FEB 2000.
Fairmount Baptist Church was organized in 1821 and is believed to be the oldest Baptist church in Covington County. Early records show that up until 1909 it was referred to as "The Baptist Church of Christ at Fairmount".
The first two churches were log cabins made from trees cut from the church grounds. The first one erected in 1828, served as both a house of worship and a fortress against the Indians. Around 1853, a trapper discovered that the church was on forty acres of public land. He purchased the land from the Federal Land Office for five cents an acre, and later sold it to a Mr. Rudolph. He, in turn, donated it to the church and the second building was erected in 1867.
In July, 1896, a building committee was appointed to begin plans for a new church. Preacher G.W. Pierce was contracted to build it, and in December, 1898, the third
church was begun. This was the building which housed the congregation for more than
The idea for the present church was first proposed in 1953. The first plan was to remodel and add to the old building, but, in 1958, the members voted to construct a new one. An unusual feature of this work was that there were no payrolls. Except for the bricklaying, all labor was donated. The pastor at that time, Reverend A.W. Saffold, was the building superintendent and did a lot of the construction as well as most of the finishing work. The first service in the new building was held on March 8, 1959.
There are no written records of the first fifty years of existence, so much of the history has been passed down from person to person. The written records begin in 1870. They show that L.M. Thompson was pastor in that year, and that Reverend T.L. Taylor was paid $8.33 1/3 per month for his services in 1880. The first pastor to serve in the third church was Reverend I. Spence. The first parsonage was built in 1926 with the Reverend C.O. Stewart as the first occupant. Mrs. Stewart organized the first B.Y.P.U. in 1928. The new parsonage was built in 1979.
Revival services have done much to increase church membership. During a revival in 1907 the church received 73 members with the Reverend George Cook conducting. The largest number received at any one revival was in August, 1937, when 84 members were added to the church roll.
Fairmount is the mother church of five other churches in or near Red Level: Red Level Baptist, Pigeon Creek and, Buck Creek which are still alive, and Bay Springs and Midway which have disbanded.
Following is a list of pastors who have served from 1870 to the present time:
J. L. Taylor
J. M. Brunes
H. A. Mason
C. O. Stewart
H.L. Ray W
Charles Newman (Lay)
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