History of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Pike Co., AL


Contributed by: Katrina Gaffney, OCT 2003

We, whose names are hereunto annexed, met with Letters, Recommendations, Covenant, and Abstract of Principles and Faith.After preaching by Bro.B.H. Banks, fifteen minutes intermission were given and then entered into business and organised by calling Bro.John Danner to the Chair and Bro.V. Bass to act as Clerk.

lst Presented Letters

††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† 2nd The Articles of Faith were called for

3rd In answer to the call of the Presbytery, Bro.John Danner, B.H. Banks, and Wm.Pritchett presented the Abstract of Faith and Covenant Agreement, and after minute examination they were unanimously adopted, and the right hand of fellowship extended by the presbytery and the charge given by Bro.B.H. Banks.

Names (Male) Names (Female)

John B. Bray Nancy Bray

††††††††† ††††††††† William D. Jelks ††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††††† Jane Jelks

††††††††††††††††††††† Green Robertson(Roberson)†††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Nancy Robertson

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† (Roberson)

††††† ††††† J.H. Walker

††††† ††††† Frank Patterson



††††† 4th Adopted the name MountZion

††††† 5th Appointed Bro.J.H. Walker Church Clerk

6th Set apart Sabbath evening after preaching to go into the choice of a pastor to serve the church the balance of the year.

John Danner, Moderator

W. Bass, Clerk

Covenant and Abstract of Faith

On the following confession of principles as professed members of the mystical body of Christ we propose to become a visible church by uniting ourselves in a Holy Covenant and first gave ourselves wholly unto the. Lord and denounce the vanity of the world, and secondly, in a Spiritual Sense gave ourselves to one another to live together in a church capacity according to the order of the gospel and agreed in faithfulness to watch over each other in love and good works and will endeavour to glorify God with our bodies and with our substance.


Thus eight persons from five families were organised into a church with the help of pastors and leaders from the Salem Baptist Association.

††††††††††††††† The first known pastor was E.J. Jackson.According to associational records he left Mt.Zion to begin serving Springfield in October 1861.He was still living in that community and serving as pastor in the late 1890's.

††††††††††††††† It would be good to know just why the group decided to organise a church at this location at this particular time.We know some churches were organised by families who simply heir life from the Carolina's or Georgia to transplanted to Alabama.They chose the frontier as the place to establish homes, farms, and businesses.They resolved to build a place of worship along with these to undergird life with spiritual power. Many times families travelled in groups and settled together.They would bring Letters of Recommendation from the former church to commend them to some congregation.If none was available, they would band together to organise a new church.

††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††† Other churches developed from the work of pioneer pastors who travelled the territory ministering to families. They would lead services in homes and preach revivals in school houses or brush arbours. Their passion for new growth let to numerous congregations on the frontier.

Still other churches resulted from missionary work.Many associations engaged in mission work through the associational missionary," a term that would be heard in Alabama for a century and a half.



Another couple living in Pike County was Nancy and John Bray. They lived on a farm near the place that came to be known as "Hamilton Cross Roads", where Carter Brothers Manufacturing Company is now located. Mr. Bray was granted 160 acres in November, 1856. It lay on the south side of the Hamilton-Tennille road.He obtained an adjoining 40 acres in 1860. Bray's 200 acre farm was valued at $320.00. Part of this farm later was bought by John Timmons in 1879, and is now in the Charlie Shiver family.Another part is now owned by the Willie Shiver family. The Brays moved from the Madison County, Georgia area to Alabama. John Bray was born in Georgia in 1818, and his wife in 1827.Their son William was born in Georgia in 1842. Daughters Mary (1844) , Louise (1845) , and Melvina (1848) were born before the family moved to Alabama about 1850.Children in Alabama included Jasper, born in 1853.Frances, born in the year that Mt.Zion was organised, was married to Leroy Flowers December 28, 1877.Their ceremony was performed by E.J. Jackson, the first known pastor of Mt.Zion.Another daughter, was born in March, 1860.Mr. Bray was serving as Church Clerk when he and his family were dismissed by letter in 1873.

††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† Nancy and Green Roberson lived on the Hamilton to Tennille road between the Brays and Reuben Vining.Green B. Adkins, five-year-old son of Mary and Calvin Adkins, became a part of the Roberson family in the summer of 1860.This points to the death of one or both of his parents.Having "Green" as a given name also suggests that there was a connection between the two families.Mary and Calvin Adkins lived on the Frederick Williams farm at Mr. Zion, next door to Elder William Pritchett. Since the Williams, Calvin Adkins, Mrs. Pritchett, and Nancy Roberson, were originally from South Carolina, we believe they were friends if not relatives.

Aunt Ella Anderson Bundrick, who lived on the farm that joined the Bray farm, stated that the Robersonís lived on the 40 acres next to the Vinings.Mr. Roberson's second wife was Susan Vining.As some of the older people remembered, Mr. Vining gave the farm to his daughter.This farm was first granted to James "Atkins, or Adkins".Later owners include Henry D. Jackson, Mrs . Jim Ellis, and Mr. and Mrs. L.D. Todd.

The Roberson's son John served as Church Clerk in 1897 and 1898.Although he was around eighty, Mr. Roberson was able to travel from Campbellton, Florida for the Centennial celebration of Mt. Zion in 1958.He was the only relative of a charter member to attend the Centennial.

The family of David Bundrick lived near the Bray and Roberson family.They were later connected with Mt.Zion.A son Andrew, J. served as Church Clerk and still later as the pastor.

††††††† We have tried to determine just how and when Elder William Pritchett came to live here.We do not know if he moved to the community before helping to start Mt.Zion, or later. it would seem likely that the association would want to appoint a missionary who lived in a newly settled area.

Since the Williams, Calvin Adkins, Mrs. Pritchett, and Nancy Roberson, were originally from South Carolina, we believe they were friends if not relatives.

††††††††††† Between 1856 and 1860 the area changed from river swamps and pine covered rolling hills to a regular frontier community. More than sixty white families could be counted between the Dale county line and Clearwater Creek between Pike County and Pea liver.In addition to mechanics for machinery, there was Elisha Davis the cobbler who lived next door to Mr. and Mrs. Jelks.And next to the Davis family lived another Baptist preacher, Isaac R. Kent.We have no record of the Kent family being in Mt. Zion or churches that he served.Also living with the Kent's was a Dr. William C. Leake.The communities only merchant also lived with Brother Kent.John Sawyers, the merchant from Georgia, in all probability was the J.D. Sawyers who served as church Clerk a few years later.According to information presently available, Brother Kent and William Bass lived along the road between the Jelks at the Crossroads and the Ed Goodson place where Mr. Aaron Johnston later lived.

Not only can we count a variety of occupations among the people, but also native states.While a few were born in Alabama, the heads of families usually had been born elsewhere. Robert Turner, who lived next door to Brother Kent, was born in England in 1815.A few counted Virginia as home.Quite a number had been born in North Carolina and South Carolina. Records show that several families stopped over in Georgia in the move from the Carolinas to Alabama.

††††††††† We do not know if the members organised in a home and then built, or built and then organised.One unconfirmed source states that the original building was erected by J.W.D. Jelks, his father-in-law, Thomas G. Frazier, and Elder Pritchett.In all likelihood members organised in the Pritchett home, then built. The location selected proved to be a very wise choice. Frederick Wi1liams a1lowed the church and cemetery to be located on his property.The site chosen was at a crossroads, on a hill over1ooking Pea River and Frazier's Mill.This placed the near a point that was important to a growing community.

††††††††††††††† Rivers and streams provided power for gristmills, gins, sawmills, and other uses.Many who lived in the area would at time pass the church as they had corn ground into meal, or trees sawed into lumber. The road which passed the mills and the church would in years develop into a major north-south highway reaching from Panama City, Florida to Chicago, Illinois. During the early years of the church, riders would exchange mail pouches here in this vicinity.The east-west route that passed the door of the church tied together people from Tennille and Barbour County to the community's further west in Coffee County.

A study of the records shows that Mt.Zion reached families from Tennille, then known as Bibb, Alabama, to Hamilton's Cross Roads, then north for a few miles toward Brundidge.Families from near Tarentum came to worship. Others from the Coffee County community of Java found here their church home. Still others travelled from Wilson's Crossing near Ariton, and from Rocky Head.Mt.Zion reached out for miles in all directions to serve families in Coffee, Dale, and Pike ties.Some of these members left Mt.Zion to help begin churches nearer home.Two of these were the Ariton and Rocky churches begun in the 1890's.

††††††††††† William Pritchett and Frederick Williams were messengers to the Salem Association, which convened with the Grove Baptist Church October 5, 1861. This shows that they were among the 67 members at Mt.Zion, now just over three years old.E.J. Jackson was reported as the pastor, and J.D. Sawyer was the Church Clerk.

Jackson was called to Springfield Baptist Church near Brundidge and William Pritchett became the pastor of Mt.Zion in October, 1862.One source says that he served the church throughout the years of the Civil War.He was still active in revivals for sister churches during these years.Pritchett assisted the pastor of the Elam Baptist Church at Elamville in the summer of 1863.The South Western Baptist reported 14 baptisms resulted.

Not only did Mt.Zion change pastors, but a new Church Clerk was named.S.E. Wilkins was elected for the year 1862-63.Membership had dropped to 63, showing that the war had touched the church.

The war brought years of suffering and hardship.Every able-bodied man was called to serve with the Confederate Army. Many of the soldiers died from wounds and disease.Drugs and food were always scarce.Both of my grandfathers were called to duty.Grandfather Patillo Anderson told that at one time the men of his unit had only parched corn to eat.Most of the troops had to "forage," eating whatever they could get from the local people.

†††††† ††††††† The children, women, and the men too old to fight faced many needs at home also.Because medicine and doctors were scarce many would die.The food that they could grow was sometimes taken by soldiers, both Union and Confederate.My daddy told of having to do without flour and biscuits.The only bread they had came from corn.They were anxious for his daddy, Elias Todd, to grow a crop of wheat to have ground into flour. This meant that his family had to wait for a year after the war ended before having biscuit cakes, and such.

Despite the losses and hardships, pastors and churches kept on with their ministry.According to some, many communities would lose one-fourth of its people during the war cause of battle injuries and disease.This meant that fewer people had to do more.Those left had given much to begin the Lord's work, and they wou1d do whatever it took to keep it going. The disruptions caused by the war and reconstruction probably explains the scarcity of records for this time.

W.H. Todd and Annie Cornelia Anderson stated that they were baptised into the membership of Mt.Zion the same day in her father's rice mill pond.They were baptised by the pastor, Ben Bennett, of Pea River, Alabama, in about 1881.The rice mill pond was the regular place for baptismal services for several years, according to my parents.Patillo Anderson and his wife, Sophie Mathews Anderson, had moved from Dale County to Victoria in Coffee County and then to this community a few years after my grandfather returned from the Civil War.In addition to farming he set up a mill to process the rice which he and many of his neighbours grew.The dam across the small stream held enough water to provide power needed for the mill.It was to this pond that members would come to hold their "baptising."






††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† In the span of one generation the Mt.Zion community had changed from unclaimed land to a developed area.In the span of another generation still more significant changes happened.Zion would be in the 20th century with telephones, railroads, cars, and airplanes.

††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† Another obvious change was in who was living in the area.For example, Thomas Frazier sold the mill on Pea River to the Munn family around 1875 to 1880.Some of the people had died, and others moved on to new territories.Those who enjoyed the challenge of new beginnings moved to the "piney woods" of Covington and Escambia Counties.A few travelled to Texas or Oklahoma.

††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† The movement of people was still from east to west.If some did move to the west, there were others from Georgia and the Carolinas to move into Alabama.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† †† Another factor that helped to increase the number of residents was the size of families.Better health care meant that more babies survived and increased the population. Families with six, eight, or even ten children were not uncommon.As these in turn began their families, more land was cleared and put into production.Farming was still the main way to earn a living, but there were now people who could go into other work, such as sawmills, factories, and railroads.

††††††††††††††† Many in the area suffered, physically and financially, during the war and reconstruction days.Yet the "Panics" of the 1880's and 1890's were just as hard.Farmers who borrowed money lost their land when they were unable to pay.If a farmer's crop came up short, or if the price for it fell, it usually meant foreclosure. This happened to Frederick Williams who sold or donated the two acres for the church site.In 1884 Williams transferred title to 120 acres in a foreclosure deed.

††††††††††††††† Some of the crop failures happened because of the soil."New ground" usually made better crops than did "old ground, " unless the land was fertilized.Guano was not plentiful, and farmers thought they could not afford it.This made some farmers want to move on to a new farm.

†††††††††††††† Some of the larger farms were broken into smaller farms. Many families would give each child forty acres and a mule when he married and started a family.

Mt. Zion was touched by the growth of our nation. During the 1880's large companies were set up in steel, oil, and railroads.Travel and communication was quicker and easier. The drive to build a network of railroads nationwide brought a line through here.

††††††††††††† The Alabama and Midland Railroad, connecting Montgomery and Dothan, was completed in 1890.The route chosen from Brundidge to Ozark followed Walden Creek, also known as Bowden Mill Creek, to Tennille.It crossed Pea River about two miles upstream from Munn's Mill, formerly known as Frazier's Mill.

††††††††††††††† The railroad provided farmers a means of shipping cotton through Montgomery or Dothan to major markets.They could have supplies shipped in.Guano, lumber for buildings, tools, furniture for the houses, and other items were unloaded at Tennille.One merchant ordered a carload of salt since farmers used it by the hundreds of pounds in hog killing.The man hired to unload the salt bag-by-bag described it as a very "rough" experience.

††††††††††††††† The growth of the nation and the community brought problems.Every associational minute from the early 1880's on tells of the burden the pastors and messengers had because of liquor.Reports were given telling how serious the problem had become.Appeals were made to legislators to pass laws to give some control.

††††††††††††††† Another change discovered was the name of the post office. Sometime between 1875 and 1882 the name "Tennille" replaced "Bibb".Then with the completion of the railroad, mail was routed to the members in Coffee County through Tennille instead of Rocky Head.

††††††††††††††† Furthermore, we see from the associational minutes that the growth of Mt.Zion has slowed.As Church Clerk in 1888,Bro. Faulkner reported two additions, one by baptism, and one by letter.He reported that the church had 44 "in fellowship."Thisprobably referred to those attending services.Two years later, the Church Clerk, N.H. Davis, reported that the church had no additions for the year, but several losses.He listed 13 lettered out, 2 deaths, and 9 expelled from membership.The final count was 98 members.

††††††††††††††† It is quite possible that the 1888 membership was 144. With a drop in 1889, plus the 24 lost in 1890, the 98 member number could be explained. (From this time on for many years, the records will be hard to follow.)

During these years members carried their own hymnal to church so they could join in the singing. Baptist Psalmody was one of those used at Mt. Zion.These hymnals had only words, no music.The "meter" was indicated just under the title of each hymn. Members learned melodies that corresponded to various meters. They could then sing the words.However, one melodymight be used for several different hymns. One family keepsake is a copy of Manly's Choice.This small hymnal would easily fit in a shirt pocket or purse.Basil Manly selected the words of hymns that were not only favourites, but doctrinally sound.The price of the hymnal was 12 cents when ordered from Louisville, Kentucky.

Another change that took place was in the church building.Sometime between 1890 and 1895 the members replaced he first building, which was probably built of logs.The second building was formed with hand-hewn timbers running the entire length.Dressed weatherboard was put on the outside of he walls.W. H. Todd was the first member to split and nail on a thousand shingles for the roof.This building served the church for about sixty years until 1955.

John Roberson, son of charter member Green Roberson, served as Church Clerk for two years during1897 and 1898.This (he) is our last known link with the charter members.

These changes in membership only serves to show that God builds and maintains His work.





The twenty-five years between 1908 and 1933 included times of prosperity, epidemic, war, and depression.The farmers knew prosperous times, but suffered from the "Cotton Panic" around the time of World War I. The epidemic of influenza took many lives during the war years.This period closed during those years called "Hoover Days," or "The Great Depression."

Mt. Zion reached fifty years of age on March 13, 1908. There is no record of the members observing the anniversary.In fact interest was very low at this time.The membership had fallen from 128 in 1902 to 63 at the beginning of the church year. It dropped to 60 the next year.The interest was so low that there was not even a report made to the association in 1908. There was a lack of participation in the associational work also. No longer are messengers reporting, and leaders participating, as in early years.

In 1910W.U. ("Uriah") McWaters, the Church Clerk, and Andrew J. Bundrick, the pastor, served as messengers to the association.They reported 13 baptisms for the year and a gain in membership to 75.However, the decrease was not stopped. There were no reports and no messengers to the association during 1912, 1913, and 1914.At this point membership was down to 36. Part of this large drop is explained by a wholesale excluding of members for non-attendance to the church conferences.In those years the church held conference once a month on Saturday at 11 o'clock.††† The pastor would preach, spend the night, and preachat 11 o'clock the next morning.At one such conference, the pastor and clerk struck a large number of names from the roll, granted themselves letters of dismissal, and resigned.

The farmers were suffering financially because of the "Cotton Panic" of 1914.Every one seemed discouraged about the church, their farms, and life in general.War had broken out in Europe.

In 1915 Mr. Alpha Tatum, an elderly Civil War veteran, showed a great concern for Mt.Zion, although he was not a member. He obtained permission from some of the members to contact Rev. Jehu Black about preaching a revival.It took two days for this elderly Christian gentleman to walk to see Bro.Black, who agreed to conduct the "protracted meeting," as they were called then. In October the church reported 34 baptisms from the revival, and membership was up to 84.

Bro.Black agreed to accept the call to serve as pastor. Interest in the church increased.In 1916 the building was about twenty-five years old, and because of neglect, was in need of repairs.Rotten weatherboard on the outside was replaced and the inside was sealed with 1 x 4 tongue and groove lumber.The rotten wooden shutters were replaced with glass windows.When the new flooring was put in, it was sloped from the entrance to the pulpit for better visibility.

Influenza swept the nation killing numbers of people.Several who died of the "flu" were buried in the cemetery at Mt.Zion.Conditions led many to turn to the church for comfort and spiritual nourishment.Participation in the church is shown in the membership of 114 reported to the association in October, 1918.This was the highest membership since 1902-1903, and stood as the record for years.

Finally, after years of struggle, the churches found relief from the problem of liquor.The entire nation was so fed up with the abuse of alcohol that the Eighteenth Amendment was adopted stopping the manufacture and sales.

In 1919 members again asked John W. Reynolds of Tennille to serve as pastor.However, membership had dropped badly, down 31.Brother Reynolds was paid a salary of $125.00 for preaching on the third Sundays of each month.

The Ku Klux Klan was active during the early 1920's. About 20 or 25 white-robed Klan members filed into the church building while revival services were being held once.The group formed a semi-circle in front of the pulpit.When the Congregation finished the hymn being sung, the pastor stood and led in prayer.When he concluded, the Klan members placed an offering on the table in front of the pulpit, and quietly left.

Members continued to look forward to the "protracted meetings" each July.The first to arrive took care of lighting the kerosene lamps.One was placed on either side of the pulpit so the preacher could read his text.One or two hanging on each wall had a reflector behind the globe to direct the light toward the congregation.The young boys would take a pitcher to the nearest house, fill it with fresh water drawn from the well, and return it to the pulpit.Needless to say in a non-air-conditioned building most of the revival preachers paused to quench their thirst during sermons. The congregation tried to stay cool by fanning with fans from the funeral home and hardware.†††††††††† ††††††††††††

Brother Plant returned to the church in 1950 and served two years.J.H. "Jim" Johnson, a student at Troy State Teachers College, became pastor in October 1952.He resigned in the spring of 1954 to become the full time pastor of Ariton Baptist Church, the other church he had been serving.W.M. Todd served his interim until Johnnie B. Spurlin became the pastor in October 1954.

There had been a lot of talk for several years about a building program.Some looked into adding rooms onto the wooden building. Others talked of a completely new building.The building fund had grown to about $5, 000.00 when Bro. Spurlin came to serve as pastor.The church approved a plan to tear down the d building and erect a brick veneer structure.The last service in the old building was February 27, 1955.Services were held temporarily in a house on Mr. Dock Lee's farm.

The church hired Louico Allen, grandson of former pastor Dave Allen, to lead in the construction.Men of the church donated their time to help build.Much of the lumber from the old building was used in the new one. The new building was entered on the fourth Sunday of June 1955.It was dedicated in October of that year.

William Baker, a Howard College student of Skipperville, Alabama, became pastor in 1956. He pastored for two years and led the church in the service celebrating one hundred years of ministry in June 1958.




Many of the present members are descendants of those who lived here in early years.Some of the families became members, while others only attended.A partial list of the numerous families would include:


Adams†† ††††††††††††††† Edwards ††††††††††††††† Holder††† ††††††††††††††† McWaters†††††††††††† Shiver

Adkins†† ††††††††††††††† Ellis†††††††† ††††††††††††††† Hudson††††††††††††††† Merritt††† ††††††††††††††† Simmons

Allen††††† ††††††††††††††† Faircloth††††††††††††††† Hughes††††††††††††††† Mims††††† ††††††††††††††† Smith

Anderson††††††††††††††† Farmer††† ††††††††††††††† Inman†††† ††††††††††††††† Mobley††††††††††††††† Stone

Barefoot ††††††††††††††† Faulk††††† ††††††††††††††† Jacobs††† ††††††††††††††† Mosley††††††††††††††† Stephens

Bass†††††† ††††††††††††††† Faulkner ††††††††††††††† Jackson††††††††††††††† Moore††† ††††††††††††††† Stewart

Black††††† ††††††††††††††† Flowers††††††††††††††† James†††† ††††††††††††††† Munn†††† ††††††††††††††† Timmons

Bowden ††††††††††††††† Frazier††† ††††††††††††††† Jelks†††††† ††††††††††††††† Newman††††††††††††††† Todd

Bray††††††† ††††††††††††††† Frederick††††††††††††† Jeter††††††† ††††††††††††††† Nichols††††††††††††††† Turner

Brooks†† ††††††††††††††† Cary††††††† ††††††††††††††† Johnson ††††††††††††††† Oliver†††† ††††††††††††††† Vining

Browning††††††††††††††† Glover††† ††††††††††††††† Johnston††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† Patterson††††††††††††† Waldens

Bundrick††††††††††††††† Goodson††††††††††††† Jones††††† ††††††††††††††† Phillips†† ††††††††††††††† Walker

Burks††††† ††††††††††††††† Grant††††† ††††††††††††††† Kent†††††† ††††††††††††††† Pritchett ††††††††††††††† Ward

Carter†††† ††††††††††††††† Graves††† ††††††††††††††† Kyser†††† ††††††††††††††† Pryor††††† ††††††††††††††† Waters

Clark†††††† ††††††††††††††† Griffin†††† ††††††††††††††† Laney†††† ††††††††††††††† Richards††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† Wilkes

Colven†† ††††††††††††††† Grimmer††††††††††††††† Leake††††† ††††††††††††††† Renfroe††††††††††††††† Wilkins

Courtney††††††††††††††† Hall†††††††† ††††††††††††††† Lee††††††††† ††††††††††††††† Reynolds††††††††††††† Williams

Cowart†† ††††††††††††††† Hamilton††††††††††††††† Leverette††††††††††††††† Roberson†††††††††† Wilson

Daniels†† ††††††††††††††† Hatten††† ††††††††††††††† Logan†††† ††††††††††††††† Sawyers ††††††††††††††† Wright

Davis††††† ††††††††††††††† Hayes†††† ††††††††††††††† Mattox†† ††††††††††††††† Segars††††††††††††††† Yarber

Downing††††††††††††††† Henderson†††††††††† Maulden††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† Senn

Eagerton††††††††††††††† McDaniels†††††††††† Shehane




The oldest known grave in the cemetery is that of Frances E. Eagerton, born March 18, 1861, died September 28, 1864.This shows that the church has been on this site since 1864.

Members and families have continued to choose burial plots here for 120 years or more.Those buried here range from infants to the very elderly.Some died of epidemic, some from accidents, and others front wartime service.

Our nation has been involved in five major wars since Mt. Zion was organised.Bodies of men who have served in all of these conflicts are buried here.John Pryor, A.M. Shiver, and T. Ed Wright served in the Confederate Army.Harry Bishop, Dan Connor, and L. B. "Dock" Bowden were veterans of World War I. The body of John Henry Downing was returned to Mr. Zion for burial after World War II. Marion W. Justice died in service during the Korean war.David T. Bell died in Vietnam.







Regarding your query; the Pike County Marriage Records of 1830 to 1900 list the following:


††† Green Roberson to Mrs. Susan Clark - March 2, 1871 -†† Book 6- Page 558






Jacksonís buried at Mt. Zion Baptist Church:


William T. Jackson, son of JC and SA Jackson1-18-1870-3-10-1892


Sarah A. Jackson, wife of JC Jackson††††††††††††††† 11-2-1831-1-22-1902


Radford G. Jackson††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† 1838 Ė 1916†† CSA Navy


Willie Ozella Jackson††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† 3-22-1876-1-1951


Henry D. Jackson ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† 9-1873-3-1930




Nancy Jacksonís maiden name is Renfroe. She came from South Carolina with her family and was the first wife of Green Roberson. When she died or where she buried is unknown as yet.


Robersonís buried in Campbellton Baptist Church:


Fletcher Roberson††††††††††††††† 3-27-1920††††††† still alive††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† (Lockardís son)

Elsie Eldridge Roberson††††††††††††††† 12-16-1917††††††† still alive


James ďAndyĒ Andrew Roberson†††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††† 7-20-1973-8-19-1994††††††††††††††† buried next to Sherman


Infant son of Harold and Nell Roberson††††††††††††††† 2-4-1933-2-4-1933


Marcus E. Roberson††††††††††††††† 6-28-1926††††††† still live


Lessie H. Griffin††† ††††††††††††††† 4-16-1918-4-21-1994


Luella P. Roberson††††††††††††††† 2-24-1895-3-19-1983††††††††††††††† Haroldís 5th wife


Robbie V. Roberson††††††††††††††† 1-20-1910-1-30-1968




John Reuben Z. Roberson was clerk of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church at 18 years old then moved to Florida. He met Nettie Foy Jackson at Tinnelle, Ala. (only several miles from Mt. Zion) formerly Bibbs.






††††††††††† ††††††††††† The first congregation in the county was formed at Bethlehem Baptist in March 1825.Later known as Friendship and still later as Campbellton Baptist, it is reputedly the oldest church of that denomination in Florida, but its early years were stormy and its continuity was sometimes in doubt.E. H. Calloway was the first minister. James Chason and Clark Jackson, two of the original 19 members were named deacons at the organisational mecting.26

††††††††† The church added 17 new members during its first year, licensed two to preach, and ordained three ministers.In its second year, Bethlehem became embroiled in a bitter dispute with Bethel Church in Dale County, Alabama.The problem was John Beasley, who had been ordained at Bethlehem and sent to Bethel to preach, and Bethlehem's minister, E. H. Calloway, both apparently had unacceptable habits.After an investigation of their intemperance, both were excluded from the church."

††††††††† During the 1830s the Bethlehem congregation dwindled and it seems to have been inactive by the early 1840s.The decline was part of a general situation at Campbellton - perhaps because of the severe disruption of the economy during the national depression.A post office had been established there in 1829 and remained throughout the 1830s, but in 1842 it was moved to Scurlock's Springs for a brief period.The post office department recanted later that same year, and the office was restored to Campbellton with Britton Barkley as postmaster.By the late 1840s, Campbellton was again the center of a community sufficient to attract the Raymond Menagerie for a performance.

As was customary at the time black- slaves were admitted as full members of Bethlehem, but attended services in a separate place provided for them.The log church, which was originally erected also, had separate doors through which men and women entered for services.





Sheriff Roy Roberson


††††††††† When Sheriff Barnes died in office in early 1954, he was succeeded by Mrs. Barnes who thus became the first female sheriff in the county.She was succeeded in late 1954 by Roy Roberson who served six years.Although he was also concerned with liquor control and ordinary violence, Roberson encountered a little variety in 1955 when he and the Washington County sheriff broke up a bolita ring, which was operating at Lee's Tourist Court west of Marianna.Also somewhat unusual was the $10,000 robbery of the Farmers Rank of Malone in July, 1960, by the same man who had already taken $1,500 in a similar action two weeks earlier.He also broke up an organised theft ring, which was operating in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida from a Graceville service station.But it was the FBI who arrested Jesse M. Cooper, JR., when he was accused of embezzling $900,000 from the Bank of Graceville.Barkley Gause returned to the sheriffs' office in 1961 and served until 1973.He was succeeded in turn by Ronald H. Craven and Charles Applewhite.John P. McDaniel has been the sheriff since 1981.



†† Roy Roberson served as Jackson County Sheriff from 1954 to 1961. Information provided by the book, "Jackson County, Florida - A History" by Jerrell H. Shofner, published by the Jackson County Heritage Association, Marianna, Florida




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