MERIDIANVILLE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH
“Fear not, I am with thee, so be not dismayed, for I am thy God and will give thee aid. I’ll strengthen thee, help thee and cause thee to stand. You will be upheld by my righteousness and powerful hand.”
Perhaps this was the inspiration that caused some of the members of the Mt. Lebanon Community in the early 1900’s to put God in front and organize the Meridianville P. B. Church. Under the leadership and prayers of Reverend Felix Ayers, the Meridianville P. B. Church was started in a little one-room school building. Assisting him as deacons were William Pope, Al Pruitt, Jordan Harris, Pascal (Pony) Conley, John Cotton and Sherman Humphrey. The mothers were Millie Suggs, Levenia Cotton, Mammie Garner and Ex Cotton. Mary E. Pope served as church clerk.
In the year of 1907, they were blessed to build a little church just a few feet away from the site of our present church. Landowner, John Garner, donated the land to build not only the church but also Mt. Lebanon Jr. High School. We give thanks to this great Christian man who out of the kindness of his heart, and love for Christ saw our need. Christ was the sure foundation; Christ was the head and cornerstone that bound this Church in one. Yes, the prayers for our church were laid long ago at the door of the throne above. There have been sacrifices made and toil has never ceased for this Church that’s founded on love.
Added to the deacon and mother board under the pastorship of Reverend Ayers were Thomas Wade, Henry Watkins, and Elushia Payton. Betty Wade Kelly was added to the mother board.
Reverend Ayers served well as a leader until the Lord called him from labor to reward. Some of the devoted Christians serving as deacons and mothers were also called to inherit the kingdom that had been prepared for them.
While in search of a Pastor, Reverend John Eldridge assisted the church until Reverend Charlie Garner was elected Pastor. Willie Walter Pruitt and Pascal Conley, Jr. were ordained as deacons. Harriett Pruitt, Parlee White and Mariah Conley were selected as mothers. Deacon Willie Pruitt also succeeded Mary Pope as church clerk. Reverend Garner was often seen walking to and from church. He was admired and loved by many. He faithfully served the Church until 1950.
In August 1950, Reverend Walter H. Burwell was elected Pastor. On the first Sunday in October 1950, Reverend Walter H. Burwell was installed by Saint Bartley P. B. Church. Sister Eva Stewart was elected as church clerk and Deacon Willie W. Pruitt was elected treasurer. At that time we had worship service only on the first and third Sunday of each month. Under the leadership of Reverend Burwell, the Church grew both spiritually and financially. During Pastor Burwell’s administration, the first choirs, Male Chorus, Usher Board and Sisters and Brothers Auxiliary were organized. In 1960, the church building that we are worshipping in today was built.
During Reverend Burwell’s pastorship, three ordained Elders were added: Elder Lawrence Childress, Elder Calvin Howard and Elder Maurice Childress. Deacons ordained were: Willie B. Battle, James A. Stewart, Eddie Lee Ford, James Robinson, Ollie Nance, Robert Hardin and Preston Cathey. Mothers added were: Minnie Parker, Eva Stewart, Anna Stewart, Mary Stewart, Jimmie D. Scruggs, Elizabeth Ford, Lucy Sledge, Louiseana Robinson, Jimmie D. Burwell, Marie Lou Stewart, Annie Cathey, and Paralee Walker.
After 32 years of faithful and loyal leadership, December 2, 1982 marked Reverend Burwell’s final day as Pastor. Reverend Burwell was loved and honored as our Pastor Emeritus until his death in March of 1984. Elder William Gladys, Elder Calvin Howard and others helped us during the time that we were without a leader.
Reverend Leamon Boone was elected Pastor in July 1983. Beaver Dam P. B. Church, along with Pastor Jimmie Lee McComb installed Elder Leamon Boone as Pastor on January 1, 1984. Under his pastorship, Mother Murl Nance was added to the mother board. Reverend Boone resigned as Pastor in June 1986. Reverend George Allen was elected Pastor in November 1986. However, he was never installed.
In October 1987, God entrusted us in the watchful hands of His servant, Elder Dr. Maurice Childress, whom we installed as our Pastor in March 1988. Pastor Childress has brought spiritual vigor to the church body. Under his leadership, the Board of Trustees, Benevolent, Education, Pastoral, Food, Decoration, Recommendation, Program, Grievance, Arrangement and Youth Committees were organized. Two ordained Elders, Terrence Stewart and Thaddeus Fletcher and one licensed minister, Martez Readus have been added. Myrtle Conley, Annie B. Stevenson McCauley, Rena Shields, Peggy A. Stewart and Peggy R. Stewart were added to the mother board.
Presently Mothers are: Ann Childress
Earnestine Turner (President)
Presently Deacons are: Willie B. Battle (Chairman)
After over 50 years of dedicated service as Church Clerk, Mother Eva Stewart was called from labor to reward in September 2003. She was succeeded as Church Clerk by Sister Betty S. Burruss. Deacon James A. Stewart serves as Treasurer, Sister Evelyn Smith, Financial Clerk, and Sister Edyth Moore, Assistant Financial Clerk.
Our Church has experienced tremendous growth under Pastor Childress’ leadership. The Church has been remodeled adding three classrooms, finance room, four bathrooms, baptismal pool, mission supply room, large fellowship room, pastor’s study, janitorial room and a large foyer. New windows have been designed and installed, new pews, pulpit furniture and carpet have recently been installed.
We have come a great distance since the early 1900’s. There have been differences in administration, but we are serving the same Lord. We have passed over rough roads and troubled waters, but we have built our church on a solid rock. The foundation is built on the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ, Himself, is the chief cornerstone. On Christ the solid rock we stand. All other ground is sinking sand.