Everdale Baptist

Everdale Baptist Church, Dallas County, Alabama
Everdale Baptist Church, Dallas County, Alabama

This 1925 church is a few miles outside of Selma, Alabama.  It replaced a building destroyed by fire in the 1920s, but the date of that building or of the organization of the church is unrecorded.

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First Congregational

Marion First Congregational Church, Marion, Alabama
Marion First Congregational Church, Marion, Alabama

In July 1867, the Lincoln School of Marion was established by freed slaves and a small building was used for teaching.  Soon, the school building was also used by the visiting Congregational minister on Sundays until a formal church could be built.  First Congregational Church of Marion was built in 1871  by the freedmen and serves the African-American community in the town.  It’s a frame structure with a brick foundation wall and a bell tower.  This Perry County church is now included on the National Register of Historic Places.  The school eventually closed in the 1970s and most of the related buildings were demolished.

Cades Cove

Methodist Church, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Methodist Church, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Cades Cove is a historic valley on the Tennessee side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  The Federal government created the park in the early 20th century and preserved a number of the original buildings located in the cove once the remaining settlers were no longer living on park land.  A Missionary Baptist Church, A Primitive Baptist Church, and a Methodist Church are accessible today along the 11 mile loop.  The Methodist Church was originally built in the 1820s, but the one shown here replaced it in 1902.  Although this building has the separate door design for men and women entrances, in practice the sexes weren’t divided inside.

Interior of Cades Cove Methodist Church
Interior of Cades Cove Methodist Church
Missionary Baptist Church, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Missionary Baptist Church, Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Missionary Baptist Church was an offshoot from the other Baptist Church in the cove when the members were expelled due to their favoring missionary work.  The church formed in 1839 and the building shown here dates from 1915.  The church finally closed in 1944.

Interior, Missionary Baptist Church, Cades Cove, Tennessee
Interior, Missionary Baptist Church, Cades Cove, Tennessee

Prairie Mission Church

Prairie Mission Church, Wilcox County, Alabama
Prairie Mission Church, Wilcox County, Alabama

Originally I stopped by this location in Wilcox County, Alabama to photograph an old schoolhouse.  But right across the dirt road was this little church as a bonus.  Prairie Mission was an African American school in rural Alabama.  The United Presbyterian Church founded the mission in 1894 and classes for a few hundred children in grades 1-9 were held at the school until the 1950s.  In addition to regular academic subjects, the girls were taught to sew and cook, and boys trained in the upkeep of buildings and gardening.  Since affiliated with a church, the school also emphasized Christian ideals, thrift, and hard work.  A local man was checking on his mother’s house while I was there and told me it was last used for teaching in the 1960s when segregation fully ended in the state.  The church was rebuilt in 1937 on its original site, and today, the mission is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

Prairie Mission School, Wilcox County, Alabama
Prairie Mission School, Wilcox County, Alabama

Bethsaida Baptist

Bethsaida Baptist Church, Furman, Alabama
Bethsaida Baptist Church, Furman, Alabama

I met a helpful gentleman and his dog while taking a photo outside this church in Furman, Alabama.  He provided me with the history of this church and a quick look inside.  Bethsaida Baptist Church was founded in 1831 and the current building was built just before the Civil War in 1860.  The steeple and bell were added in 1891, when the membership was 141.  In recent years, the membership has decreased to a couple dozen, but there are still services held.   The Furman area historical district, which included this church, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

Bethsaida Baptist Church, Furman, Alabama
Interior of Bethsaida Baptist Church