NOTES FROM HISTORY OF (EAST) UNION BAPTIST CHURCH 1892-1992

NOTES FROM HISTORY OF (EAST) UNION BAPTIST CHURCH
1892-1992

Bob Ann Breland

On September 13, 1892, twelve of God’s consecrated ones joined themselves together in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and formed Union Baptist Church. Those members were: W.A. Phelps and wife L.J. Phelps, I.M. Phelps and wife Anna A. Phelps, Albert W. Lang ,and wife Narcissus Lang, Jim M. Simmons and wife Mary P. Simmons, John C. Lang and wife Ruby A. Lang, Will P. Lang, and I.E. Phelps. From these, W.A. Phelps, J.M. Simmons, and W.P. Lang were appointed to prepare rules of decorum and an abstract of faith. Rev. Isaiah Allmand and Rev. J.M. Hutson acted as moderator and clerk.

The Lord blessed this group with two acres of land for a church building and cemetery given by J.M. Simmons. Construction soon began on a one room structure made of rough lumber given by church members. Windows were wooden shutters. Slab benches, made by members, kerosene lamps, and a wood heater provided comfort for these early Christians. The church began with a revival preached by J.M. Hutson. Twelve members were added to the services of the Lord as a result of this meeting.

Even though they were off to a good start, circumstances kept meetings to once a month. The first pastor, Rev. E.M. Schillings, was elected in 1892 for one year and his salary was set at $40.00 per year. The first deacon elected was W.A. Phelps, already an ordained deacon from another church. Elected in 1893 were the first clerk, John C. Lang, and the first treasurer, John B. Simmons.

In 1895, the first Sunday School was organized with John Lang as superintendent. Two deacons, John Lang and J.M. Simmons, were ordained. Prayer meetings also began this year with the meetings held on Thursday nights. It was a service for young men only. These meetings resulted in seven men feeling the call to preach. They were the following: Martin, Lewis, Jasper, and Collie Alford, Charles Schultz (all Methodist), Frank Hutson, and Van Walker (Baptist).

Many people recall early years of the church without any musical instruments; however, beautiful voices sang the first song, “I’ll Go With Him All The Way”, led by the first song leader, John Lang. Later in 1905, an organ was purchased by the church, and Bettie Simmons Page became the first organist. The church became known as a singing church and many singing schools and singing conventions were held at the church from 1927 to 1940. A.A. Lang served as choir director during this time from 1920 to 1942.

A W.M.U. program was organized in 1925, with the encouragement of the pastor’s wife, Mrs. A.D. Muse. The first president was Mrs. Dudley (Sophia) Simmons followed by Mrs. C.F. (Aunt Rosa) Lang who was also mother of the church. Mrs. Amon (Emma) Lang, Vert Simmons, Julia Rebold, and Ella Stafford were faithful members. Later, Mrs. Dudley (Aunt Mamie) Simmons served as secretary for twenty-four years.

PASTORS
1892 E.M. Schilling
1895 Jim R. Reeves
1896 J.M. Hutson
1900 J.M. Cook
1902 J.E. Thigpen
1903
1904
1905 1907 Isaiah Allmand
1909 L.F. May
1910 C.S. Calendar
1913 R.L. Bunyard
1914 A.D. Muse
1920 W.R. Haynie
1921 Van C. Walker
1923 A.F. Davis
1926 W.A. Gill
1927 J.B. Hemphill
1928 V.C. Walker
1947 W.E. Sloan
Nov. 1948 Landrum Leavell
June 1951 A.V. Epperly
Aug. 1952 Carroll Bowman
Sep. 1955 Paul Brown
June 1956 Hollis Todd
Jan. 1957 Billy Ray Simmons (Associate)
July 1957 John 0. Hemphill
Nov. 1961 E.M. Fleming
Oct. 1964 Bobbie Hill Belcher
Sep. 1966 Fred Bookter (Interim)
June 1967 Wilmer Goodwin
Mar. 1969 Marvin Magee (Interim)
May 1969 Cecil Hubbard
Dec. 1972 Wayne Hart
Apr. 1975 Joe Jackson (Interim)
May 1975 Roger Wilkins
June 1981 Wilmer Goodwin (Interim)
Oct. 1981 Terry Blair
Dec. 1983 Ed Campbell (Interim)
Apr. 1984 Dale Wilson
July 1988 Farris W. Smith (Interim)
Apr. 1990 Charles D. Grant, Jr.

DEACONS
Sept.1892 John C. Lang (deceased)
Aug. 1895 Jim Simmons (deceased)
Aug. 1895 J.E. Lang (deceased)
1905 C.C. Johnston (deceased)
1908 A.A.Lang (deceased)
Mar. 1933 R.U. Stogner (deceased)
mar. 1933 Dudley Simmons (deceased)
Mar. 1933 C.W. Lang, Sr. (deceased)
June 1939 Alton Lang (deceased)
June 1939 Joe Purl (deceased)
June 1939 E.P. Jenkins (deceased)
Jan. 1948 Frank Johnson (deceased)
Jan. 1948 Hollis T. Lang
Nov. 1949 Therrell Simmons (deceased)
Nov. 1949 Eugene Simmons (deceased)
May 1952 Malcolm Simmons (deceased)
Feb. 1965 Dardanelle Durham (deceased)
Feb. 1965 Elmo Allmand (deceased)
Feb. 1965 Britt Simmons
Feb. 1970 Virgil Hamilton (deceased)
Feb …1970 Roy Lang (moved)
Oct.1, 1978 Carl McDaniel (deceased)
James Hucabee
Harold “Snuffy” Smith
James Frank Williamson
Wayne Skipper (moved)
June: 1991 Billy Morgan

S.S. DIRECTORS
1895 John C. Lang
1920 A.A. Lang
1942 Alton Lang Jones
1954 Alton Lang
1957 Malcolm Simmons
1966 Roy Lang
1968 Britt Simmons
1971 Imogene Hubbard
1972 Hollis Lang

T.U. DIRECTORS
1933 Emmett O’Quin
1934 E.L. Helton
1935 Discontinued
1955 Byrant Hucabee
l957 Dardanelle Durham
1958 Alton Lang
1959 Robert Earl Allen
1960 Elmo Allmand
1961 Lavada Allen
1964 Patsy Simmons
1965 Annie Allen
1966 Byrant Hucabee
1968 Nancy Rowley
1971 Holiis Lang
1972 Dorothy Parsons
1976 Iris Hucabee
1982 Ozzie Ford
1986 Dorothy Parsons
1989 Jim Waller
1990 Billy Morgan
1991 Joan Waller

CLERKS
Sept.1892 John C. Lang
Oct. 1893 Robert “Babe’ Simmons
Jan. 1897 W.F. Hutson
Oct. 1900 A.A.Lang
1915 I.W. Lang
1920 N.C. Reabold
1921 D.I. Reeves
1923 Alton Lang
1924 Eugene Simmons
Frank Johnson
1926 Byron Lang
1928 Ella Stafford
1929 Ellis Simmons
1932 Eugene Simmons
1935 Ethel O’Quin
1936-1945 Hollis Lang
1946 Elizabeth Lang
1947 Ray Lang
1949 Gladys Simmons
1950 Houston Rebold
1954-1965 Therrell Simmons
1965 Joyce Allmand
1969-1976 Clara Simmons
1976- Wyleene Williamson

TREASURERS
Oct. 1892 John B. Simmons
1920 D.I. Reeves
1921 Sam T. Simmons
1924 Ella Stafford
1925 Dudley Simmons
1928 R.U. Stogner
1932 E.L. Helton
1933 D.I. Reeves
1934 Dudley Simmons
1938 Milton Simmons
1940 Ollie Simmons
1943 Dorothy O’Quin
1944-1974 Hollis Lang
1974-1988 Patsy Skipper
1988- Sue Smith
1989-

ORGANISTS & PIANISTS
Nov. 1906 Betty Simmons
1907 Mollie Lang
1923 Irene Lang
1925 Vivian Reeves
1930 Myra D. Stogner
1933 Vivian Reeves
1934 Myra D. Stogner
1948 Ora Johnson
1954 Mary Nell Simmons
1957 Patsy Skipper
1964 Kitty Fleming (organist)
1964 Cheryl Jo Allmand (organist)
1965 Patsy Skipper (organist)
1965 Mary Simmons (pianist)
1965 Mary Anne Simmons (assit.)
1966 Mary Anne Simmons
1966 Clara Simmons (assit. organist & pianist)
1987 Joan Waller (assit. organist & pianist)

CHOIR DIRECTORS
Nov. 1895 John C. Lang
1920 A.A. Lang
1942 Alton Lang
1965 Hollis Lang
1968 Lonnie Wascom (paid)
1969 John Hemphill
1972 Billy-Ray. Simmons (paid)
1974 Alton Lang
1974 Roy Lang
1976 Gary Miller
Hollis Lang
1981 Kathern Miller
1982 Hollis Lang
1984 Carl McDaniel
1989 Philip Alford (paid)
1990 Danny Creel (paid)
1991 Janis Grant (paid)

Some notes from Bob Ann Breland: My Dad, Seldon Lang, was very disappointed that he didn’t find out about the 100th anniversary of the Union church until it was over. His parents, Albert W. Lang and Narcis Simmons Lang, had been charter members. He would dearly have liked to have been there, he found out a week too late. One of his cousins sent him a copy of the church history and these notes have been scanned from that copy. It is interesting to note the many Langs, Phelps’ and Simmons’ who have been involved in the history of this church.

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