Mount Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Church

History of Mount Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Church, founded 1841
The South Reporter, July 10, 1986

The Mt. Pleasant Methodist Epsicopal Church was founded in 1841 in Mt. Pleasant, Mississippi. The trustees, Wiley D. Crook, William Hail, Elie McNabb, G. Middleton, John C. Teel, James R. Know, I. W. Leach and Wiliam Johnson and their successors in office as trustees purchased lots 109 and 110 in Mt. Pleasant for the amount of $10.00 from Walter B. Sorrils and wife, Rebecca. The same came to them from D. E. Brittenum and to him from William Crain and wife, to them from the original owner, the Indian. There is no record of the church built there by our forefathers, just memories of a tall chimney left standing in the field, and the story told by great-grandparents to some of today's Methodist members that a Methodist Church burned there in the long ago.

On February 24, 1880, T. B. Luck of Mt. Pleasant deeded to the trustees of the Mt. Pleasant Parsonage, Joe H. Karr, Sam Hinton and J. R. Johnson, two lots which are the site of the present day church.

We know little about the beginning of this church before 1900 except a list of pastors taken from an old register showing dates of their tenure and names of members, bishops and presiding elders serving in the conference at that time.

In 1953 Marshall Institute Church which was on the Mt. Pleasant Charge voted to give authority to the trustees to dispose of any and all church property of said church and proceeds to be applied to Mt. Pleasant Church. The membership from this church and from the Union Church (also in this charge) then merged with the membership of the Mt. Pleasant Church.

The following is a list of some of the members beginning as far back as 1890 (all deceased):

Mr. and Mrs. William Hinton, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Joe H. Karr, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Hinton, Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Iv, Mr. and Mrs. John Woody, Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Johnson, Miss Sallie T. Hinton, Mr. and Mrs. John Bogard, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Harris.

Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Davis, Mrs. Rosie King, Mr. and Mrs. Will Edwards, Miss Kate Gardner, Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Loftin, Mr. and Mrs. Mills Boyd, Mr. and Mrs. William West, Mr. and Mrs. Dempsey Strickland, Mr. and Mrs. David J. Thomas, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Gunn.

Mr. and Mrs. Melvin McFerrin, Mr. and Mrs. Dempse Curl, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Curl, Mr. and Mrs. Will Stamps, Mr. and Mrs. Will Brown, Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Person, Mrs. Neelia Sullivan, Mrs. Mabel Sullivan Linderman, Mr. and Mrs. P. P. McFerrin, Mr. and Mrs. John Person.

Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Person, Mr. and Mrs. Wiliam Person, Mrs. Henry King, Mr. and Mrs. O.B. Jones, Mr. and Mrs. John Polk, Mr. and Mrs. Callie Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Cunningham, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Vick, Mrs. Sallie Jones, Mrs. Laura Person Stone.

Mrs. Bettie Coopwood, Mrs. Anna King, Mrs. J. F. Jarvis, Mrs. Lucy Chandler, Mr. and Mrs. W. D. Howard, Mrs. William May Luck, Mr. and Mrs. Sam H. Loftin, Mr. James G. Thomas, Mr. Everett D. West, Mr. and Mrs. T. D. Coopwood.

Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Loftin, Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Hart, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Jowers, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Harris, Miss Mabel Thomas, Mrs. Marjorie King Taylor, Mrs. Sara West, Mr. and Mrs. Albert West, Mrs. May Person, Miss Ida Saunders, Mr. and Mrs. Melvin McFerrin, and Mrs. Albert (Annie May) Person.

The following members of the church died in service in World War I:

William Robert Person and Howell Lee Person, sons of William and Mollie Person, and James F. Vick, son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Vick.

Former members of the Mt. Pleasant Church who have entered the ministry or church related vocations include John Paul Cunningham, Methodist minister, son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Cunningham; Lamar Davis, Methodist minister, son of a former member, Mrs. Mable Person Davis; David Curl, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Albert Curl; and Hallie Loftin (Boggan), Director of Christian Education, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sam H. Loftin.

In March 1945, the old parsonage and lots were sold to Mr. and Mrs. Vaughn Hunsucker. It was later destroyed by fire. The present building was constructed on the church lot in 1945.

In 1950 with the help of the additional membership of The Union Methodist and Marshall Institute Methodist Churches, the original one-room white frame church building was remodeled by the addition of an education unit of four classrooms, a kitchen and two bathrooms. It was also brick veneered and memorial windows were placed in the sanctuary, changing the building into one the entire membership of 125 love and take pride in.

The new pews, memorial windows, carpet, chancel furniture, electric organ, altar set, etc., provide a worshipful atmosphere.

The remodeling was done under the leadership of our beloved pastor Rev. Joseph Morris.

On March 1, 1959, the sermon and act of dedication for the building and organ was given by Bishop Marvin A. Franklin, assisted by Rev. Noel Hinson, District Superintendent, and the Pastor, Rev. C. W. Sampley. Rev. and Mrs. Morris joined in the service with a great assembly of members and visitors.

A few years later two classrooms were added in the upper story with metal outside stair entry. These rooms were heated by gas heaters. In 1960 central air conditioning was installed at the church at a cost of $3500. Later, iron banisters were added to steps and walk using $400 of memorial gifts.

An Associate Pastor was employed in 1975 by the Mt. Pleasant Charge. The Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church employed a Youth Director in 1975, 1976 and 1977 for vacation time.

In June 1975, Rev. Ed Woodall followed Rev. Paul Daniel and wife Myrtle, and served the church well until December when Rev. Andy Ray graduated from seminary, and with his wife, Katherine, and little son, Jamie, moved into the parsonage. Early in 1976 their little girl, Julie was born. In the latter part of 1976, tragedy came when both of the Ray children were killed in a car collision. Because of their grief, the church membership was drawn closer to them, God, and one another. Ray continued to serve his flock and the church grew in many ways under his strong spiritual leadership. During his tenure, a youth worker was employed during vacations, also, an assistant pastor, Frank Conway, to work with Early Grove and Rice's Chapel Churches.

In June 1977, Rev. Owen Gordon and wife Marie came to serve the Mt. Pleasant Charge. The church progressed spiritually and financially under Gordon's leadership. The membership remained about the same after losing the following by death: Mr. Brewer Whaley, Mrs. Wilson Bogard, Mr. Charles Austin, Mr. J. T. Boswell, Mrs. Electra Moorer, Mrs. Ila Wells, Miss Evie King. The church had an active Men's Club and sponsored the Girl Scouts, while carrying on a varied program for youth, under the direction of Claire Billings for two summer vacation periods.

In June 1980, Rev. Thomas Buckley and wife, Rev. Marjorie M. Buckley, following their graduation from Southern Methodist University, were sent to Mt. Pleasant Charge, bringing their infant son, Andrew. They were a joy to have for a short year when they were fortunate for Tom to be added to the staff of Dallas' First Methodist Church as Youth Director.

In January 1981, Henry Cunningham, killed in a car collision, meant a great loss to the church as he was one of our most active members, a leader of Men's Club and its activities.

In June 1981, Rev. Curtis Spencer and wife Judy and children Jackie, Angie and Curt, Jr., followed Rev. Buckley. They immediately worked to meet and get acquainted with the members and visited non-members. They were instrumental in organizing a choir with robes, enlisting new church members to become choir members, and much interest was revived. At Christmas, a "Singing Tree" program was given by Methodist and Baptist youth. The choir presented a cantata; the church exterior was painted; kitchen renovated; portable dishwasher and carpeting added.

In June 1982, Rev. Dabney P. Box, his wife Inez and daughter Lisa followed the Spencers, staying one year. Rev. Box performed his pastoral duties in his dedicated way.

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