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McLEMORESVILLE (April 7) — Reedy Creek Missionary Baptist Church celebrated another milestone on Sunday with the dedication of a historic marker that tells the history of the church.The church …
McLEMORESVILLE (April 7) — Reedy Creek Missionary Baptist Church celebrated another milestone on Sunday with the dedication of a historic marker that tells the history of the church.
The church family celebrated 150 years of worshiping and service to Jesus in December 2017. The church and the church family have a storied history of slaves who worshiped in the church. The history includes a fire that destroyed the church and the splitting of the church congregation into two in 1957 with a court chancellor helping in the dissolution of assets. Both Reedy Creek and New Reedy Creek still survive. Both are in McLemoresville.
The marker is a tribute to the first pastor, once enslaved, the Reverend Levi Price, whose family includes the Tharpes, Gilberts, and Grays of Carroll and Henry counties. Sam Tharpe, former mayor of Paris, Tennessee and retired principal at Grove School in Paris, spoke on behalf of the family.
Other speakers included Senator John Stevens, McLemoresville Mayor Phil Williams County Commissioner Ronnie Murphy, and Pastor N.C. Falls.
Saturday, before the first Lord’s Day in September 1836, there were a group of people who met and organized a church and named it Reedy Creek Baptist Church. They held their worship services in homes for the rest of the year.
On February 13, 1837, these individuals purchased a parcel of land from R.E.G. Daughtery. The deed is recorded in deed book “D”, page 139 in the Carroll County Register of Deeds office. This land was furnished with a building which was renovated into a church. They worshiped there until the end of the Civil War. Believe it or not, there were slaves that joined Reedy Creek Baptist Church. According to the Carroll County History Book, the name of the church was briefly called McLemoresville Baptist Church.
In 1867, the white members moved to Trezevant and sold their rights to the black members; and that is when the church became Reedy Creek Missionary Baptist Church. The first pastor was Rev. Levi Price. As slaves, Rev. Levi Price and his wife, Lizzie Price were slaves who were members of Reedy Creek Baptist Church. In 1867, Reedy Creek Missionary Baptist Church was the only black church in the area.
Not long after, it became Reedy Creek Missionary Baptist Church, the brick church was burned, but that did not stop our founders. They moved down the hill and built a log cabin. The membership got so large that they had to build a larger building. On the third Sunday in May 1877, they moved into the new building and had communion services. For fifty years, the third Sunday in May was one of the biggest days for the church. It was called homecoming for people near and far made their way home on this day. The building lasted until 1957. In 1957, the church moved up the hill to the present location.
As with some things in life, differences of opinions began and these differences were not secured without delay. These differences lead to a division, which ended with a decision being made in the Carroll County Chancery Court. A copy of this deed can be found in deed book 110, page 71 in the Carroll County Register of Deeds office. This deed was recorded on February 25, 1957.
On the third Sunday in December 1957, Rev. Alvandon Taylor and Union Grove Missionary Baptist Church, Puryear dedicated this building. Rev. Taylor’s message on the third Sunday in 1957 was taken from the 4th chapter of Joshua. He talked about the 12 stones and how the Lord opened up Jordan for the children of Israel to cross and how the stones were to be memorials to the people of Israel forever. He stated that your children will ask you why there are two churches with the same name--“you tell them that two wives can’t live in the same house.”
Information chronicled by the late Brother Lonnie Nathaniel McCullough.