Florala News-Democrat
Thursday, June 21, 1917
History of the Baptist Church


What is known is the First Baptist Church, Florala, was organized in
1862, over in Florida near the forks of the creek, where Clear Springs School
house now stands. The organization was effected by Bro. G.W. Kierce,
the first pastor, who now lives at Andalusia. Bro. Kierce was then
missionary for this Association, and served the church once a month for several
years. About 1864 the place of worship was moved to a round-pole school house
near where the Iris Theatre now stands. In this school house our fellow
townsman, Mr. J. E. Hughes, lived the first year of his marriage.

In 1869 Rev. Wilson Kierce, father of Rev. G.W. Kierce, came here with
wagon and oxen, and together with Brother J.E. Hughes, D.C. Allen and others
of the community, cut and hauled logs and erected a log building on the
present site. Rev. Kierce requested that he be buried under the shade of the
trees by the church, and there his body rests today.

The following men have served as pastors, the approximate time being
opposite the name of each: Rev. GW Kierce several years; Revs. F.L.
Lloyd and J.B. Lassiter, each of whom supplied some years; Rev. Wilson Kierce
began pastorate in 1870 and served several years; Rev. P.D. Bulger
taught school and pastored the church several years. Bro. Bulger was succeeded
by Rev. Mitchell, who served two or three years; Rev. EA Holley, time not
known; Rev. Wiley F Martin, several years; Rev. W.F. Faulkner, one
year; Rev. J.F. Gable, two years, Rev. S.H. Bennett, two years; Rev. B.S.
Railey, five years; Rev. E.M. Steward, three months; Dr. J.S. Edmonds, eighteen
months; Rev. J.F. Vandiver, three years; Rev. D.R. Parker, eighteen
months, Rev. T.V. Shoemaker, the present pastor, one year.


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