Our History 1850 – Present


Late 1840’s – our forefathers envisioned a need for a place to worship.

  • 1850Reverend Hugh Sullivan started services in a log cabin.
  • 1868Reedy Fork Baptist Church was organized.
  • 1868The Reverend Tony McElrath was the first pastor.
  • The Deacons were: Adde Sullivan, Perry Bowling, Andy Johnson, Darfus Sweeney, and Dave Evans.
  • 1871-1882A new structure was built called Brush Harbor Church on land donated by Mr. Newton Sullivan, Sr.
  • 1916Mr. S.B Huff (a Caucasian) donated the lumber to build the first foundation.

  • Reverend Tony McElrath
  • Reverend Newton Sullivan
  • Reverend Newton Evans
  • Reverend Watkins
  • Reverend Robert B. Sullivan
  • Reverend Forest Washington
  • Reverend Watson
  • Reverend Y.P. Jones
  • Reverend Larkin Simpson
  • Reverend Frank Whittenburg
  • Reverend C.H. Williams

1923 Reverend W.R. Martin began his pastorate of the church and served 42 years as shepherd until his death in 1965.

1966 – 1977Reverend S.C. Cureton came to shepherd the flock. Under his leadership, much progress was made in the areas of church organization, spiritual growth and increased participation in local, state, and national organizations. Under his leadership, our dream became a reality in 1974 when a new sanctuary with seating capacity of 500, an educational building consisting of 11 classrooms, 3 offices, nursery, and bathrooms was constructed and equipped.

1979 – 1983Reverend J.C. Moore became pastor of Reedy Fork Baptist Church. Again, much progress was made under his leadership. The first church van was purchased, new office equipment (typewriter, mimeograph machine, and copier) acquired, church grounds were paved, bulletins and post cards with the church picture in color were purchased and the first church constitution was written.

December 1983 – presentReverend T.E. Simmons became our pastor. Since being called as our shepherd, Pastor Simmons has allowed the Lord to lead him in advancing God’s Kingdom. In December 1987, Reverend Simmons became full time pastor.

Under his dynamic leadership, membership has increased 75%. Further, the church has grown spiritually and financially. Under Pastor Simmons leadership, the following deacons were ordained:

In 1991, Eugene Berry; Rodger Burton, Sr.; Roy Cook; Fred Dean; Joe B. Hawthorne; Joe G. Hawthorne; Larry Kelly; Benjamin Lewers, Sr.; David Lewers, Sr. and LeeRoy Wolfe.
In 1994, Joe Nathan Black; John Cook; Andre Gary, Sr.; Stephon Gary; Thaddeus Jones; Beattie Robinson; Jeffrey Sligh; Curtis Spurgeon and Waddy Talley, Sr.
In 1996, Cleveland Beaufort; Thomas Grady; Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Albert Sanders.
In 2002, Brian Black; Bryant Dean; Lonnie Hawthorne; Willie Lovett; Jim H. Pyles, Sr.; John W. Rogers, Sr. and Kenneth Robinson.
In 2009, Jackson Bruce; Wade C. Garrett; Anthony Hill; Bradley Robinson, and Kelvin Young.
In January 1998, the honor of Deacons’ Emeritus was bestowed upon Deacon C.O. Jackson, who served as chairman for 45 years. Others who have achieved Deacon Emeritus status include Deacons Eugene Berry and the late Deacon Joe B. Hawthorne (1998); Deacon John H. Cook (2006), Deacon Wade H. Garrett (2008), Deacon Thomas Grady (2011), Deacon Willie Lovett (2012), Deacon Rodger Burton, Sr. (2015), the late Deacon John W. Rogers, Sr. (2014) and Deacon Joe G. Hawthorne (2016).


Those members of the clergy who have united with Reedy Fork Baptist Church who serve or have served as associate ministers include:

  • Rev. Milford Anderson
  • Rev. Alfreda Bryant
  • Rev. Maurice Bryant
  • Rev. Patricia Leverett
  • Rev. Reginald A. Logan, Jr.
  • The Late Rev. Virginia Pyles
  • The Late Rev. Steven Sessoms

The following persons were licensed to preach by Reedy Fork Baptist Church and given the opportunity to serve as Associate Ministers:

  • Brother Zachary Johnson (1994)
  • Deacon Waddy Talley, Sr. (1995)
  • Deacon Stephon Gary (1995)
  • Brother Kenneth Dean (1996)
  • Deacon Albert Sanders (2000)
  • Brother Jim H. Pyles, Jr. (2007)
  • Sister Anna Hawthorne (2007)
  • Brother Joshua Flemmings (2008)
  • Brother MacArthur Black (2009)
  • Sister Anna B. Cecil (2013)
  • The Late Sister Lillie Workman (2014)

Persons ordained during Pastor Simmons’ administration are as follows:

  • Waddy Talley, Sr. (1997)
  • Kenneth Dean (1998)
  • Zachary Johnson (2002)
  • Anthony Wilson (2002)
  • Michael Miller (2008)

The important role that Sunday School superintendents have played in Reedy Fork’s history merits acknowledgment. Thus, the following have provided dedicated leadership through the years. The following persons served as superintendents of the

Church Sunday School:

  • Paul Sweeney
  • Will Whittenburg
  • J.W. Bowling
  • Elma V. Sullivan
  • J.A. Byrd
  • U.S.G Evans
  • Allen Cook
  • C.O. Jackson (1954-1969)
  • Wade Garrett (1969-1990)
  • Mildred Black (1991-1993)
  • Jerry Earl (1994-1996)
  • Jeanette Chapman (1997-1999)
  • Larry Kelly (2000-2002)
  • Thomas Grady (2003-2004)
  • Willie Lovett (2005-2007)
  • Jim H. Pyles, Jr. (2008-2010)
  • Jeanette Chapman (2011-2013)
  • MacArthur Black (2013-Present)
  • Anna B. Cecil (2013-Present)

Finally, we are indeed grateful to our forefathers for their spiritual legacy.