129 years ago a small group of Christians who identified themselves Baptist, met to organize a Baptist church. They met from time to time over a long period in a one room school building, located on Ham’s Creek, about six miles northeast of DeQuincy.
Formal organization took place in the home of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Andrus on Hickory Creek, Feb. 17, 1889. T. J. Jackson was moderator of the organization meeting. He was also called as the first pastor. Ten men and women pledged themselves to walk together in brotherly love to the glory of God. They were not to forsake the assembling of themselves together to uphold the public worshipping of God and the ordinances of His house.
Charter members included: Mr. and Mrs. T. J. Jackson, J. H. Cannon, G. W. Devore, J. A. Andrus, John Hill, William Arrington, N. B. Alston, James Eason, Thomas Clark, Gilbert Jackson, Francis Thornhill and Mary Jean Jackson.
Pilgrims Rest Baptist Church was the name selected for the church and they referred to the church as a Missionary Church.
During the first 25 years, several pastors were called and for some unknown reason, would serve only a few months and the church would call T. J. Jackson as the pastor again. Some of the early preachers were O’Quinn, Hamilton, Patterson, Ford and Meyers.
In the early years the church met once a month for all day services and dinner on the ground. They came by wagon, buggy, horseback and on foot. They usually met in homes in bad weather. In good weather they would gather at Hickory or Beckwith Creek bridge for all day services.
The minutes state that once in 1902 they met at Alston Cemetery for all day services. Some times bad weather caused them to cancel the meeting, but bad weather did not dampen their spirit. New Christians were added to the church roll after being baptized in the nearby creek.
The church did not meet regularly from 1902 until 1908, the reason was not stated. The records were not kept as efficient as in the past. In 1908, there was a committee appointed to clear up the church roll. It was during this time that the church relocated to Springhill School house, about one mile from its present location.
In May 1909 they hosted the Calcasieu Baptist Association meeting.
From June 1914 until 1920 some of the pastors were R. L. Meyers, P. W. Mitchell who served four years after which W. A. Hughes was called as pastor in 1920. In August the church acquired a building at Gordon and met there for six years.
In 1926, land was given by Desmond Alston and the church building was moved to this land which is the present location. Brother Mitchell returned in 1926 as pastor and served until 1955.
A new building was built in 1955. The pastors following Brother Mitchell were Gordon Ash, James Dickerson, Luther Dickerson, Gayle Blankenbaker, Charles Willis, Steve Manuel, Deloy Shows, J. A. Allen, Rickey Cain, Roy Parham, Joe Poole, R. T. Bridges, Bob Colquette, Dustin Royer, and our present pastor, Bro. Brad Johnson who began leading the congregation in February, 2017.
We thank the Lord for His watchcare over this church and give Him all the glory for the ones added to His kingdom through the efforts of Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church.
If you want to feel the love of Jesus Christ, come visit Pilgrim’s Rest Baptist Church.