Jones Creek Baptist was constituted on April 22, 1810 by Reverends John Goldwire and Moses Westberry and thirteen members from Beard’s Creek Baptist Church. The Reverend Moses Westberry became the first pastor of the church and served in that capacity for 35 hears. The congregation originally met in a brush arbor until they were able to erect a log meetinghouse on land given by William Walthour in 1817. In 1832 the log meeting house was replaced by a larger frame building , onto which a shed was added for the slaves. In 1852, the wood frame building that is standing on the grounds now was designed by Hendley Foxworth Horne. His home still stands not far from the church. The building was completed in 1856 and remains today much as it was built. The slave gallery, accessed by the stairway, has since been modified to accommodate Sunday School classes and now displays church memorabilia.
Selections from the local history – The present building replaced a log meetinghouse that was located to the immediate east to the current structure. That building replaced a brush arbor. Notes indicate that in 1823 a move was made to repair the meetinghouse and make seats. In 1833 Richard Horne (designer and builder of the 1856 church) built a shed on the end of the meetinghouse. On April 20 of 1839 a committee devised a plan for an addition to the meeting house for the comfort of black people. Two committees later a plan was approved to floor the existing shed at the end of the meetinghouse for black people. That building was sold upon completion of the current structure in 1856. The porch and steps were protected by a ground shed added in 1869. In 1881 shutters were added (now removed) to help lessen the intensity of the summer sun.
The history of Jones Creek is deep and well documented. We are fortunate that she has been lovingly cared for over the years and this history is there for subsequent generations. Part of this history resides in some of the old minutes of the church and they make for very interesting reading. For instance:
1822 “Conference opened by prayer. Brother Morgan stated that he had through anger done that he ought not to have done and had brought a disgrace upon the church and cause of God. Brother Bohannon stated that he had got drunk and that Brother Morgan struck or slapped him five or six times and every time calling him a damned raskel. The Church this day lay under a censure Brother Morgan, BrotherBohannon and Sister Morgan“.
1824 “Brother William H. Parker charged Sister Sarah Keaton with lying and cheating, and when difficulties could not be resolved (by church itercedence) both were expelled on Nov. 24?
1844 “Wm. H. Parker was ordained a minister of the gospel”
1856 “Resolved to have two dozen spit boxes made“
1861 “So many members are in Confederate States service that the business of dealing is postponed until they return and a majority at least is present“
1865 “Colored members who went over to the enemy to be dealt with by the church”
1867 “Committee appointed to secure a piece of ground between the church and the baptistery for the use of the colored people as a burying ground”
Note that Brother William H. Parker had an interesting transition from 1824 to 1844. For more minutes of Jones Creek Baptist Church click here.
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My father is buried there.
Mitchel G. Baxter
My grandmother, Lula Mae Westberry was the granddaughter of Moses Westberry
Very interested in this. My great great great great grandfather was Moses Wesyberry. Our son is doing the ancesstry of our families. He did covered this last night. I Martha Wesyberry Tyre am also very interested in this.