Our History

Church History

Downloadable: A brief history of American Baptists: History PDF

Church-life was one of – if not the most important part of lives of settlers of this church community, – as it was their love of God, Faith and commitment to their beliefs that sustained families in difficult times of their lives. Their church was the strength of the families, and the glue that held them together. Traditions of the early settler families are carried on today by descendants of people who established these early churches and cemeteries.

In 1881, members of the Rehoboth Church congregation who lived in the Ware, Mitchell’s Mill, Townsend Hill communities recognized a need to establish a church closer to their homes. We can now see – as families grew, needs changed and created needs of new churches to fulfill the spiritual growth of the families.

“Where two or more assemble to worship in My name, I will be in their midst to bless them and to keep them.”

The new church was established July 10, 1881 and named Cathmagby Baptist Church, which came from combining the names of two sisters, Catharine Crumblen and Celia Magby, who unknowingly held the first service for their new church under a brush arbor in February, 1881. The denomination chosen for the new church was Baptist, that of the mother church – Rehoboth.

December 25, 1882 David Covington, for the sum of One Dollar paid by J.W. Grayson, Trustee of the School, for land for school and church, “One acre situated about one Hundred yards East of west line where school House is erecting it being a portion of East half of North west Quarter of section seven (7) Township seventeen (17) Range 20 Twenty in Elmore County, Alabama: To have and hold to the said J.W. Grayson Trustee & his successors in office forever,,,” Dave (X) Covington. Witness: Alex (X) Mines, Allen (X) Watson. Certified by A.J. Dozier, Justice of Peace.

church anniversary
Cathmagby Baptist Church original church, now used as a reception hall.

The site selected for the new church building was on Mitchell Creek Road near the intersection of Jacson and Old Ware Roads.  A cemetery was also situated on the church grounds and is in use today.  Many member of the early church families are buried in the Cathmagby Baptist Church Cemetery, located in back of the old church building.  Families instrumental in establishing the new church and cemetery were Covington, Grason, Means, Watson, Mabgy, Crumblen, Simmons, Zinnermen, Molton, Goodwin, George, Nelson, Jackson, Lewis, Fleming, Hughes, Cowles, Ware, Abercrombie, Young, Mitchell, Stewart, Cox, Griffin, Hayes, Gaither, White, Elliott, and many others not known to this writer.

While men were considered leaders of the church, women were instrumental in providing leadership for the women’s club, choir, Sunday school, children’s activities, preparations for the worship services and revival meetings, dinners on the grounds, all day singings.  To name a few of the women who worked diligently for this church – Patience Covington, Elmira Covington, Mrs. Alex Means, Bedie Zimmerman, Sarah Simmons, Mattie Simmons, Mary Nelson, Carrie Goodwin, Millie Goodwin, Mrs. Molton, Mattie Griffin, Sophie Fleming, Scintha Simmon…