1998 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Horhn

Senate Resolution 24

(As Adopted by Senate)


WHEREAS, the Society Ridge Missionary Baptist Church was organized in 1869 as the Society Ridge Colored Church in Pocahontas, Mississippi, by M. Battle, S.P. Parker and Jno. Thomas; and

WHEREAS, it is believed that the church took its name, commonly shortened to "The Ridge," from its stately and picturesque location high atop a long, narrow chain of hills known as a ridge; and

WHEREAS, in 1869, a total of ten acres of land was donated by E.K. Milton, Tom Whitfield, their wives and families, to be used for the building of the first church and a cemetery; and

WHEREAS, services were held in this structure each first and third Sunday and the first pastor to serve the newly-formed congregation was Reverend Robert McClenty; and

WHEREAS, when the first church building was destroyed by fire, services were held in a brush arbor, constructed from scrap wood, which is now historically considered the second church; and

WHEREAS, on July 4, 1908, construction of a new white wooden frame church, located just east of the first church, was completed; and

WHEREAS, erected on tall concrete blocks, the grand third church featured a wide span of high steps leading to a double-door entrance, arched painted glass windows, a bell tower and lofty steeple; and

WHEREAS, for baptismal purposes, an in-ground pool was constructed on concrete blocks by Brother Tom Ross, Sr., who is today one of the church's oldest members; and

WHEREAS, the first pastor to serve congregations who worshipped in this third church was Reverend A.B. Turner and the final pastor was Reverend J.C. Matthews; and

WHEREAS, the third church grounds also included the Society Ridge Public School, a two-story building situated in the far southeast corner, which was built, maintained and staffed by Hinds County, Mississippi, and housed first through sixth grade students; and

WHEREAS, the church continued its physical move eastward, when in 1967, a fourth building, consisting of approximately 350 square feet, was constructed on land adjacent to the third church; and

WHEREAS, under the leadership of newly elected pastor, Reverend J.C. Rankin, this fourth facility was the first brick church and included the first pastor's study which doubled as the office of the church secretary; and

WHEREAS, a church addition was built in 1970, which included a baptismal pool, a six-foot hallway, four classrooms, and a small fellowship hall complete with a gas range and sink, central air conditioning and heat; and

WHEREAS, Reverend Rankin added fifth Sunday worship services to the traditional first and third Sunday and also initiated Spring revival beginning the third Sunday in April with baptism held the first Sunday in May; and

WHEREAS, in October 1986, the church was greatly blessed with its 19th pastor, Reverend Robert Patton, and realized a tremendous increase in membership under Reverend Patton's leadership and demonstration of love for Christ; and

WHEREAS, to accommodate the ever-expanding membership, Reverend Patton encouraged the church to build a new fellowship hall and sanctuary; and

WHEREAS, the new and larger fellowship hall was completed in 1991, and in the Fall of 1996, the first stage of construction of the new sanctuary was begun; and

WHEREAS, the approximate 5,600-foot sanctuary currently offers seating for more than 400 people and features handcrafted wood trim complemented by multi-colored crinkled glass windows, a balcony, open pulpit, state-of-the-art sound system and remote video capability; and

WHEREAS, endeavoring to glorify God through its Christian commitment, the Society Ridge Missionary Baptist Church with joyful anticipation continues to seek to increase its growth and help fulfill Christ's mission in the world; and

WHEREAS, it is the desire of this Legislature to commend the Society Ridge Missionary Baptist Church congregation for its many accomplishments and contributions to the community:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend the Society Ridge Missionary Baptist Church congregation for its many accomplishments and contributions to the community.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the Society Ridge Missionary Baptist Church and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.