2002 3rd Extraordinary Session
By: Senator(s) Mettetal
A RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND CONGRATULATING THE MEMBERS OF THE POPE BAPTIST CHURCH UPON THE OCCASION OF THEIR 130TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION.
WHEREAS, amidst the economic depression following the War Between the States, Pope Baptist Church was organized in 1872 at Pope Station, Panola County, Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, the Mississippi Baptist Historical Commission has 28 full-time pastors on record for Pope Baptist Church. They are as follows: J.H. Collins (1872-1875, 1877-1880, 1882-1883); W.A. Tucker (1875-1877); H.I. Bryant (1881-1882); W.C. Lattimore (1884-1885); H.W. Rockett (1885-1888, 1896-1900, 1903-1906, 1913-1914); J.A. Lee (1889-1891, 1893); J.T. Zealy (1892); W.M. Farmer (1894-1895); J.W. Sturdivant (1901); J.E. Buckhanan (1915); J. Givens (1917); R.A. Cooper (1919-1922); W.E. Lee (1922); S.H. Shepherd (1923-1925); R.A. Kimbrough (1928-1930); R.L. Nester (1931); J.R.G. Hewlett (1932-1943); J.H. Sherman (1944-1948); R.W. Gordon (1948-1951); M.P. Jones (1952-1957); Charles Stubblefield (1957-1964); Gerald Coggin (1965-1966); James R. Davis (1966-1969); Everett Denton (1970-1977); Jimmy Furr (1978-1979); Mitchell Osborne (1980-1982); Allen Mullan (1983-1994); Jimmy C. Bryant (1996-Present); and
WHEREAS, on October 2, 1885, and March 7, 1887, lots were deeded to the church. The church struggled along with one service per month and no Sunday School until 1911 when J.J. Packer organized a Sunday School and served as its superintendent. At some point during these years, a box type church was built on the property where the church stands today. By 1887, the church membership was up to 65; and
WHEREAS, Pope Baptist Church's growth reflected the economy of the region and the country. In the early 1900's the church's economy and enrollment were on the upswing. After wind damaged the church building in 1915, Pope Baptist worshipped with the Methodists. A newly rebuilt church, including four Sunday School rooms, was completed in 1924. Despite the economic hardships of the Great Depression, Pope Baptist Church membership actually increased. In the years following the Great Depression, the church continued to prosper in both membership and contributions. In 1969, the minutes stated, "Paid off church debt"; and
WHEREAS, Pope Baptist Church's growth continued into the 1980's, and the church needed more room. In March 1982, under Bro. Osborne's leadership, the church began the largest building program in its history to that date. The sanctuary was enlarged to accommodate 300 people, and the church was bricked. Several classrooms, offices and a fellowship hall were added. In 1997, a major remodeling began in the fall of that year, the results of which are quite evident today; and
WHEREAS, in the year 2002, with a history of 130 years of growth and service, Pope Baptist Church is a sprawling complex with a total membership over 300; and
WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the spiritual and civic history of the growth of Pope Baptist Church, which serves as an inspiration to its community and to the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend and congratulate the membership of the Pope Baptist Church upon the occasion of their 130th Anniversary Celebration, and extend the best wishes of the Senate for another century of spiritual and community leadership.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the Board of Deacons of Pope Baptist Church at anniversary ceremonies on September 29, 2002, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.