HONORING BETHLEHEM MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
(Extensions of Remarks - December 05, 2013)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E1796-E1797]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




              HONORING BETHLEHEM MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH

                                 ______
                                 

                        HON. BENNIE G. THOMPSON

                             of mississippi

                    in the house of representatives

                       Thursday, December 5, 2013

  Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor 
Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, which is located at 2975 
Cannonsburg Road in Cannonsburg, MS.
  December 17-19, 2010 Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church celebrated 
its 150th year anniversary with three days of festivities. Dr. Samuel 
White penned the church's history.
  The Bethlehem Baptist Church was organized in 1860 by Rev. George 
White and other like-minded brothers and their wives. The Church was 
organized to serve the religious and spiritual needs of freed blacks 
and ex-slaves of the Cannonsburg community. Three prominent families 
populated the area and became active in the early church. They were the 
Whites, the Frisbys, and the Tylers. Even today, most of the church's 
membership is related to one or all three of these family lines. Later 
the Church's population grew to include the Comptons, Coles, Clarks, 
Herringtons, Perrymans, Hawkins, Kahos, Prees, Washingtons, Dorseys, 
Gambles, among others.
  The original church was located on property lying between the Natchez 
Trace and the Cannonsburg Road. In 1907, the Church Fathers, Alfred 
White and James Compton, purchased a two acre tract of land from Gabe 
Tyler to build a ``Church House.'' A white wood structure was erected 
with a potbelly stove in the center for heat. In 1965, this building 
was removed and the first brick sanctuary was built. The church 
membership outgrew the facility; and, in 1984, a major renovation and 
expansion project was undertaken and completed to include a Fellowship 
Hall and a Pastor's Study.
  The current multi-purpose facility which was dedicated in April, 
2005, represents the fifth building erected for the Church Family. In 
1999, the Church Family initiated a five-year Building Plan to design, 
finance, and build a worship facility that would accommodate and serve 
the needs of a growing membership. Under the leadership of a dynamic 
Pastor, the Rev. Percy Turner, and an activist Board of Deacons, this 
goal was achieved in 2005. Additional property was purchased from the 
Golden Mutual Aide Society and Mrs. Carrie Jackson Johnson on which to 
build the new facility. Rev. John Hawkins, Deacon Charlie Hawkins, Sr. 
and Bro. Dwayne Hawkins--acting as Hawkins Construction, were all 
members of the congregation that constructed the new sanctuary and 
fellowship hall.
  The Church has held a prominent position in the religious, social, 
and civic life of Jefferson County. Many of the early religious 
pioneers of the Black Baptist Movement in the county were either 
members or pastors of Bethlehem, i.e. Rev. P. C. Rucker, Rev. P. E. 
Frisby, and Rev. W. N. Tyler.
  Bethlehem is also the site of the first Civil Rights mass meeting to 
be held in Jefferson County. While others feared retaliation from those 
who would burn crosses and churches, the leadership at Bethlehem took 
the bold steps to host the NAACP and challenge the racial inequities 
that existed in the 1960s. As a result, even today our community takes 
very seriously the right to vote and participates fully in the 
electoral process. Several members of this Church have attained the 
status of being the first of their race to be elected and/or appointed 
to political positions at the City, County, and State levels.
  Since the church has been at its present location, the following 
individuals have served as Pastors: Rev. George White, 1902-1905; Rev. 
P. C. Rucker, 1906-1909; Rev. P. E. Frisby, 1909-1918; Rev. John 
Alexander, 1918-1928; Rev. W. N. Tyler, 1928-1931;

[[Page E1797]]

Rev. D. W. M. Johnson, 1931-1940; Rev. Wilson Ford, 1940-1948; Rev. 
Jimmy Jones, 1948-1982; Rev. Percy Turner, 1983-Present.
  Over the years, the following persons have served as Associate 
Ministers: Rev. Alf White, Rev. Marcus Frisby, Rev. Louis Frisby, Rev. 
Louis White, Rev. Edgar White, Rev. Leon Dorsey, Rev. David White, Rev. 
George A. Tyler, Rev. Aubry Watson, Rev. Juanita Tyler, Rev. Ernest 
Gaines, Rev. Andrew Dorsey, Rev, Mandy Green, Rev. John H. Hawkins, 
Rev. Charles Kaho, and Rev. John Tyler.
  Some dynamic men have served as Deacons; they include: Bro. Phillip 
White, Bro. Jackson Tyler, Bro. Richard Tyler, Bro. Wilson Tyler, Bro. 
James Compton, Bro. Sanford ``Sam'' White, Bro. Bivens Cole, Sr., Bro. 
Daniel White, Bro. Juanita Tyler, Bro. Aubry Watson, Bro. General 
Jenkins, Bro. Leon Dorsey, Bro. Frank White, Bro. John Tyler, Bro. 
Monroe Griffin, Bro. Leon Dorsey, Jr., Bro. Frank Gamble, Bro. Charles 
Kaho, Bro. John H. Hawkins, Bro. Jerome Herrington, Jr., Bro. Willie J. 
Pree, Bro. Robert L. White, Bro. Samuel L. White, Sr., Bro. Larry D. 
Tyler, Bro. Charlie Hawkins, Sr., Bro. Roosevelt ``Bill'' White, Bro. 
Keith King, Bro. Joseph Cole, Sr., and Bro. Jerry Sims.
  Over the years, the Mother's Board (Deaconess Board) has included: 
Sis. Arnetta C. Tyler, Sis. Lou Virginia White, Sis. Kizzie Tyler, Sis. 
Ella Tyler, Sis. Juanita Tyler, Sis. Celeste Frisby, Sis. Irene Tyler, 
Sis. Jinice Sanders, Sis. Ora Clark, Sis. Mindy White, Sis. Effie 
Turner, Sis. Henretta Compton, Sis. Lillie Perryman Jackson, Sis. 
Virginia S. White, Sis. Martha White, Sis. Mary E. Dorsey, Sis. Flordia 
Jones, Sis. Louella White, Sis. Doris Kaho, Sis. Mae Rose Herrington, 
Sis. Sarah Griffin, Sis. Carrie Jenkins, Sis. Augusta Ballard, Sis. 
Lettie Irving, Sis. Gertrude White, Sis. Cora White, Sis. Almeta 
Dorsey, Sis. Mamie Herrington, Sis. Edna Holmes, Sis. Laura Reed, Sis. 
Laura Tyler, Sis. Effie Woods, Sis. Jean Hawkins, Sis. Levater White, 
Sis. Lollie J. Doss, Sis. Johnnie R. Tolliver, and Sis. Sophronia 
Evans.
  The membership is proud of its rich history and Christian traditions. 
We will continue to celebrate the accomplishments of our forefathers, 
but more importantly, we are dedicated to embracing God's call to 
spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our mission is to win souls to 
Christ through love, dedication, loyalty, and service to mankind. We 
humbly thank God for more than 150 years of service and we pray for His 
continued blessings and divine guidance as we demonstrate to the world 
that Bethlehem is the place where ``Our Feet are on the Rock and Our 
Names are on Heaven's Roll.''
  Since the writing of this history in 2010, the name of the Bethlehem 
Baptist Association has changed to Jefferson County Baptist 
Association.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in recognizing Bethlehem 
Missionary Baptist Church for its outstanding service to the community.

                          ____________________