A Sovereign Grace Baptist Church With Loving People



Excerpts from minutes of Grace Baptist Mission and Grace Baptist Church, Fairmount, GA




     May 18th 1966(Grace Baptist Church, Bradenton, FL)  The Special Meeting was called to grant Bro.. McSwain a license to the ministry. Bro.. McSwain had also joined the Grace Baptist Church for this purpose.


            The above action was ratified by the Church in regular conference on July 6, 1966.  At this same conference Bro.. Cumbie made a motion and Bro.. Varnadore gave it a second that the Grace Baptist Church extend an arm to Bro..  McSwain Mission in Georgia; also granting authority from this Church to baptize and receive members.




First service of Missionheld on 1st Sunday in July 1966 at Bro. McSwain’s home: M. F.. Swain, Hogues, Smiths present per W. L McSwain. Later, services were moved to vacant building in Fairmount between Mr. Bob Brannon and Mr. Sage Holland’s building owned by Mr. Brannon. The rent for building was granted by Mr. Brannon.  The building was

filled with busted pool tables, juke boxes and other implements of gambling.  These articles were hauled to Bro. Dave Hogue’s chicken house. 


            Organ was bought, from Mrs.  Margaret Crow, by the Church for the Church.  Twenty-five chairs were bought for the Church.  Black board to use during services as the back of an old pool table.  Coal heater was used to heat the Church building.  Sturdy piano stool and front porch was built by Bro. Hogue.



 SUNDAY, JULY 3,1966





November 1970

            W. F.. Watts of Fairmount, gave to the Grace Baptist Mission a lot of land next to the Fairmount well and water tank and lying just outside the city limits.  Bro. Watts gave this land out of love and affection and good faith and with the understanding that it was to be so used as a building site for the Church. 




June 1971

            The lot of land given to the Mission by W. F. Watts has by now been cleared, bulldozed, and made ready for the Church building. 


            It appeared like as if there would be a problem as to the location –if any – of a septic tank but eventually the Church and city authorities agreed that a septic tank could be located on the Church’s property and a field line ran on the city’s property.  This won the approval of the County Health authorities.  Bro. W .L. McSwain has stated that he would take a leave of absence from his job and work on the Church building if the Mission would supplement enough money a week for his family to live on.




October 31, 1976

            The Mission met in a special meeting for the purpose of organizing the Mission into an independent Baptist Church.


            The meeting was called to order by Bro. W. L. McSwain and began with the congregation singing “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder” and Bro. Dave Hogue leading the congregation in prayer. 


             Bro. W. L. McSwain then turned the meeting over to Bro. J. E. Pierce, Pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Bradenton, Florida, our mother Church.


            Bro. Pierce brought to the Mission’s attention the need to elect a moderator and Clerk for the meeting.  Bro Furman Smith made a motion, with Bro. Austin Fowler seconding, and it was so carried that Bro. J. E. Pierce be the Moderator during this meeting.  Bro. Furman Smith made a motion, with Bro. Jack Gregory seconding, and it was so carried that Bro. Michael Fowler be the Clerk during this meeting.


            Bro. Pierce declared that the Grace Baptist Church of Bradenton, Fla. Had met in solemn assembly at their regular business meeting and had approved unanimously the petition of the Grace Baptist Mission, Fairmount, GA. To be organized and duly constituted an independent Baptist Church; and it was with the authority of Grace Baptist Church, Bradenton, that he - Bro. Pierce - and the other representatives – of Grace Baptist Church, Bradenton – had came to be present in this meeting.  In the same meeting the Grace Baptist Church, Bradenton voted that Sister Churches of like faith and order be petitioned to help in the Mission’s organizing act.  The sister Churches contacted and their letter of authorization and respective representatives were then identified:


          Faith Baptist Church, Seffner, Florida, representatives Bro. J.W. Carr,
                    Pastor and 
Bro James A. Norris, Deacon.

          Faith Baptist Church, Lawtey, Florida,  representatives Bro. A. E. Massey,

                    Pastor, and Bro. Wayne Massey, Clerk.

           Grace Baptist Church, Bradenton, Florida representatives Bro. J. E.
                     Pierce, Pastor, Brothers Dallas Cumbie and C. Hoyt Taylor, Deacons

            Ella Grove Baptist Church, Glennville, Georgia, unable to attend and
                      sent a letter of apology.


            Also in the same meeting, the Grace Baptist Church, Bradenton Florida authorized the writing of a letter listing the names of the Mission’s members, for the purpose of the organization and the when so constituted their membership will have terminated or will cease at the time of the constituting act.  The members were then individually identified.


W. L. McSwain                   present

Margaret McSwain             present

Clifford McSwain                present

Eunice Hogue                     present

David L. Hogue                   present

Austin Fowler                      present

Mrs. C. T. Fowler                 present

Mrs. Bonnell Fowler            present

Patricia Fowler                    present

Michael Fowler                    present

Gary Fowler                         present

Joseph McSwain                  present

Marquetia Dutton                  present

Joel McSwain                       present

Elizabeth McSwain               present

Louise Mullinax                    absent

Mary Ann Mullinex                absent

Billy Parker                           present

Sarah Turner                         present

Jack Gregory                         present

Eloise Gregory                       present

Helen Smith                           absent

Furman Smith                        present

Ruth Smith                             present

Dianne Townsend                  absent

Mary Blalock                          absent


            With this action having been completed and the council convened, and the sister Churches and their respective representatives being identified, the meeting proceeded with the purpose of organizing.


            Bro. Pierce asked if it was the intent of the Mission to adopt a covenant and become an independent Baptist Church, to which the Mission replied in the affirmative.


            Next Bro. Pierce inquired of the Mission’s members if anyone had any questions and doubt concerning their baptism, as to whether it is a scriptural baptism, that is baptized by the authority of the Lord’s Church as a believer immersed and identified with Him.


            Next Bro. Pierce inquired and asked for the resolution of the matter of personal character of the Mission’s members in as much as bringing reproach or negative reflection on the Church.


            Then the adopting of the constituting act with Bro. Pierce reading the constituting act and the Mission’s members standing and repeating, in unison, the constituting act; after which, each member signed their name to the constituting act, and the representatives of the witnessing Churches signed their names as witnessing Churches.  It was previously agreed upon by the Mission that those members of the Mission not present today for the organizing, could enter into the constituting act at a later regular conference meeting.


            By the signing of the constituting act each member will be transferring their names and membership from the Grace Baptist Church, Bradenton, Florida, to the Grace Baptist Church, Fairmount, Georgia.


            After the adopting of the Church’s constitution and resolutions, the members of the Grace Baptist Church of Fairmount, Georgia were given the right hand of fellowship by the representing Churches, welcoming the Church into the membership of the independent Baptist Churches.

            The meeting was then turned over to Bro. W. L. McSwain, a prayer was given and the meeting adjourned.


                                                                                    Michael Fowler


                                                                                    W. L. McSwain






November 21, 1976

            Bro Austin Fowler made a motion, seconded by Bro. Jack Gregory that Bro. W. L. McSwain be the interim pastor of the Church.  The motion was unanimously adopted by the Church’s membership and Bro. W. L. McSwain became the interim pastor for the Church.


            Bro. Jack Gregory made a motion, seconded by Bro. Austin Fowler that the sign at the Church’s driveway be changed from Grace Baptist Mission to Brace Baptist Church   The motion was unanimously adopted.


            Bro Furman Smith made a motion, with Bro. Jack Gregory seconding, that the Church contact those people still on the Mission’s membership roll; namely, Mary Ann and Louise Mullinax, Dianne Townsend, and Mary Blalock.  The motion was agreed to by the Church with Bro. W. L. McSwain stating that he would attempt to contact the four involved.


            Bro. Furman Smith made a motion, seconded by Bro Billy Parker and unanimously agreed to by the Church, that the Church allow up to $150.00 for the purpose of finishing the upstairs floor.


            The Church agreed to tentatively change the Sunday evening service to start at 6:30 P.M. and the Wednesday evening services to start at 7:30 P.M.


            Meeting adjourned.


                                                                                    W. L. McSwain

                                                                                    Clerk Pro tem

                                                                                    Michael Fowler





December 18, 1978    A regular business meeting held.

            A motion was made by Bro. Mike Fowler and Seconded by Bro Billy Parker that Bro. W. L. McSwain be called by the Church as her Pastor and be duly ordained.  The Church unanimously adopted the motion and requested a letter seeking assistance in the ordination be sent to our mother Church in Fla.





March 24, 1979

            Ordination Services of Bro. W. L. McSwain, Pastor Grace Baptist Church, Fairmount GA.


            The service began with prayer followed by song and scripture reading from Acts and Psalms 127.  The purpose of the service was given and then the service turned over to Bro. J. E. Pierce, Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Bradenton, Fla.


            Purpose:  On the 17th Day of December in the year of our Lord 1978, the Grace Baptist Church of Fairmount, GA agreed to call for the ordination of Bro. W. L. McSwain.


            In as much as the Grace Baptist Church of Bradenton, Florida was our mother Church and also the Church Bro. W. L. McSwain was formerly a member of and licensed to the ministry by, we asked her to assist us in this undertaking, by appealing to sister Churches of like faith and order, as well as mutual interest, to send representatives to form a Council that would be able to advise us as to the propriety of our decision.


            Bro. Pierce declared that on 2-1-79 The Grace Baptist Church, Bradenton received Grace Baptist Church, Fairmount’s letter of request, then at her next business meeting, Grace Baptist Church, Bradenton agreed to assist, send her Pastor and contact sister Churches of like faith.


            Bro. Pierce then read the responding letters from the Churches contacted: 


            Landmark Missionary Baptist, Charleston, South Carolina agreed to
                    assist, Pastor David West in attendance.

            Faith Baptist Church, Lautey, Fla., Pastor A. E. Massey, willing
                    to assist but unable to attend due to personal sickness.

            Gardenville Baptist Church, Gardenville, Fla., Pastor John H. Mattox,
                    willing to assist and in attendance

            Piedmount Road Baptist Church, Griffin, GA, Gerald Price, Pastor, letter
                     received by Bro. Pierce advising that this Church chose not to
                     participate in the Ordination service, nor send her pastor.

            Faith Baptist Church, Seffner, Fla, agreed t assist and Pastor J.

                  W. Carr and Deacon Vangar Hartley in attendance.

            Grace Baptist Church, Bradenton, Fla. agreed to assist, Pastor J. E.
                   Pierce,  Bro. Hoyt Taylor, Bro. Dallas Cumbie in attendance.


            Bro. Pierce then declared that those in attendance from the above Churches represented 164 years of ordained services.


            Bro. Pierce the explained the ramification of the Church having invited these Sister Churches, of the history of ordination, of the presbytery’s purpose to decide if Bro. W. L. McSwain is qualified to be ordained, and of the Church’s desire to abide by the presbytery’s decision.


            The presbyter (Bro. Hoyt Taylor, Bro. David West, Bro. Dallas Cumbie, Bro. Vangar Hartley, Bro. J. W. Carr, Bro. J. E. Pierce, and Bro. John H. Mattox) was seated – except Bro. Mattox who was in charge of the questioning and stood in front of the Church.  Bro. W. L. McSwain was seated in front of the Church and facing the presbytery, Bro. W. L. McSwain’s family was seated in the front two pews of the Church and the service turned over to Bro. Mattox.


           Questions of the presbytery were directed by Bro. Mattox with Bro. McSwain responding.-------------


            After questioning Bro. McSwain was the excused – dismissed to the basement while the council determined ordination among themselves. 


            Bro. J. W. Carr made a motion, seconded by Bro. John H. Mattox, that the Grace Baptist Church, Fairmount, continue with the ordination and recommended Bro. W. L. McSwain as qualified to pastor a Baptist Church.  The motion was unanimously approved by the presbytery (council), and  Bro. McSwain was brought back (by Bro. Fowler) in front of the presbytery and advised of their decision.


            Bro. Dave Hogue then made a motion, seconded by Bro. Austin Fowler that the council proceed with the ordination at the request of Grace Baptist Church, Fairmount.  Grace Baptist Church, Fairmount unanimously approved the motion and the council continued the ordination.


            Bro J. W. Carr then charged – in sermon manner Bro. W. L. McSwain of his status and responsibilities.


            Next Bro. David West Charged the Grace Baptist Church, Fairmount with her duties and obligations.


            After the charge to the Church, Bro. John H. Mattox presented Bro. W. L. McSwain with a Bible.


            Lastly was the laying on of hands by the presbytery to Bro. W. L. McSwain. Bro. McSwain knelt, during the laying on of the presbytery’s hands.


            Extended hand from each Church present, and presentation of ordination certificate given to Bro. W. L. McSwain.


            With this the ordination service was over and Bro. W. L. McSwain was a duly ordained a Baptist Minister.


            Bro. Austin Fowler then offered words of appreciation to the council from the Grace Baptist Church, Fairmount.

                                                                                    Michael Fowler, Clerk

                                                                                    Grace Baptist Church






July 27, 1991 

            The Grace Baptist Church of Fairmount, GA celebrated it’s 25th Anniversary of being in existence on this day (July 1966).   The celebration began at 10:30 A.M. on Saturday with Pastor W. L. McSwain giving a brief outline of the beginning of the Church.


            On May 18, 1966 the Grace Baptist Church of Bradenton, Fla. Granted Brother W. L. McSwain a license to the Ministry.  The Action was ratified by Grace Baptist Church of Bradenton on July 6, 1966.  At this meeting Grace Baptist Church of Bradenton voted to extent an arm to Bro. W. L. McSwain to start a Mission in Fairmount, GA.  The Church also gave authority to W. L. McSwain to Baptize and receive members into the Mission.


            On August 10, 1966 in regular conference the Church voted to receive Mrs. Eunice Hogue, Mr. Dave Hogue, Mrs. Margaret McSwain, and Clifford McSwain into the Church, which members were in fact comprising the Mission in Georgia.


            Today there were special plaques given out to members of the Church,

                        Mrs. Eunice Hogue was given a plaque for her service in Sunday


                        Mr. Austin Fowler was given a plaque for his service as Song

                        Mr. Jack Gregory was given a plaque for his service in helping

                                  Pastor McSwain in the ministry of the Church,

                        Patsy Parker was given a plaque for her service as Piano
                                   player, and

                        Pastor McSwain was also given a plaque for his dedication and 
                                   service as Pastor of the Church.

                        A special plaque was placed on the wall behind the pulpit with the

                                   names of those members who have gone to be with the Lord.


            On the wall in front of the Church there was a place with pictures from past events of the Church baptisms and other special events that have occurred over the year.


            The Church broke then for a meal on the grounds of the Church.


            After Lunch Brother John Pruitt from West Griffin Baptist Church brought a message for the special occasion.  Alter this sermon Church dismissed and all present fellowshipped.


            This was a very special day in the life of this Church, and so it will be remembered long afterwards and with much joy and with heartfelt appreciation to God be the glory, for God has blessed this Church and those associated with it’s existence.


                                                                                    W. L. McSwain






Pastor W. L. McSwain goes to be with our Lord.



            The Church had no Pastor after the death of  Pastor W. L. McSwain on 5/7/04.  Bro. Jack Gregory filled in until health issues forced him to cut back.  Then Bro. Michael Collins filled in and also conducted Sunday School, Bro. Gary Ingle also filled in on Sunday Morning services when needed and all evening services to bring God’s Word to his Church.


            Bro. Doyle Thomas from Decatur, AL came to hold a revival for us and upon his return to his home Church posted our need for a Pastor on the Church’s web site. 


            This posting was seen by Bro. Troy Sheppard who came and held a Sunday services for us. When he returned to his home Church, Citrus Missionary Baptist Church, in Inverness, Fla. notified the Church of our need for a Pastor.  

          Bro. Allen Lyons, a member of this Church that lived in Arcadia, FL, heard of the need, came up to hold services and was led of God to be our Pastor. We were led after much prayer to receive him as our Pastor on 9/10/07after 3 years without a Pastor.


            God blessed our little Church during that time both spiritually and monetarily, Praise be to God for all his blessings.


Gary Ingle





            Bro. Jack heard of a Preacher named Al Lyons, he talked to him on the phone and he can come to our Church and preach on September 2nd if we want him to. The Church voted to have him come and preach.




9/9/07  Business Meeting

            Next we discussed Bro. Lyons being voted in as our new Pastor.  After much thought and prayer a decision was made.  Bro. Jack made the motion to vote him in, Bro. Michael 2nd, Church approved ‚Ķunanimously. 





            Bro. Lyons accepted the offer for Pastorship of Grace Baptist Church and presented himself and his wife for Church membership.  Bro. Gary made the motion to allow them to join, Bro. Michael 2nd, Church approved.