Excerpts from minutes of Grace
Baptist Mission and Grace Baptist Church,
PERMISSION GIVEN TO START
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
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
FIRST SERVICE OF MISSION HELD
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
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
LAND GIVEN TO MISSION
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
WORK STARTS ON
The lot of land
given to the Mission by W. F. Watts has by now been cleared, bulldozed, and made ready for the
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.
MISSION ORGANIZED INTO
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
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,
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
Mrs. C. T.
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
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
The meeting was then
turned over to Bro. W. L. McSwain, a prayer was given and the meeting adjourned.
W. L. McSwain
FIRST MEETING OF GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH,
AND INTERIM PASTOR
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
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
W. L. McSwain
Clerk Pro tem
THE CHURCH CALLS A
AND ASKS FOR HIS
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.
A MINISTER IS
Services of Bro. W. L. McSwain, Pastor Grace Baptist Church, Fairmount
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,
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.
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.
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.
Pierce then read the responding letters from the Churches contacted:
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.
Church, Gardenville, Fla., Pastor John H. Mattox,
willing to assist and in attendance
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.
Church, Seffner, Fla, agreed t assist and Pastor
Carr and Deacon Vangar Hartley in attendance.
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
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.
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
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
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.
W. Carr then charged – in sermon manner Bro. W. L. McSwain of his status and responsibilities.
David West Charged the Grace Baptist Church, Fairmount with her duties and
the charge to the Church, Bro. John H. Mattox presented Bro. W. L. McSwain with a Bible.
was the laying on of hands by the presbytery to Bro. W. L. McSwain. Bro. McSwain knelt, during the laying on of the
Extended hand from each Church present, and presentation of ordination certificate given to Bro. W. L.
this the ordination service was over and Bro. W. L. McSwain was a duly ordained a Baptist
Fowler then offered words of appreciation to the council from the Grace Baptist
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
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
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
W. L. McSwain
Pastor W. L. McSwain goes to be with our
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
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
blessed our little Church during that time both spiritually and monetarily, Praise be to God for all his
A NEW PASTOR
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.
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
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