Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Dayton will receive a historical marker on March 26

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Dayton is one of the oldest continuously serving African-American churches in Liberty County.

The Liberty County Historical Commission will honor Dayton’s Pleasant Hill Baptist Church during a dedication honoring its long history and historic impact on the community on Saturday, March 26, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. The church is located at 801 S. Colbert Street in Dayton.

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church was organized in 1871 at Goat Hill, three miles northeast of Dayton, under the leadership of Reverend Sip Baldwin. A few years later the members made the decision to move the church building from Goat Hill and a new site was chosen. Half an acre of land was purchased by the church from Mrs. Alabama Cole and Mrs. Mary Cole-Smith.

Materials were gathered to begin construction but “bogged down” on the property of Isaac Combs who then generously donated his land. A small wooden building was built and guarded by Reverend James. The building was a small wooden shed, with two sides roughly planked for weather protection with seats on both sides, leaving just enough room for the pulpit. The community gathered and worshiped in this modest church which also served as a school.

With the increase in membership, a new building was constructed under the direction of Reverend WCF Jones. In 1949 a building fund was organized under the leadership of Reverend JW Brent. Reverend OJ Beasley became pastor in 1955 and construction of a new building began. The first service in the new building was held in February 1958. The cost of the building was $16,200, with members meeting and paying off the debt in four years.

In 1983, under the direction of Rev. Amos I. Horton, the facility was expanded to include a pastor’s study, finance room, cafeteria, scholarship room, and additional classrooms.

Church membership has continued to grow under the leadership of pastors Rev. AD Jones 1960, Rev. HJ Harvey 1992 and Rev. RH Gilmore 1995. Ministries include seniors, women’s mission, evening family, young adults, praise dance and choirs.

In January 2012, Rev. Carl D. McNelty was called to serve Pleasant Hill Baptist Church as pastor and continues to serve the congregation and community at this historic church. Pleasant Hill Baptist Church is one of the earliest churches in Liberty County and an integral part of the community.

Please join the Liberty County Historical Commission, church and community members for this dedication. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

Jerry B. Hatch