Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church
by Johnny Curry

The Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church was first organized on May 21, 1875, with 34 enrolled members.  The membership listed many family names long associated with the Hueytown community including six Waldrop's, seven Huey's, six Robertson's and two Dabbs.  Most of these families had previously been members at Rock Creek Baptist.

The church elected as its first deacons, Mr. S. T. Huey, Mr. J. B. Glennand Mr. J. M. Knight, who were all previously ordained.  Brother E. B. Waldrop was unanimously elected as the first Pastor.  For many years to come the Pastor would be elected on an annual basis.  That first church building was made from 12 inch heart pine boards which were dressed on both sides with a hand plane and then kiln dried.  This church building which served the members for 22 years and also served as a school known as Highland Academy.  It was located on the top of the hill near the present entrance to the church cemetery.

Those early church members were very strict in the code of conduct that members were expected to live by.  Church records indicate that in 1879 one member was dismissed for dancing and allowing a dance to be hosted at his house.  Another member was brought up on charges or swearing and public drunkeness.  While this kind of issue being raised was not uncommon in the early days church members were equally anxious to restore erring individuals to membership and were quick to forgive such transgressions.

In December, 1880 a church Sabbath school was organized and Brother M. M. Wood was elected Superintendent.  Then in February of 1888 Brother Waldrop resigned as Pastor.   Near this time the church had grown to almost 120 members.  A few comforts were added to the church in April of 1898 when the floor was carpeted at a cost of 38 cents a yard, except for the rostrum area where they purchased the more expensive 55 cents per yard material.

In 1897 the original church building was replaced with a much larger frame building that was made of dressed weather boarding and frosted peak windows.  It had two doors on the front.  One was used for the women to enter and the men used the other.  They sat facing each other on opposite aisles.  This structure was located near present day Hueytown Road and served the congreation for 23 years. 

In 1899, Pleasant Ridge left the Birmingham Baptist Association and joined the new fledgling Bessemer Baptist Association. 

In 1921, a then modern multi-storied brick sanctuary which seated approximately 400 was begun under the pastorate of Dr. J. A. Hendricks.  This building was razed in the late 1960's and today is the parking area to the right side of the church.

In 1956 the church authorized the construction of the present sanctuary under the pastorate of Rev. Judson Jones who first came to Pleasant Ridge in 1944.   He would lead the church during its period of greatest expansion in terms of both membership and building construction.

In 1947 a cemetery assocation was formed and perpetual care was established.  Today Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church is one of the largest membership Baptist Churches in western Jefferson County.