How Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church came to be

(Excerpt taken from a newspaper article written on Oct. 25, 1978.  Provided by Mrs. Norma Teague)

Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Hueytown was organized in 1875 with 34 charter members and today has over 2,000. It all began under a big oak tree on the site now occupied by John Knoight’s home. Here the Rev. Elisha b. Waldrop, pastor of Rock Creek Church, preached on Sunday afternoons to a small group assembled there.

The group was enthusiastic and wanted a church of its own. So it was that they built a framed building on the ridge where the Thompson burial lots in the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery are now located and in May 1875 organized what is known as Pleasant Ridge Baptist Chruch.

At the organizational meeting May 21, the Rev. T.M. Bailey preached to the congregation. Among other things that he said was an admonition to the members to be workers, not drones.

Rev. A.J. Waldrop was present and acted as the third member of the presbytery. After the presbytery approved the articles of faith they extended the right hand of fellowship to thirty-four members of the newly organized church. The church then went into conference and called for its first pastor Rev. Elisha B. Waldrop, a son of A.J. Waldrop.

Following the calling of the pastor the election of officers was held. S.T. Huey, J.B. Glenn and J.M. Knight were elected to serve as deacons and S.H. Huey was elected clerk.

The first building was built of twelve inch heart pine boards which were hauled to the place and then dressed on both sides with a hand plane and then kiln dried.

One thing that helped in getting everyone to work toward having this new building was that it was to be used for a school also, (Highland Academy). The land bought from Henry Robertson for $1.00 per acre.

This church on the ridge was used for 22 years when it was abandoned for a new and more imposing one with sharp peaked frosted windows down nearer the road. This second building was a frame one also but larger and built of dressed weather boarding. It served the church for 23 years until 1921, when a more imposing building was put on the same spot.

In 1949 an education building started the three unit plan building cycle. The present church was completed in 1972.  A Judson Jones was pastor of the church from 1944 until 1978.

Billy L. Harris became the church’s pastor October 1 this year and those who have served before him are: E. B. Waldrop, Bro. Culpepper, B.F. Giles, Bro. Hubbard, O.J. Waldrop, J.M. Huey, W.J. Ray, J.C. Gilmer, M.M. Wood, Tom Ray, A. E. Loftin, A.E. Burns, W.S. Brown, A.C. Swindall, J.A. Hendricks, W.F. Price, J. Luther Gaines, Foster Mills, J. Springer, Eddie Leiberman, John Oaks and Judson Jones.

Over 100 years old, the church celebrated its centennial May 18, 1975. From the small beginning under an old oak tree, the church has come a long way.