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First Baptism at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Greensboro took place on March 14th


(published 1908)

As far as can be ascertained, the first service by a clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church was held in Greensboro on the 14th day of March 1830.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greensboro, Alabama ca. 1890 (Alabama Department of Archives and History)

On that date a congregation was duly organized, the original compact being signed by the following persons: R. E. Meade, R. W. Withers, Wm. T. Bolling, T. B. Randolph, J. B. Stickney, Jno. F. Abbott, Ryland Randolph, T. S. Washington, John Morrast, John Malone and D. W. Witherspoon. The following composed the first Vestry: Dr. Richard E. Meade, Dr. R. Inge, Dr. R. C. Randolph, Frank Inge, Esq’r, Dr. R. W. Withers, Wm. Murphy, Esq’r, J. B. Stickney, Esq’r, Col. Samuel Pickens and J. Bell, Esq’r.

At a meeting held August 22d, 1831, by this Vestry it was resolved to enter into negotiations for the erection of a church edifice, but this plan failed to materialize, and the attempt to organize a parish at this time was abandoned.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church ca. 1908 (HISTORY OF GREENSBORO, ALABAMA From Its Earliest Settlement by William Edward Wadsworth Yerby, Montgomery, Alabama

On December 24th, 1833, at a meeting held by a number of citizens, certain persons were appointed as vestrymen, and St. Paul’s, Greensboro, was selected as the name of the parish, but not until about 1840 was this parish duly incorporated.

In 1834, the Rev. C. S. Ives was connected with this parish, but how long his connection lasted is not known. The Rev. J. B. Goodman took charge of the work in 1837 and continued to serve as rector until 1842, when he was succeeded by Rev. Julian E. Sawyer. The next rector was Rev. S. Patterson who, in 1845, was succeeded by Rev. J. S. Marbury, who continued the work until 1850, at which time he tendered his resignation on account of ill health. He died in Greensboro in September 1851, and was buried in the churchyard of St. Paul’s.

Church erected in 1840

The Rev. J. M. Bannister was the next rector, who remained in the parish from 1851 to 1860, when he was succeeded by Rev. Richard Hooker Cobbs, D. D., who took charge on September 1st, 1861, and served continuously for forty-six years,—resigning the rectorship in September 1907. He was again re-elected as Rector in March 1908, and so urgent was the request on the part of Vestry and congregation, that he accepted.

The present church (1908) building was erected in 1840, but has been considerably improved since that time—a chancel being added in 1855, and the building was enlarged and much improved in 1872. The Sunday School room, immediately north of the church, was erected in 1906.

First Baptism in 1838

The first baptism recorded in this parish was on January 14, 1838, and confirmation was administered for the first time on Good Friday, April 13, 1838, by Rt. Rev. Dr. Kepper, Missionary Bishop of Missouri.

In 1840 Bishop Polk visited this parish, and in May 1844, Rev. Dr. Cobbs, father of the rector who served the parish forty-six years, was elected the first Bishop of Alabama, by a convention sitting in this church.

1Excerpt from HISTORY OF GREENSBORO, ALABAMA From Its Earliest Settlement by William Edward Wadsworth Yerby, Montgomery, Alabama

FreeHearts: 2nd edition A Novel of Colonial America Col. John Washington (ancestor of President George Washington), Randall Revell, Tom Cottingham, Edmund Beauchamp ward off Indian attacks and conquer the wilds of Maryland’s Eastern shore in 17th century colonial America in this historical novel, inspired by true events. – Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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