“No Venomous Spirituous Drinking or Dancing Parties,” I read as I quickly scanned the papers I held in my hand.
I received in the mail one day a large envelope. Curious to know what the heavy envelope contained, I torn into it. What I found were the minutes of the Independence Baptist Church of the Bethel Association in Wilcox County, Alabama from 1921-1928 and 1930 …all 58 pages.
One of my e-mail acquaintances in Wilcox County, Alabama, who e-mailed me information about our genealogy, had sent the package to me.
Below are excerpts from the minutes:
Rules of Decorum – Independence Church
From Church Minutes 1921-1928 and 1930
Sunny South, Wilcox County, Alabama
- #6 Every member desiring to speak shall rise from his seat and address the moderator and shall not be interrupted unless he departs from the subject or uses improper language, in either case it shall be the duty of the moderator to call him to order , but any brother may take an appeal to the church.
- #7 No member shall speak more than twice on the same subject without permission of the church.
- #11 That when members assemble at the church yard they conduct themselves with becoming propriety and not engaged on anything like obscenity.
- #12 That no member be tolerated in the traffic of venomous spirituous liquor or the use of them in as a beverage and that it is not becoming of the church to visit where spirits are kept and sold as a beverage.
- #13 That no members be tolerated in going or in sending his or her children to dancing parties.
Other Items documented:
- It was decided that there would be two services the third Sunday of September and with dinner.
- Bro. T.C. Stokes was called for Pastor if he was willing.
- W.W. Morgan C.C. (church Clerk)
- Charles Chancy made a report on sales of church timber, the amount collection on said timber amounted to $66.31.
- Pastors’ salary collected was $8.35.
- A collection was taken for hymn books and $2.97 was collected and turned into the treasurer.
- My great grandfather, Hugh Gaston Champion, Sr. (1850-1927) gave $.25 (in the offering).
The church voted on August 31, 1930 to reorganize. Members were appointed to help in raising funds for construction of a new building. The former building was destroyed by fire.
These church minutes, all 58 pages, were hand copied some time ago by Don E. Gaddy, now deceased. It contained: Church conference minutes, the Church directory listing male and female members separately, Mission money collected, Pastor’s salary, Church Building Fund, and offerings. These minutes were Xeroxed and sent to me by Judean W. Etheredge of Thomasville, Alabama.
It does us good to read the thought process of our kinfolks…. and admire.
Chinaberries and Other Memories of Alabama by Jean Butterworth