From These Humble Beginnings...In the late 1860's a group of freed slaves, led by Rev. McCrea, met in a brush arbor (a secluded place surrounded by tree branches) so that they could have somewhere to worship and praise God. Newly freed, they harbored fears of the former masters knowing about their efforts to start their own church. In 1870, the group organized Wyatt's Chapel Baptist Church with Rev. McCrea as pastor. The church was named after one of the first deacons, Alexander Wyatt. There were four deacons serving under Rev. McCrea: Alexander Wyatt, J. Wallace, David Ray, and Alexander Robinson. Rev. McCrea remained the pastor of the congregation until his health began to fail.
In 1880, Eliphus Linder donated one acre of land to Deacons Alexander Wyatt, J. Wallace, David Ray, and Alexander Robinson and their successors, so that a church could be built. In the early 1900's, a school was started for the children in the community, and this two-story building, located near the church, had classes for lower grades on the first floor and older students on the second floor. In 1943, two additional acres of land were purchased. Some years later, a one-story schoolhouse was built and classes were held there until the late 1950's. The church burned down in the mid-1940 and a new church was built in 1947 on the opposite side of the road.
In 1961, under the leadership of Rev. Earl Cheeks, an outdoor baptism pool was put in the back of the church, a large Sunday school room was built, and a basement was added that was used as a dining area. During the administration of Rev. Myron K. Rector, the sanctuary was rebuilt with an indoor baptism pool. In September 1993, approximately 5.45 acres of land was purchased, and in 1996, Dr. J.N. McDowell led the campaign for a new sanctuary, capable of comfortably seating five hundred people, to be erected and completed that same year.
Today there are approximately 250-300 members with 150 active, which also include the great-great-great-grandson of our founding deacon, Alexander Wyatt.
Wyatt Chapel Pastors
|1870-Early 1940's||Rev. A. A. Sims||Early 1940's-1961||Rev. R.B. Sullivan|
|Rev. Shell||1961-1985||Rev. Earl Cheeks|
|Rev. Sam Goode||1985-1990||Rev. Myron K. Rector|
|Rev. George Washington||1990-2005||Dr. J. N. McDowell|
|Rev. Gainell Young||2007-2008||Elder Henry D. Tate|
|Rev. J. C. White||2009-Present||Rev. Elijah Ray|
|Rev. J. C. Toben|