Beulah Primitive Baptist Church

Beulah Primitive Baptist Church was established under the leadership of Elder Guy Davis in 1890; Elder Davis served as the first pastor. Because of his leadership ability, high character, and influence, he was able to obtain a land was located in Lowndes County, Hope Hull, Alabama (then known as the Hale Place). First officers included Section London O’Ree, Deacon Cunningham (only deacon), and approximately eight members. Elder Benny Gatson became one of the youngest church members.

Although the membership remained small for a number of years, it was able to survive because of community support. The church also served as the community school.

Elder Henry Bracy was called to serve as pastor because of Elder Davis’ ill health. Elder Bracy’s health failure led to the pastorate of Elder Abe Gilchrist, which lasted for three (3) years.

Elder T. M. Gardner, Sr., was appointed pastor in 1920and served until 1950. Under the administration of Elder T. M. Gardner, Sr., the church was able to make significant gain. For a period of time, Deacon Johnny Major served as the church’s only deacon until 1928. In 1928, Deacon Joe Gatson was baptized, ordained, and elected as church section.

In 1936, the church was destroyed by a fire. Elder T. M. Gardner, Sr., Deacon Joe Gatson, Sr., and Deacon Johnny Major signed as officers to borrow $350 from Margaret Haigler, which was the total cost to rebuild the church that was completed in 1937. Mr. Turner Crawford served as head carpenter.

Beulah continued to make significant gain. In 1937, inspiration came when five (5) members were baptized:  Sister Nora Stiles, Deacon William Bracy, Deacon Nathan Sumpter, Sister Ida Gardner, and Brother Alfred Gardner. The church was now in a period of noticeable growth. In 1938, Brothers E. C. Gatson, Sr., Tom Gardner, Jr., and Monroe Gardner were ordained as deacons.

In 1950, Elder T. M. Gardner, Sr., resigned because of il health. Because of his insight into the future, he suggested that Elder T. M. Gardner, Jr., was very capable to serve as the church’s pastor. His suggestion was considered, and Elder T. M. Gardner, Jr., was elected pastor in 1950.

The first revival was held in 1950 with Elder Alfred Sanders was the evangelist. The following members united with Beulah: Roberta Gatson, Effie Nell Bracy, Dorothy Gardner, and Tennah Osborne.

Deacon William Bracy was ordained in 1938, a strong leader of the Beulah Primitive Baptist Church. He was an advocate supporter of Elder T. M. Gardner, Jr., and Deacon Bracy was appointed superintendent of the church’s first Sunday school class and served as church treasurer until his death. Sister Laura Johnson served as the first teacher of the Sunday school.

In 1928, Deacon Joe Gatson served as church section until his death in December 1977. In 1978, Deacon Ned Gatson,Sr., was appointed chairman of the Deacons’ Board and served until his death in July 1990. Deacon Ned Gadson, Jr., was appointed chairman of the Deacons’ Board on August 7, 1990.

Elder Gardner, Jr., led and ordained the following deacons: Deacon Ned Gatson, Sr. (deceased), Deacon John Gatson, Sr. (deceased), Deacon Johnny Stiles (1952), Deacon Willie J. Gardner (1952), Deacon Willie F. Davis (deceased), Deacon Ned Gadson, Jr. (deceased), Deacon Tom Osborne (1973), Deacon John Gatson, Jr. (1986), Deacon David Gatson (1986), and Deacon Tom Gardner III (1986).

Beulah was blessed with six associate ministers during this time:  Elders Monroe “Bus” Gardner (deceased), C. J. Moore (deceased), Willie Stiles, Sr. (deceased), Willie Gardner (deceased), Levi Pettway (deceased), and Tom Gardner III.

In 1959, Sister Susannia Osborne organized Beulah’s first choir, and Sister Rosie Nell Gardner was the first musician. In July 1958, Beulah’s Male Chorus was organized that consisted of members from the area community churches. The late Deacon Ned Gatson, Sr., was the organizer and founder with Brother Bob Evans as pianist; Brother Evans served until 1962. In 1962, Brother Jesse Jenkins was later chosen as musician for the Male Chorus and served for over 28 years. Other musicians who have rendered services to Beulah are Mr. Henry Pugh, Mr. Andre Mays, and Mr. Enoch Alexander, organist/accompanist (currently serving).

Several programs and groups have been organized in Beulah’s growth:  Revival, Sunday School, Male Chorus, Senior, Junior, and Youth Choirs. Other auxiliaries organized are the Trustees’ Board, Ushers’ Board, Deaconess Board, Mothers’ Board, Women’s Mission, Matrons’ Department, and Laymen’s Board. In the summer of 1989, Beulah sponsored its first Vacation Bible School.

In 1979, Beulah’s Trustees’ Board sought and obtained permission from the church to build a new church. After the incorporation, the Trustees’ Board inspired the membership to save $30,000.00 after borrowing $75,000.00. This loan was used to buy the present structure that was built in 1980.

On Sunday, July 8, 1990, Beulah celebrated its 100th Year Homecoming Celebration and Mortgage Burning Service.

On Sunday, July 22, 1990, Beulah broke ground for the structure of a fellowship hall. God has blessed Beulah abundantly.

Currently, Elder Tom Gardner III serves as pastor and as moderator of the Pilgrim Rest Primitive Baptist Association.

Church Website
Elder Tom Gardner III Pastor

Elder Tom Gardner III
Pastor of Beulah Primitive Baptist Church