Orange Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 816 Sunday Road, Chipley
Guest Preacher: Rev. A. D. Bell, Jr., Pastor St. John Missionary Baptist Church Florala, Alabama
Sunday, August 21, 2016 11:00 am
The Orange Hill Missionary Baptist Church is the oldest African American Baptist Church in Washington County. It was founded in 1870 when President Ulysses S. Grant was U.S. president and in the year the 15th Amendment, giving blacks the right to vote, was added to the Constitution. The Emancipation Proclamation had been signed just 7 years earlier. This historic Church is celebrating 146 years of being a beacon light in the Orange Hill Community on Sunday, August 21st at 11 am. It was established for the worship to our Almighty God and the fellowship of His people set forth in the New Testament. Out of Orange Hill sprung the Mt. Ararat Missionary Baptist Church and from them the Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church.
In the early years when we didn’t have modern facilities Bro. Samuel Thompson was the lighting man for night services. His duty was to keep kerosene in the lantern. The brothers of the church kept wood for the wood heater. We used hand fans to cool off. Oh it’s blessing now to have our heating and air conditioning system (Thank you Jesus!!) At one time we didn’t do any banking, The church’s finances were kept in chosen member’s homes. Deacon Jefferson Cady was sexton of the church. Later Bro. Alex Wilson became sexton. Sexton was the same as trustee or business manager. Their duty was to keep the church yards, cemetery grounds, church clean. They were to check for repairs and bring water to the church. Whatever was needed the sexton, with the help of the members, saw that it was done. Deacon Jefferson Cady was also the grave manager and bell toner, when someone passed on, he sounded the bell as soon as he got the word, day or night. On the day of the funeral the bell was sounded again as the body arrived at the church. The brethren and teen aged boys use to help dig the grave for burial. Orange Hill had to baptize at one time in community ponds and other church’s baptismal pools before ours was constructed. Rev. Oliver Wilson had a pond on his property that was used.
“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” (Jeremiah 3:15) The first Pastor of Orange Hill was Rev. James Cady from Jackson County. He was Deacon Jefferson Cady’s father. The following pastors have been. Rev. Webb, Rev. Benjamin, Rev. Green, Rev. Gipson, Rev. Linsay, Rev. B. A. Allen, Rev. Blount, Rev. Woods, Rev. Joseph Young, Rev. Jessie Ward, Rev. Jefferson, Rev. Sam Cherry, Rev. Adolphus McLaughlin, Rev. James Johns (longest serving pastor) and our current pastor Rev. Malcolm O. Nelson. The Associate Pastors have been Rev. Nesby Brown, Rev. Earl Cooke and Rev. George Davis.
“Behold, I will do a new thing…” (Isaiah 43:19) In 2016 Orange Hill Missionary Baptist Church established a scholarship. Our first recipient was Sis. Selena Davis. She received a $500 scholarship toward her secondary education. We had our first Women’s Conference: “Christian Women: Embrace Your Beautiful Purpose” chaired by First Lady Katherleen Nelson and co-chaired by Sis. Mechele Kent and Sis Mary Davis. An inspiring revival took place in the fall with Rev. Willie Brown, Pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, Argyle as the revivalist and the “Fishers of Men”, “Crossroads: Ellis Brothers”, and “Triple Anointing” providing the music. A church sign was erected with the efforts of Deacon Mathew Kent and is updated by Sis. Tiara Davis. Handicapped Parking has been provided. OHMBC has had a most prestigious past, living a productive present, and looking forward to a most fabulous future.