Pleasant Primitive Baptist Church, Berrien County

Pleasant Primitive Baptist Church [originally known simply as Pleasant Church] is the oldest congregation in present-day Berrien County. It was constituted on 27 June 1835 with charter members James Connell, Sarah Connell, Jeremiah Shaw, James Price, Resby Wilson, George Harnage, Anna Harnage, and Logan Sanders. E. J. Williams served as the first clerk and Elder Nelson Thigpen was the first pastor. The name “Pleasant” seems most appropriate as it’s located in one of the most scenic and beautiful areas of the county. Though the present structure is not original, some of the original timbers remain inside the framework.

Rules of Decorum for the church were fairly typical of the era. Some might seem unusual today: Rule 1: Church meeting or conferences shall be constantly and duly attended by every member, more especially the males to whom government more particularly belongs...Rule 10: No member shall whisper, talk or read in the time of a public speaking, but give due attention. John P. Webb, Sr., who compiled a historical sketch of the congregation in 1956, noted: This church carries on the customs of old with footwashing and communion once a year with wine from the vineyard prepared by the deacons and using unleavened bread prepared by the wives of the deacons…At Pleasant Church, the pastor sometimes lines out the songs, a practice that started when there were not enough song books. A member still will heist a tune to which the song is to be sung (books do not have musical notes)…


4 thoughts on “Pleasant Primitive Baptist Church, Berrien County

  1. Jackie Cornelius Gaskins

    I was raised in a Primitive Baptist Church. Yes we were well behaved children, I wouldn’t trade a minute of it and would be thrilled to take my grand daughter so she could see and experience real worship and family, but just like everything else good, that no longer exist.
    I attended Long Bridge Primitive Baptist Church just off of the Adel/Nashville Hwy located in Berrien County. My Great Grand Father donated the land the original church was built on, it was rebuilt after a fire totally destroyed it around the early 80″s. My family is buried in the old cemetery across the road which includes my son (a Marine Sgt).

  2. Mary

    The church rules are reminiscent of the “ Old Hardshell Primitive Baptist”, but they were unpainted structures with no windows.

  3. Sharon

    This reminds me of a church I visited as a child, (probably a young teenager). There were two entrance doors. Families parted there. Men sat on the left side of the sanctuary, women and children on the right. Boys joined the men at age 13. Not a word was spoken until the service began. Everyone was allowed to sing, but no talking allowed! Greetings were nods and smiles. I ‘had never seen such well behaved children. Even the babies were quiet. Eerie! But after services, outside of the building, it was like the floodgates opened! The children ran and hooted and hollered. Neighbors clustered and caught up on the week’s news. I had attended at the invitation of a friend, but never returned.


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