The Spring Hill church has roots that run deep and has endured for over 145 years. The grace of our Lord blessed us with a fellowship yielding quality leadership whose members worked together in sustaining ourselves. From its humble beginnings in a brush harbor, the church rose to a membership in our heyday of well over 300 for several decades. Today, even though there is a handful of folks here on any given Sunday, the Sheltons' still visit their roots to remember the spirit of the Spring Hill Church family
The History of Spring Hill Missionary Baptist Church.
In 1870, the following white brothers met in a presbytery: Rev. J.P. Thompson, R.B. Loggins, Henry Loggins, Henry Hightower, Morda Morris, and Thomas Frazier. They organized a Missionary Baptist Church and named it Spring Hill.
The following members constituted this Church: Rev. A. Loggins, C. Loggins, Sr., Ben Poe, C. Loggins, Jr., William Trotter, Mose Sullivan, Morton Dunn, Allen Trotter, Richard Townsend, Mary Taylor, CharlesSalley, Jessie Pittman, Frank Taylor, George Loggins, Andy Loggins, Peter Loggins, Jim Loggins, Miles Loggins, Henretta Loggins, Deallia Poe, Hetty Loggins, Hannah Sullivan, Mariah Dunn, Sindy Loggins, Emily Trotter, Betsy Trotter, Retta Loggins, Martha Dyes, Mariah Taylor, Jennia Loggins, Carline Loggins, Tobby Hightower, Lucy Taylor, Sophia Tapley, and Matilda Salley.
Reverend Allen Loggins was the first pastor and served for about twelve years. William Trotter and Ben Poe were the first deacons. Rube Loggins who was white, served as first secretary.
In the beginning, church services were held in a brush harbor. Later on a log house was built, then a rough edge end was added to it. In 1881, a new box church was built. Under Reverend Allen’s administration, four deacons were elected—C. Salley, C. Loggins, Warren Townsend, and Jessie Pittman
The 1881 box church was built on “Dunn” property. An outside bell on cedar stilts was added as a communication device. It was only rung for important situations such as a death or if the community needed to meet right away to discuss an important issue.
The Church membership played a pivotal role in education. A school was also established in 1870, directly across the road from the church. The building was constructed by the parents of the Spring Hill Church community. It was a two teacher school that housed grades 1 through 8. The school term varied from 4 to 6 months.
In 1882, Reverend J.H. Harvey, Sr. was elected 2nd pastor in and served about one year.
In 1883, Rev. Allen Loggins was elected 3rd pastor and served about two years. Henry Sawyer was elected secretary. In 1884, J.C. Trotter was chosen secretary and served a number of years.
In 1885, Rev. R.C. Crawford was elected 4th pastor and served seven years. During his administration, the box house was torn down and a frame house was built.
In 1892, Rev. J.W. Martin was elected 5th pastor and served until 1895. In April, under this administration, the following deacons were added: A.L. McCuiston, N.E. Applewhite, and James Ratliff.
In 1895, Rev. R.C. Crawford was elected 6th pastor to finish Rev. J.W. unexpired term.
In 1896 , Rev. J.M. Simpson was elected 7th pastor and served for nine years.
In 1905, the present church house was built. Original siding was wooden painted white. George Purnell was the head carpenter, assisted by John Henry McCuiston. Also in 1905, Rev. H.W. White was elected 8th pastor and served two years. Under his administration the following deacons were added: J.C. Trotter, S.P. James, J.W. Waits, and George W. Roberts. C.P. Shelton was elected secretary.
The following pastors were elected:
1907 – Rev. I. Pittman (9th pastor)
1908 – Rev. J.C. Coffer (10th pastor)
1909 – Rev. W.M. Terrell (11th pastor)
1910 – Rev. J.H. Quinn (12th pastor)
In 1912, Rev. A.L. Hill was elected 13th pastor, and served six years. Under his administration the following deacons were added: L.A. Trotter, John Wesley Shelton, Reuben A. Shelton, Frank Purnell, Wesley Sylvester Townsend, and Paul Purnell.
By the Way, Deacon L.A. Trotter furnished the Sunday School Superintendent’s Table Bell in the 1920’s wrought from solid brass, which is still being used today. In about 1928, the school across the road was tore down and re-constructed larger to accommodate grades 1-9.
Later, the following pastors were elected:
1918 – Rev. S.J. Givens (14th pastor)
1922 – Rev. H.W. White (15th pastor)
1924 – Rev. J.H. Jackson (16th pastor), Dr. Jackson later served as President of National Baptist Association, U.S.A.
1927 – Rev. A.B. Woods – (17th pastor)
1928 – Rev. J.A. Gormore – (18th pastor)
1931 – Rev. S.J. Jones – (19th pastor)
1936 – Rev. M.L. Gitas – (20th pastor)
1938 – Rev. S.J. Givens – (21st pastor)
1939 – Rev. A.L. Hill – (22nd pastor)
1941 – Rev. B.T. Dumas – (23rd pastor)
1943 – Rev. F.S. Smith – (24th pastor)
1948 – Rev. M.A. Marrow (25th pastor)
In 1936, the Spring Hill Community and Church, still striving for better educational opportunities for its youth, the Spring Hill Community established a high school. Up to that time, there had never been a high school anywhere in Montgomery County for black girls and boys. The Church played a significant role in the success of the Spring Hill School which operated until 1960.
In 1950, Rev. L.V. Powell was elected 26th pastor, and served 49 years. Under his administration the following deacons were added: Brothers William Harrison, Claude Bailey, Raphael McCuistion, William Loggins, Dewey Townsend, Alexander McCuistion, Cain Loggins, and Jewel Harrison.
The following improvements were made:
Renovated the Church building inside and out, including bricking the church
Installed new rest rooms
Added cooling and heating systems
Furnished new pews with cushioned seats
Built chain link fence around the cemetery
Established perpetual Cemetery Fund for current and future maintenance via Money Management system
Converted the Vocational Shop Building to serve as Fellowship Hall
In 1995, four deacons were added: Brothers Shelton Moore, William McCuiston, Homer Harrison, and, Kenneth Loggins, Sr.
In 2000, Rev. Charles Shelton was elected the 27th pastor and served for 12 years. Under his administration, the following improvements have been made:
Constructed new steps and handicapped ramps at the church and fellowship hall,
Cleared grounds behind the Mason Hall for cemetery expansion,
Sloped and widened road in front of Church,
Sloped bank east of cemetery fence to road and planted grass
Improved PA system.
Spring Hill Church is in the process of leveling the cemetery. Also, the fellowship hall was refurbished with underpinning and a new roof,
In 2013, Rev. Franklin McKinney was elected the 28th pastor, who is the current Pastor. Twenty-eight pastors have served the membership from 1870 to today, a period of over 145 years. The church membership from 1916 to about 1940 was over 300 hundred members. Today, the membership is about 75, with about 40 members who fully support the church.
The fellowship of Spring Hill families at Spring Hill Church throughout the years has always been one of self-reliance and self-sustainability. The Shelton family was a leading family in the church pivotal in its success by instilling these concepts. The Church's realization that its' future lies in the acts of its membership enabled the Spring Hill community to move forward with unbroken perseverance in times of strife and upheaval in the Deep South for blacks.
Spring Hill's firm foundation of believing in achieving the "unachievable" started with the church whose members faithfully worked together and helped each other. The Spring Hill church was the cornerstone of the community with a mindset that influenced members to become landowners, thus empowering those in the community with the confidence to expand its businesses by owning their own mills and stores.
Spring Hill loved their families and cared about others and offered a helping hand. This led its members’ to funding the building of its own accredited school and encouraging young ladies and young men to attend college. It was through these positive actions, and not just mere words, that illustrated fully and concretely how the Spring Hill Church played a huge role in the success of the community's children and children's children. I'd like to point out that, at this time in Spring Hill's history, the church community was entirely self-sustaining in all livelihoods including work, school, and play.