Mount Pleasant


History of Mount Pleasant Church and Cemetery
Kenneth L. Farris June 1987

    On March 31, in the Centennial year of Texas State History, 1936 J. E. Boulet (Pastor of the Anderson Baptist Church) sent Mollie (Kerr) Bracewell (Mount Pleasant church clerk) a typewritten letter - requesting that she furnish him the historical data on the church. He was in the process of compiling a history of all the Baptist churches in Grimes County. On the back of that two-page letter is the information, in Mollie's handwriting, that found its way into Boulet's "Vol. III IRUGUBAK CHURCHES ORGANIZED AFTER 1872 AND THEIR SEQUENCES TO THE PRESENT" dated 1937 and later into "MY HOMETOWN BEDIAS" by Wallace Davis.


    The Mount Pleasant Church was organized in the summer of 1885 by Bro. C. R. Guerrant at the Sand Hill school house (which was located on the North side of Fm 1696 about 1/4 mile West of the "Red Hill Road" turn off). Charter members were Joseph Marion Bracewell and wife Emiline (James) Bracewell, William Barto Bracewell and wife Fannie (Shanks) Bracewell, W. J. Long and wife Sallie Long, also Mrs. Ella Jones. Names of other charter members were lost when the book containing all church records prior to 1893 was burned in a fire at the home of church clerk G. T. Tucker. The earliest deacons were Joseph Marion Bracewell, H. H. Wells and W. J. Long. Later deacons were James Andrew (Jim) Kerr, H. E. Stone, I. Q. Land, Edward Frank Bracewell, Arthur E. Tuck, and Urshall McWhorter.

    A church building was erected in 1886, which stood until just a few months short of its 100th anniversary. It was demolished in December 1985. In August 1887 field notes were drawn up for the church site and on December the 9th, 1887 Mrs. E. A. Mathews deeded to the three original church deacons 7.73 acres of land for the sum of $19.30. This deed was filed for record in Grimes Co. in 1958. At, or about the time of the original survey in 1887, a set of field notes for George M. Gibson was drawn up describing a 3.66 acre tract out of the original 7.66 acre tract. These field notes were drawn up by the same surveyor, Ira S. Camp. It was on this 3.66 acre tract that the Mount Pleasant Church was situated.

    In the April 30th, 1911 "minutes" of the regular church business conference there is record of a motion that the church deacons be authorized to attempt to trade the 4.0 acre tract of land left in the original survey for a new road right of way. At that time the road came across D. W. Perkins land from the South in what would be an extension along the present East boundary fence of the church property. On November 21st, 1911D. W. Perkins executed a deed to deacons J. A. Kerr and W. J. Long for 1.43 acres of land along his West boundary fence, a strip 30 feet wide, which is now the present roadway from the Lee Midkill house to the point where the roadway turns Eastbound toward the church site. It is felt that at the same time the deacons executed a deed to D. W. Perkins for the 4.0 acre tract. Neither deed was ever filed for record.

    In 1912 deacon J. A. Kerr executed a deed for 3/5 of an acre of land to the deacons of the church to serve as a cemetery. This piece of land was north of the original survey line and is presently the north end of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery, where the roadway curves around the property.

    At the time the 1936 history was written the church was maintaining one-fourth time preaching services, which meant that it was having preaching services every fourth Sunday. Usually Sunday school services were held every Sunday. Later on the church was able to become half time. During part of that time the church shared the same pastor with the Bedias BMA Baptist church and members could attend services at whichever church the pastor was scheduled to serve on that particular weekend. During this time period the pastors were usually divinity students at Jacksonville Baptist College, who would drive down for the weekend - boarding with different church members each trip. Church membership seems to have peaked about 1927 with about 150 members. Sunday School enrollment was usually 40 to 50 members. For a list of pastors and statistics on the church through 1963.

    A partial listing of members or attendees in the 1950s and 60s would include: Mr. & Mrs. Elton Taylor and children (Ross, Robert, Richard and Susan), Mr. & Mrs. Aurthur Strand, Mr. & Mrs. Byron T. Wooderson, Mr. & Mrs. Guy Jackson, Mr. & Mrs. Jack Taylor, Mr. & Mrs. Malcolm Bracewell and children (James and Norman) Mr. & Mrs. George Stephens, Mr. E. F. (Frank) Bracewell, Mrs. Druie Farris and children (Ken & Dick), Mrs. Jennie Jackson, Mrs. Flora Williams, Mrs. Lena Parr, Mrs. Gladys Beacleay, Miss Hattie Johnson, Miss Ila Hensley and Miss Janell Stephens. Mrs. Leatress Taylor was the last church clerk and Mr. Guy Jackson along with Mr. Jack Taylor were the last deacons.

    As many of the older members passed on to their final rest, the younger members left the community for military service, college and careers, and the church gradually lapsed into inactivity. The last recorded church minutes were dated March 4, 1979. In 1985 the deacons deeded the church building to an individual, to be moved off the property for personal use. It was subsequently demolished in December 1985 to be used for building materials. In the same year the church land was deeded to the Mount Pleasant Cemetery Association for the maintenance of a permanent community cemetery. Leaving us with but a spot of hallowed ground and sacred memories.

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