History of the Bible Methodist Church
West Blocton, Alabama
This has been recently updated with information from Michael Paul of Ada Chapel.
West Blocton Bible Methodist was originally call the Wesleyan Methodist Church and was formed shortly after a revival which occurred in the nearby town of Brent, AL. The name was changed to Bible Methodist in the summer of 1967.
The earliest records available indicate that the first service were held on December 1st, 1906 by Pierce Ramsey. You can see P C Ramsey's original sermon note book here. The first sermon was took as it's text 2nd Thessalonians 1:1. The second written record of the church appeared in the local newspaper called the "Enterprise" on February 2nd, 1907. See the microfiche copy here. It announced services at Wriffht's Hall by P C Ramsey (original spelling for the article but normally called Write's Hall). The announcement mentioned that the Sunday School Superintendent was J. W. Bracknell.
From the book by Michael Paul, written to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Ada Chapel Bible Methodist Church we read:
"West Blocton was the second church to be organized in the Alabama Mission. Early in 1907 P.C. Ramsey started holding church in West Blocton (possibly after Ada Chapel Church was completed.) For the first time a notice in the February 2nd 1907 issue of the Blocton Enterprise announced that Wesleyan Methodist Church services were to be held at Wrights Hall in West Blocton. The newspaper’s advertisement read as follows:
“Wesleyan Methodist---Services every second Sunday at 11:00 AM and 7:30 PM and on Saturday before the second Sunday at Wrights Hall. P.C. Ramsey pastor Sunday School every Sunday at 3:00 pm. J. S. Bracknell, Superintendent.“
”Wrights Hall was the principle meeting place for the towns various groups and organizations. The Hall also served as the “Court House” for the Blocton Division of the Bibb County Court. Charles Edwards Adams tells us in his book BLOCTON that “The upstairs accommodated the meeting room and downstairs housed a grocery store and briefly, and African-American managed dry cleaners. In October 1923, because of age and structural problems, it was torn down. Once, when it creaked and groaned with a full house, court had to be dismissed and moved to the Opera House.”
As far as is know the first pastor to organize the church into a permanent body was J. A. Wood with the help of Rev. Alfonzo French as evangelist who was also known as Father French. Alfonzo French had two boys who were also ministers named Will and Rob. They figured prominently in the founding an organization of many Wesleyan Methodist Churches. J. A. Wood organized the church after a gospel meeting in nearby Brent, AL. The first church was a tent meeting held in the rough mining town of West Blocton. Click here for more information on the History of the Wesleyan Methodist Church as a denomination.
Charles Edwards Adams writes in his book "Blocton - The History of an Alabama Coal Mining Town" the following notes about the church:
Also in the book: H. ROBB FRENCH -- PIONEER, PROPHET AND PRAYER WARRIOR Compiled By Anna Talbott McPherson we read that shortly after Pastor J. A. Wood, Will French became the pastor for a short time. During this time his brother, H. Robb French pastored the nearby Tuscaloosa, AL church. Below are excerpts from the book. You can read the whole text by clicking on the link below. Please observe the copy write by not making printed copies.
Here are some quotes from the book from page 38.
The second reference is on page 39.
Though we do not have a complete list of the early members, here is a partial list of some members dating back to as early as 1933. This list may not be complete. If you know of other that are not included please click here to let us know.
Starting in the later part of 1966 we begin to read in the church quarterly business meeting records of the impending merger of the Wesleyan Methodist Church with the denomination known as the Pilgrim Holiness Church. We know from other records of that time the controversy surrounding this movement. Many in the Wesleyan Methodist Church opposed this change. The church record for September 28th, 1966 reads as follows:
The next record of this issue is recorded as follows:
However, the prevailing vote in the majority of Wesleyan Methodist Churches was for a merger of the two denominations. This occurred on the national level and in the summer of 1968 the two denominations merged to form the new denomination which is today called The Wesleyan Church. However we read the following information in the church record for October 4th, 1967:
With this the church changed names but continued the traditions of worship and joined the Alabama Bible Methodist Connection of Church, where they have continued as a member since that time.
Later significant church events included the purchase of a home adjacent to the church property for use as a parsonage, paving and improvement of the parking lot, the complete remodeling of the church interior, and the most latest addition of the church fellowship hall. Today the Bible Methodist Church of West Blocton is an active, caring congregation, looking toward the future for continued ministry to the town and church members.
Short History of the Bible Methodist Church of West Blocton.