Greater Mt. Triumph to celebrate 119 years

Published 11:17 pm Monday, March 13, 2006

By By Janet Little Cooper
Greater Mt. Triumph Baptist Church is celebrating its 119th Anniversary this week with a series of services beginning Wednesday, March 15 and climaxing on Sunday, March 19 at 3 p.m. as the members celebrate the rich history and tradition of the Baptist church.
Atmore was still known as Williams Station in the churches early days as a group of the sparsely populated town began worship services in their homes. As the group grew larger, the Log Hut Church was erected on what is now North Main Street.
Rev. S. Smith, B. Dorsey, Edd Smith and B. Woods were the ministers who served as pastor of the Log Hut Church according to church documents.
The name of the church was changed from Log Hut to the First Baptist Church under one of those ministers. As the church continued to grow, the name was once again changed to Mt. Triumph Baptist Church.
A second church was erected in 1903 on land purchased from Sam Bullard by Rev. Burl L. Woods and the congregation. The ministers who served as pastors of this new church were the Reverends R.T. Thomas, John Jacobs, Alex Lucious, Walter Stephens, Ollie Franklin and W. M. Franklin.
A third church was built in 1912 to accommodate the increasing membership. In 1917, the late Rev. W. A. Jones pastored the church that would now become known as present day Greater Mt. Triumph Baptist Church. He served the church for 39 years.
Under the leadership of Rev. H. H. Smith in 1956, who followed Jones, the fourth church was built where it still stands today. Services were held in the auditorium of the Escambia County Training School while the old church building was dismantled and the new one begun. He served for more than 11 years.
Other pastors to follow were Rev. Holmes, Rev. J. D. Williams, and Rev. A. L. Durant.
Rev. Willie Hawthorne is the current pastor of Greater Mt. Triumph. The church has seen continued growth and blessings under Hawthorne's guidance and leadership since he came to the church in 2002.
According to church records, the church continues to see people baptized and new members join the church that originated from humble beginnings.
Greater Mt. Triumph continues to contribute to Foreign Missions as well as Home Missions and local charities.
The annual event, much like a birthday party according to Pastor Willie Hawthorne will recognize 119 years of service this week with different speakers each night.
Rev. Sanders Mason pastor of Zion Star A.M.E. in Atmore will be speaking Wednesday night, followed by Pastor Hattie Bishop of Deliverance Ministry in Atmore. The celebration will continue Friday night with the pastor of Union Baptist in Bay Minette, Rev. Dwight Boykin. The week will end on Sunday at 3 p.m. with a special service featuring Rev. James Miller from First Baptist Church of Warrington in Pensacola, Fla. The weeknight services all began at 7 p.m. and are open to the community.

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