Greater Mount Carmel Baptist Church - Period I

Rev. Samuel Watkins "Genesis" Greater Mount Carmel Baptist Church - Period I


The first period labeled, "Genesis" extends from 1916 to 1938.

There were major movers for a new Church in Scotlandville. They were Jenkins Johnson, J.S. Jones, I.S. Powell, Jake Spears, and Wesley Gaines. Initially, the services were held in Odd Fellows Hall with the Reverend Netters officiating. In 1919, the Reverend Samuel Watkins was called as the first Pastor. When the membership reached about thirty in 1920, the first sanctuary was erected. The first home of the Church was constructed of cypress planks and measured 40' x 60' at a cost of $390.00. Ernest O'Connor was the builder. The building was situated on the present site, consisting of two lots; one was purchased by the congregation for $90.00; a local citizen, Mr. A.R. Bacon, donated the second. In 1925 and 1926, new pews were installed and weatherboard siding was added.  Spearheading the financial drives to accomplish these improvements were two of the founders - Jake Spears and Jenkins Johnson. The names of Eddie White, Dudley Smith and Annie Watkins were added to the list. 

In 1932, the Reverend Watkins passed away and the Reverend Odell served as interim for about one year. The Reverend Louis Brown, a military veteran from the community, was called to serve as Pastor in 1934 for what was to be a lifelong position for him.

The Reverend Brown's pastorate seems to be the end of the beginning for Mount Carmel. By 1938, the Church was an ongoing enterprise, a body of believers with the necessary conviction to sustain themselves as a single organization.