Mt. Pleasant Baptist prepares to celebrate 95 years
Published 8:48 am Monday, May 4, 2015
At 280 Mt. Pleasant Lane in Bogalusa sits a beautiful, well-maintained country church.
During a recent visit, its steeple stood tall against the stormy backdrop of sky. In reality Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church has stood firm through many storms her members and community have encountered over her 95-year history. Through all the ups and downs of life the church has continued to share God’s message of hope and forgiveness to all who enter its doors.
What began with five families uniting together to study God’s word at “Old Ford” on the bank of Lee’s Creek has remained for almost a century. After the initial meeting, the group worshipped together under the pines with makeshift seats of boards laid across blocks. Families walked or rode in horse-drawn wagons or buggies in the early days, so it was necessary to have churches within a short distance of home simply because of the logistics of traveling.
According to Washington Parish Baptist Association records, Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church was admitted to the association during their session in September 1921. H.L. Crain, a member at Mt. Pleasant, said, “According to rumor, Brother W.E. Watkins, the first pastor, was sitting on a load of lumber to start construction when he said, ‘This sure is a pleasant site, and it is on a mountain’ — thus the name.”
Crain continued, “ We are all at different places along the road in our Christian life. With all the things happening in our world today I don’t know how I would face what’s ahead without Christ. I know God is faithful.”
From humble beginnings the church at Mt. Pleasant has grown, and many have been added to her congregation. The first building was completed in the first year of the church’s history. It was torn down in 1961 after being remodeled many times over. The present education building was built in 1960, and the sanctuary was built in 1964. The parsonage was completed in 1973.
According to Audrey McCain, church clerk and historian, “Sam Jackson is our Sunday school director. Sunday school is held each Sunday at 9, with worship following at 10:15. We have children’s church for ages 1 through 12. After the song service the young ones leave the sanctuary and have their own service. We also have a youth group, which meets on Wednesdays at 6, led by seminary student Michael Thomas.”
The faithfulness of God is preached for all who will come to hear each Sunday at Mt. Pleasant. Dr. Mark Hollingsworth, pastor, wears another hat during the week. He serves the Lord through his work as chaplain at Rayburn Correctional Center, sharing the love and mercy of Christ to those incarcerated there.
Hollingsworth, along with the rest of the congregation, invites the community to celebrate what the Lord has done over the many years this church has been in existence. On Sunday, May 9, the church will have “dinner on the grounds” after the morning service. All are welcome.