From humble beginnings in 1907 Center Ridge Baptist Church was constituted August 24, 1907, by the following charter members: Anderson Allums, Robert Culverhouse and wife Mary, Gypsy Lee Culverhouse, Almer Chandler, Algia Glenn, Foy Glenn, Dealie Herring, A. B. Richards, J. W. Richards, Lilla Richards, Marcus Foreman, and Edgar Segler. J. A. Phillips was the first pastor, and Edgar Segler served as clerk. Center Ridge joined the Dale Baptist Association in 1910.
The first church building was likely the Alliance Assembly Hall of the Farmers’ Alliance at Barnes’ Cross Roads, which was disassembled and rebuilt on two acres (the present site) given to the church by David Carroll and his wife. Sunday School was organized at CenterRidgeBaptistChurch in 1912. For many years, the church held worship services once per month and then bi-monthly services were begun.
This building was used until 1919 when high winds destroyed the building. Immediately, plans were made to rebuild, and by January 1920, the finance committee reported that enough money had been collected to pay for the new church. Next, the committee began seeking funds to pay for painting the building. Funds became available, and the building was painted. The dedication sermon was preached by Pastor Ira Myers July 3, 1920.
By the middle 1950’s the members felt that a new and larger church building was a necessity. In 1957, Aubrey Carroll, John Culverhouse, and Tullie Culverhouse were appointed to formulate plans for the new building and determine the cost of construction. After the plans of the committee were accepted, groundbreaking ceremonies were held July 28, 1957, with the oldest member and deacon, Mancil Trawick, wielding the shovel. The new church was completed by November of the same year. A steeple was added in mid 1979.
Center Ridge Baptist Church sustained a terrible tragedy in 1990, when the church building was completely destroyed by fire. The Alabama Baptist State Convention furnished a mobile chapel for the congregation to use while a new building was constructed. Plans to rebuild were formulated immediately, and the new church was completed and dedicated the same year, September 30, 1990.
Present Church Building
More than thirty pastors have led the congregation of Center Ridge through its one hundred years of history. Other than those already mentioned, a partial list includes: A. J. Bundrick, G. D. Bragan, H. S. McMillan, G. W. Lester, R. C. Deal, W. G. Deshazo, Harvey Beasley, J. C. Rogers, H. E. Draughn, A. D. Neal, W. M. Dean, J. C. Guy, E. E. Henry, David Causey, George Trotter, C. W. Sheppard, S. W. Kimbrough, Wallace Green, Roy Hudson, Harold Mefford, Paul Johnson, Curtis Sexton, Autry Waters, Ronald Hendrickson, Kenneth Murphy, Ed Peters, David Craven, Morgan Bailey, Guy Causey, Jim Strength, Johnny LaCarter, Bernard Jones, Robert Mitchell, Justin Abercrombie, Bryan Sanders, and Charlie Sanders.
Creel Richardson, a well-known historian and educator, wrote of Center Ridge Baptist Church, “A study of Center Ridge Baptist Church leads to the inevitable conclusion that the church has exerted a strong influence upon the moral and spiritual behavior of its membership and community. It has endowed us with a great heritage and responsibility to pass along to future generations.”
If you would like to read more about our community and church history written by Creel Richardson please click here Our Community – Our Church – Our Heritage