OUR JOURNEY TO HERE
In the year of 1916 or 1917, a group of baptized believers were inspired to start a church. They initially met in a blacksmith shop on the corner of what is now known as Jefferson Boulevard. The record indicates that in 1918 a congregation was organized and regular services were held in a small wooden building. Reverend W.A. Williams was the Pastor and the church was named First Missionary Baptist Colored Church of Boyles. Following Rev. Williams there were approximately six ministers called to shepherd the First Baptist Church of Boyles.
It was in 1930 that Rev. J.H. Chambers became the Pastor. It was during his leadership that the small wooden building was torn down and replaced with a larger and nice building. Due to declining health, the well-loved Rev. Chambers vacated the pulpit after pastoring for nearly thirty years. Rev. T.W. Wallace, an Associate Minister, served as Pulpit Conductor until 1963.
In June 1963, Rev. J.W. Croom, Jr. was called to serve as Pastor. He was instrumental in changing the name to First Missionary Baptist Church East Boyles as well as the construction of a new church built in July 1970 in the same location. Church services at the time of construction were held in a community known as Pipe Shop.
In 1971, Rev. Croom, Jr. was called to shepherd another church. Rev. Roosevelt Howard, an Associate Minister, became the Pulpit Conductor until January 1972.
In January 1972, the church called Rev. Clyde Beverly, Sr., as the new Pastor. Rev. Beverly served untiringly, boldly preaching God’s Word. He led us to higher heights, promoting Evangelism and Discipleship. Under his Pastoring, the construction of a new building began in 1999. This included a sanctuary which would accommodate seating for 400 people. In the interim, as the new edifice was under construction we were not able to utilize the premises. It was our neighborhood sister church family, Mt. Hermon A.M.E. Zion Church, that openly and lovingly offered their edifice for our services. Rev. Beverly opted not to have separate services but to unite in joint worship. We worshipped together from September, 1999 until December, 1999.
In January, 2000 with our esteemed leader, Rev. Clyde Beverly, Sr. and his wife, we marched into our new church. The members of Mt. Hermon and many other churches were invited to come and celebrate our Awesome God, our Provider.
The following year, 2001, we were read a letter of resignation from Rev. Clyde Beverly, Sr. He stated, “My Pastoring of this church family should not extend beyond the last Sunday in April, 2002”. Rev. Beverly encouraged us saying, “Let God have absolute control at all times. Get and keep things Bible centered (Proverbs 3:5&6)”. It was just like him, trying to settle and to maintain calmness in our church family.
May, 2002, Rev. Robert Foster, Jr., a member of our church, was elected to serve as interim Pastor. Rev. Foster served for a short period and then Rev. Elijah Cooley, Missionary of the Village Spring Manly District Association assumed the role of Pulpit Conductor.
Beginning August, 2004, our current shepherd, Rev. Robert M. Alexander, Jr., was selected to be our Pastor. He is a dynamic teacher and servant of God. Rev. Alexander teaches Gods Word, emphasizing Evangelism and Disciplining beyond the church walls just as Rev. Beverly had before him.
On Sunday, April 19, 2015, we celebrated a unified Mortgage Burning Ceremony. This amazing praise celebration was historical and a blessed event for our church family. A day of jubilation, a day we acknowledged the many sacrifices made, not only by our church members, but also by our friends and loved ones for this DEBT FREE edifice.
On Sunday, October 21, 2018, we celebrated the awesomeness of God as He allowed this church to exist for 100 years in the city of Tarrant, AL. Who could have imagined that day would ever come? God always knew! We can only imagine that those believers who labored before us prayed that the church would continue long after their departure. It was their faith that started our journey. We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28 NKJV). Those early years were hard times for African Americans everywhere, but especially in the south. It was only because of God’s grace and mercy that our forefathers were able to stand on God’s word in hard times. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Today, 100+ years later, we are grateful and abundantly blessed to be able to celebrate every day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. Now therefore, our God, We Thank You and praise your glorious name!