By Jacob Bembry
Greene Publishing, Inc.
Approaching their 100th birthday, four years from now in 2018, Pinetta Baptist Church has had a long and storied history, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in the community that is north of Madison on the way to Valdosta, Georgia. In the 1930s, part of their history was recorded for posterity.
During the Great Depression, as part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal program, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created. A total of $15,500,000 (15.5 million) was allocated to archive the history of churches throughout the country. A number of Madison County churches were archived by the WPA, including Macedonia Baptist Church.
According to the WPA record, which may have been collected by WPA worker Margaret Jones in 1937, the church was constituted in 1918 and services were held in a small, white-frame building which was dedicated in 1920.
The first settled pastor was Rev. R. Berry, who served from 1918 until 1919. At the time of the WPA record, Rev. James A. Nichols was the pastor, having assumed the seat in 1937. Nichols was a graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Today, Rev. Dean Spivey serves as the pastor.
At the time of the WPA record, Pinetta Baptist was listed as a quarter-time church, meeting the third Thursday of each month and had 137 members. Active organizations included the Sunday School, the Baptist Training Union and the Women’s Missionary Union.
There were two volumes of church records, dating from 1918, which included the minutes of business meetings, reports, the membership roll, as well as lists of baptisms and deaths. M.G. Law, of Pinetta was the custodian of the church records.
There was one volume of financial records, in the custody of Gordon Keeling, of Valdosta, Ga, dating from 1918. The records showed disbursements and receipts.
There were two volumes of Sunday School records, dating from 1918. Kept in the custody of Howard Kinsey, the records showed pupils, teachers, officers, attendance, collections and disbursements.
There was one volume of Baptist Training Union records. The records showed members, meetings of meetings, collections and disbursements. They were dated from 1927.
There was one volume of Women’s Missionary Union records, dating from 1925, showing minutes of meetings, members, collections and disbursements.
There was no one listed as custodian for either the Baptist Training Union or Women’s Missionary Union records.