The History of Paxton Baptist Church

Since it has been difficult with weather conditions to get in some of my riding plans, the history of Paxton Baptist Church has been on my mind to record once again for historical reasons if nothing else. Full disclosure, it’s the church I attended with my Grandparents as I grew up. My mothers parents raised me from the age of six along with two of my younger brothers.

My grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. E. M. White made sure I attended church and were for many years the two oldest people attending Paxton Baptist Church until her death in 1999 (age 93) and his in 2001 (age 96). Two of their four daughters are also very active members, Mrs. Mary L. Sweat and Mrs. Estelle Norman.

This is an edit, while writing this post my sweet Aunt Mary passed away on June 23, 2021, hence the reason this has taken me so long. She would have been 94 years old in November. Loved her dearly and she will definitely be missed by many. Actually started writing this post on June 20th so it has taken me a long time to complete.

When I moved back to this area in 2010, I began attending this church again with my two grandsons my two Aunts and sometimes other family members. We always sat on the 5th. pew from the front, left side facing the pulpit. 🙂

My grandparents and I were baptized while attending this church on May 2, 1957, (me age 9). Yes, all three of us were baptized on the same day. As you can see I have a lot of personal history with this church and many great memories so lets get down to the HISTORY of Paxton Baptist Church!

“One of the few churches to ever hold membership in associations in two states as well as being affiliated with two state conventions, Paxton Baptist Church was organized in 1906, after a year as a mission of the First Baptist Church in Florala, Alabama.”

The quotation above is from the “History of Churches in Walton County Baptist Association 1890-1990 (Walton County, Florida)

The “History of First Baptist Church in Florala” lists the names of several members who were granted letters of dismissal for the purpose of organizing a Baptist church in Paxton, Florida. Those names were: Reverend and Mrs. D.C. Allen, Mrs. R.D. Cockroft, Miss Alice Cook, Mrs. H.W. Pillum, Mr. and Mrs. Sid Quick, Mr. and Mrs. D.W. Royals, Mrs. Mary Robinson, Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Whitehurst.

Others listed as charter members were: W.H. Tool, G.H. Cook, D.W. Parker, R.N. Cook, Demmie Cook, Firby Brooks, Lealer Brooks, Adline Parker, M.A. Cockroft, Millie Martain, and Julia Cook.

The Reverend W. F. Martain and the Reverend S. H. Bennette formed the presbytery for accepting these members and constituting this church. The Philadelphia Confession of Faith was adopted by the church in conference. S. M. Quick was the first deacon and the first trustees were S. M. Quick, G. H. Cook, and R. N. Cook. Reverend D. C. Allen was the first pastor and served the church as pastor until September, 1922.

The first building was a 45×80 ft. wooden building. Physical location of the church has been changed three times. Sometime during the mid thirties during the pastoral of Reverend V. D. Maraman, the church building was dismantled and moved from it’s original location to a site on Highway 331 just across the highway from the W. E. McIntosh home.

Once again in the mid to early forties while Reverend T. F. McReynolds was pastor, the church was moved out near the high school building. In 1958 the church building was moved on the the land currently occupied by the present building. Mr. and Mrs. Jack Webster deeded this acre of land to the church in June, 1960.

The building program began with what is now the south wing of the present building, which currently serves as the Fellowship Hall. Next came the sanctuary and Sunday School Rooms. The building was completed in 1961 with dedication service held on July 31st. Reverend Malcolm Harris was the pastor when the building was completed. Present building is a beautiful brick structure with the sanctuary having central heat and air. Building debt was paid off in 1970.

A pastorium was built in 1955 on land donated by Mr. Joel Adams. Men of the church did most of the construction.

In 1993, the auditorium was remodeled with new pews and carpet. In 2005, men of the church remodeled and enlarged the fellowship hall and kitchen. During the remodeling, window units were replaced with central heat and air conditioning.

Three men from this church have been ordained to the gospel ministry by the Paxton Baptist Church. Hobson Vann in 1951, William (Tucker) Aplin in 1959, and Frank McIntosh in 1975. Another member baptized in 1955, Ms. June Mason volunteered for foreign missions after teaching one year at Paxton High School. She served in Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. She celebrated 26 years with the foreign mission board in July of 1997. In 1967-68 she was listed as an “outstanding young woman” in Young Women in America.

Mrs. Cleo Braswell joined the church in 1924 at the age of 12 and remained a member until her death in 2004, serving for 80 years. She was the longest standing member.

The Paxton Baptist Church was a member of the Sardis Association in Alabama until 1925 when it joined the Walton County Baptist Association in Florida.

Pastors of Paxton Baptist Church

Rev. D. C. Allen 1906-1922

Rev. D. F. Sutley 1922-1925

Rev. S. A. Thompson 1925-1927

Rev. J. E. West 1927-1928

Rev. S. A. Thompson 1929

Rev. E. C. Lindsey 1929

Rev. V. D. Marman 1933-1937

Rev. H. M. Conners 1937-1941

Rev. T. F. McReynolds 1942-1946

Rev. J. L. Harris 1946-1952

Rev. C. C. Garrett 1952

Rev. J. A. Cornelison 1952

Rev. C. W. Crin 1952-1954

Rev. James Hamrick 1955-1959

Rev. Malcholm Harris 1959-1961

Rev. Charles Kerby 1962-1964

Rev. James Hayes 1964-1966

Rev. Fred Broadway 1967-1968

Rev. Charles Donahue 1968-1969

The Paxton Baptist Church Facebook PAGE is located at:

Rev. Delmar Stiger 1969

Rev. Larry Conners 1971-1974

Rev. Ed Neeley 1974-1976

Rev. Edwin Parker 1977-1980

Rev. Wayne Weeks 1980-1981

Rev. R. L. Cole 1982-1986

Rev. Ed McDaniel 1986-1987

Rev. Jim Hemphill 1987-1989

Rev. David Anderson 1990-1993

Rev. Toby Stone 1994-1996

Rev. Denford Morris 1996-1997

Rev. Owen Smith 1997-1999

Rev. Roland Norris 1999-2002

Rev. Tom Garner 2002-2003

Rev. Frank McIntosh 2003-2005

Rev. Chester Carlisle 2005-2008

Rev. Mark Rathel 2008-2009

Rev. John Lovelady 2009-present

My Yamaha at Church
Paxton Baptist Church

Resources for the Pastor list was compiled from Church Homecoming bulletins dated October 1997 and November 2011. Some dates conflicted with each other but we believe the listing of names is correct.

Information for this article was gathered from an article written by the Florala News dated November 7th., 1991 by Author: Elizabeth McGee. Resources they used came from Mrs. Cleo Braswell, Derry Braswell, G. H. Kyle, Rev. David Anderson, the History of Churches in Walton County Baptist Association 1890-1990, History of First Baptist Church of Florala and a historical outline of Paxton Baptist Church by John Parker.

Other resources used were Homecoming Church Bulletins dated October 19,1997, October 15, 2006, and November 6, 2011. All of the above material including the newspaper article was supplied by one of my high school classmates, Mrs. Jean Russell Braswell. Side note: her and I were Mr. & Mrs. Senior according to our yearbook. 🙂

We believe all the information above to be true and correct. If anyone should see an error or perhaps have a suggestion for something to be added or removed please comment below or contact me personally.

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Finally about to post this article after all the issues lately. Just wanted to say that this post is dedicated to my sweet lovely, Aunt Mary Sweat — November 19,1927 – June 23, 2021. She attended Paxton Baptist Church for many many years, taught Sunday School and was very well loved by all that knew her. She loved Paxton Baptist Church!

The Legacy of Love:

A wife, a mother, a grandma too, This is the legacy we have from you. You taught us love and how to fight, You gave us strength, and gave us might. A Stronger person would be hard to find, And in your heart, you were always kind. You Fought for us all in one way or another, Not just as a wife, not just as a mother. For all of us you have your best, Now the time has come for you to rest. So go in peace, you’ve earned your sleep, Your love in our hearts, we’ll eternally keep.


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