Early History of Rising Star Missionary Church and Surrounding Area
Fall 1540 De Soto and his group crossed the Tombigbee River during the fall of 1540 at a point located near the city of Aberdeen, Mississippi that was known for many years as Morgan’s Ferry. They spent the winter of 1540 – 1541 in the south part of what is now Pontotoc County and north part of Chickasaw County, Mississippi. Source: North East Mississippi Historical Journal March 1971 Vol. IV No.1 Article Monroe County and Her People to February 9, 1821 by George W. Howell.
If De Soto crossed modern day Lamar County, Alabama it would have probably been at the lower Southwest corner of the county.
1776 A permanent settlement of Chickasaw Indians was located on the west side of the Tombigbee river only a few miles from the site of the town of Cotton Gin Port, but there is no record of Choctaw villages or Chickasaw villages on the east side of the Tombigbee river. The area that surrounds Sulligent today was probably used as hunting grounds for the Indians. According to legends passed down through the years there were isolated Indian camps here.
We know from history that a band of Chickasaw Indians were living in the Greenwood Springs, Mississippi area. One fall evening a band of hard faced Chickasaw Indians, running along a ridge trail, were tiring after a long day’s journey. Realizing it would soon be dark and there would be no moon, they must make camp soon. They were nearing a narrow valley, peering down into the dark foliage of huge oaks and beech trees, they would be certain to find water here and the trees would provide shelter for the night. Having made their way down into the valley, sure enough there was a spring gushing from the earth. They ate their jerky, washing it down with the cool, mineral water, then prepared for the night. This being the discovery of the curative springs for which Greenwood Springs, Mississippi was named. For some years after 1815, the Indians who lived north of the Trace and west of the river, took their sick to these springs in Monroe County to be cured of any sickness. Source: Research of Mary Lou Kinard King.
1797 Our area that is Lamar County today became a part of the Mississippi Territory in 1797. Since the Chickasaw Indians still claimed this land, their presence became a problem to white settlers who began to settle in the area. Source: Lamar County A History to 1900 by Rose Marie Smith.
1799 According to information passed down from generation to generation the Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church was organized around the late 1700’s or early 1800’s. Source: The Heritage of Lamar County, Alabama No written record found to confirm this.
1815 The first permanent white settlers moved onto the headwaters of the Buttahatchie River during the early summer of 1815. During this same summer white people made a settlement on the main stream of the Tombigbee River near the site of Cotton Gin Port, Mississippi (near modern day Amory, MS). These and other permanent white settlers who came after them between the years of 1815 and 1820 scattered their homesteads along the banks of the Buttahatchie and the Luxapalila rivers, and within an area that is included today in those parts of Monroe County and Lowndes County in Mississippi that lie east of the Tombigbee river and in Marion County, Lamar County and Fayette County in Alabama. These pioneers came to be known and designated as “the Buttahatchie Settlers”. Source NE Mississippi Historical Journal March 1971 Vol. IV No.1 Article Monroe County and Her People to February 9, 1821by George W. Howell.
1817 The Alabama Territory created when Congress passed the enabling act allowing the division of the Mississippi Territory and the admission of Mississippi into the union as a state. Source: Alabama Archives Online Timeline
The Buttahatchie settlers in our area were part of the Mississippi Territory until the creation of Alabama Territory on March 1, 1817. Source: Lamar County A History to 1900 by Rose Marie Smith.
Between the years of 1817 and 1820 the exact location of the boundary line between Mississippi and Alabama was a matter of speculation even to the legislature of the Alabama Territory.
1818 January 19, 1818: The first legislature of the Alabama Territory convenes at the Douglas Hotel in the territorial capital of St. Stephens. Source: Alabama Archives Online Timeline.
With the boundaries of the two territories still uncertain, the Alabama Territorial Government moved to establish authority by creating the county of Tuscaloosa in February of 1818. From portions of that county, Marion County, Alabama was formed on December 13, 1818. At that time, Marion County, covered land from the Black Warrior River to the Tombigbee River and included lands in modern day counties of Winston, Walker, Sumter, Greene, Pickens, Choctaw, Tuscaloosa, Fayette and Lamar. Because the western boundary of the Alabama Territory was in limbo, the new Marion County also included portions of modern day counties of Monroe and Lowndes in Mississippi. Source: Lamar County A History to 1900 by Rose Marie Smith.
1820 The current boundary line of Alabama and Mississippi was established in July of 1820. Source: Lamar County A History to 1900 by Rose Marie Smith.
1823 Macedonia Primitive Church constituted on August 17, 1823 by Elders Henry Petty and William A. Cook, with the following members: Abraham Kuykendall, Polly Kuykendall, Elijah Arnold , Elizabeth Arnold, :Limuel Beene, Sally Beene, John Beene, Sally Beene, Jessee Beene, Polly Beene, Jabaz Henson, Catharine Henson, Oscar Koch, Rachel Koch, John Ree, Isabel Marchbanks.
In the history of Macedonia Church several Black members are mentioned:
1825 Phebe (Black man’s wife) Margaret (Black woman belonging to John Bankhead).
1833 Leah (Black sister belonging to Derrl Holly) Lidicy (Black sister belonging to David Hankins, John (Black man), Sedr (Black sister), Diner (Black sister), Liddey (Black sister), Polly (Black sister), Txanna (Black sister), Paddy (Black brother), Elin (Black sister), Albert (a Black), Charlot (a Black). Could some of these Black members helped to start Rising Star Church?
1824 Modern Lamar County residents were citizens of Marion County, Alabama until 1824 when Fayette County was formed from portions of Tuscaloosa and Marion Counties. At that point the northern portion of modern day Lamar County was Marion County and the southern one-half was Fayette County. The dividing line was about when Oak Hill Methodist Church is located today. Source: Lamar County A History to 1900 by Rose Marie Smith.
1832 After a series of treaties, the Chickasaw hunters no longer were a threat to the white pioneers after the Chickasaws made their last cession of lands east of the Mississippi River in 1832. The Indians left our area but not without having made contributions to the land that would influence future settlers. Source: Lamar County A History to 1900 by Rose Marie Smith.
1834 The Choctaw Indians gave up their territory east of that river in 1834. Source: Lamar County A History to 1900 by Rose Marie Smith.
1835 In 1835, the Indians were driven from their homes to the west, throwing open rich, bottom land to settlers. By this time, Chief Levi Colbert was dead. Source: North East E Mississippi Historical Journal March 1971 Vol. IV No.1 Article Monroe County and Her People to February 9, 1821by George W. Howell.
1867 Lamar County as we know it today was formed as Jones County February 4, 1867 by Alabama Legislature. Source: Lamar County A History to 1900 by Rose Marie Smith.
1868 Lamar County as we know it today was formed as Sanford County on October 8, 1868 by Alabama Legislature. Source: Lamar County A History to 1900 by Rose Marie Smith.
1877 At the urging of John Hollis Bankhead, the name of Sanford County was changed to Lamar by an Act of Legislature on February 8, 1877 in honor of Senator Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, who was born in Putnam County, Georgia. Source: Lamar County A History to 1900 by Rose Marie Smith.
1899 In 1899 the following men carried the church: Horse Bankhead, Annison Broyles, Gardner Flemming, Toby Wess and Peter Flemming. During this time the church facilities also served as a school. Source: The Heritage of Lamar County, Alabama
1913 Members who carried the church: Horse Bankhead, Annison Broyles, Toby Wess and Pastor Joe Shine. Source: The Heritage of Lamar County, Alabama.
1937-1947 Members who carried the church: Fred McKinney, George Johnson, George Morrow, Jessie Hollis, Rubin Edmond. Source: The Heritage of Lamar County, Alabama.
1950-1979 Members who carried the church: George Johnson, Rubin Edmond, Fred McKinney, Clinton Blanchard. Source: The Heritage of Lamar County, Alabama.
1980-1987 Members who carried the church: Lonnie Joe Woods, Glady Hollis, Mack Woods, L. C. Flemming, Freddie McKinney, Isaiah Waller. Source: The Heritage of Lamar County, Alabama.
1988 to present Members carrying the church: Lonnie Joe Woods, Mack Woods, Judge Metcalfe, James H. Cribbs, Bud Glass, Bobby Metcalfe, Freddie McKinney, Glady Hollis, Willie Wilson, James C. Cribbs. Source: The Heritage of Lamar County, Alabama.
1992 Rising Star Missionary Baptist a new sanctuary in 1992. The church was built on land donated by Sister Crenzie Summers in 1962. Rising Star Church is located three miles south Buck Jackson Road on Rising Star Road Source: The Heritage of Lamar County, Alabama.
2010 Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church Register
Pastor: Bud Glass
Deacon: James H. Cribbs
Deacon: Bobby Metcalfe
Church Superintendent: Bobby Metcalfe
Church Secretary: Irene McKinney
Church Treasurer: James H. Cribbs
Missions President: Bridgett Glass
Adult Sunday School Teacher: James H. Cribbs
Youth Sunday School Teacher: Annie Boyd
Young Adults Sunday School Teacher: Sandra Prowell
Usher President: Vikki Cokes
Youth President: Nita Powell
Choir President: Nita Powell
Note from Z.Joyce McCollum-Reference Rising Star History: “The history I have says it was started in 1799 but was Alabama a state then? I questioned the date. If correct it was probably started on someone’s plantation for the slaves. Interesting. Gus Glass’ son is the pastor. Gus’ mother was a Hollis and most of that land did belong to D.U. Hollis. It was moved from its original spot to where it is now. Dad says back in the 1930s. My great grandfather Bud Wells deeded the land for the church and the old school in its present location. My great aunt Crenzie Summers taught Sunday school there for over 50 years. I know she is standing to the right near the entrance. If you can find anyone to identify these people it would be great.”
Written by Barb Carruth.