Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Dayton to receive historical marker March 26

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church of Dayton is one of the oldest African-American churches in continuous service in Liberty County.

The Liberty County Historical Commission will honor Pleasant Hill Baptist Church of Dayton during a marker dedication honoring its long history and historic impact on the community on Saturday, March 26, 2022 at 10 a.m.  The church is located at 801 S. Colbert Street in Dayton.

Pleasant Hill Baptist Church was organized in 1871 at Goat Hill, three miles northeast of Dayton under the leadership of Reverend Sip Baldwin.  A few years later, the membership made the decision to move the church building from Goat Hill and a new site was chosen.  One-half acre of land was purchased by the church from Mrs. Alabama Cole and Mrs. Mary Cole-Smith. 

Materials were gathered to start construction but “bogged” down on the property of Isaac Combs who then generously donated his land.  A small wooden building was constructed and pastored by Reverend James.  The building was a small, wooden shed, with two sides coarsely boarded for protection against the weather with seating on both sides, leaving just enough room for the pulpit.  The community came together and worshipped in this modest church which was also used as a school house. 

With growing membership, a new building was constructed under the guidance of Reverend W.C.F. Jones.  In 1949, a building fund was organized under the leadership of Reverend J.W. Brent.  Reverend O. J. Beasley became pastor in 1955 and construction of a new building commenced.  The first service in the new building was February 1958.  The cost of the building was $16,200 with the membership coming together and retiring the debt in four years.

In 1983, under the leadership of Reverend Amos I. Horton, the facility was expanded to include a pastor’s study, finance room, cafeteria, fellowship hall and additional classrooms.

The church membership continued to grow under the leadership of pastors, Reverend A.D. Jones 1960, Reverend H. J. Harvey 1992, and Reverend R. H. Gilmore 1995.  Ministries include senior citizens, women’s mission, family night, young adults, praise dancing and choirs.

In January of 2012, Reverend Carl D. McNelty was called to serve Pleasant Hill Baptist Church as pastor and continues to serve the congregation and community in this historic church.  Pleasant Hill Baptist Church is one of the earliest churches in Liberty County and an integral part of the community.

Please join the Liberty County Historical Commission, members of the church and community for this marker dedication.  The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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