I have begun working on a history of Holly Springs Baptist Church at the request of my parents and some of the other elderly members of the church. Unfortunately these folks don’t know a whole lot of the early history, but we’re going to give it a try and see what we can come up with. The church was established in 1872 and I have access to a church minute book for the period of about 1882 – 1896. The records are apparently missing for the earliest years and for the next 40 years or so after 1896, leaving a large gap in the information I have to work with. I intend to include information from the old minute book, memories and stories of the older folks, a brief biographical sketch of the early families and pictures of as many of the early members as I can find. Families that were among the first members include:
Prescott (a woman named Caroline Prescott was on an early membership list)
There are many others, but these are some of the ones that come to mind at the moment. If you know of anything at all that may be relevant please contact me (Greg)
Yes, I have sources for your history book. It is nice to hear from you again. I think your doing a history of the church is really nice and I will be happy to help in any way I can. Yes, I have pictures, and better than that, I have Nelson Prescott, Jr. age 96 who is still very much alive and kicking. I was thinking about coming back home around ______, and if I do, perhaps we could meet and you could speak with Nelson Prescott, Jr. He has many memories of the old church, and used the play the guitar for the church. Nelson Prescott, Jr. was born 25 Nov 1912, so if you want to talk to him, you will need to do it sooner than later! He does pretty well with remembering if you do not stress him out with lots of questions. I get him talking then just let him roll. I occasionally bring the conversation back to a point, but usually he stays on task.
My great grandfather, Nelson Abner Prescott, Sr., was born 12 Apr 1888, outside of Morgantown near the old Holly Springs church site. This was when it was located near an actual spring of water. Nelson Prescott, Sr. had his 100th birthday party at the church, and we do have pictures.
The Caroline Prescott you mentioned was probably Eliza Caroline Prescott, born March 1857. She married Martin Cothern. If you look at the database online you will find all these family names.
The reason I know about the old church being further back into the woods is because Nelson Prescott, Jr. and I have been out there twice in the last few years and we spent the day driving, talking and stopping at different places that he remembered. If he does not remember the stories to tell you himself then I will pull out my notes and send you a copy. I think it will mean more to him to tell you himself.
My great grandfather, Nelson Prescott, Sr., loved the Holly Springs Baptist Church. He was so old, and he would drive out there every Sunday. He considered it his church and was very happy when he was able to celebrate his 100th birthday there.
Family ties to the church:
Courtney Beard, daughter of Aaron Beard and Holly Thornhill, married John P. Prescott.
John and Courtney Prescott are the parents of Nelson Prescott, Sr.
John P. Prescott's father, Zachariah, was the first Prescott in that area.
Holly Thornhill was the daughter of William Elisha Thornhill and Mary Ann Boutwell.
Zachariah Prescott's house was in the woods within walking distance of the first church site. Zachariah Prescott, born 1814, was from North Carolina. He moved his family back and forth between Mississippi and Franklinton, Louisiana. I do not know why he moved them back and forth. His son John P. Prescott, born 10 Apr 1859 in Morgantown, stayed there as an adult and raised his family there. The steps to the old house are still on the side of the road near the railroad tracks. Nelson Prescott, Jr. is too old to walk back in the woods anymore, but I know there has to be someone who knows where the original church site is. I met a woman once when I was doing interviews in Marion County that remembers her mother taking her on hikes back into the woods to see an old graveyard that no longer being maintained. There broken headstones and depressions and mounds where her mother said people had been buried. She thought this was the old cemetery from the first church site. It would be great to actually find out if any of this is based on fact.
I will be happy to help you in anyway I can.