Williamson County
Historical Commission

 

 
Macedonia Baptist Church
Georgetown, Texas


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206 Martin Luther King St 

GPS Coordinates
North 30o 38' 27.0" - West 097o 40' 51.7"

UTM 14 R - east 0626426 - north 3390337


 

Marker Text
The earliest worship services of this congregation were held in 1881 under a back yard arbor at the home of Matilda Lewis. Nine families, including those of Robert Lewis, W. Stevenson, Wiley Cleaveland, George Ross, Esaw Beard, Kissiah Jefferson, Anna Akes, Julia Gaines, and Emma Moore, were involved with the church’s organization. The congregation called the Rev. Mr. Shivers as its first pastor.

When the need for a more permanent church home became evident, trustees Robert Lewis, W. Stevenson, and George Ross selected this site upon which to build a sanctuary. The small frame structure was used by Macedonia church members until a new building was erected in 1914. Additional facilities have been constructed as needed over the years.
Affiliated with the La Grange Baptist District Association since 1885, Macedonia Baptist church has hosted district meetings several times. Many of the association’s leaders throughout the years have been members of this congregation.

An important part of the religious heritage of Georgetown, the Macedonia Baptist church continues to be a source of strength and service for the community.

 



 

 

Macedonia Baptist Church of Georgetown, Texas
Narrative by Emma T. Thornton, Clerk

 

No tangible reason has been given for the founders of the Colored Baptist Church to migrate to the town of Georgetown which was founded in 1848 and named for George Washington Glasscock. [1]

 

In the year of 1881 a group of Baptist believers gathered in the back yard of Matilda Lewis to worship. After several gathering, the group organized a Colored Baptist Church, Families involved were: Robert Lewis, W. Stevenson, Wiley Cleaveland, George Ross, Esaw Beard, Kissiah Jefferson, Anna Akes, Julia Gaines and Emma Moore. [2] The young church called its first pastor Rev. Shivers and its first trustees who were Robt Lewis, W. Stevenson, and George Ross. The church continue to meet in the back yard of the Lewis family under an arbor for many weeks. [3] The need for a more permanent home was evident. The trustees selected the site the church now worship on. This site was patent in 1853 In the name of the State of Texas by Governor George E. Wood / Thomas E. Rowe, situated in Williamson County Georgetown, Texas, block 32, lot 3, 120 ft. East and West, 60 ft. North and South. the former land owners were: Samuel Mather 1853, Aaron Williams 1868, W. K. Makeson 1872 and Macedonia Baptist Church known then as the Colored Baptist Church.[4] The small frame structure was built by the men of the church, while the women of the church carried the lumber picked out of discarded materials. Julia Gaines was praised for her leadership with the women and the things achieved. When the house of worship was completed a name was considered, the name Macedonia was chosen. [5] Thus began the first century of ministry and participation in the life Georgetown, Texas by this group of Baptist believers.

 

The church continued to grow in wisdom and knowledge. The church united with the La Grange Baptist District Association in the year of 1885. This Association was organized in 1874 in Fayette County with the Rev. I.S. Campbell as its Moderator, [6] it is a subsidiary of The National Baptist Convention U.S.A. Inc. [6]

 

For many years the church worshipped in the small frame building, but the membership had increased and a larger place for worship was needed. In the year of 1914 the trustees of the church namely Robt Lewis, Tobe Crisp, Lee Roy Tankaley, Wiley Cleavland, and pastor Rev. T.H. Green contracted with John Whitley of Austin, Texas and a Mechanic Lien with the Belford Lumber Company of Georgetown, Texas to build a larger and more modern place of worship. [7]

 

The growth continued and the record states from 1881 to 1985 many ministers served the church. Those who served were: Reverend Shivers, T.H. Green, L.K. Williams, Burley, A.N. Simmons, Sr., S. Smith, B. Tolliver, A.N. Simmons, Jr., J. Moss, A. Hubbard, A. Anderson, R. B. Sanders, H.L. Elders, E.M. Logan, R. Blackshear, L.J. Johnson, and present minister W.A. Cartwright, Jr. Of the former pastors there are two yet living and pastoring, Rev. R. Blackshear of Houston, TX. Rev. R.B. Sanders of Columbus, TX. [8]

 

In the year 1961 there was a need for space to park, the adjacent lot was up for sale, the the church trustees Steiner Bass and Oscar McFarland were authorized to buy the site from Eddie and Temple McFarland. [9]

 

Rev. W.A. Cartwright, Jr. was called to serve as pastor in 1971, the church was experiencing many problems. The area the church was located in was being redeveloped by the Urban Renewal Project, our City had adopted a City Charter and our church was in violation of many of its ordinances. It was the wishes of the membership to try and restore the building but funds were not available. The building was condemned by the city, so the church entered into a redevelopment contract with the Urban Renewal in 1974. Church building committee Steiner Bass, Kenneth Baker, Curtis Saterfield and Willie Hall contracted with Charles McNease of Austin, Texas to erect our present building, financed by Mutual Saving of Austin, Texas. The church recieved the certificate of occupancy September 12, 1975. Sunday September 14, 1975 Rev. W.A. Cartwright, Jr. Pastor, Rev. S.H. James Moderator La Grange Baptist Association, J. Crawford Mayor of Georgetown, Texas, Charles McNease contractor, Fran Carlson and Rodney Montgomery of Urban Renewal, the Macedonia Baptist Church family entered the sanctuary for dedication and thanksgiving. The cornerstone read; Rev. W.A. Cartwright, Jr. Pastor, Deacons: Kelly Jackson and Kenneth Baker, Trustees; Steiner Bass, Curtis Saterfield, and Willie Hall Church clerk, laid by Thomas H. Keithely Lodge #45 9/14/1975. [10]The part lot 1 and 2 of block 32 owned by Urban Renewal was purchased by the church for additional space, January 1976. [11]

 

The corner stone from the former church dated 1914 was erected in a bell tower that house the bell from the old church. this was a memorial gift from the Maggie Steiner family. Other items contributed in memory of loved ones include a painting for the sanctuary, from the Jack Wilson Family, Baptistimal painting in memory of Kenneth Baker and Neomia Baily. The church site area is the same but in 1984 the City renamed the street to Martin Luther King, Jr. Street.

 

We herald this occasion as a rich opportunity to note achievements and shortcomings of the Macedonia Baptist Church in its Religious teaching. We are very proud of our affiliation with the La Grange Baptist District Association, it enabled us to improve our methods of teaching and raise our standards of leadership. We were host to the La Grange District in 1890 when Rev. Tolliver was pastor and district moderator, 1900 when Rev. S. Smith was pastor and moderator, 1920 when Rev. J. Moss was pastor, 1945 when Rev. Elders was pastor and District secretary, our present moderator Rev. S.H. James was elected to office in this session. Many members of Macedonia Baptist Church have served in various positions for the district; Francis Goodlow in the president's conference, Nellie Bonner ushers conference, Willie Hall Young Matron counselor 1929 and currently its counselor emeritus, Emma Baker Thornton Youth counselor 19166 and organized the Youth retreat hosted by the church in San Gabriel park and community center 1967-1969 'Rev. Cartwright currently serve as a vice-moderator.

Our church was able to serve the community in 1939 when a lunch program was set forth for  the children of Carver School. The church dining area and kitchen was used because the school had no facilities The dining area was used at this time for the night classes set up for adult learning, Tommye Jefferson a member was one of the night school instructors.

 

It has been very difficult to determine the course of the church with out a written record of past events, I am very grateful to all elder members for your help. It is hoped that the Iife of the church will continue in religious teaching and charter its actions in the future. It is my sincere hope that the areas of this publication have been adequately covered. However, I apologize for any mistakes, errors, or omissions found in this report. Accept my sincere

gratitude for the privilege of serving as clerk of Macedonia Baptist church and researching this report. [12]

 

Emma T. Thornton, clerk 1905 Terry Lane

Macedonia Baptist Church 206 Martin L. King, Jr. St. Georgetown, Texas 78626 Rev. W.A. Cartwright, Jr. Pastor

 

See PDF for footnotes

 
  Macedonia_Baptist_Church_footnotes.pdf  

 

 


 



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