Churches of Holland Quarters

Churches existed prior to the Civil War, often without denominational attachments. A building was set aside for the African American families to read the "Good Book" (Bible), and sing old slave hymns. Although most could not read, those who could read, read to others. As long as the people held on to the "Good Book", they knew they had to live right to be blessed by God, and have a better life.
    The structure was also known as the first school house. The structure sat northeast of Master Holland's home.

Pine Grove Baptist Church was finally established and put in writing by Reverend Calahan (white) from Macedonia Baptist Church of Carthage, along with four African Americans, Rev. Green, Rev. Bolton, Rev. Maxey, and Deacon William Alexander, Sr., from Bethlehem Baptist Church.

1879 - 1ST PASTOR Reverend George Roberts
Rev. Roberts served for one year. Church services were held only once a month. He went from church to church preaching, until he made his rounds back to Pine Grove.
    Ben and Malinda Woods were the first father and mother of Pine Grove.

1881 - 2ND PASTOR Reverend Maxey
During Rev. Maxey term as pastor he organized the 1st Church School; the leaders were deacons.

3RD PASTOR Reverend Maye

1890 - 4TH PASTOR Reverend Jeff "J. J." Goodwin
    Rev. Goodwin served for 18 years. Services were only held once a month. He went from church to church, community to community, spreading the word of God.

1897 - WARRANTY DEED Moved
Pine Grove Baptist Church was built in its present location, the same spot where Spearman Holland's home stood during his reign as master of the Holland's Plantation.

5TH PASTOR Reverend Buford

6TH PASTOR Reverend Isaiah "I. S." Barron

1919 - 7TH PASTOR Reverend Fornay "A. F." Black
The Church once again needed repairs. During the nine years Rev. Black was pastor of the church, it was completely rebuilt. The pulpit was on the west side of the present front door.
    In 1921, in a goat hole southwest of Pine Grove, Rev. Black baptized twelve-year old Annie Lou Rayson. Other well known places for baptisms were a flowing branch on CR 225 and a branch on Cousin Keete Roberts-Boyce land.

1928/Present - CHURCH MEMBER
Pearlie Mae Pitts joined Pine Grove at the age of five as a candidate for Baptism. She is the oldest living member still attending the church.

1929 - 8TH INTERIM PASTOR Reverend Burt Solomon, Sr.
October 7, 1901/September, 1990
    At an early age Rev. Solomon was called upon to pastor Pine Grove. He served for one year, with his young wife at his side, before the 9th pastor was appointed.

1931/1936 - 9TH PASTOR Reverend Jeff "J. J." Goodwin
After fifty-two (52) years and eight preachers, the church was in need of a pastor once again. Goodwin was called upon to accept the appointment as the 9th pastor. He had previously served for 18 years as the 4th pastor.
    Rev. Goodwin was a devoted man of God. The members paid him 10¢ each, or they paid him in harvest crops (corn, tomatoes, etc.).

1936/1998 - CHURCH MEMBER
Annie Beatrice "Bea" Wallace-Gray, granddaughter of Reverend Jeff "J. J." Goodwin has been an active member for 62-years. On March 24, 1998, Cousin Bea died. She was the first to be buried in the Holland Quarters Cemetery for 1998.

6-7-1936(1st Sunday)/6-20-1975 - 10TH PASTOR Reverend Huey Timothy Taylor, Jr.
    In the 1940's, Central Baptist Church of Carthage, while remodeling their building, gave their old bricks and windows to Pine Grove. The members went by wagon to bring back the material for the new Pine Grove. New pews were added for $2,500.00.
    1964 - Additions to the church included a modern kitchen, dining area, enlargement of the choir stand and other modern facilities.

1946/1948 - MISSIONARY
The only two years Pine Grove was listed as a Missionary Baptist Church in writing.

The ancestors can be proud of how well the generations have followed in their footsteps, and how advancements have been accepted.
    New denominations of churches are continuing to grow in God's love. Descendants still return to the "Quarters" for special activities like they have for over a hundred years. In the beginning, "First Sunday in August" was referred to as a revival--a gathering of the families. Today, "First Sunday in August" is just a gathering of all the families combined with "grave yard working". The gathering of families is what is needed to keep the "Quarters" alive. If we continue to grow in God's faith, we will continue to grow as a family of great hope.

est. by Robert R. Johnson
Located on Farm-to-Marked Road (FM) 959 HQ Community
    The Bishop of the Methodist Association put the church in the District and sent Reverend A. McAllister to pastor.
    For several years church services were held in members' homes. Later they put up a tent, and from there, moved to the lower level of the Masonic Hall as needed.
    In 1957, the ground breaking for the church took place.

est. by Elder J. B. Bradley
    The structure sat southwest of Pine Grove. As new denominations of churches began moving into the "Quarters", the descendants were once again experiencing change. The people were given the opportunity to experience God's teaching at a different level. Change, a better way of life is what the ancestors wanted.

1949/1950 - Pine Grove DEACONS
A plaque on the outer wall of the church reveals the following deacons' names.
    Bell Holland, Sam Ware, Bob Wilcox, George Lynch, Ed Smith, Dan Boykin, Tom Holt and Mose Alexander

est. by Reverend Thurman Pierce & Evangelist Romina Johns-Pierce
Located on CR 221 off FM 959 HQ Community
    During Rev. and Sis. Pierce's lifetime they both pastored HQ Pentecostal Church.

1957 - DEATH INSIDE PINE GROVE Louisa "Sistina" Holt-Pitts
    Louisa Holt-Pitts, better known to family members and friends as Sistina, died of a heart attack inside Pine Grove after church services. She had been a loyal and faithful member since childhood.
    Church was as the ancestors felt it would be, a way of life in the "Quarters". Back then, you weren't told to attend church, you went because you wanted to give thanks. And after working all week, this was a day of rest. Church services were salvation, and between church and work, there was little else to do.
    During the Annual Homecoming Revival, family members did as their foreparents had done in the past. The first Saturday in August was a day to gather and clean family graves (grave yard working). They also prepared for the return of family members to the homeland to celebrate the Annual Homecoming Revival. Sistina would sell hand stitched adult and children bonnets.

Once again Pine Grove was in need of repair. This time repairs were needed inside.
    The kitchen and dining areas were remodeled and the choir stand was enlarged.

est. by Reverend Dames Woods, Pastor
Located on FM 959 HQ Community

1975/1978 - 11TH PASTOR Reverend Prince Arthur Rayson
    Church services were held only twice a month. Pastor and Mother Rayson drove to Carthage from Houston on Saturday evenings and returned home on Sunday evenings.
    Rayson died in Houston; his services were held at Pine Grove. Interment followed in Holland Quarters Cemetery along side his ancestors.
    Although he was the 11th pastor of PG and a descendant of the "Quarters", he is the only PGBC pastor to be laid to rest in the family cemetery.

2-12-1978 (1st Sunday) / 5-1991 - 12TH PASTOR Reverend Edgar Tatum, Jr.
In 1979, Pine Grove began holding morning worship each Sunday of the month.
    In early 1990 the church made ready for the first Sunday in August Annual Homecoming Revival.
    The choir stand and pulpit area were remodeled, the high ceiling was lowered, the window units were removed, central heating and cooling units were added, the front entrance was changed, and carpet was laid in the sanctuary.
    The outside was also totally remodeled. The red bricks and windows from the 1940's were replaced with gray brick and new windows.

est. by Reverend Hubert Owens
    The structure sat southwest of Pine Grove Baptist Church next to the fence. Rev. Owens took over the location after the close of the 1st Holiness Church.
    In 1983, the church moved to Pope Quarters, one of the new additions across Highway 79 on County Road 110, in the HQ community.
    In 1994, Sunny Grove was rebuilt, and still pastored by Rev. Hubert Owens.

12 (2nd Sunday)-1983 - BRANCH #6 ZION APOSTOLIC CHURCH
est. by Elder Henry O. Blanton
Located on CR 221off FM 959 HQ Community
    Zion Apostolic Church was established the 2nd Sunday in December of 1983. The land and structure were purchased from Rev's Thurman and Romina Johns-Pierce.
    The only change the Blantons made was to change the name of the church.

Reverend Norvell Starling, Pastor
    The church is located in Pope Quarters on CR 110 HQ Community

9-8-1991/10-1995 - 13TH PASTOR Reverend Lee Marion Jones
3-3-1996/2-22-1998 - 14TH PASTOR Reverend Earnest O. Springs, Jr.

8-3-1996 - WALL OF HONORS
HQOS honored Pine Grove Baptist Church with two Wall of Honor plaques. The plaques are in honor of those buried in the HQ Cemetery. Each plaque holds 420 name plates.
    The plaques are located in the entry way of the church. One each on both sides of the wall adjoining the double doors leading into the sanctuary.

1998 - 15TH PASTOR Reverend Charles Lawrence, Jr.

Pine Grove Baptist Church is the mother church for the "Quarters". Land deeds show Pine Grove as the community, and at times, Pine Grove is even listed as the name of the cemetery.
    The "Quarters" is thriving with little or no concern for the outside world and its progress, the people lived by the rules of survival. Since the beginning, families have returned to the "Quarters" for grave yard working, family reunions, and the 1st Sunday in August yearly revival.
    The pine and oak trees have been a way of life from the time of wagons when the doors and windows would remain open during services. On weekends the families would gather under the trees around the church and share food from their wagons. Each one had their own special food they had prepared. Cousin Lola Bell and others would prepare food in black cast iron pots over open fires.