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Promiseland Church to celebrate 150 years

By Magnolia Russell,  Corey Smith & Annie Watkins
Photos Promiseland Church 150The Promiseland Missionary Baptist Church is celebrating its 150th Anniversary this Sunday at 2 p.m. located at 3728 West Union Road in  Millington.
Among the speakers will be Pastor OC Horton Jr. and guest speaker Rev. Romey Green, Associate Pastor of St. Mark Baptist Church. The public is welcomed to come out and celebrate with the church this Sunday.
In 1867 a group of Baptized Believers in Christ united together for the purpose of organizing a church.  They named it  Promiseland Missionary Baptist Church (known as Promiseland).  Soon after, a meeting was held and the first pastor, Reverend Henry Harris, was elected.  At first, the only place they had to worship were the various houses of the members. But, unified and determined, they built a Bush Arbor on rented land as a place of worship. As time moved on more believers joined and the church’s financial status grew.  As a result, through prayer and hard work, a two acre plot of land was purchased and a church was erected. Rev. Harris spent many successful years as pastor.  Upon the passing of Rev. Harris, the Church elected Rev. Jim Simon as their Spiritual Leader.  His tenure was long and great.  And, after his tenure a succession of ministers carried on the ministry down through the years.  They were: Rev. Samuel Weakley Sr., Rev. Frank Sanders, Rev. Daniel Becton, Rev. Theodore Brevard, Rev. Allen Voss, Rev. Frank Pennington, Rev. Albert Cooperwood, Rev. C. L. Watson, Rev. Lee Steverson, Rev. W. M. Shelton, Rev. W. S. Busby, *Rev. Harold Harvey, Rev. James Burnette, Rev. Henry Nixon Jr., Rev. Gerald Jordan Sr., Rev. Andrew L. Chambers Sr., and our present Pastor Rev. OC Horton Jr.
Throughout its existence there has been 19 pastors over a span of  150 years
During the early 1900’s there were a succession of tragic events that could have made the body of believers lose faith in the vision of the church.   But, God saw otherwise!  Under Pastor Brevard, after a week of spiritual revival (on a Friday night) the church burned down – a total loss.  Rev. Brevard and the members were forced to hold worship service in a school house located on the church premises.  They worked diligently soliciting money:  going door to door, holding fund raisers and taking donations from various merchants and businesses throughout the community.    Through hard work and faith in God another sanctuary was built.
Around the years 1935/36 – tragedy struck again.  A tornado leveled the building and again the structure was a total loss.  The pastor was Rev. Steverson, who with the members returned to the school house for worship.  With tireless labor, dedication and sincere prayers another building was erected by 1947 under the leadership of Rev. Shelton.
Throughout its 150 year span Promiseland has survived many other offsets, disasters and trials.  Its presence in the community is like the “Old Ship of Zion” . . . yet moving on . . . waving its Spiritual banner inviting the people of God to get on Board.   Its mission is clear:  sinners to be saved and saints encouraged to continue in the fellowship of believers.
In the latter 1900’s, June 1998, Promiseland organized one of its biggest visions.  The “Heal the Land” Crusade, which took place in Millington, starting at the old Walmart location to the USA Baseball field.  The vision for this March was given to the First Lady, Sis. Anna Chambers.  She solicited the help of Rev. Robert Burnette, pastor of Living for Christ Church, to assist in organizing the March.  Neighboring churches and citizens of Millington, both Black and White, joined in the Crusade.  It was covered by the Millington Star and Channel 5 News.  It was a bright spot in the churches history!
The pastors and members of Promiseland, past and present, know that we could not have been so successful had it not been for the work of those pioneers of more than one hundred years ago.  Through an unwavering faith, a benevolent God and the rich traditions of our forefathers a true foundation was established and is still standing proud today.
We shall not forget the pastoral ministry of Rev. Harold Harvey, who pastored the church longer than any other minister mentioned (27 years).
Promiseland is one of the oldest active churches in the Millington area.
The history of this church is a demonstration of unwavering faith; it is verification of a true and living God.   On this 150th Anniversary, it is a time to look back and be grateful, as well as, plan for the future.  But, most of all, press on to a higher purpose in spiritual service for our most high King.
For more information, call (901) 872-2565.

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