Galilee Church: Brush arbor to 21

By Mary K. Hamner
Journal Correspondent

The recorded history of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church is the inspirational story of its beginning in a Brush Arbor setting in 1869. Over one hundred forty five years, the church advanced through several buildings in several locations in the Dubberly, Louisiana area. Twelve pastors, numerous Deacons and uncounted others have served in the development of the church. Today, it has grown to a soon-to-be-dedicated new church building offering a full range of services and church ministries.

The History of Galilee beautifully recorded in cursive writing was recently located when the cornerstone of the former church was relocated to the new building. It is rare to find such a complete record of a church and its history takes a reader on an amazing journey through time; from a brush arbor to an amazing modern edifice, from the days of wooden heaters, kerosene heating to cooling and heating units. One of the churches was moved from a low muddy land area to a better, higher location, Baptisms once held in ponds and creeks are now in interior Baptismal Pools. The church history was first handwritten and updated copy composed on the computer is easier to read.

We read the following excerpts from the story that extends over 145 years: "We honor the Saints of long ago as well as those of today, while we pause to reflect and visualize the journey of the Galilee Missionary Baptist Church and how she weathered the storm of vital service to this community, parish, state, and nation. This church was founded upon high purposes and lofty visions. Led by the great head of the church, the organizers made these goals, evangelism, mission, and education, a reality. We thank God for bringing us thus far by faith. In 1869, Reverend Mattie Glover and founders had the conviction from God and mankind that they had to be united in a place of worship. With his dynamic leadership, Galilee was organized and the first church was built. Glover served the church for nineteen years. Many souls were converted, baptized and added to the church."

The record goes on to list the names of pastors, deacons and others with a special place of service. Rev. J. R. Moore pastored for seven years. The church was remodeled and made into a more attractive and modern church home. The third pastor was Rev. Gaines Chatman who served for six years. His membership were dissatisfied with the church house, the box style walls, and no ceiling. His congregation made plans and built a better foundation and added beaded ceilings.

The history goes on to say, "The fourth pastor, Reverend J. A. Moore, a great theologian from Bishop College, showed the greatest progress of the church during its early existence. He had a desire for a better location for 35 years. The church was moved and rebuilt. History does not reveal where. The idea of a conference was initiated under his administration."

"In 1963, the 5th pastor, Rev. L. D. Scott was called to lead the flock. History reveals that for eleven years many great programs, clubs, and the Sunday School were instituted. He initiated the first written history of the church done by Sister Virginia Bates and began the pastoral services on the 4th Sunday."

The record goes on to say Rev. W.M Jordan, the 6th pastor served the church for two years, quite successfully. Rev. R. T. Turner, pastor number seven served the church for five years. Rev. R. D. Coleman became the eighth pastor and is recorded as being one of the most energetic and faithful pastor and leader of his day. He served for ten years. Rev. R. S Smith was the pastor number nine and served the church for twelve years. Under his leadership many accomplishments were made. The Grand Lodge Cornerstone was laid on September 22, 1969 and the church history was updated by Sister Edna L. Coleman and sealed behind the cornerstone mounted on the front wall of the church building. During this period the church became a part of the National Convention, the District Association, and other state and local organizations involving the spiritual and moral growth of the church.

Rev. Billy Augustus served as pastor for twelve years. Many accomplishments have been credited to this tenth pastor's administration. A dynamic building fund was initiated, one which was always financially operational to make any necessary repairs. Rev. Howard Mills was pastor number eleven. Under his administration there was a great force of changes. He made a swift move from one Sunday church service to full time church services. History recorded that two churches had been established out of Galilee, Mt. Nebo, and Pleasant Hill Baptist Churches.

The record goes on to say, "After much prayer and reasoning the Lord with his omnipotent power answered prayers and blessed us with our illustrious Spiritual Leader and In 1994 Rev. James Smith became our 12th Overseer. Pastor Smith is currently serving us humbly and graciously making great contributions to this church and community to enhance God's Kingdom."

Groundbreaking for the new building was held October 20, 2013. Contract for construction of the 13,000 square feet building was awarded to Jimmy Stewart of Tom Koonce Builders. He completed the building project in May of 2014. Items still pending before a move can be made into the new sanctuary relate to relocating pews into the auditorium and adjustments to the sound system. The date of dedication services for Galilee Missionary Baptist Church are to be announced. The new church is located at 595 Central School Road, Dubberly, LA 71024.


Dedication services are pending for new
Galilee Missionary Baptist Church at Dubberly,
completed earlier this year. Plaque on
cornerstone reads: "Galilee Baptist Church,
organized June 1869 by Rev. Mattie Glover,
first pastor. Deacons Bros. Duncan Wallace,
Sr., Henry Moore Sr., and Moses Moore &
others. Rebuilt Nov. 1962, Rev. R.D. Coleman
Pastor. Building Committee Deacons W.M.
Houston, chair, Brooks Bailey Secty., Moses
Coleman, Blanchard Coleman, Carson Bailey
Official Staff. Deacons W.M. Houston, Moses
Coleman, Blanchard Coleman, Brooks Bailey,
Warren Bailey, M.J. Jackson, Alfred Mims,
Shedran Odom, Rev. R.S. Smith present Pastor,
Brooks Bailey Secty. M.W. Universal Grand
Lodge AF&AM, Sept. 28 A.D. 1963. A.L. 5969, J. Hawkins M.W.G.M. M.L Duty