Explore the Oldest Church in the Entire Mississippi

Mississippi is an old state with a lot of history and several really old churches. Because so many churches have their roots in the state, there is some debate over which is the oldest. We’ll look at the history of Mississippi’s oldest church and how it came to hold such a prestigious title.

The Oldest Church in Mississippi

Many Mississippi churches have a long history inside the state. Hatley Church claims to be the oldest church in ‘North Mississippi’, having been established in 1819 and moving to its current location in 1833.

However, Woodville Baptist Church claims to be the state’s oldest church. According to a Historical Marker on the church grounds, the church was founded on the first Saturday of October 1798. At the time, it was called the Baptist Church of Buffalo, not Woodville Baptist.

Explore the Oldest Church in the Entire Mississippi

After gaining independence from Salem Baptist Church, the church adopted a new name: Bethel Baptist Church. However, the church remained inactive for a few years in the early 1800s. This has sparked debate about whether it is indeed the state’s oldest church. However, the current church edifice was constructed in 1809, making it the state’s oldest religious structure.

The congregation continued to assemble on a regular basis until the Civil War, when services became less frequent. However, as the conflict ended, services resumed on schedule. After settling in Woodville in the early 1800s, Bethel Baptist changed their name to Woodville Baptist Church in 1870.

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Location and Information About Woodville

Woodville Baptist Church is located in Woodville, Mississippi, in the state’s southwestern region. It’s located downtown, right off Main Street.

Woodville is one of the state’s oldest towns, but it is also one of its smallest, with a population of only 928. It is best known as the location of Clark Creek Nature Area. The area spans over 2,000 acres of stunning Mississippi countryside, complete with waterfalls, rock formations, and plenty of pathways for everyone. It’s abundant with wildlife, so expect to see squirrels, raccoons, opossums, snakes, and more while hiking.


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