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Historical Overview of Wellman

Historical Overview of the Wellman Community 

     Much of the information in this historical overview for the Wellman community was taken form a July 2, 1996 interview by Henry J. Ledet of Mr. William F. Crawford and a March 5,1987 interview by Kay Calcote of Thomas Lynwood Moak. Some of the information concerning the history of the Wellman community was also derived from a most interesting book titled "Dummy Lines Throughout the Longleaf- A History of the Sawmills and Logging Railroads of Southwest Mississippi". Click here to view an Excerpt from "Dummy Lines Through the Longleaf" by Dr. Gilbert H. Hoffman

      The Wellman community found its' beginnings, as the logging of the long leaf pines brought families deep into the rich forest. "Dummy Lines" were created to allow rail tracks to transport the fish harvested timber.  


      At the base of several sections of track, a vibrant community became associated with the Pearl River Lumber  Company. The community became known as Wellman. 


      The Pearl River Lumber Company was located at what we call Pearlhaven. In 1908, the Pearl River Lumber Company was the largest lumber mill in the state. Pearlhaven was the mill town for the lumber harvested from the Wellman Community. It was a separate incorporated town with its own mayor, it had a hospital and a doctor, a commissary, a school. The school was supported by the Pearl River Lumber Company. At one time the population of Pearlhaven exceeded the population of Brookhaven. 

      The Wellman community was quite a distance from town. Without a doubt, the dummy lines aided this rural community in her effort to obtain basic necessities, but traveling such a distance to church was out of the question. 

      Like most communities in the early 20th century, families in the long leaf pine industry desired to settle down and make a homestead. One of the primary ways to center a community together, in the past and the present, was to bring the people together to worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

      With such an influx of families, desiring to worship, the Wellman Baptist Church of 1908 began her distinct legacy as a "country church". Wellman Baptist Church took joy in being a "country church" in the past and 111 years later, the joy of being a "country church" continues today. 

      Thus, the legacy of Wellman Baptist Church was born in the heart of the rural Wellman community. It took roots in the labor of a handful of devoted Christians. Click here to view Wellman Over the Years.




Wellmans' Legacy 

     Wellman Baptist Church has a strong legacy in her native community. Founded in 1908, the church had at least 8 charter families. It was located in a bustling village, named Wellman, that had a post office, sawmill and several homesteads. Listed among some of the first members were: Mr. and Mrs. W.L McGraw, Mr. and Mrs. William Brister, Mr. and Mrs. George Brister, Mr. and Mrs. Dock Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Roberts, Mr. and Mrs. T.I. Ruby,Mr. and Mrs. Jessie Brister and Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Byrant. Although, no picture can be obtained, the Mississippi Baptist Historical Commission reports that Wellman's first pastor was J.D Schultz, 1908-1909.


   The earliest picture of Wellman Baptist Church is a black and white copy of an old white frame building (above). It was taken during the first term of Wellman's second pastor, the reverend Hosea B. Price. His first term was for three years form 1910- 1913. The photo was produced from a negative supplied by Bonnie L Cole, niece of Reverend Hosea B. Price. All the records during Reverend Price tenure and Wellman Baptist Church were destroyed in a fire.            

The Mississippi Baptist Historical commission reports additional records and list the pastors of Wellman Baptist Church as follows. 

1908-1909      J.D. Schultz

1910-1912     H.B. Price 

1913-1915     L.I. Thompson 

1916-1917     W.T. Graves 

1918-1922     J.J. Terry 

1923- 1925    F.I Busby 

1926-1932     D.W Glover 

1933             H.B. Price

1934             D.W. Glover 

1935             James Allgood 

1936-1937    J.J. Terry 

1938-1942    J.H. Hammett 

1943            Persie Renick 

1944            No Pastor

1945-1946   Orman Knight 

1947-1954    W.L Thompson 

1955-1958    George H. Moseley 

1959-1960    Wendell Jones 

1961-1966    Martin Minor 

1967            No Pastor 

1968-1973   Huey Moak 

1973-1977   Fred Morris 

1978            Roy Black 

1979-1982   Bob Long 

1983-1985   Steve Smith 

1986-1991   Robin Jumper 

1992-1994   Thomas Wicker

1995-1996   No Pastor

1997-2000   Jim Everett 

2001-2003   Daniel Perry 

2004-2009   David Caves

2010-2011   Albert Rivera 

2013-Present Jeff Davis 

  Unfortunately, most of the historical records of Wellman Church are scarce.The Mississippi Baptist Historical Commission provided much of the historical information we have. These historical nuggets date form 1908-2008 and relate to Wellman Baptist Church events, pastors, officers, delegates, membership and contributions. Click here to view the documents provided by the Historical Commission.


Pictured above is the ground breaking of the Education Building in the 1950's.

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