Condensed Church History (1916 - 2006)

As record dictates, the Douglas Chapel Church was established in 1916. At that time a small group began to meet in the home of Reverend and Sister Douglas, who resided in the Douglas Addition and owned much property. The leader of the group was Reverend H.C. Cade of Camden, assisted by Reverend Shepherd Reed. Reverend Jewel Banks was placed in charge as the first pastor where he served until 1923. Land was located in the Douglas Addition and donated by Reverend and Sister Douglas in 1923.

Shortly thereafter, a building was erected and named in their honor, The Douglas Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. In 1923 Reverend W.H. Henderson was called to pastor. Reverend Brewster was elected pastor in 1928 and served until 1943. In 1943 Reverend John Isaac Thomas was called to pastor, but refused to serve. Rev W.M. Bryant of Camden was elected pastor and served until 1948. Again Reverend J.I. Thomas was called and accepted the call where he served for 28 years.

In 1956 a white lady (Ms White) had a building for sale. The building was purchased in August 1956 at a cost of $18,500 with a monthly note of $80.00. The building was a shell with a pine straw floor. The building was paid for within a year of the allotted time. In the mid 70's the church had a $24,000 physical face lift. It was transformed from a shell of a building to a more modern place of worship.

Upon the death of Rev. J.I. Thomas in 1975, Reverend D.D. Stafford served as interim pastor. In 1976 Reverend J. R. Staten was called to pastor, he served two years.

In March 1979 our present pastor, Reverend D. L. Hegler was called. Under his leadership, the projects began by Reverend J.I. Thomas and Reverend J.R. Staten were completed. The church grew physically, spiritually as well as financially.

In 1990 the church saw the need for another face lift, after prayerful examination, it was deemed unfeasible to remodel the current building. At that point, the decision was made to build a new church. A five year plan was approved. After months of searching and disappointments by the land search team headed by Deacon Ronald Murphy, the present property was purchased.

With $169,000 in its building fund, the church purchased 10 acres of land at a cost of $30,000 cash. Three acres were cleared and the present building was erected at a cost of $288,000. The membership held its first service in the building and Sister Emma Cummins, the oldest member of the church, cut the ribbon to officially open the new building and was the first to enter. Unfortunately, hers was the first funeral to be held also.