Pastors (Past and Present)
Rev. Ralph Munson: 1849(?)-1868
Rev. Munson was only allowed to preach to the “colored” congregation during his time with Sandridge Baptist Church. He went on to become the first pastor of Sandbed Baptist Church, and served until his death in 1868.
Rev. Nathaniel Jackson: 1868-1875 –Served 6 years)
Rev. Pat Garmon: 1875-1897 - (served 22 years)
Rev. G. G. Taylor: 1897-June 1954 (served 57 years )
Rev. J. S. Dorsey: (Served 18 months) was called as the assistant pastor, when Rev. Taylor’s health failed in May 1952.
Rev. L. J. Ross: June 1954-Oct. 1961 (Served 7 years)
Rev. M. C. Fields: Dec. 1961-Dec. 1968 (Served 7 years)
Rev. J. J. Jordan: 1969-1976 (Served 7 years)
Rev. G. W. Warren: 1976-1980 (Served 4 years)
Rev. David E. Savage: 1980-1996 (Served for 15 years)
Rev. Floyd Clarington: 1996- Present
(Information obtained from the New Sandbed Baptist Church website)
Sandbed Baptist Church has a history that is older than any other black church in the county. Sandbed Baptist Church was created by former slaves who were members of the Sandridge Baptist Church.
Sandridge was established around 1836 by white settlers of Houston County, (The Hargroves, Holmes, Powell, Baskins, Durhams and Bryans to name a few). These settlers along with some of their slaves worshipped at Sandridge Baptist Church from 1836 until August 20, 1865.
On December 22, 1860, the church resolved to move the constitution of the church from Sandridge to the new church house at Houston Factory, naming it Houston Factory Baptist Church and later changed the name to its present-day name of Houston Lake Baptist Church.
On January 21, 1861, the opening minutes as Houston Factory Baptist Church tells of the merger with Smyrna Baptist Church and lists names of those transferred from Smyrna. The Black members of the church at Sandridge was last mentioned in the minutes of August 20, 1865.
There are various dates of the creation of Sand Bed Baptist Church. It is recorded that the church started in 1849 – but in all actuality- the slaves attended Sandridge Baptist Church from 1836 until 1860 along with their slaveowner. The pastor to the “colored” congregation (under the watchful eye of the white pastor – of course) was Rev. Munson – who was also “colored” and only allowed to preach to the “colored” congregation in the church after the white services had taken place.
Sandridge documents state that slaves had been freely admitted to the congregation since the 1830s when "Brother Sam”, a man of color was received by letter as property of C. Wright and was granted dismission in 1856.
By 1855, Sandridge records show 33 white members and 76 black members.
Sometime after 1861, the slaves were granted 2 acres of land to start their own church. There was an old building already on the property and it was used as their house of worship. Within the first few years, the old building burned down. According to the CGGS (Vol. 11, No. 1 p.17; No. 2, p. 58; No. 3, p.117), in 1865, the old church building of Sandridge Baptist Church was donated to the “colored” members. Those members dragged the old church building nearly four miles, using only rope and logs, from the Wilna community, to its present day location (SandBed Church Road) and reorganized as the Sandbed Baptist Church.
During the dslavery era many of the black members were dismissed for running away, theft, adultery, or profane language. Most all of them were eventually re-instated. These enslaved people were some of the very first members of Sandbed Baptist Church. Many of their descendants over the years, and to this day, are members of Sandbed Baptist Church.
The oldest legible grave in the church’s cemetery is that of Rev. George Garrett Taylor 1880-1955. He was the church’s fourth pastor and served for 57 years.
Today the church is still standing. Additions, renovations, and bricking has taken place over the years and it is now in need of repair. But nevertheless, it is worth saving!