"Go Back And Get It"

Danville Boyle County
Historical Society


In and around Boyle County, KY

Black Churches in Boyle County
Four part article by Richard C Brown, Danville Advocate-Messenger, February 1993

History of African-American Churches in Boyle County
General history of African American Churches in Kentucky, and Boyle County, focusing on Second Street Christian, St James AME and Clifton, extracted from the National Register of Historic Places Applications, with illustrations and bibliography.

Click on the pictures for a larger version

Christ The Head Missionary Church, East Main St

Clifton Baptist Church, Clifton

Davistown Baptist Church, Garrard Co

First Baptist Church, 2nd and Walnut Streets

First Baptist Church, Perryville

Hope Full Gospel Church, Duncan Hill

Hope Full Gospel Church

Junction City AME Church, ca 1965

New Bethel Church, Cowan St

New Birth Temple of Deliverance, Perryville Rd

Old Bethel Baptist Church, now torn down

St. James A.M.E. Church

Second Street Christian Church

Stony Point Predestinarian Baptist Church

Vision Church of Holiness, Holiday Drive

Wilsonville A.M.E. Church

National Register of Historic Places Application 
Clifton Baptist Church Complex part 1
Clifton Baptist Church Complex part 2,
St James AME Church 
and the Second Street Christian Church

Brief History of Some Boyle County Churches and their Ministers
Extracted from
Golden Jubilee of the General Association of Colored Baptists in Kentucky,

Rev C H Parrish, ed, Louisville, Mayes Printing, 1915


Now, Second Street Christian Church
Organized, 1892, by Rev. Wallace Fisher, with 14 members. Thirteen from the old Green St. Baptist Church and one from the Centennial Baptist Church, Harrodsburg. The following were in the organization: Wallace Fisher, Horace Nelson, Edward Miller, Josie Miller, Jesse Jones, Louis Buster, Polly Davis, Jacob Frye, Hannah Davis, Lucinda Gregory, Horace Fox, Elijah Frye, Washington Hunn and Ella Smith. They worshipped in a hall until they were able to purchase the present lot and erect a frame building. Rev. Wallace Fisher, the first pastor, served for 16 years, increasing the membership and erecting the first building. He also started the present concrete building which neared completion, under the pastorate of Rev. J. N. Smothers. The following have served this church as pastor: Rev. W. Fisher, 16 years; Rev. A. A. Russell, 9 months; Licentiate, Jas. Gilbert, supplied 7 or 8 months; Rev. J. N. Smothers, 4 years, and the present pastor, Rev. Melville M. D. Perdue, Louisville, took charge, June 13, 1915. Church membership, 350. Valuation of church property, $15,000.

Was organized by Rev. Wallace Fisher, 1872, with a few members, among whom were Brother Joe Ball and wife and Rosie Ball Carpenter. Sister Rosie Carpenter is the only living member of this organization. She is the wife of Rev. S. Carpenter, who is the present pastor. Rev. Wallace Fisher became the pastor and served several years. Services were conducted under trees. The first building being a log cabin too dark to see how to read or write. Others in the organization were: Jack May Owen and wife, Peter Douglas, Lewis Harris and wife, Wm. McFarren, Jordan Wallace and wife, Amanda Able.

The First Baptist Church, Danville, one of the strongest and most influential churches in the State, was organized the first Saturday in August, 1846, with one hundred and twenty-three members. It was set apart by the white Baptists of Danville as an independent church, and the recognition services were held the following Sunday. The Rev. Jordan Meaux was its first pastor. He was noted for his piety, godliness and deep spiritual life. He was succeeded as pastor by the Rev. Henry Green. Rev. Green was never a slave and was well educated for a man of his day. He was recognized as an able preacher and was a leader among his people.

The Rev. Isaac Slaughter was the third pastor of this historic church and for twenty-six years stood as a cedar of Lebanon among his people. He was a great Bible student and a fearless defender of the faith.

At his death Rev. Wallace Fisher, a young man who had been trained in the church under the pastorate of Rev. Slaughter, supplied the pulpit for five months. lie added over two hundred to its membership.

In August, 1892, Rev. David S. Slaughter assumed the pastorate of the church and served the same until the spring of 1898. He was succeeded by Rev. J. E. Wood, D.D., the present pastor. The church has had marked success under the pastorate of Rev. Wood. One of the most modern and attractive church edifices in the State has been erected and paid for. Over seven hundred members have been added to the church and its contributions to missions, Christian education and benevolences have been doubled.

This church operated a school in Danville for a number of years, known as the Baptist Academy. Mrs. Mary Bell Wallace was the teacher in this institution and many of the foremost citizens in Boyle county owe their training and intellectual acquirements to her tutorage.

The church has a present membership of over nine hundred, a: live Sunday School, Missionary Society and B. Y. P. U. Society. Its present edifice is located at the comer of Second and Walnut streets; and this property and furniture are easily worth $30,000.00. Its membership is composed of intelligent, progressive and spiritual men and women and exerts a strong influence for good in the community.


Rev. J E and Ella B WOOD



From Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, Copyright 2003-2015 Reinette Jones & University of Kentucky Libraries, references omitted here.

Reverend J. Edmund Wood was born 21 May 1867 in Hiseville, Barren Co, KY, the son of Fannie Myers Wood and William H. Wood. He was the husband of Ella B. (Redd) Wood, the couple married in 1891 and had five children. He was the son of William H Wood and Fannie Myers (born in TN), and a brother to Francis M. Wood. Rev. Wood, a resident of 220 West Walnut St, died in Danville of tuberculosis, 15 December 1929, according to his death certificate, and is buried in Hilldale Cemetery. Prior to his death, he had been a school teacher and a minister in Munfordville, Woodsonville, Bardstown, and Elizabethtown, all locations in Kentucky, and he served as president of the Kentucky Negro Educational Association in 1899. He was pastor of the First Baptist Church in Danville, KY, for 31 years, and he also served on the Danville City Council. He was a leader in the Baptist Church, serving as president of the National Baptist Convention for six years. The 46th Annual Session, in 1926, was held in Indianapolis, IN. Wood was secretary of the South District Baptist Association for 35 years, and was the moderator of the General Association of Kentucky Baptist for nine years. In 1912, he was elected a delegate at large and attended the Republican National Convention in Chicago. While at the convention, he spoke out to the media in response to the comments made about the disloyalty of Colored delegates from the South. Rev. Wood was also an undertaker, a printer, and he was editor of the Torch Light [or Torchlight], a weekly newspaper that was published in Danville, KY, until the headquarters was moved to Lexington in 1910, at 434 West Main Street. Subscribers were allowed to pay for the newspaper with eggs, chickens, lard, and other food items. The newspaper was in operation as early as 1904, and Rev. Wood was editor for more than 26 years. In 1907, Rev. Wood was the National Grand Chief of the Independent Order of the Good Samaritans, and he also had been the State Grand Chief. In 1910, he was chairman of the executive board of the Insurance Department of the Odd Fellows. He was elected treasurer of the Kentucky Negro Press Association at the 2nd Annual Session in 1916. Rev. Wood was a graduate of Kentucky Normal and Industrial Institute, now Kentucky State University, he was a 1903 graduate of National Correspondence College in Vincennes, IN, and a 1908 graduate of State University, Simmons College in KY. Rev. Wood was a trustee at State University for 20 years. 

Born in Boyle Co., Ky. Attended school at Berea. Ordained, Nov. 22, 1888. Pastored one church and erected one. Rev. Adams is pastoring the Baptist Church at Atoka, Ky., which was organized, May 18, 1890, by himself, assisted by Revs. C. C. Bate and Wallace Fisher and which he has pastored ever since. He has kept it in the front rank along all lines of Denominational duties. Membership, 60.

Born in Franklin, Ky. Attended the Central High School and State University, Louisville, Ky. Ordained, August 3, 1915. Pastored one cburch. Wrote "Workshop and Trial of Aaron Burr." Rev. Melville M. D. Perdue is present pastor of New Mission Baptist Church, Danville.

Born at Danville, Boyle Co., Ky. A slave and owned by the late John Craig. He remained a slave up to the age of sixteen when he joined the Union Army to fight for his freedom. He served three years during which time he was converted. Rev. Fisher preached 47 years, during which time he pastored the following churches: Perryville, 7 years; Junction City, 2 years; Mount Salem, 4 years, and New Mission, Danville, 16 years. Baptized and added to different churches nearly 3500 souls. He also served as an evangelist. Taught school eleven years and served as councilman of Danville two years. Although Rev. Fisher is not pastoring he is still active in church work.

Graduate Selma University, Selma Ala.; taught at Selma University, Selma, Ala., and State University, Louisville, Ky. Vice-Principal Polytechnic Seminary, Danville, Ky., several years. Now teacher in the grades and of music in Danville Public School. State Secretary Endowment Bureau of Samaritans; State Secretary B. W. M. Convention; Member of Executive Board, City Federation Women's Clubs, Danville, Ky.; Assistant Secretary State Federation Women's" Clubs of Kentucky.


Junction City AME Church --
information gathered from various people on Facebook:

The little white church pictured to the left (top photo, courtesy of Angela Gellenbeck) was shown on various maps of the Junction City - Shelby City area as long ago as 1905.  John W Samons notes, in 1967, his father, Mart Samons, moved to Junction City and started a small congregation.  They purchased the old AME Church and remodeled it and started having services there.  About 1970 they remodeled the interior by lowering the ceilings and replacing the old benches with more comfortable seating, and also went from the coal stove to gas heat.  The group was an independent group called the Church of God.  We left the area about 1975, and another minister, Bro. Curtis Williams, would come over on Sundays from Morehead and preach.  Later, another couple, Dan and Angela Gellenbeck, moved from Oklahoma and took over the work there.  After a few more years, it was decided to tear the old building down and build the new chapel (bottom photo).  Bro. Dan is a very skilled craftsman and was instrumental in the chapel picture here coming to life.  Dan and Angela are still pastoring there.

He also adds that when the church was established in 1967, Bro. Tom Harris, in his 80s, and Bro. John Wilson, were two of the main elders, both being from Junction City.

Angela Gellenbeck notes that she has tried researching the AME church, with little luck.  Most of the people who worshipped there have either moved out of the area or have passed on.

Kim McCowan Phillips notes that her great aunt owned the piece of property that was right behind the little white church, and sold it to (apparently) the Gellenbecks about 10 years ago.

Rita Hubble Craig adds that she took a photo of the little white church just one week before it was torn down.  She notes that at one time it was used as an African-American school and church in Shelby City.



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