|Pleasant Valley Baptist
|Very little is known about the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church; it was in
existence but for only 30 years or so.
The first reference to the assembly appeared in the March 1875 records of the
Line Creek Baptist
Church: "Granted request from the Buffalo Church to send her official
aid for the purpose of ordaining deacons at their next meeting." The last
known reference is in 1895 when the favor is returned -- newly-formed Price
Valley Baptist Church asked Pleasant Valley and Blue Springs for help in
ordaining their deacons.
In 1875 the church made its first appearance in the records of the
Association. That year the church is listed with 15 members and the
messengers it sent to the Association meeting were George W. Decker, J.
Hammock, and Harvey Taylor. The pastor was J.B. Abbott, a circuit preacher who
lived at Woodstock.
It appears Pleasant Valley was organized by residents near Buffalo probably so
they would have a church closer to their homes. Ingram and Elizabeth Renner and
William and Rebecca Shiplet were known former members at Line Creek who lived
near Buffalo. In 1874 and 1875, respectively, both families were dismissed by
letter from Line Creek and show up in subsequent Pleasant Valley records.
From an 1878 Nichols heir's deed, we know at that time there was both a church
and school in the general area of today's Buffalo Baptist Church. The school
was located where the church is today. Pleasant Valley Baptist Church was most
likely located across the road, adjacent to the Old Buffalo Church Cemetery.
At the time of its formation, the land where the church was built was owned by
Margaret Claunch Nichols Ferrell, the widow of Thomas Nichols. Thomas had owned
the land since 1838; it was once part of land claimed by Jacob Renner Sr. In
1878 the land came into the possession of Ingram Renner.
The church had a troubled history, with erratic membership and a shortage of
preaching. For example, in 1883 the church was one of those reported with a
"Sunday School in flourishing condition." However, by 1886 this note
appeared: "Pleasant Valley church failed to send any letter or messenger
to our last annual meeting, so we employed Elder J.C. Carmical to go there and
hold a meeting of eleven days which resulted in 19 additions, 15 by experience
and baptism, 4 by letter and the church greatly revived. Collected there $4.25
and we paid $6.75--amount, $11.00."
The largest membership number, 91, was also reported in 1886, but by 1891 it
was down to 46.
Ingram Renner, along with William Shiplet, George W. Decker, and Francis B.
Linville appear to have been the church's leaders. But in 1882 William died
after falling from his barn. George passed away in 1896. By 1900 Francis had
moved from the area. And Ingram, who had been one of the church's founders and
served as clerk for more than 20 years, died in 1910. (Ingram and George are
buried in the Old Buffalo Church Cemetery; George's stone is the oldest in the
cemetery, although there are many unmarked graves.)
These losses, coupled with the lack of reliable preachers and a general
deterioration of economic and social conditions in the area, most likely
accounts for the demise of the congregation.
Below are the individuals we know were members at Pleasant Valley. An asterick
indicates the person was also a member of Line Creek Baptist Church at some
Decker, George W
Linville, Francis B
Smith, G A
Smith, J H
Smith, W R