PINE PRAIRIE — The Walker County Historical Commission will soon place a historic marker at Pine Prairie Free Will Baptist Church and Cemetery in an attempt to pay homage to the small community.
Located six miles north of Huntsville, the community of Pine Prairie was formed in the 1850s when settlers purchased land in the Thomas Stevens grant and the William Burditt Survey. However, the historic church wasn’t constructed until 1937 after community members grew tired of the eight to 10 mile journey by horse or wagon to Falba or Crabbs Prairie for worship services on Sundays.
But the church community began much sooner.
According to the historical commission, Mr. Louis P Jordy began talking to ministers in the area, when an 18-year-old Rev. J.L. Bounds agreed to hold a revival at the Pine Prairie school. At the close of the revival on Aug. 13, 1912, the Pine Prairie Free Will Baptist Church was organized with 13 charter members and the Rev. George Robinson as their first pastor.
A small school house was used for church services until 1931, when a new school was built off the property that was used by the church until the sanctuary was constructed.
Over 400 burials are also on the site of the school and church, many of which predate the official donation of the land. The church and community maintain the cemetery, having added fencing and brick pillars over the years.
Annual homecoming reunions have also been held at the church since the 1940s, with special celebrations on milestone dates, bringing back descendants of friends and early settlers to remember the heritage of the Pine Prairie Community.
The marker ceremony will be conducted Saturday, Aug. 15 at 10 a.m., over 108 years since the church’s first revival.
The historic church is located on Phil Wood Road, across the street from its current sanctuary.