History of Pine Forest Baptist Church

Pine Forest Baptist Church was established on its present site in 1906. John Lewis Agnew, a charter member of Pine Forest, recorded in his family history that he and several others who lived near the present church withdrew their membership from Pine Grove Baptist Church in 1906 to start a new church.

This new church, named Pine Forest Baptist Church, met in a one room school house known as Ratcliff School. It was located on land owned by Mr. Jim Ratcliff, another charter member of Pine Forest. The school building had two stories, the upper story being occupied by the Woodman of the World. In 1919, the land was sold to Jesse D. Bounds. Records from the Mississippi Baptist Historical Commission show that Pine Forest Baptist Church became a member of the Okatibbee Missionary
Baptist in 1906. On October 6, 7, and 8, the Okatibbee Baptist Association held its twenty-seventh annual session at Macedonia Church in Lauderdale County, Mississippi. The minutes of this meeting show that Pine Forest was represented by their pastor, B.F. Theatt and two delegates, A. G. Agnew and J. S. Ratcliff. They reported 29 members with 19 baptized.

During the fourteen years from 1906 to 1920, the church seemed to thrive. Membership steadily increased. Services continued to be held in the Ratcliff School building. This rural community supported mainly by farming and timber slowly developed.

Changes came in the 1920’s. Early in that period schools were consolidated and Ratcliff school no longer existed. The Modern Woodman of the World was no longer in the building, so now only the church resided there.In 1936 Mr. Bounds sold land which included the church to Dr. Singleton McDonald. It was sometimes after this that church members realized they needed a deed. After Dr. McDonald’s death, Mrs. McDonald gave the church a deed to one acre of land.

At the 52nd annual meeting held at Southside Baptist Church, October 15, 1953, Pine Forest was accepted to become a member of the Lauderdale County Baptist Association.

Brother Gary Smith was the pastor in 1961. Under his leadership, Pine Forest began full-time worship services with the addition of the first Sunday School classrooms. Through the years, many additions and remodeling were done to the original building. In 1964, a cemetery was added on land donated by the Bounds family.

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Reverend Harold Lollar became pastor in 1970. Through his love and dedication to the Lord, the church continued to grow. In 1973, an additional wing was added for classrooms; and in 1976, a new recreation building was added with a kitchen and bathrooms. In 1982, the family life center was completed. The sanctuary was enlarged in 1984, and the stained glass windows installed.

Pine Forest Baptist Church provided a daycare program from 1981 – 2012 and ministered to many children during those years.

There have been at least 27 pastors, in addition to 4 others who have served as interim pastor for extended times. Twelve men have been licensed to the ministry by Pine Forest, and four others have been ordained.

In May 2009, T. J. Jennings became the interim pastor of Pine Forest and in February 2010 became the pastor. Under his leadership the church continued to experience growth. In 2013, the church family voted to build a new sanctuary and classrooms to better accommodate our growing congregation and church needs. August 28, 2013, was the last worship service in our previous church and April 6, 2014, was our first worship service in our new church.

In October 2015, Pine Forest welcomed transitional pastor Charles Davis to the church, after T. J. Jennings announced that, due to health reasons, he was unable to continue serving as pastor. Bro. Charles worked closely with our pastor search committee, and he and his wife Betty led PFBC in constant pursuit of God’s will for our church.

On December 27, 2015, the church voted to call Bro. T.J. Jennings back as our pastor, after his constantly improving health and desire to serve God through PFBC led the pastor search committee to prayerfully consider his request to return.

On Wednesday, February 1, 2017, PFBC called interim pastor Wayne Edwards, after T.J. Jennings announced in October 2016 his retirement from the ministry at PFBC. Bro. Wayne delivered our weekly services and provided a great deal of wisdom and knowledge on church leadership and vision to both our Pastor and Youth Pastor search committees. He and his wife Patti plugged into several church ministries, and we are so thankful to have them serve the Lord at PFBC.

On Wednesday, November 1, 2017, Pine Forest Baptist Church welcomed our new Pastor. Bro. Andy May and his wife Susan are no strangers to PFBC, as Bro. Andy served Pine Forest in the early 2000s. We are excited to welcome Bro. Andy and his family home!

10636698_980559581969872_1536326560213416451_oThrough the years, 1906 to 2018, one hundred and twelve years, the faithful attended Sunday School, sang in the choir, listened to sermons and knelt in prayer. May we continue in the years to come.

It is the Lord’s church and to GOD BE THE GLORY!