Our Church History
MT. JOY BAPTIST CHURCH
Reflections of the past reveal struggles, unselfish devotions, setbacks as well as joys. It provides opportunities to re-evaluate the past as a guide for the future. It’s an opportunity to thank God for the enrichment of our Spiritual Lives. It brings forth pleasure mingled with pain, as we are reminded of the great efforts, labors and sacrifices of our founding parents. We thank God for the noble heritage they passed down to us.
Prior to starting their own Church, the slaves were attending the white people Church, First Baptist Church of Trussville... They were seated in the rear of the Church on Sunday mornings and not allowed to participate in the Worship Services. On Sunday afternoons the white minister would preach to the slaves. In the year of 1857, the slaves were friendly dismissed and allowed to organize their own Church. They received permission to worship in a Log Cabin located on the Sam Latham Plantation in Trussville, and it was initially called “Latham’s Baptist Church. After The Civil War, two African American Brothers, Henry and William Talley, settled in Trussville and purchased land. In 1867 Worship Services began on the land of William Talley. The Reverend Isom Talley became the first African American Pastor. In 1868 Henry Talley donated land to the struggling Church. Members of the Church constructed a “Box Framed Building” on the hill where the Present Building is located and adopted the name “Mt. Joy Baptist Church Trussville”.
Mt. Joy has battled through hard times to stay alive since its plantation beginnings. In 1914 the Church records were destroyed by fire in the home of the secretary Rev. J.R. Johnson. In later years the Church building was destroyed by fire along with the Church records. Due to this fact, our written history begins in 1920 under the pastorate of Rev. O. B. Burton.
Mt. Joy has come a long way and has had several great Pastors who have left their footprints in the sands of time. They include Rev. W.M. Walker, Rev. C.E. Speights, Rev. S.L. Latham and Rev. M.L. Rucker.
When another one of the Church buildings was destroyed by fire, Rev. C.L. Vincent helped to lay the foundation for another magnificent building in the same location; Rev. J.D. Kent continued the work on that building and Rev. H. J. Lane completed the work on that building.
In 1967 God sent to Mt. Joy one of his best mastermind ministers, Rev. C.L. Taylor. He was competent, had a mind to work for the up building of the Church and the community and was an excellent teacher. Under his leadership the inside of the Church was furnished.
In 1979, the Lord sent us another magnificent leader, Rev. W.C. McDaniel Sr. Under his leadership, Mt. Joy did great things within the Church and the Community. He was a Spiritual Leader and had great plans for the future of the Church. In later years, failing health limited the activities of Pastor McDaniel causing him to retire.
In 1992 Rev. George Jones Sr., Pastor of Mt. Canaan Baptist Church in Trussville, recommended Rev. Larry L. Hollman to become Pastor of Mt. Joy. We graciously welcomed and received this God sent Man of God as our Pastor and Leader.
When Rev. Hollman assumed the Pastorate, there were a total of three people attending Sunday school and eleven attending the Morning Worship Services. Rev. Hollman came with a mind to work. The Church building was in need of many repairs. Under his leadership, the inside walls were painted and indoor bathrooms were installed. Rev. Hollman not only became a part of the Church family he also became a leader in the Trussville Community. Prior to Rev. Hollman’s pastorate, Mt. Joy only had Worship Services on the second and fourth Sundays in the month. Rev. Hollman taught that God was a “Full -Time God” and members needed to give Him “Full - Time Service”. Services started being held four Sundays a month along with mid-week Prayer Service and Bible Study. Within the next year, fifth Sunday Services were added.
Rev. Hollman came with a vision from the Lord, to unite all the Black Baptist Churches in the area into one congregation.
While experiencing the new worship schedule, there was a tremendous growth in membership. In 1998 the old building was torn down and a new one was built in the same location. While the new sanctuary was under construction, joint Worship Services were held with Mt. Canaan Baptist in Trussville. Their Pastor, Rev. George Jones had recently retired, so Rev. Hollman also served as interim Pastor to the Mt. Canaan Baptist Church family during this period.
When Mt. Joy returned home to worship in their new Sanctuary, the members of Mt. Canaan which had split from Mt. Joy 84 years before, joined them and the two Churches combined again as one. At that time Rev. George Jones was made Pastor Emeritus of Mt. Joy. Rev. Jones passed away in 2009.
In 1998, the Youth Department and Sunday school was reorganized, an Usher Ministry and a Mission Ministry was organized.
In 1998 and 1999, the Lord sent two Associate Ministers to help carry the load of our Pastor. Rev. Thomas Thornton, who was made Assistant Pastor and Rev. Parnell Smith who was made Youth Pastor. Rev. Smith remained until he was called to be the Senior Pastor of another Church.
During the millennium year of 2000, the Lord saw fit for another increase in the membership. The Church family of New Bethel Baptist, also located in the Trussville Community, decided to dissolve due to major repairs needed on their Church building. Most of the members of New Bethel joined with Mt. Joy. At last Rev. Hollman’s vision to unite all the black Baptist Churches in the community became a reality. A beautiful marquee was purchased and placed in front of the new building.
Mt. Joy continues to have spiritual growth within the membership. The Deacon and Trustee Ministries have been enlarged and reorganized.
The Choirs reorganized, enlarged and choir robes were purchased. Our Music Ministry includes an active Mass Choir, Men Chorus, Youth and Children Chorus, an Instrumental Children Bell’s Choir, a Competent Musician and Drummer.
We have Greeter’s, Kitchen, Media, Mission, Praise Dance & Health Ministries. There is also a Van Ministry that picks up members from near and far. Our Usher’s Ministry includes Children, Youth, Young Adults, Middle age and Senior Members.
Mt. Joy’s Spiritual Educational Ministry includes Sunday School Classes for all ages. Our Sunday School is made up of seven Classes: Crusader for Christ (Men Class) two Women Bible Classes: Women Working for Christ and JoyBelles for Jesus. A Married Couples Class “Cuddlin with Christ”, Youth for Christ, Seekers for Jesus (ages 8-12) and The Wee Angels Class (ages 2-7). Our Spiritual Educational Ministry also includes Wednesday Mornings and Evenings Bible Study Classes, and a New Members Class.
There are three dedicated Associate Ministers, Rev. Morgan Brown, Evangelist Dorothy Jalloh and Rev. Mike Gardner. Rev. John Bell & Rev. Ralph Earl also served as dedicated Associate Ministers until they were called to be the Senior Pastors of other Churches.
We now Worship and Praise God in JOYLAND in our new facility, which includes a three-hundred and fifty (350) seat Sanctuary with a full basement Fellowship Hall, Pastor’s Study, Associate Ministers Study, Sunday School Classrooms, Conference, Finance and Health Rooms. We have a Mt. Joy Motto, Theme Song & Welcome Song.
Mt. Joy is the oldest African American Baptist Church in Jefferson County, Alabama. We give credit and acknowledge Dr. Wilson Fallin, Jr., Professor of History at the University of Montevallo and author of “The African American Church in Birmingham, Alabama 1815-1963”: A Shelter In The Storm, for his research in obtaining some of our early history information.
We are so Thankful and Proud of this Great Heritage.
Our Fore-Parents were sweet and kind. They told us we’ll never find, not another who would share our grief and woes. So we took them at their word and we sought the Blessed Lord and today our Fore -Parents God is still ours, the True and Living God. We are here because of God’s Amazing Grace...Amen, Amen, Amen...