Church History

Willow Head Missionary Baptist Church began as a Sunday school, a vision of Sister E.H. Jacob, at her home, 316 Hayes Street. Mr. Israel Hamilton assisted Sister Jacobs with the teaching. Two months after the Sunday school started, a prayer meeting was held. The Sunday school and prayer meeting grew so large that they had to move from 316 Hayes St. to a vacant house at 318 Hayes Street. In this dwelling, the partition was torn out and a chimney was used for the pulpit for the Bible to rest on.

After six months an evangelist came through town whose name was Rev. Walker Jones. No one knew where he came from, but revival was held and there were three converts: Robert Grooms, John Grooms, and Mrs. Annie Carnage. Rev Walker baptized these converts and left town; no one knows where he went.

A presbyter was called that consisted of Rev. Jimmie Coleman, Rev. Bill Jackson and Rev. J.V. Bennett. The Church was organized under this presbyter on the 3rd Sunday in July 1914. While organizing the church they wanted to give it a name. Rev. Jimmie Coleman named the Church “Willow Head Missionary Baptist Church” because there were ‘weeping willows’ surrounding the house where the Church was located. After the Church organized, three people joined: Deacon Tom Jacob, Sister E. A. Jacob and Brother Noah Grooms. Rev. C.J. Powell was the first pastor of the Church and he baptized the first three members. Sister Louise McAllister used a plow bell to call everyone to worship. Willow Head remained at 318 Hayes Street for four years.

On the 3rd Sunday in July 1918, the Church moved from 318 Hayes Street to its present location, 615 East Calhoun Street. The Church has had as its pastors such God-liked devout Christian preachers as Rev. Walker Jones; Rev. C.J. Powell (10 yrs); Rev. H. Corfield (1 1/2 yrs); Rev. E.C. Parris (3 yrs.); Rev. Jake Parson (3yrs); Rev. Winn (6 mos.); Rev. G.W. Ferrell (3 1/2 yrs); Rev T.J. James (9 yrs); Rev. T. Price (17 yrs); Rev Noah Lester (2 yrs); Rev. A. F. Harris (1 yr); Rev. Ben Coles (3 1/2 yrs); Rev. E.J. Kirk (3 yrs); Rev. E. W. Wilson (6 yrs); Rev. J.W. Steward (3 yrs).

Elder Silas Brinson of Havana, Florida was the 16th Pastor of Willow Head Missionary Baptist Church. His tenure began the first Sunday in November 1976. He served for 35 years. Under Elder Brinson’s leadership the Church progressed immensely-spiritually and financially. It was under Elder Brinson’s leadership that the Church voted to build a new sanctuary.

On October 15, 1995 (3rd Sunday) at 3 p.m. a Groundbreaking Ceremony was held for the construction of the new building. In November, construction on the new building began. After the old building was demolished, the Church continued to meet on its pastoral Sundays (1st and 3rd) at two churches in the city, Olive Grove M.B. Church on Pine Street and Shiloh M.B. Church on Harris Street. Willow Head held services at Shiloh until the Church moved into its new building.

Even though the Willow Head Family was not meeting in its physical home at 615 E. Calhoun Street, every meeting Sunday at Olive Grove or Shiloh was Spirit-filled. The membership grew, and the Church was blessed, spiritually and financially.

Elder Brinson set aside eleven young men to be trained as deacons during the time the Church was waiting to go into the new building. The young men were: Spencer Wilson, Aaron Mitchem, Donnell Cox Sr., Rufus Stephens, Raiford Duncan, John Blackshear, James Miller, Cleveland Brown, Arthur Curry, Willie Green, and Perry Harper.

On Sunday July 20, 1997 (3rd Sunday), the Willow Head Missionary Baptist Church Family moved into its new building. Ironically, this Sunday marked 83 years of the Church’s existence. The 83rd Church Anniversary was celebrated on this day, the first service held in the new building.

Willow Head Missionary Baptist Church officially dedicated its new building on October 19, 1997 (3rd Sunday), at 11 a.m.

At its business meeting on Thursday August 28, 1997, Willow Head Missionary Baptist Church voted unanimously to become a station church (holding services every Sunday) beginning on November 2, 1997 (1st Sunday).

On the 3rd Sunday in August 1998, six of the eleven young men set aside to be trained as deacons were ordained. They were: Spencer Wilson, Donnell Cox Sr., Rufus Stephens, Raiford Duncan, John Blackshear, and James Miller.

In October 1998, Usher Board #2 was established for the purpose of educating and training the younger adult of the duties and responsibilities of being an usher. In October of 1999 on the first anniversary of Usher Board #2, the board name was changed to the Marie Davis Usher Board.

Brother Aaron Mitchem was ordained as a deacon on Sunday, July 18, 1999 (3rd Sunday) on the Church’s 85th Anniversary.

On Saturday, October 19, 2002 Mother Mary Lou Jacob Henderson passed away. Mother Henderson was born on May 20, 1906 in Thomasville, Georgia to the late Thomas Jacob and Eugenia Holland Jacob. She was united in marriage to the late Deacon Henry Henderson. She joined the Willow Head Missionary Baptist Church in the year of our Lord 1919. Her mother was one of the founders of this Church.

Mother Henderson was founder of the Deaconess Board and she also organized the Senior Missionary Society. She served as the Superintendent of the Sunday School for 60 years, She was President of the Deaconess Board, a member of the Senior Choir, and the Mass Choir. She was also a former member of the Georgia/Florida Singing Convention. She was a Sunday School teacher and Instructor of the BTU Congress.

Outside of her church she was an anointed speaker. She was a member of the North Bound Union where she served as Secretary of the Women Department for many years. She also served as Mother of the Union, Treasurer of the Thomasville Missionary Baptist Association Women Department for 36 years and Devotional Leader until her death. Mother Henderson was the Devotion Leader of the General Missionary Baptist Convention of Georgia for many years.

Mother Henderson was a graduate of Douglass High School, Thomasville, Georgia. She was a member of the American Beauty Chapter II 214 OES for 52 years. Mother Henderson was laid to rest on Thursday, October 24, 2002 at the Peaceful Rest Cemetery, Thomasville, GA.

In honor of Mother Henderson, the M.L. Henderson Scholarship Fund was established in May 2004. This scholarship is awarded to Willow Head M.B. Church youth members that graduate high school and plan to attend an institution of higher learning.

On the fourth Sunday in July 2005, a male usher board was organized with the following members: Melvin Washington, Jeremiah Butler, Kendrick Johnson, Willie Green, Michael Reddick, John Blackshear, Roosevelt Andrews, Jimmy Smith and Steve Donaldson. By a unanimous vote this male usher board was named “The Benny Pettis Usher Board.”

On Wednesday, August 10, 2005 Elder Brinson organized the Mothers Board. The following women were installed as Mothers on the fourth Sunday in August: Judy Gatlin, Mary F. Hayes, Annie G. Scott, Levada Brinson, Barbara Abrams, Mary L. Jones, Mattie Green, Lillie Bell Smith, Maurice Pettis and Charlie Mae Moore. Because of personal reasons, Mother Pettis gave up her position on the Mothers Board and her position as Mother of the church. Mother Charlie Mae Moore was asked to serve as the Mother of the Church.

On November 11, 2006 Willow Head’s senior Deacon, Benny Pettis died. Deacon Rufus Stephens died on January 1, 2007.

On July 20, 2008 on the Church’s 94th Anniversary, Brother Donnie Smith and Brother Johnny Crawford were ordained as Deacons.

Under Elder Brinson’s leadership, Willow Head Missionary Baptist church was paid off on May 17, 2010. The Mortgage Burning Ceremony was held on the 96th Church Anniversary, July 18, 2010.

In October 2010, Deacon John Blackshear was appointed Chairman of the Deacon Board, and Mother Mary F. Hayes was appointed Mother of the Church. On November 28, 2010, Brother Michael Reddick and Brother Steve Donaldson were ordained as Deacons. Deacon Spencer Wilson was licensed to preach the gospel on September 25, 2011.

The Church celebrated Elder Brinson’s official retirement after 35 years of faithful service on April 29, 2012.

Rev. William C. Brinson, the son of Elder Silas Brinson, was installed as the 17th Pastor of Willow Head Missionary Baptist Church on March 25, 2012. The Church has continued to grow numerically, spiritually, and financially under Pastor William Brinson’s leadership. New ministries, such as the Evangelism Ministry, the Marriage Ministry, Nu Inspiration (Young Adult Choir), and Young Followers of Christ (Boys’ Praise Dance Team), have also been instituted during Pastor William Brinson’s tenure.