Volume 5, Number 6, Winter 1974
(Mrs. Rozell is the Ocie correspondent for the Ozark County Times.)
When Salem General Baptist Church was organized in 1896, services were held in the Tannehill schoolhouse once located near Ocie on Route 00 about a mile south of U.S. 160.
Built in the 1880s on land donated by Sam and Eliza Preston, the school served as a meeting place for the congregation until the present building on U.S. 160 west of Ocie was completed in 1949.
The charter members were Eliza Preston, Plina Hampton, Susan Baxter, Nancy Points, S
E. Eslick, J. D. Tannehill, France Tannehill, Minnie Eslick, Sis Tannehill and Betty Shelton.
There are many memories associated with the old school meeting place where these early members and others gathered for services for 53 years.
When there were night services, one side of the platform was usually covered by pallets spread out for babies and younger children to sleep on. By the time the singing was over and the minister had started to preach, the mothers had the children on the pallets and they slept peacefully through the services.
Back then, revival services were often held in the daytime. The teacher would give over to the minister at 11 oclock. Then when services were over, the teacher would continue instructing the classes for the rest of the day.
The old schoolhouse had kerosene lamps mounted on the walls and in later years a gas lantern was used.
In contrast, the new church building has electricity, gas heat, air conditioning and restrooms.
W.H. and Ella Hampton donated land for the new church. It was built and paid for largely through donation of money and labor. Some of the money was borrowed from Tom Martin, but it was soon paid back and some of the money was raised by women of the church.
They made two quilts that were sold to raise money for building expenses. One had all the names of the ministers in the Missouri Association, who would give a dollar, embroidered on it. This quilt sold at auction for $50.
The other quilt had the names embroidered on it of those who gave a quarter. It was also sold at auction and brought $55.
The main carpenters who worked on the present church building were Albert Allen and Avenue Coy of Gainesville.
The past pastors of the church have been H.I Hart, G. W. Willhoit, Bishop Reich, G. A. Shaffer, Johnnie Hathcock, S. P. Tannehill, Nell Reich, Charley McGullah, Jim Hale, Will
Steverson, John Wray, Raymond McGinnis, Sam Stone, Dean Hall Jackson, Glesco Roberts, Lawrence Applegate, Truman Miller, Elmer Wray and Marlin McGinnis.
The present pastor is Allen Ledbetter. Services are held each Sunday morning with Sunday school at 10 and worship services at 11.
The pulpit in the new church was donated in memory of the late Rev. S. P. Tannehill by his children, Opal Ledbetter, Ethyl Duggins, Pansy Rozell and Tandy Tannehill.
Mr. and Mrs. Willard Hughes donated the new piano. The first piano had been acquired from Chadwick school and the Rev. Allen Ledbetter had a new keyboard installed in it. It was used for several years.
In the days when the congregation met in the old school, these people taught there: S.P. Tannehill, Cassie Shaffer, Homer Owens, Everett Herd, Omer Brown, John Davis, Claude Cropper, Ottie Haskins, Raymond Ledbetter, Carl Swain, Dewey Moody, Elsie Rhoads Taber, Dorothy Taber Hughes, Edith Sallee, Clarence Burnett. Maxine Hogan Ledbetter, Eunice Herd McClelland, Elma Kyle, Ruby Gladden Smith, Willard Hughes, Paul Rozell, Joe Bill Blisard, Aldeana Ellison, Geraldine Jones Kelley, Virginia Tannehill Reich, Mona Myers Welch, Shirley Taber Smith, Dean Hall Jackson, Alice Cutbirth Lord, Hershel Smith and Glennie Wallace.
Copyright Ó White River Valley Historical Quarterly
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