South Union United Methodist Church 


Sesquicentennial Celebration 

1872 – 2022 

Pastor Recognition and Remembrance 

Compiled by Rev. George W. Buell who served Ackerman,
Antioch and South Union 2002/03 through 2006/07

While Pastors are called by God, they continue to be formed and shaped through the ongoing work of God’s Holy Spirit made visible through the ministries of faithful laity, life altering circum-stances and their families as God’s Holy Word reminds us in First Corinthians 12:27 and Ephesians 4:11, 12 and 16: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it…It was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work (NIV).” 

On Sunday, May 27, 2001, MS Erin Moss brought the Memorial Day message. As many of us know, by that time MS Erin had lost most of her vision. Yet, she remained as clear sighted as ever. She was devoted to witnessing to the glory of God’s love, mercy and grace through every word she spoke. Speaking of all those who have come before us here at the South Union Church and Camp- meeting MS Erin writes: “We have heard the singing of old Campmeeting hymns, such as Amazing Grace, The Old Rugged Cross, and The Unclouded Day. We still hear these songs being sung and we want to keep on singing them for they lift our hearts and lift us closer to God…(I) still see very clearly Lillie Belle Liddell coming from her tent…with all her family, her children, her grandchildren and her in-laws walking with her. Now her children, her grandchildren, her great-grandchildren and in-laws are carrying on the way that she did. The love that we have here continues. That is the greatest thing in the world, the love that we feel here at South Union.” 

It is with these thoughts in mind that we have been able to identify the names of the majority of those Pastors who have served South Union Church and/or presided over Campmeeting in the inter-vening 150 years. The South Union Church was founded in 1865 as part of the Mississippi Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1870 The North Mississippi Annual Conference was formed from parts of Three Annual Conferences: Memphis, Mississippi and Mobile. Historical records prior to 1870 are incomplete. Three of the Church’s earliest Pastors were The Rev. Archie Moss ( MS Erin’s great-grandfather) The Rev. Humphrey Buck (great-grandfather of Addie M. Buck who wrote a definitive history of Campmeeting in 1941) and The Rev. James G. Carlisle an early Circuit Riding Pastor who served Churches throughout Old Choctaw County , Webster, Montgomery and Attala Counties. 

The names of those Pastors who served are listed from the earliest to the most recent with the years they served in parentheses. Up until the 1940’s appointments were made on a calendar year basis (Jan. 1 to - Dec. 31st) not on the basis of the Conference Year:July 1st. to June 30th. as they are now. ) It appears from 1865 through 1875 South Union was on the LaGrange Circuit. Rev. Archie Moss and Rev. Humphrey Buck (1865-1871) Rev. James G. Carlisle (1871 through 1872. He may have served earlier but this is the first mention of an official appointment) Rev. W.R. Rainey (1873 through 1875, and in 1883) In 1876 South Union is listed as part of the Chester Charge/ Circuit. The Churches on this Charge included from time to time: Chester, South Union, Mt. Nebo, Mt. Pisgah and Salem. 

Rev. B. F. Morris (1876 through 1877)

Rev. W. W. Williams (1878 through 1879) 

Rev. G. W. Bachman (1880) 

Rev. E.H. Cacy (1881 through 1882) 

Rev. L. D. Worsham (1884 through 1885) 

Rev. W. T. Barnett (1886 through 1887) 

Rev. W. C. Lester (1888 through 1891) 

Rev. D. C. Foust (1892) 

Rev. R. P. Goar (1893 through 1896) 

Rev. W. L. Anderson (1897 through 1899) 

Rev. J. M. Deavenport (1900) 

Rev. H. C. Edmonson (1901) 

Rev. Y. M. Young (1902 through 1903) 

Rev. J. H. Smith (1904) 

Rev. E. F. Rogers (1905 through 1908) 

Rev. W. M. Commander (1909 through 1911? or 1912?) 

(Conference records do not list an appointed pastor for 1912) 

Rev. S. W. Vowells (1912? Through 1913) 

Rev. G. W. Gordon (1914) 

Rev. H. M. Cockrum (1915 through 1918) 

Rev. J. C. McElroy (1919) 

Rev. J. A. Biffle (1920 through ?) 

(Conference Journals for the 1920’s and the 1930’s are not on-line. Life’s circumstances prohibited us from identifying the Pastors who served South Union during this time period. So, stay tuned for more to come…) 1940-1941 is the first Year Past-oral appointments moved to the Conference Year: July 1,through June 30th. Between July 1942 and June 1950 South Union was on the Bellefontaine Charge. Churches on the Bellefontaine Charge included from time to time: Bellefontaine, Walthall, Spring Hill, South Union, Slate Springs, Shady Grove and Lebanon. Rev. Charles E. Stewart (1940/41 through 1941/1942) Rev. C.M. Ray (1942/43 through 1944/45), (with Rev. W. L. Storment identified as the South Union Pastor for the 1944/ 45 Conf. Year by the Choctaw Plaindealer even though he was appointed to Ackerman.) 

Rev. Ennis H. Coale (1946/47) 

Rev. James Townsend (1947/48) ( Mary Grace Chamber’s father.) 

Rev. C. P. Parker (1948/49) 

Rev. E. A. Spencer (1949/50) 

Rev. T. M. Plunket (1950/51 through 1951/52) South Union was attached to Ackerman for the 1950/51 Conf. Year. South Union returned to the Chester Charge in the 1951/52 Conf. Year. 

Rev. James Townsend (1952/53) second time he was appointed to South Union (And yes, this is still Mary Grace Chamber’s father.) 

Rev. R. C. Mayo (1953/54 through 1955/56) 

Rev. A. R. Linton (1956/57 through 1957/58) 

Rev. Jimmie Hollingsworth (1958/59) 

Rev. C. J. Farmer (1959/60) 

Rev. Douglas Herring (1960/61 through 1961/62) 

Rev. Donald Samply (1962/63) 

Rev. R. L. Ellis (1963/64) 

Rev. Donald F. Grimm (1964/65) 

Rev. B.B. Brantley (1965/66 through 1966/67) 

Rev. Paul Linton (1967/68 through 1970/71) 

Beginning with the 1971/72 Conf. Year South Union, Antioch 

and Ackerman were put on the same Charge. 

Rev. Sam Hull (1971-72 through 1974/75) 

Rev. J. R. Grisham (1975/76) 

Rev. C. M. Roby (1976/77 through 1978/79) 

Rev. R. K. (Buddy) Hubbard (1979/80 through 1980/81) 

Rev. Donald Bishop (1981/82 through 1986/87) 

Rev. Doc Jeter (1987/88 through 1991/92) 

Rev. Donald McCain (1992/93 through 1995/96) 

Rev. Sam Dodd (1996/97 through 2001/02) 

Rev. George W. Buell (2002/03 through 2006/07) 

Rev. Bryan Carrubba (2007/08 through 2011/12) 

Rev. Edward Saunders (2012/13 through 2013/14) 

Rev. Kevin Yearber (2014/15 through 2017/18) 

In 2016 the Ackerman First/South Union Charge was formed. 

Rev. Scarlett Shepherd (2018 /19) 

Rev. Jerry Davis (2019/20 through 2020/21) 

Rev. Jeff Pepper (2021 to present) 

The July 16, 1948 issue of the Choctaw Plaindealer includes an article about that year’s Campmeeting. The article includes a list of individuals who name South Union and Campmeeting as being instrumental in their call into Christian ministry. These include as listed in the original article: Edward Buck, J.T. McCafferty, Rev. Ko, Vinner Cobb, Leland Caldwell, Howard Thompson, Elmer Martin, Floyd Lummus, Garner Martin, Daniel Martin, Claude Calcote, Clarence Calcote, Jim Bob Bright, Bob Ruff Sam Hemphill, Andrew Crawford, J. C. Stewart, Lawrence Mecklin. To this list we can add: Buddy Smith, Glenn Ray, Johnny Ray, Jody Ray, Eddie Restor, Allen Baswell. (If you know of any other individuals, please let us know so we can include their names for future reference.) 

A brief history of the formation of the current Mississippi Annual Conference, from 1989 to the present: 1813: First Mississippi Annual Conference (MAC) held. 1845: MAC becomes united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South 1870: North Mississippi Annual Conference formed from three Conferences: Mississippi, Memphis, Mobile 1939: Methodist Episcopal Church, the Methodist Episcopal Church South, and the Methodist Protestant Church joined to form The Methodist Church. 1968: The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merges to form The United Methodist Church. 1989: The North Mississippi Annual Conference merges into The MAC to form the MAC as it presently exists. 

We are indebted to the assistance of Millsaps Office of Archives and History who provided a list of the Pastoral appointments beginning in 1871 continuing through 1920. They have also digitized copies of the Conference Journals beginning in 1940 and continuing up to 2021; to the Staff of the Choctaw County Library for providing access to their stored copies of The Choctaw Plaindealer; to Rev. Buddy Smith for maintaining online records and the history of the South Union Church and Campmeeting and to the Starkville District Office of the Mississippi Annual Conference for providing access to their copies of several former North Mississippi Annual Confer-ence Journals.