Sunday, June 27, 2010

Catawba Baptist Church

First Baptist Church
Trussville, Alabama
formerly Cahawba Baptist Church

On October 6, 1827, Warren Truss executed "for the natural love I have for the worship of God and the Cahawba Baptist Church" a deed for land where the the "Cahawba meeting house now stands." The deed was witnessed by Uriah Dulaney and John Nash. The Cahawba church was first organized in 1821, and its minutes indicate that Rhoda Dulaney was on the membership rolls in 1823. From these church records, we can assume that the various Dulaney families were living in Jefferson County by the early 1820s, in the area now known as Trussville and part of the greater Birmingham metropolitan area. Trussville was named for a couple of brothers who established a grist mill on the Cahaba River to serve the many settlers, including the Dulaneys, who flocked to the area following the War of 1812 and the subsequent Indian treaties that opened up land for white settlement.

Of course, Rhoda Thrasher Dulaney eventually wound up in Itawamba County with her sons John, Alfred and Gilbert, where she died around 1867. She is believed to be buried in Mt. Pleasant Methodist Cemetery although it is possible that she could be buried in the Baldwyn area where her son John was living at the time. Rhoda's strong Baptist roots and faith were instilled in her son John whose obituary indicates that he had "fixed principles of honesty" and that he was a member of the "Old Baptist Church."

Uriah Dulaney, one of the witnesses of the land deed to Cahawba Baptist Church, was Rhoda's brother-in-law.

Priscilla Dulaney, one of Rhoda's sister-in-laws, was married to James Truss, a Baptist preacher who was the son of Joel Truss. Priscilla and James were members of Cahawba Baptist Church, and later James became a missionary, preaching at several churches in the Coosa River Association before moving to Texas. Priscilla and James also spent some time in Pontotoc County, Mississippi during their migration West, and I can imagine that they probably stopped for a while in Itawamba County to visit their Dulaney relatives there.

At some point in the history of Cahawba Baptist Church, its name was changed to First Baptist Church. Today, it is one of the larger churches in Trussville. The picture of today's church, above, was snapped during a spring visit to the area. As you can tell, the church has grown a great deal since the Dulaneys worshiped there.

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