Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church

Pleasant Ridge Baptist ChurchFrom the very beginning the church has been a singing church, a tradition that began in this community in 1890 at Berry School House when singers from near and far were invited to attend an all-day singing on the First Sunday in May. This singing, very much alive today, includes dinner on the grounds and utilizes the Shape-Note Harmony songbook where voices are blended together with no musical accompaniment.



Written and illustrated
by Bobby Caldwell

Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church, located approximately three miles north of Hickory, was organized September 24, 1904. Members of the Presbytery for this organizational meeting were Revs. Harrison Bruce, W. H. Rainer, Berry W. Rainer, and N. L. Clarke, moderator.

Pleasant Ridge Baptist ChurchOriginal Church Building

Mt. Pleasant (Sixteenth) Church is regarded as the Mother church of Pleasant Ridge and many of the first members at Pleasant Ridge transferred their membership from Mt. Pleasant since the new church was much closer to their homes.

Charter members received at the first meeting were Joseph M. (Moss) Caldwell, Jesse B. Gibbon, Charlie A. Crawford, George R. Jones, Jim H. Cunningham, Martha Leanna (Saterfiel) Gibbon, Lou Ella Caldwell, Susan Tatum, Emily Gibbon, Sallie Cunningham, Laura A. Saterfiel, Mary E. Jones, Sallie Jones, Dona Jones (Holderfield), Cora Jones, and Lena Crawford.

Jesse B. Gibbon was appointed church clerk and J. M. (Moss) Caldwell, already an ordained deacon, was called to fill that office in this newly organized church.

The church unanimously called Elder Harrison Bruce for their first pastor, and being present at the meeting, he consented to do so.

The church also voted to meet the third Sunday of each month for services. This practice was continued until about 1970, at which time the church was able to hire a full-time minister and to provide preaching each Sunday.

The church cemetery is known to predate the formation of the church and is said to have served as a Williamson Family Cemetery at one time. An undated loose paper in the Minute Book of the church (but believed to be written in 1918) directs Bro. Caldwell to sell old wire around grave yard and the same to be put on new.

On December 27, 1913, a motion was presented to purchase an organ for the church. Fourteen members voted yes and five members voted nay. A second vote resulted in an 18-5 margin.

The following pastors have served Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church from its time of inception to the present:

Harrison Bruce

1904 -1905

B. W. Rainer


R. K. Cleveland


G. M. May

1908 - 1909

N. A. Edmunds


Z. K. Gilmore

1910 - 1914

F. W. Gunn

1914 - 1915

R. K. Cleveland

1915 - 1917

R.C. Folk

1918 - 1922

W. H. Rainer

1923 - 1925

Hugh Clyde Bufkin

1926 - 1934

W. H. Wood

1935 - 1936

A. N. Thomas

1936 - 1937

Eghbert A. Breland

1937 - 1948

O. V. Swearingen

1949 - 1968

Cecil C. Laird

1968 - 1987

Leon Everett

1987 - 1992

James McMillan

1992 - 1997

Winnie McMahon

1997 - 2003

Rev. Kent Grice acted as pastor from May through September of 1971 in order that Rev. Cecil Laird could provide missionary work in Chile.

Church members likely met in Berry School House until a simple wooden frame church could be built. This frame building remained their house of worship until 1959 when a modern brick building was erected. A separate building containing Sunday School classrooms was added in the 1970s and a parsonage was built during the 1990s while Rev. James McMillan was pastor.

Other members that affiliated with the church during its early years were the following:


 Daniel Reeves, by letter, 1904

 Joe Reeves, by letter, 1904

Daniel Faulkner, baptized, 1905

J. P. Puckett, by letter, 1905

Willie Williams, by letter, 1907

W. L. Robinson, by letter, 1907

Charlie A. Crawford, by letter, 1908

C. E. Tatum, by letter, 1909

W. H. Tidwell, baptized

W. H. Caldwell, by letter, 1911

G. W. Ishee, by letter, 1911

R. H. Skinner, by letter, 1911

M. J. Scarborough, by letter, 1912

 Henry G. Puckett, by letter, 1906

H. P. Everett, baptized, 1912

J. C. Caldwell, baptized

W. R. Everett, baptized, 1912

Oscar L. Bradley, by letter, 1912

Luther Caldwell, baptized, 1912

Earl McDonald, baptized, 1913

Thad Cochran, baptized, 1913

R. P. Sadler, by baptism, 1913

J. T. Caldwell, baptized, 1913

Luther Williamson, by letter, 1913

M. C. Tatum, baptism, 1913


Vena Jones (Thorne), by letter

Avia Jones, by letter

L. B. Chaney, by letter, 1904

E. J. Cunningham, by letter, 1904

L. Harris, by letter, 1904

Leona E. Thompson, by letter, 1904

M. F. Reeves, by letter, 1904

 Dora Reeves, by letter, 1904

Allie Reeves, by letter, 1904

Hester Reeves, by letter, 1904

Exie Gibbon, by letter, 1905

 Sallie Gibbon, by letter, 1905

Catherine Harris, baptized, 1905

Victoria Puckett, by letter

Jennie Puckett, by letter, 1905

Laura Jane Puckett, by letter, 1905

Fannie Jones, baptized

Charity Jones, baptized

Bertha Tidwell, baptized

Belle Cunningham, baptized

Ella Williams, baptized

China Gibbon, baptized

May Boutwell, by letter, 1907

Edna Robinson, by letter, 1907

Lena Crawford, by letter, 1908

Emma Everett, baptized, 1907

E. Tatum, by letter

Emma Hearn, by letter, 1908

Dora Ishee, by letter, 1911

S. L. Caldwell, by letter, 1911

Allice Caldwell, by letter, 1911 

 Mrs. R. H. Skinner, by letter, 1911

Mary Jones, by letter

Mattie Tatum, by letter, 1911

Florida Tidwell, baptized, 1911

Ida Scarborough, by letter, 1912

Jennie Caldwell, baptized, 1912

Isabell Caldwell, baptized, 1912

Cora Everett, baptized, 1912

City Robinson, baptized, 1912

Viola Caldwell, baptized, 1912

Opal McDonald, baptized, 1912

Eula Everett, baptized, 1912

 Nancy Robinson, baptized, 1912

Alma Harris, baptized, 1912

Lula McDonald, by letter, 1913

C. E. King, by letter, 1913

Ola Caldwell, by baptism, 1913

Rosa Chaney, by baptism, 1913

 Pearl Caldwell, by baptism, 1913

Lucy Williamson, by letter, 1913

Katie Gibbon

S. J. Greer, by letter, 1913

Josie Greer, by letter, 1913

Nannie Greer, by letter, 1913

J. O. Robinson, by letter

Terry Cunningham, baptized, 1914

Catherine Lindley, dismissed, 1906

Lula Tidwell, baptized, 1908

Arda Tatum, baptized, 1912


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