Red Lick

Jacob Rickhow had been a Methodist minister for years, but finally embraced the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, and became a Presbyterian.  He moved to Mississippi in 1810, and organized Ebenezer Church in eastern Jefferson County, in 1811.

In March of 1845, he was invited to preach at the school house in Red Lick, also in Jefferson County.  After two or three Sabbaths, the Rev. S.R. Bertron took over the work, preaching every other week.  He began a series of protracted meetings on June 14, 1845.  The next day, according to the session minutes, “it was evident that God by His spirit was present.”  The meetings continued, and on June 23, the church was organized with 27 members.  Rev. Zebulon Butler of Port Gibson and Rev. S.S. Templeton from Kentucky presided on behalf of the Presbytery.  Mr. Israel Spencer transferred his membership from the church in Canton, and Mr. Elijah Mount transferred his membership from Bethel Church.  These men became the first two ruling elders of the congregation.

red-lick-picture-2            On January 28, 1846, the cornerstone of the house of worship was laid.  Mr. John Catlin was the builder, and he was said to have burned the brick himself with which he constructed the 43 x 30 foot building.  Rev. Henry McDonald supplied the church until 1852, preaching two Sundays in each month.  From October of 1854 until September of 1856, Mr. W.H. Roane, a licentiate of the Tuscumbia Presbytery, filled the pulpit according to a similar arrangement.

According to John I.W. Ross, he built the manse for Mr. Roane in the summer of 1855.  He paid half the $200 purchase price for the lot, and donated the logs and board for the house.  Along with Anapias Killingsworth, a ruling elder, he did extensive repairs to the house in 1858 or 1859.

It was about this time that the last resident pastor served Red Lick Church – Rev. Daniel S. Baker.  Ross remembered that Baker remained as pastor until 1863 when “after the battle of Port Gibson he turned Radical and left – not saying good-bye to anyone of his old friends, or congregation.”  The manse was rented out and sold in 1889.

In 1872 the Ebenezer church was dissolved, and two of its members, Richard W. Trimble, and Miss Catherine Trimble, were transferred to Red Lick.  In 1874, the church had 25 members.

Rev. J.S. Shaw was called as quarter-time pastor in 1882 and served until 1889.  The Rev. W.B. Bingham served as stated supply after that time, also serving the Bethel Church in Claiborne County.  In 1896, he reported that there were 30 families on the roll representing 62 members.  The church had three ruling elders and four deacons.

The congregation constructed a new manse in the town of Red Lick in 1917.  The Women of the Church gave Rev. and Mrs. Duck a set of plated silver as a special gift, and the congregation furnished the dining room and the bedroom of the house.  The Ducks lived there until 1923.

In 1928, Rev. J.V. Currey began preaching once a month in the afternoons, at least until 1937.  In 1929, Miss Marie Gibert, a home missionary employed by the Presbytery, began to meet with the women of Red Lick, teaching a monthly Bible study.  She continued in such service at least until 1940.

Although there were 43 members of the church in 1937, the postwar years were not kind to Red Lick.  By 1977, there were only four members remaining.  Mr. Anon Killingsworth, the sole surviving elder, gave permission for the Red Lick Baptist Church to use the building, and on June 18, 1978, the membership was transferred to the roll of the First Presbyterian Church of Port Gibson.