Our History


South   Side Baptist Church, located on U. S. Highway 43 South, Russellville,   Alabama, was organized on October 13, 1963 with 78 charter members.

Before organizing into a church, a small  group of interested people met  in the home of V. L. Franks on Wednesday  night, July 3, 1963 for prayer  service. From July 3 to August 14, 1963  the group met each Wednesday  night with Jonesboro Baptist Church. In  August, 1963, they rented a  house south of Russellville close to where  the present building now  stands to use as a meeting place. The group  met in the rented house for  Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and  mid-week prayer services until after  the church was officially  organized and until the present building was  built. Several of the men  built benches and Highsmith Funeral Home  donated chairs. Bro. Cecil  Robinson was elected moderator of the group.

On Sunday, September 22, 1963 the group  voted to organize a Southern  Baptist Church in the area south of  Russellville. Bro. Charlie Thorn met  with the group several times and  helped make plans for the  organizational meeting.

The organizational meeting was held on  Sunday, October 13, 1963, with  the following ministers and deacons  serving as members of the  organizational council: Bro. Charlie Thorn,  Moderator; Bro. Charles  Roth, Franklin County Associational Missionary;  Bro. Terry DeFoor; Bro.  Leaborn McCarley; Bro. Vachel Posey; Bro.  Bennie Franklin; Bro. Lecil  Scott; Bro. H. C. Hess; Bro. L. T. McDougle  and Bro. Elton Amos.

The following ordained deacons served as  the first deacons of South Side  Baptist Church: V. L. Franks, Wesley  Hill, Norvil Nix, Cecil Robinson,  and J. D. Robinson.


October 20, 1963 – Members voted to purchase the plot of land where the church building is now located.

March 1, 1964 -- Bro. Charlie Thorn was called as the first pastor.

April 19, 1964 -- Groundbreaking ceremonies  were held at the building  site. Bonds were sold to finance  construction of the building

September 13, 1964 -- The sanctuary had been completed and was dedicated to God. Dr. George Jackson was the dedication speaker.

Bro. Charlie Thorn resigned as pastor on June 14, 1970.

Bro. Bob Burton served as supply pastor for  a few months and was then  called to serve as pastor on October 11,  1970. He was pastor until  January 19, 1975.

Interim pastor was Dr. J. O. Colley.

Bro. Carlton Brank was pastor from June 1, 1975 until August 15, 1976

Dr. J. O. Colley again served as interim pastor.

Bro. Dean Timbes was pastor from December  6, 1976 until May 30, 1982.  During this time the educational building  was built. Dedication services  for the educational building were held  on September 10, 1978.

Interim pastor was Bro. L. T. McDougle

Bro. Carl Nuss was pastor from November 7, 1982 until February 1985.

Interim pastor was Bro. Olan Burcham.

Dr. Ed Richards was pastor from August 5, 1985 until August 14, 1988.

Interim pastor was Bro. Ed McCollum.

Bro. Harvey Jennings was pastor from January 1989 until his death May 14, 1995.

Interim pastor was Bro. Jim Johnson.

Bro. Bill Anderson was pastor from February 1996 until August 2000.

Interim pastor from August 2000 until December 2003 was Bro. Elvin Liveoak.

Bro. Mark R. Smith was pastor from March 2004 until January 2007.  

Interim pastor from October 2007 until February 2008 was Bro. Charles Maples.

Bro. Michael Stancil was pastor from March 2, 2008 until July 2011.

For over 40 years, South Side Baptist  Church  has provided leadership in our association and has supported our  great  denomination. We look toward the future with a challenge—to  continue to  be actively involved in the work of the Franklin Baptist  Association,  the Alabama Baptist Convention, and the Southern Baptist  Convention and  to take the Great Commission as a serious mandate from  God so that we  may glorify Christ in our efforts.