These records were transcribed by Sonny and Jean Rule from the original Session Records of Yokena Presbyterian Church.

 

 The Yokena Presbyterian Church was organized Sunday, March 30 th, 1884 by Rev. Thomas Cummins and Elder J. D. Gilland who represented a committee appointed for that purpose by the Presbytery of Central Mississippi. Five entered into the organizationó Mrs. Cinthia Eunice Wright, Mrs. Martha Isabela Gould Miss Fanny Hullum, Miss Eugenere Sue Hullum and Charles Augustus Hyland. Mr. Hyland was chosen Elder, owing to the fact that none of the Members had their letter (they were all Members of other Churches) of dismission with them and that Mr. Hyland was not present to be ordained. The complete organization was postponed.

    On Sunday May 11th, 1884 Rev. Mr. Cummins assisted by Mr. Gilland completed the organization by duly ordaining and installing Mr. Hyland into the Eldership and by ordaining and installing Mr. John B. Wright Deacon, Mr. Wright having joined in the mean time by letter from another church and having been duly elected to the office of Deacon.

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Yokena, Miss. May 11th, 1884

Session met at the Baptist Church at about 5 o'clock P. M. Present: Rev. Thos. Cummins, who acted as moderator, with Elders Charles A. Hyland and J. D. Gilland, the latter being Elder in the Vicksburg Church but present on this occasion to assist in the organization of the Church. The meeting was opened with prayer.

Mr. George Torrey Hullum appeared before the Session and was examined on his religious experience and after having made a satisfactory profession of his faith in the LORD JESUS CHRIST He was admitted to the sealing ordinance of the Lordís Supper.

There being no further business before the Session the meeting closed with prayer.

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Yokena, Miss. June 29, 1884

Rev. D. A. Planck of Port Gibson preached without a formal meeting of Session. Dr. Whitly Hemphill and Mrs. Florence Hemphill were received by letter from French Camp Church.

Yokena, Miss. September 21st,1884

Dr. Whitly Hemphill was elected by the Church to fill the office of Elder and was ordained and installed by the Rev. Dr. John Hunt and Elder J. D. Gilland.

A meeting of Session was held the same day. Present, Dr. Hunt who acted as moderator and Elders Hemphill and Gilland, Mr. Gilland coming from Vicksburg to assist in the meeting.

Mr. James Simrall and his Wife Mrs. Phebe Barton Simrall presented themselves before Session as candidates for admission to the Church, Mr. Simrall was received after a satisfactory examination and Mrs. Simrall was received upon the statement that she had once been a member of the Methodist Church and was dismissed by letter to join any Church where the providence of GOD might direct her but that her letter has been destroyed by fire.

Dr. John Hunt, Moderator
Whitly Hemphill, Elder

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Yokena, Miss.
Oct. 19th, 1884

Rev. G. S. Rounabush D. D. of Jackson, Miss. preached. There being no Elders present He took matters into his own hands and invited all who wished to join the Church to meet with him. Four Presented themselves for admission: Aubrey Herbert Russel, Clara Eugenia Rawls, Sara Eliza Rawls and Zilla Defrances Phillips and after baptism they were all admitted to the sealing ordinances of the LORD'S supper.

Approved by the Ruling Elder,
J. W. Hemphill

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Yokena, Miss.
June 21st, 1885

Session met at the Baptist Church at 2 o'clock p. m. present: Rev. John Hunter D. D. of Jackson, Miss. who acted as Moderator, with Elders Chas. Hyland and ----- Kuykendall the latter being of the Vicksburg Church. The meeting was opened with prayer.

Mrs. Eliza Jane Rawls appeared before Session and was examined on her religious experience and having made a satisfactory profession of her faith in the LORD JESUS CHRIST she was admitted to the sealing ordinances of the LORD'S Supper.

The Session also confirmed the action of Dr. Roundabush in receiving the four applicants mentioned in a previous minutes.

The Session was closed with the last prayer of the services which were held afterward.

Rev. John Hunter D. D, Moderator

Chas. Hyland, Clerk

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Yokena, Miss.
Aug. 23rd, 1885

Session convened in the Baptist Church House about 4 o'clock P. M. Rev. D. A. Planck from Port Gibson, Miss. was present and acted as Moderator, Charles A. Hyland was the only Elder present. The meeting was considered as being opened with the prayer which was said in opening the services which preceded the meeting of session. Misters Alexander Hyland Wright and Charles Knox Maples presented themselves as candidates for admission to the Church. After making a satisfactory profession of faith in the LORD JESDS CHRIST they were admitted to all the privileges of full membership in the Church.

This Sabbath Day being the commencement of a series of meetings it was agreed to leave the session open until the close of the meetings on Tuesday, 25. After an impressive sermon preached by Bro. Planck, John Hector Phillips presented himself as a candidate for membership in the Church and after due examination He was admitted to the sealing ordinances of Baptism and the LORD'S Supper. The meeting was closed with the last prayer of evening services.

Rev. D. A. Planck, Moderator
Chas. A. Hyland, Clerk

 

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Yokena,
Miss.
Sept. 20, 1885

Session met in the Baptist Church House. Rev. A. P. Sullivan from Texas being with us acted as Moderator, Elders present: Dr. Whitly Hemphill, ----- Kuykendall of the Vicksburg Church and Chas. A. Hyland. Meeting was opened with prayer. It was agreed by Session that Dr. Hemphill should represent the Church at the meeting of Presbytery which was to be held at Yazoo City on the 15th of October next.

Session was closed by the last prayer of the evening service.

                                A. P. Sullivan, Moderater
                                   Chas. A. Hyland, Clerk

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Yokena,
Miss.
Nov. 15th, 1885

Session met in the Baptist Church. Immediately after Divine service in presence of the congregation. Rev. W. A. Alexander , Pastor of Canton Church being with us acted as Moderator, J. W. Hemphill the only Elder present. Meeting was considered opened by last prayer of public service.

The following persons presented themselves & expressed a desire to unite with the Church: Mary Lidell Hemphill, Anna Maples, Wife of Charles Knox Maples, deceased, Alvey Beale, Frances Phillips, Wife of John M. Phillips. M. L. Hemphill and Anna Maples were duly examined and gave satisfactory evidence of their faith in CHRIST and were admitted to all the privileges of the Church, they having been Baptized in infancy. Alvey Beale was examined & gave proof of his faith in the LORD JESUS CHRIST and was admitted to the sealing ordinances of Baptism and the LORD'S Supper. Frances Phillips presented a letter in good standing from Red Bone Methodist Church and was received in full fellowship in the Church. The Session was closed by singing a benediction.

W. A. Alexander, Moderator
J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

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Yokena,
Miss.
Aug. 7th, 1888

Session met in Presbyterian Church. Immediately after Divine service in the evening, composed of Charles A. Hyland, Charles P. Colmery & J. W. Hemphill. It was opened with prayer by Rev. C. P. Colmery.

Mrs. Catherine Hullum Maples presented herself for examination which was satisfactory, she was thereupon admitted into full fellowship & communion upon her confession of her faith in CHRIST as Savior. The Session was closed by prayer.

Charles A. Hyland, Moderator
J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

Yokena, Miss.
Aug. 7th, 1888

A congregational meeting was held this day for the purpose of electing a Minister. Mr. C. P. Colmery was put in nomination and was selected unanimously.

J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

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Yokena, Miss.
Aug. 9th, 1888

Session convened in the Church after services in the evening, it was opened with prayer.

Graham Howard Simrall came forward expressing a desire to unite with the Church. After a satisfactory examination by Mr. C. A. Hyland, the other members concurring. He was received into full communion. He having been baptized when an infant. Josephine Sharkey Head also presented herself for examination which proved to be satisfactory. She was admitted to the sealing ordinances of the Church.

The Session was then closed with prayer.

C. A. Hyland, Moderator

J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

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Yokena, Miss.
Sept. 4.th, 1888

Session met at the residence of Mr. Hemphill in the evening & was opened with prayer by Charles A. Hyland.

Jesse Beale having expressed a desire to unite with our Church & upon his statement that his letter of dismissal from the Methodist Church South was lost. We received him into the Church with all the privileges of said Church.

Closed with prayer.

Charles A. Hyland, Moderator
J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

March 18th, 1889

Session met & was opened with prayer. J. W. Hemphill was appointed delegate to attend next Presbytery which will meet at Kosciusko April 15, 1889. Being no further business the Session closed with prayer.

C. P. Colmery, Moderator
J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

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Yokena, Miss.
Aug. 11, 1889

Session met and was opened with prayer by Rev. C. A. Colmery. The following named persons: Miss Julia Head, Mr. J. W. Beard, Mrs. Anna Beard and Mr. J. W. Phillips presented themselves and after due examination were received into full communion and fellowship with the Church upon profession of their faith in the LORD JESUS CHRIST. The three first received the ordinance of Baptism, there being no other business the Session was closed with prayer.

C. A. Colmery, Moderator
J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

NOTE: Rev. Colmery's middle initial is wrong in these minutes it should be a P.

Aug. 11th, 1888

Rev. C. P. Colmery was installed Pastor of Yokena Church by Rev. Story of Greenville, Miss. and Elder Fulkerson of Vicksburg Church.

J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

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Yokena, Miss.
Oct. 20th, 1889

The Session met after services and was opened with prayer by Rev. C. P. Colmery. J. W. Hemphill was elected Delegate to the Synod which is to meet at Jackson November 6th. No other business the Session closed in due form.

C. P. Colmery, Moderator
J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

 

Yokena, Miss.

March 16th, 1890

March 16th, 1890                               The Session met in the Church after services and was opened with prayer by Rev. C. P. Colmery. J. W. Hemphill was elected Delegate to Presbytery to be at Edwards April 2d. No other business the Session was closed in due form.

C. P. Colmery, Moderator
J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

 

 

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Yokena, Miss.
July 20th, 1890

The Session met in the Church after services and was opened with prayer by Rev. C. P. Colmery.

Leave of absence was granted Mr. Colmery the month of August, so the protracted meeting is to (be) held 3 Sabbaths in September. No other business the Session closed with prayer.

C. P. Colmery, Moderator
J. W. Hemphill, Cleric

Yokena, Miss.
Sept. 21st, 1890

The Session met in the Church in the morning and was opened with prayer by Rev. C. P. Colmery.

J. W. Hemphill was elected Delegate to Presbytery which meets at Concord 23d Oct. The Session remained open. In the evening Miss Rebecca White was taken into the Church upon her Christian experience, the ordinance of Baptism was administered and she received into full fellowship.

The Session met after services at which time Lee Head Jr. presented himself for examination which proved satisfactory, the ordinances of Baptism was administered and he taken into the Church with all its privileges.  The Session was closed with prayer.

C. P. Colmery, Moderator
J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

 

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Yokena,
Miss.
June 21st, 1891

Session met in the Church and was opened with prayer by Rev. C. P. Colmery. a  letter of dismissal was given to Miss Sara Eliza Rawls (Niece ? Mrs. Stephens) to join the Vicksburg Church.

A series of meetings was ordered and agreed upon beginning the 3rd Sabbath in July. The Session was then closed with prayer.

C. P. Colmery, Moderator
J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

Yokena, Miss.
Aug. 19th, 1891

The Session convened in the Church after Divine services and was opened by Rev. C. P. Colmery with prayer. Mr. C. A Hyland of New Orleans being present.

Mrs. Mary Eliza Head came before the Session after being examined as to her religious experience. She was admitted to the sealing ordinance of Baptism and the Lordís Supper. The Session was then closed with prayer.

C. P. Colmery, Moderator
J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

 

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Yokena, Miss.
July 22d, 1891

  The Session Met in the Church and was opened with prayer by Rev. C. P. Colmery.

  Miss Mary Nailor and Anna Head Came before the Session. After an examination they were received upon profession in CHRIST and received into full communion and admitted to the sealing ordinances of Baptism and LORD'S Supper. No other business the Session closed.

C. P. Colmery, Moderate]
J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

Aug. 17th, 1891

  The Session met at the residence of J. W. Hemphill and was opened with prayer by Rev. C. P. Colmery. The minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved and J. W. Hemphill was appointed to attend the meeting of Presbytery which meets at Bethel Church, Rankin County September 9th, 91.

The Session was closed with prayer.

C. P. Colmery, Moderator
J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

 

NOTE: The "Yokena, Miss." was deleted from the heading of the minutes from page 17 forward.

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Nov. 15th, 1891

    Due notice having been given a congregational meeting of the members of Yokena Church was held this the 15th day of Nov. in the Church for the purpose of considering whether or not we should unite with our Pastor Rev. C. P. Colmery in a request to Presbytery to dissolve the Pastoral relationship which has so pleasantly existed for the past three years.

    After a careful consideration, it was with a great deal of reluctancy and much regret, unanimously agreed that we unite in this request with our Pastor to dissolve the Pastoral relationship.

    I certify that the above is a correct minutes of the proceedings of the congregational meeting held at Yokena November 15th, 1891.

J. W. Hemphill, Moderator

 

Dec. 22, 1891

Session held at the Church, opened with prayer by Moderator C. P. Colmery. It was with great pleasure that we heard of the action of Presbytery in not dissolving the Pastoral relationship between the Church & Rev. Colmery.

Bro. Colmery reported the matter of dissolving the Pastoral relationship.

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It was agreed to have our Communion on the 3d SAB. in Mar. instead of the 3d Sab. in Feb. There being no further business the Session closed with prayer.
J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

NOTE; No paragraphical indentations used in the minutes from March 21st, 1892 forward.

March. 21st, 1892

The Session met at the residence of J. W. Hemphill & was opened with prayer. J. W. Hemphill was chosen as Delegate to Presbytery which convenes at Pickens. The
following narrative & Statistical reports were read and approved.

Narrative

1. The fidelity of Minister and Officers, Very good

2. Attendance upon Divine services, excellent.

3. No special outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

4. Three additions to the Communion.

5. Christian deportment & growth in Grace, good.

6. Have nothing to the assemblies causes.

7. The Catechism & Bible are taught in our S. S.

8. Family worship neglected.

9. Observance of the Sabbath, fair.

10. The duty of worshipping the LORD with our substance is very sadly neglected.

11. Our Members are generally far from worldly amusement and intemperance.

12. There is about $8.00 due on Pastor's salary.

S. S. Report (satisfied)

There are on roll-NO. of Teachers 6

"  "   "   "      " "    Scholars 35
  Average attendance of Teachers 4
  ""  "    "       "    Scholars 25

 

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  Contributions of Sabbath School for its own use-$5.00.

  The School is under the oversight of the Church Session.

 

We use the International Lesson Series.

This narrative and statistical report was adopted by the Session and ordered Spread in the minutes of the Sessional records.

There being no further business the Session closed with prayer.

J. W. Hemphill, Clerk

Examined in Presbytery at Pickens and approved except:

1st- It appears that two members were received at an informal meeting of Session.

2nd- Various meetings were held without distinctly stating that any Members were present.

3rd- Meetings were held with one Elder at a time where there were more than one Elder without assigning any reason for it.

4-   The book has not been in Presbytery since the organization of the Church.

 

April 9th, 1892  W. F. T1---S, Moderator

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July 17th, 1892

The Session met after Divine services in the Church and opened with prayer by the Moderator.

Mrs. Pattie Hemphill presented her letter from the M. E. Church in Port Gibson, Miss. asking admission into this Communion/ whereupon the Session being satisfied of her standing she was enrolled as a Member of Yokena Presbyterian Church. It was determined to postpone our meeting until September. No further business the Session adjourned with prayer.

C. P. Colmery, Mod.
J. W. Hemphill, Clk.

Aug. 18th,(no year written, but would be 1892)

The Session met & was opened with prayer by Rev. C. P. Colmery, Modr. J. W. Hemphill, only Elder present. He was appointed Delegate to the Fall meeting of Presbytery which will be at Bethesda Church in Hinds Co.  No further Business Session adjourned with prayer.

C. P. Colmery, Modr.
J. W. Hemphill, Clk.

 

...more to come.