Batesville First seeks photos


Melanie Yelton of Batesville First United Methodist Church knows a good idea when she sees one.

Inspired by a display at Hernando First UMC, Yelton, president of the United Methodist Women at Batesville First UMC, proposed a project in 2005 to locate pictures of all former ministers of the church. From J. W. Bates, for whom Batesville is named, to the current pastor, Russell Fletcher, 49 senior ministers and seven associates have served the congregation from 1873 to 2006. Their pictures will be displayed in three framed composites with each person’s name and years of service written underneath their image.  

The women began by searching the local church history which contained information about each minister as well as some photos. Several UMW members contacted former pastors or their families for help. Debra McIntosh, archivist at Millsaps College, provided assistance in locating the majority of the older pictures. Local photographer Malcolm Morehead committed substantial time and effort to develop the best images from old faded photos.

Only three pictures have not been found: D.C. Brown (1881), E.G. Mohler (1915-1917), and A.C. McCorkle (1943-1946). If a church or individual has pictures of any of these pastors, please contact Yelton at 662-563-7810.