In the earlier years of this century about 1913 to 1915 - there was a moving of the Holy Spirit among some of the people throughout this part of Louisiana. People were receiving a spiritual blessing that was unlike anything they had experienced before. It was accompanied by a language that they weren't familiar with. Instances of this movement was experienced first by Individuals. Soon the word would pass on to others - and then on to others. This would eventually lead to revivals and meetings held under tents and brush arbors and possibly cottage prayer meetings.
In 1913, Sis. Maude Herrin pitched a tent in DeRidder and held a revival. Later on, this would lead to the establishment of a Church there. A mighty revival was held at Indian village in 1914. In January 1915, Brother Bennie Baggett and his helpers moved a tent to the Bear area for a revival - it would last nine weeks and 67 would pray through. A Church was established and Brother Baggett would then become the first Pastor. The Church is now known as the Ragley Pentecostal Church with Rev. Marcus Robinson, the Pastor. Brother Baggett would move on to other areas for revivals. A tent revival was held at the sawmill town of Longville - then on to Oretta - then on to DeQuincy. The word was spreading and many people were enjoying the "Upper Room Experience". Several ministers went to DeQuincy to assist Brother Baggett - two being Brother Oliver Fauss and Brother Robert LaFleur. Brother Robert LaFleur would become the first Pastor of the first established Pentecostal Church of DeQuincy. Sister Maude Herrin was now the wife of Brother LaFleur.
If you look at the list of those that prayed through during the revival at Bear, many were from this area. Transportation In these days was by horse and buggy or wagon or horseback. If these means were not available, travel was by foot. There was a need for a Church in the area.
Burl Jefferson Cooley had been ordained to preach the gospel in 1918. In 1920, Brother Cooley started holding church services In this community. Brush arbors were used, a tabernacle was built, and other buildings were used for a place of worship during the 1920'S. Some of the charter members of the church that was established were Burl and Julia Cooley, David and Hester Baggett, Ben and Lula Sellers, Lonnie and Eva Cooley, Hobbie Alston, Ida Brown and Rencie Phillips. Probably, there are other charter members, but there aren't any records to confirm this.
In those days a road angled to the northeast toward Longville. Brother Cooley built a tabernacle of rough timbers across the road from his homeplace which was on top of the hill about a quarter mile from here. The spirit of the Lord must have been moving in their midst and blessed them greatly. Brother Leon Cooley told that the sisters would shout until their hair came down, and the hair pins and the bobby pins would fall through the cracks in the floor. The next day, he and the other children would crawl under the tabernacle and gather the hair pins for the ladies. The attendance at the church services would run between 40 and 50 people. The community was named Baggett Town after a local citizen and merchant, David Langston Baggett. The Church became known as the Baggett Town Church. In 1931, Brother Burl Cooley and his family would move to Sabine Parish.
The next church assembly was a brush arbor.
-Rev & Sis Manson Pitre pastored from 1933-1934
-Rev & Sis George Hooper pastored the brush arbor from 1935-1936
-During times without a pastor, the people would meet. Church services consisted of singing, praying and testifying. One individual recalled that our late neighbor, Rev Irving Brown, prayed through to the Holy Ghost in one of those services. There would be times that a traveling minister would stop by and preach. Bro Jim Burgess had a vacant house that he let the church use as a meeting place. He then donated that house to the local church group. Later, in 1937, it was moved to the vicinity of where the parsonage was located. Mr Dominic Simar donated an acre of property to the church. Memories recall the rough board siding with shutters, cracks in the floor, no ceiling, a roof of cedar shingles with wide cracks, the coal oil lamps and lanterns, and the wood burning stove. It was a place to worship the Lord!
-Bro and Sis Powell served as pastor from 1937-1939.
-Rev Alber Jackson pastored from 1940-1942.The Baggett Town Pentecostal Church became known as Longville Gospel Tabernacle. Improvements of windows, flooring, and ceiling were added to the church building. Rural electric service, now available, was installed. Sunday
School rooms were added to the back. A flashing (Jesus Saves) light was installed on the porch which had been added to the front of the church.
Longville Gospel Tabernacle was pastored by the following ministers:
-Rev A Fusilier 1944-1946
-Rev F C Burks 1946-1947
-Rev Forrest Self 1947-1948
-Rev Elwood Airhart pastored September 1948-August 1953.
Due to church growth, the building was inadequate. A two-story, cinder block building was completed in September 1949. It was located in the existing parking lot. Cecil McDaniel donated the triangular shaped property for this building. Bro Airhart served another term as pastor from November 1955 through August 1958.
-Rev & Sis A B Gillis pastored September 1953 - October 1955
-Rev & Sis Louis Dunn pastored September 1958 - June 1960
-The parsonage was constructed in 1959
-Rev Kenneth Morgan pastored from Summer 1960 - October 1961
-Rev Levelle Cooley pastored from January 1962 - October 1964
-Rev & Sis R B Gray pastored from November 1964 - September 1970
He added a kitchen addition to the parsonage. Mr R C Lindsey, Sr donated an acre of property to the church and a new sanctuary was built.
-Rev & Sis A J Parks pastored October 1970 - June 1973
-Rev & Sis Elroy Johnson pastored June 1973 - May 1975
Sunday School rooms were added in 1974.
-Rev and Sis Lonnie Jordan pastored June 1975.
-Rev and Sis Jordan reside in Texas. (No photo available)
-Rev and Sis Aubrey Stanton pastored August 1975-January 1976.
-Rev and Sis Stanton reside in Center, Texas.
-Rev and Sis E D Norman pastored January 1976-December 1977.
-Rev and SIs Norman reside in Texas.
-Rev and Sis B W Trevathan pastored January 1978-April 1979.
-Rev and Sis A L Jones pastored May 1979-February 1994.
-The fellowship hall was added during this time. Sis Jones resides
in Ragley and attends Longville church.
-Rev and Sis Mark McCool pastored Februaru 1994-October 1994.
They reside in Gulfport, Mississippi.
-Rev and Sis Larry Talent accepted pastorate December 1994.
-In the spring of 1995, a circle driveway was added in front of the
church as well as sidewalks running to the Sunday School wing and
the parsonage. The youth department landscaped the inset beds
around the same time.
-The church celebrated its 75th birthday with a Heritage Homecoming celebrationon November 4 & 5, 1995. It was a time of looking back at our roots and honoring the memory of our deceased charter members and their decendants that are still with us at that time.
-There were wonderful services with former members and pastors,
plus decendants of charter members that participated in the event.
-An honors banquet was held for all who were present who were over 60 years old and had played a part in our past history.