|Historic Byrd's Chapel
United Methodist Church
|Byrd's Chapel UMC's first services were held in about 1820, after Sherrod and
Zelfa Rouse Byrd came to the area, sometime between 1810-1820. Rev.
Sherrod Byrd was a Methodist circuit rider, as was his nephew, Rev. John Ira
Ellis Byrd, who began holding services in a log building not far from the
location of the present church, on land donated by Peter and Emily Stewart
Harvey, near what is now Hwy. 43. The current sanctuary is the 4th since the
church's inception. Byrd's Chapel cemetery is believed to be the oldest in Pearl
River County. The original cemetery, adjoining the first structure, was either
destroyed or simply faded into obscurity after the congregation's move in the
1850's, across present-day Hwy. 43. The second building was used from the
1850's until the 1870's, when it was destroyed by fire. The next building was in
use until it was damaged by a tornado in 1934. It was shortly after that that
the current sanctuary was constructed, on land, also, donated by Peter and
Emily Stewart Harvey. Timbers from the church built in the 1870's was used in
the construction of this building.
Besides Byrd, some of the names associated with the early history of Byrd's
Chapel were: Harvey, Tate and Mitchell.
The Notorious Copeland Gang
The Kidnapping of Peter John Harvey
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|Thanks to Pam Brister for this info.