PROGRESSIVE Missionary Baptist District Association of WEST FLORIDA

Pastor Delwynn G. Williams, Moderator

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Association History

The Progressive Missionary Baptist District Association of West Florida came into existence as a result of a merger between the Washington Baptist Association and the Macedonia Baptist Association.  This merger took place some time between 1915 and 1919.  The newly formed association endorsed and supported the causes which were important to all Negro churches of that day to improve the quality of life for Negroes living in Northwest Florida, Southwest Alabama and though out the world. 

The Almighty God blessed the Progressive Association greatly as it continued to grow and develop.  January 16, 1920 40 acres of land in Campton was deeded to the Association.  This land was the property of the former Washington Association.  The leaders of the Association desired to use the property to, one day, build an institution of higher learning. 

In addition to the 40 acres of land in Campton, the Association also acquired 17½ acres of land in Argyle.  This property was deeded to the association by the Orpha’s Home.  Trustees serving the Association during this transaction in April 1926 were W. L. Smith, H. T. Minor, J. W. Harrold, Henry Goode, C. A. Johnson and Calvin Williamson.  The leaders desired to use this property to, one day, build a retirement home for ministers and other seniors.

In 1951 Rev. J. C. Woods, Moderator of the Orange Hill Baptist Association, and his cabinet met with Rev. M. Howard of the Progressive Baptist Association and his cabinet to discuss the advantages of a merger of the two associations.  After much prayer and dialogue, both districts voted in favor of said merger.  The merger took place in October, 1951 at the St. Mark Baptist Church in Flowers Quarter, Rev. H. Richburg served as host pastor.  The newly merged body elected Rev. M. Howard to serve as the moderator and voted that the new organization would maintain the name Progressive Baptist Association. 

The churches which were affiliated with the Progressive Baptist Association prior to the merger were Beulah #1 (Milligan), Beulah 1st (Ft. Walton Beach), Greater Peace (Ft. Walton Beach), Campton 1st, Cedar Grove (Caryville), St. Matthew (Caryville), Lebanon (Baker), Macedonia (Crestview), Mt. Nebo (DeFuniak Springs), Temple (DeFuniak Springs), Union Springs (DeFuniak Springs), Macedonia (Argyle), St. John (Argyle), Mt. Zion (Laurel Hill), Mt. Pilgrim (Milton), Pleasant Hill (Milton), St. Stephen (Freeport), Rock Hill (Rock Hill) and St. Mark (Flowers Quarter). 

The churches which were affiliated with Orange Hill Baptist Association were Mt. Ararat (Chipley), Orange Hill (Chipley), New Judson (Panama City), Mt. Olive (Panama City), Shiloh (Vernon), Mt. Calvary (Vernon), Oak Grove #1 (Ebro), Oak Grove #2 (Wausau), Snow Hill (Alford), Mt. Pleasant (Youngstown) and High Hill (Greenhead).  The merger proved to be beneficial and the Association continued to move forward in the name of the Lord. 

In the early 1960s a church building was erected on the Campton property by the efforts of the Association and the Campton First Baptist Church.  Campton First used the building for regular worship services and the Association used it for the Annual Jubilee Meetings held Saturday nights before the fourth Sunday in June.  The Jubilee Meetings consisted of all night preaching, praying and singing.  The Association later sold and gave 5 acres and the building to the Campton Church. 

In 1998, under the leadership of Moderator Rufus L. Wood, Jr., a humanly blind man but with huge vision, the Association began construction of a headquarters building on the property in Argyle.  To date, “Project HOPE”, as penned by Dr. Wood, has been built and “dried in” with only the interior and parking grounds left to be finished!  To Dr. Wood’s merit, this entire project, to date, has been completed DEBT FREE!

Over the years, the Progressive Association has been blessed with leaders who were wise, courageous and guided by the Holy Spirit.  The list of Progressive Association Moderators include:

Rev. W. M. Count, Rev. J. W. Hicks, Rev. M. J. Northern, Rev. M. Howard (1938 – 1954)

Rev. J. C. Woods (1954 – 1964)

Rev. J. J. Herring (1964 – 1970)

Rev. Jordan B. Blount (1970 – 1974)

Rev. Earl B. Williams (1974 – 1987)

Rev. Henderson Powell  (1987 – 1988)

Rev. S. L. Thigpen  (1988 – 1993)

Rev. Dr. Rufus L. Wood, Jr.  (1993 – 2014)

Rev. Delwynn G. Williams  (2014 – present) 


Various ministries and boards were organized and established.  A Sunday School and BTU Congress was created.  The list of Congress Presidents include:

Rev. H. McNeil

Rev. R. V. Jefferson

Rev. Jackson E. Jones

Rev. Earl Tyler

Rev. Sanford Hayes

Rev. Dr. Marcelious Willis, Jr.

Rev. Dr. Terrance D. Bulger


A Ministers and Deacons Union was also established.  A list of Union/Congress Chairman include:

Rev. H. Richburg

Rev. R. L. Walton

Rev. Sanford Hayes

Rev. T. Youngblood

Dea. R. Daniels

Rev. Henry Whigum

Rev. Woodrow Wilson

Rev. Clanston Seymore

Rev. Dwight Baggett


The Senior Women, Women Intermediate Auxiliary (WIA) and Junior Women Department were also organized.  Some of the presidents of these groups include:

Senior Women                                        WIA                                              Junior Women Auxiliary

E. Haynes                                               Gwendolyn Owens                       Dorothy Newton

Francis Bryant                                        Jewel Eddings                              Joan Scaife

Mattie Stoutmire Swinson                       Linda Lewis                                  Sylvia Hendrix

Nona Woods                                          Shirley Guillory                              Raven Bryant

Dollie Douglas                                        Patricia Tolbert                              Min. Synthia Leann Copeland

Oree Wilson                                           Sonya Broxton

Norma Jean Hartfield                             D. Renee Manley-Davis

Linda F. Lewis


The Youth and Children’s Ministry was added to the District. 

Presidents include:                                                                                             Youth Directors include:

Rev. Timothy Brooks                Shakita Hayes                                                   Carrie Stonam

Rev. Dana Davis                      Jeremiah Johnson                                             Florence Gilmore

Kim Anderson                           Michael Barnhill                                                Barbara Daniels

Zandria Tessa                          Misha Partee                                                     Dea. Eugene Jackson

Michael Barnhill                        Kari Barnhill                                                      Tommy Johnson

Jonathan Peterson                   Zandra Randolph                                              Annie Youngblood

Tia Luster                                 James Nelson                                                   Mildred Small

Emorja Roberson                     Brooklyn Howell                                                Nora Randolph

Jazmyne McGee                      Marcel Randolph                                              Joyce Williamson

Aniyah Smedley                       Mya Boyd

XyKevion Childers


Other auxiliaries include the Deaconess Council, Brotherhood, Ushers, Ministers Wives & Widows, Pastors & Ministers Conference, Executive Board, Trustees, Education, Evangelical and Mission Boards.  We thank God for a rich past and we praise Him for our coming future.  The Best is Yet to Come!