"The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary..." Isaiah 50:4
The history of Anderson Chapel C.M.E. Church comes as a combination of printed and verbal images of both current and former members. Mrs. Winnie Smith, a Mother of Anderson Chapel, is credited with some initial printed statements about the church. The date this passage was written is not given. Active in bringing forth the printed version has been Mrs. Helen Hiler, a lifetime member of the Church.
More recently, Mrs. Anita Moore has added information as she currently works on a book that describes Black Churches in Marshall County. Mr. Henry Boyd (deceased) and Mrs. Ida Wiseman are credited with some verbal inputs. Mrs. Carol Jean Moody and Mrs. Christine Ratcliff were valuable information sources.
Although a specific date of the original opening of the Church’s door on Boundary Street may not be pinpointed, the sequences of events leading from Mars Hill, the founding church, to the current Anderson Chapel on 730 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive are repeated by several different sources and, therefore, believed to be accurate.
The Anderson Chapel C.M.E. Church is reported repeatedly by all sources to have gotten its start in the area that intersects Park and Boundary Streets in Holly Springs, Mississippi. All references cite the home occupied, at the printing of this history, by Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Sanderson as the site of the first location. Mars Hill is given as the name for this beginning church. No dates have been determined for the origination.
Since the founding date for establishing the C.M.E. Church in Jackson, Tennessee (1870) is verified, it would be fair to guess that Mars Hill got its start a few years thereafter. This places the origin in the early 1870’s. Information found in the Marshall County office of tax records support dates for the Church’s founding. 1883 marks the first record of reference to Anderson Chapel Church. A copy of the Deed of Trust for Mars Hill Church is found in the Marshall County Chancery Clerk’s Office. No earlier verification of property transfer was found. Deeds of trust between 1870 and 1883 were not found. This does not mean that the church did not exist during that period of time. A tree stump, a deserted building or a home could have served as the initial site of the Church’s services.
The Anderson Chapel CME Church has been built on the shoulders of strong members as those pictured below. They and many unnamed others carried the torch that supported the vision of the congregation. This was with the realization that a new group of workers had to be initiated. Mr. Henry Boyd, Mrs. Helen Hiler and Mrs. Ida Wiseman are example of the kind of members who understood that they were planting seeds for trees that would give shade to members who they would never meet.
• 1870 – Founding of the C.M.E. Church
• 1883 – First recorded deed to Mars Hill (Bone Yard)
• 1889 – Church moves to College Street; name changed to Anderson Chapel.*
• 1920 – Land purchased on Memphis Street
• 1931 – Anderson Church builds on 190 Memphis Street
• 1988 – Church moves to Hwy. 78
* The Church Founder’s Day Celebration is based on this date, the naming of Anderson Chapel