Celebrating 75 Years - Yokena Presbyterian Church


The Yokena Presbyterian Church was started March 30, 1884 in the Bogue-de-Sha Baptist Church about three miles from the present site by Rev. Thomas Cummins, D.D, and Ruling Elder J. D. Gilland of the Vicksburg Church, they were commissioned by the Presbytery of central Mississippi to effect the organization. Five persons entered into the organization namely; Mrs. Cinthia Eunice Wells Wright, MRS. Martha Hyland
Gould Hankinson, Miss Fannie Hullum, Miss Sue Hullum and Mr. Charles A. Hyland. Mr. John B. Wright entered the organization by letter from the Bethesda Presbyterian Church.

The legend goes that Rev. Charles A. Hyland and Mr. John B. Wright were at a revival meeting at Redbone Methodist Church they were sitting on a log talking when Mr. Wright suggested it would be a good thing to start a Presbyterian Church. Mr. Wright and Rev. Hyland started a paper which residents of the community signed and from that petition the Presbytery commissioned the organization of the Church.

On Sunday May 11, 1884 after a sermon by Dr. Cummins the organization was completed and ordained and installed Mr. Charles A. Hyland as ruling Elder, J. D. Gilland Elder (of Vicksburg, but present on the occasion to assist the organization of the Church) Mr. John B. Wright was elected and installed as Deacon. On September 21, 1884 Dr. J. W. Hemphill was elected Ruling Elder.

For four years they had no regular preaching, only occasionally by some near-by Pastor. Among these were; Rev. JNO Hunter of Jackson, Rev. W. A. Alexander of Canton, Rev. Thomas Cummins of Vicksburg and Rev. D. A. Planck of Port Gibson.
   In 1888, August 7th, a congregational meeting was held for the purpose of calling a Pastor. The name C. P. Colmery was proposed and elected unanimously. From August 11, 1889 He was installed as Pastor by the Commission from Central Presbytery consisting of Rev. G. T. Story of Greenville and Ruling Elder Fulkerson of Vicksburg. When this pastorate began there were 2l members on the membership roll. The last record in the minutes Qf session, July 16, 1937, approved April 6, 1938 by C. P. Colmery is:

The following named persons came before the Pastor and Congregation and were received by letter:

Mr. B. C. Owens from Warren Memorial Church Louisville, KY.

Mrs. B. C. Owens "   "      "     "       "     "       "
Mr. Robert W. Grant from Vicksburg Presbyterian Church.
Mr. Johnnie Fortner from M. E. Church, Port Gibson* MS.
Miss Lena Fortner presented herself and after a satisfactory examination as to her faith in THE LORD JESUS CHRIST and after baptism was received into full
communion and fellowship with the Church.

Rev. C. P. Colmery served as Pastor of the Yokena Presbyterian Church for 49 years, preaching every third Sunday of the month here and also the churches at Edwards, Miss. and Brunswick, Miss.

The following Ministers have also served the Yokena Presbyterian Church; Robert Morrison Lemly, William F. Mansell, John H. Thompson, Julius Melton and Robert C. Duke now serving the Congregation as supply Pastor.

The Elders of the Church from 1884 to present: Charles A. Hyland, Dr. Whitly Hemphill, T. J. Kinzer Sr., G. B. Head, Claude Wright, John L. Hyland, Charles King, T. J. Kinzer Jr. and A. G. Alexander.

The Deacons from 1884 to present: John Benjamin Wright, Gibson B. Head, G. Howard Simrall, Robert W. Grant, T. J. Kinzer Jr., A. G. Alexander, B. C. Owens, W. H. Simrall, C. H. King, W. H. Beard Jr. and Frank Stevens.

Over the years the membership of the Church has varied and at present time there are 30 active Members on the Church roll.

The Yokena Presbyterian Church since starting in 1884 is one of the few Churches in Warren County to hold continuous services in the Church.


(The exact date was not referenced but it appears this article was written in August 1959 or August 1961.)