From 1920-1936 four Pastors served; Elder Jeff Watkins, Elder Sam Holden, Elder Julius Jordon, and Elder M. Williams. From 1936-1953 a total of seven Elders served as Pastor: Elder George Gibson, Elder M. Fletcher, Elder R. Hampton, Elder Fate Johnson, Elder Robert Leslie, Elder Dave Tolbert and Elder Pete Matthews. In 1953, Elder Willie J. Swoopes was elected Pastor, under his leadership the third edifice was erected on Finley Island Road. This Church was dedicated to God on October 8, 1961. Elder Swoopes served faithfully as pastor for 27 years.
Elder kenneth Lankford, Sr. served from 1980-1984. Elder L.C. Burks, from 1984-1993, Elder Sam Rice, from 1993-2002. Under the leadership of Elder Rice, 20 Acres of wooded land was purchased on the site where the current edifice is erected. Elder Cory Thomas served from 2002-2010, under his leadership several modifications were made to the Finley Island Road structure.
Elder Benjamin D. Burt Senior Pastor, was installed March 11, 2011; under his leadership, construction was begun on the first phase of the fourth edifice, located at 1805 Douthit Street, in Decatur, and dedicated on September 8, in the year of our LORD, 2013.
Additionally, the Bell-Nebo Cemetery was placed on the Alabama Historical Register; becoming the seventh in Morgan County and 145th cemetery placed on this register. The Bell-Nebo Church Cemetery is among the oldest active cemeteries in the State of Alabama. The oldest recorded grave (tombstone) is that of a former slave who died in the 1880’s.
Twenty Pastors, four churches, and one GOD, to him be the glory.
Elder Benjamin D. Burt - Senior Pastor
Elder Benjamin D. Burt became the 20th pastor of Bell Primitive Baptist Church. Elder Burt is a native of Decatur, AL and yielded to God’s calling into the gospel ministry on July 7th 1992. Since that time, his commitment to the Lord is exemplified through his actions as he strives for perfection as a messenger for God.
Elder Burt is sought out Nationally for Revivals and other preaching engagements. He has graced pulpits across the country proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, with his unique blend of humor, honesty, and humility.
Elder Burt attended Calhoun Community College, and matriculated at the Andersonville Theological Seminary (ATS) in Camilla Ga., where he has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Education. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Divinity Pastoral Leadership.
Elder Burt is a powerful, extraordinaire preacher, teacher, evangelist, and spiritual leader. He has a tremendous love for his work. He is a member of the Saint Bartley Primitive Baptist Church, Huntsville Al, under the leadership of Dr. William T. Gladys. He is very active in the evangelistic ministry throughout North Alabama. He is a member of the mallard Creek Primitive Baptist Association, Chief Evangelist of the Tri-State Primitive Baptist Convention and Chairman of the National Primitive Baptist Convention (USA) banking committee.
He is the son of Mr. Eddie Wiggins and Ms. Willie Ann Scruggs. He is married to Mrs. Cynthia D. Rice-Burt of Madison, Al. and the proud Father of two children, Jeremiah and Santana. He is currently employed by Southeastern Freight Line, Inc. as a professional truck driver.
What We Believe…
Article 1 – WE BELIEVE in only one true and living God and the trinity of persons in the God-head—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—and yet there are not three, but one. References: Deuteronomy 6:4; Matthew 3:16,17, 28:19; John 1:1, 14,16; II Corinthians 13:14; Colossians 2:9; I Peter 1:2; I John 5:7.
Article II – WE BELIEVE the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God, and the only rule of faith and practice. References: Psalms 119:9-16; II Timothy 3:16-17; Romans 1:19-21.
Article III – WE BELIEVE in the doctrine of eternal and particular election of a definite number of the human race chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy and without blame before Him in love. References: John 6:37, 7:2, 13:18-19, 15:16; Acts 13:48; Romans 8:24-30, 11:7; I Thessalonians 1:4; Ephesians 1:4; II Timothy 1:9.
Article IV – WE BELIEVE in covenant redemption between God the Father and God the Son. References: Genesis 3:15; Psalms 111:9; Romans 5:17; Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:17; Hebrews 9:11-12, 10:5-7.
Article V – WE BELIEVE in the fall of man and the communication of Adam’s sinful nature to his posterity by ordinary generation and their impotency to recover themselves from the fallen state they are in by nature by their own free will and ability. References: Jeremiah 13:23; John 6:44; Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:8.
Article VI – We believe that all chosen in Christ shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and be effectually called, regenerated, and born again. References: Psalms 37:28; John 10:28; Acts 2:39; Romans 8:29-30; Colossians 3:3; II Timothy 1:8-9; Jude 1:1.
Article VII – We believe that sinners thus born again are justified in the sight of God alone by the righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to them by faith References: Romans 3:24, 5:1; II Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 3:5.
Article VIII – We Believe that faith is the gift of God, and good works the fruit of faith, which justify us in the sight of men and angels as evidence of our gracious state. References: Matthew 5:16; Romans 3:20-24, 5:1, 8:1; James 2:18-19,22.
Article IX – We believe that all the saints of God justified by the righteousness of Christ shall preserve in grace, and none of them finally fall away so as to be lost. References: Deuteronomy 32:6; Psalms 12:5-7; John 1:12, 10:27-30; Romans 3:24-25, 3:38-39; Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 1:4; II Timothy 2:19; and I Peter 1:5.
Article X – We believe in a general judgment, both of the just and the unjust, and that joys of the righteous shall be eternal and the punishment of the wicked shall be everlasting. References: Genesis 3:19; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Daniel 12:2; Matthew 25:32-34; John 5:28-29; Revelations 20:11-15.
Article XI – We believe that the visible church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers in Christ adhering to a special covenant, which recognizes Christ as their only lawgiver and ruler, and His word their excusive guide in all religious matters. It is complete in itself and independent under Christ of every other church organization. It is alone a religious assembly, selected and called out of the world by the doctrine of the Gospel to worship the true God according to His Word. References: Acts 2:41-42; I Corinthians 1:10-13; Ephesians 4:3-7, 13, 5:23, 27, 32; Colossians 1:18; Revelations 2:7.
Article XII – We Believe that the scriptural officers of the church are Pastors and Deacons, whose qualifications and duties are defined in I Timothy Chapter 3 and Titus Chapter 1. References: Philippians 1:1; Acts 20:17, 21; Hebrews 13:17.
Article XIII – We Believe that Baptism is the immersion of a believer in water by a proper administrator (an ordained elder) in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost. References: Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:12-16; Acts 8: 36, 39; Romans 6:3,4; Colossians 2:12.
Article XIV - We believe that only an ordained Elder has a right to administer the ordinances of the Gospel, such as have been properly baptized, called, and come under the imposition of the presbytery by the authority of the Church of Christ. References: Acts 9:15, 13:1-3, 14:23; Ephesians 4:11-14; Titus 1:5.
Article XV – We believe that only regularly baptized and orderly Church Members have a right to communion at the Lord’s Table. References: Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-26; Luke 22:17-20; I Corinthians 5:7-11, 11:17-29.
Article XVI – We believe in Washing of the Saints’ Feet in an assembly of believers immediately after the Lord’s Supper. References: John 13:2-17; I Timothy 5:9-10.
Written by NPBC
Inspired by a desire for unity and Christian fellowship among Primitive Baptists in the United States of America, this national organization was organized in 1907 as the Colored Primitive Baptists of America (now known as the National Primitive Baptist Convention, USA). Representing churches in 18 states, its mission is to promote unity among its people; foster the cause of education, evangelism, and mission; and participate in worship experiences.