Bellevue Baptist Church History


November 16, 1848, Mr. Robert Marcus LaFayette Hatcher was born in Bibb County. On December 12, 1869, he married Louisa Anna America Preston. They had six children. After a period of devoted service to the Baptist Church, Robert LaFayette Hatcher became a licensed minister. His devotion and pioneering work were recognized by the First Baptist Church of Macon, Georgia. They gave him a small wooden church building located near Mercer University. This structure had been used as a Church Mission. This structure was dismantled and the material transported by horse and wagon to a site on Lake Street. It was February 4, 1894. Later it was moved to Napier Avenue. Mr. Hatcher's wife, Anna, and the other women helped with the erection of the building. With the help of the congregation Robert Marcus LaFayette Hatcher was instrumental in building and founding the Bellevue Baptist Church about the year 1894. One of the six children born to Robert and Anna Hatcher was Robert Preston Hatcher born October 24, 1888. In 1899, he took up the work his father had begun and for 54 years was an active and devoted member of Bellevue Baptist church. Today, he is remembered as a great man called Uncle Rob.
The first pastor was Rev. J. E. Pound (1894-10/10/1897). At that time ministers were paid an average of $25.00 per month. The money was collected at the end of service in the rear of the church. The original church burned in the 1920's. Plan to rebuild were confirmed March 17, 1929. Construction began June 10, 1929 at the corner of Lake Street (Napier Ave.) and Brookdale Avenue. The note was for $3,000.00. Since that time Bellevue Baptist Church has added to or rebuilt the sanctuary several times, until they decided to build and move to the new location on Price Road in 2009.
Bellevue Baptist Church is now 119 years old. From the humble beginning, the church grew both in membership and I the number of activities which promoted Christian growth. In 1934, the average Sunday School attendance was 68; and the first recorded Vacation Bible School was in 1939 and the church voted to appropriate $10.00 for workbooks. The sanctuary previously located on Napier Avenue was completed in 1980. There were 979 members on roll, and church had an annual budget of $356,825.00. A note burning was conducted on February 13, 1994. The oldest active member, Sissy Culpepper burned the note. Mrs. Culpepper had first come to Macon in 1918 at the age of 19 years. During the last hundred years many lives have been changed as a result of the ministries of Bellevue Baptist. As one can clearly see, Bellevue is a church with a deep rooted history in this community and a promising future for the glory of God's Kingdom.