Reverend Montgomery of Poynor Baptist Church

Yesterday my dad asked me about some of the early pastors of Poynor Baptist Church so I began looking through the records. One of the early preachers was a Reverend MONTGOMERY. It took some time to search out who he really was. Here is the information I started with from the Poynor Baptist Church Membership Roll book and a handwritten letter found in the box given to me by my cousin Chris.

A handwritten ‘copy’ of a letter written by the Missionary Baptist Church of Poynor on 7 March 1954 offering Reverend MONTGOMERY a call to pastor the church. The church was 2 years old at this point.
Poynor Baptist Church Membership Roll book showing Rev. C. M. MONTGOMERY and wife Ethyle. This entry has their names crossed out because they moved to Seneca, Missouri. The entry shows a letter of recommendation was sent to their new church and that Reverend C. M. MONTGOMERY passed away after moving.
Index of the Poynor Baptist Church Membership Roll book dated 1964 showing C M and Ethyl MONTGOMERY and noting that the couple had moved, a letter of recommendation had been sent, and that C. M. had passed away.

As you can see, Ethel’s name was spelled two different ways. There are other issues with spelling that you’ll see in a minute. This is why it took some time to figure out who this couple was. As it turns out, C. M.’s name was actually Charles Nathan MONTGOMERY and he was called “Shug” according to his tombstone. Ethyle/Ethyl was actually Charles’ second wife, Julia Ethel TYGART CALLAHAN MONTGOMERY. Shug and Ethel had no children together but each of them had children from their previous marriages. Shug had two children that I’m aware of with his first wife Mary Jane “Mollie” YOCUM. The children were Ruth and Charles. Ethel had 4 children that I’m aware of with her first husband Benjamin Franklin CALLAHAN. The children were Clifford, Ben, Bob, and Marcella. Mollie YOCUM MONTGOMERY passed away in 1943 from a cerebral hemorrhage. Benjamin CALLAHAN passed away in 1918 in Kentucky. So Shug and Ethel were widower and widow when they met and married. Shug and Ethel married in 1945.

Mollie YOCUM MONTGOMERY’s death certificate.

Shug’s death certificate indicates he was a retired well-driller and minister.

Reverend Charles Nathan “Shug” MONTGOMERY’s death certificate.

I’ve asked around for memories of Shug MONTGOMERY and this is what I’ve learned. Shug had a medical condition – possibly Thrombosis – and he had to wear what sounds like compression socks. Shug drove an Edsel and when he drove he would accelerate up to about 50 or 55 miles per hour but then his leg would give out and he would decelerate so riding with Shug was an ongoing series of accelerations and decelerations but he was one of the few people in the area that owned an Edsel.

Shug Montgomery at Poynor Church

I was able to find a newspaper article about Shug’s work at Poynor. The following article is from the 21 Oct 1954 edition of the Neosho (Missouri) Daily News.

21 Oct 1956, Neosho (Missouri) Daily News article about Shug MONTGOMERY and Poynor Church.

Shug pastored at Poynor for several years I’m told and during that time he and my great grandpa Mark DRAKE had a disagreement over church issues. Rather than argue, Mark left the church and attended Oak Chapel Church for a few years. Shug’s overarching goal for Poynor church was to build a new church out by the highway for better visibility and ease of access. He was unable to accomplish this prior to leaving the church.

When Shug and Ethel left, they moved to Seneca, Missouri and Shug passed away 4 August 1964. Ethel lived to 80 years of age and passed away 19 April 1967 from Acute Myocardial Infarction.

Both Shug and Ethel are buried at Seneca Cemetery in Seneca, Newton County, Missouri.

Shug MONTGOMERY’s obituary.

Shug, in Retrospect

Shug seemed to be a good man determined to do big things for the Church. He only spent a few years at Poynor before moving on but he is a part of the church history and I’m glad I could bring you a little piece of his story. Perhaps I’ll find more documents pertaining to him as I go through the box of church records and I’ll be able to add to his story. For now, I’ll leave you with this brief introduction to one of the early pastors of Poynor church and a short note to say that I believe it’s possible the MONTGOMERY family has some connection to my dad’s BAKER family although I haven’t been able to figure it out yet. Hopefully that will be resolved in the future.

Peace and Love,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives Genealogy

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