Cemetery notes and/or description: At the intersection of LA Hwys. 8 & 465 in Simpson, turn North onto LA Hwy. 465 and go toward Hutton for approximately 1.0 miles. Turn right onto Welcome Cemetery Road and continue a short distance to the cemetery (on the right). It is well marked, fenced, and maintained by the Simpson Cemetery Association. A grass driveway divides the property, and tombstone inscriptions were recorded from the front gate by Jane Parker McManus, 13 January 1993, updated 17 January 1995. Further updates were made in July 2001 by Mary Parker Partain.
A beautiful covered pavilion outside the cemetery fence was graciously donated to the cemetery association in memory of Geraldine "Snap" Landrum (27 Oct 1930 / 10 Jan 1995) by her husband, Harold L. Landrum.
The doctrine of the Church of God of Anderson, Indiana, was first brought to Louisiana by the Rev. R.H. (Bob) Owens in 1897. Shortly after he established the first Church of God in Sharp, Louisiana, he moved on to organize the people of Simpson. At first, Rev. Owens preached in private homes, school houses, under brush arbors, or anywhere the people of the area would gather to hear him speak. When he preached the doctrine at the Mt. Pleasant Christian Church in Simpson, three of its members were converted: James (Jimmy) Harville, Dycie (Parker) Dennis, and Rebecca (Jackson) Parker. For a short period of time, these were the only three members of the new church, with Rev. Owens serving as pastor.
The first year of existence saw an increase of membership from the neighboring churches, and a new minister joined Rev. Owens. Rev. William Harrison (Willie) Jackson served as pastor of the church from 1897 to 1914. The first members of the church in 1897 were:
Willie Jackson, Willie Parker, Frank Parker, Sam Tippit, Gip Parker, Monroe Carver, Dan Williamson, Elijah Williamson, Frank D. Jackson, Joshua Peavy, Madison Trotti, William Parker, Jimmy Owens, Sarah(Tinsley) Williamson, Viola (Tinsley) Williamson, Callie Peavy, Mollie (Tinsley) Brown, Nancy (Peavy) Tippit, & Isabell (Owens) Parker.
The first structure was a box house, made of rough lumber, and was situated on two acres on Caney Creek. The small congregation named it the Welcome Church of God. The land, donated by Armstrong Bennett and Ellen Jackson, was recorded in Vernon Parish Courthouse, Leesville, Louisiana in 1899.
"State of Louisiana, Parish of Vernon Know all men by these presents, that I Armstrong Bennett and Ellen, my wife, of Simpson Post Office, State of Louisiana, Parish of Vernon, for and in consideration of four dollars ($) to me paid cash in hand the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged, do give, grant, sell, and convey unto the Church of God at Welcome which is situated in the Parish and State aforesaid and in the N 1/4 of the SW 1/4 of S6T3NR6W. The following described lot or parcel of land containing two acres more or less with all the improvements and imp --- thereon and described as follows: said lot or parcel of land to commence at a stake placed in the ground on the section line between the above described land and Section One in the adjoining Township and in the NW corner of lot and runs South 315 feet thence East 279 feet, thence North 315 feet thence West 279 feet back to starting point. Said lot or parcel of land with all improvements hereon to be held, maintained, and used for a place of divine worship and to be open and free to all God's people, to have and to hold the same to the said Church of God for their use forever and I the said Armstrong Bennett and wife do covenant with the said Church of God that we are lawfully signed in fee of the premises that they are free from all incumbrances that we have a good right to sell the same as aforesaid and that we will warrant and defend unto the said Church of God against the lawful claims and demands of all persons. /s/ Armstrong Bennett & Ellen Bennett"
In 1906, the members moved their place of worship to a new location (about two miles from the first church). A well-built, white frame building was erected to the left rear corner of the present day Welcome Cemetery. The church was expanded in 1927 to accommodate the larger congregation, and finally moved in April 1937 to the present-day Hwy. 8 location, and renamed the Simpson Church of God.
The cemetery began in its current location with the burial of the son of Samuel and Nancy (Peavy) Tippit. When young Clinton Tippit had died in 1905, the Tippits buried him beside the original church building. With the move to the present location, the Tippits were grief-stricken when they realized it was only a matter of time before their baby's grave would be lost as the forest reclaimed the property. Rev. Willie Jackson, then pastor of Welcome Church of God, was disturbed for his faithful followers. He solicited Monroe Carver, another church member, and the two of them went to Leesville where they acquired the necessary permission and had the baby's grave moved beside the new church. When the Tippits arrived for services on the following Sunday, Rev. Jackson escorted them to the new cemetery to see heir son's grave. The young couple were touched at the compassion displayed by Rev. Jackson.