History of Our Church
Moncure Baptist Church History
Chatham County, North Carolina
Updated September, 2010
Early Years 1913 - 1959Moncure Baptist Church was organized February 23, 1913, in the old school house which was standing on the present site. The presbytery organizing the church consisted of Dr. Hight, C. Moore, and Rev. W. R. Beach. Twenty-eight members presented letters of dismissal from sister churches to become members of Moncure Baptist Church. After its organization, the church extended a unanimous call to Rev. W. R. Beach to be the first pastor. Rev. Beach accepted this call. Mr. M. T. Wilkie was elected church clerk, and Mr. C. C. Poe was elected treasurer.
Moncure Baptist Church Charter Members were:
John Bell, Sr. and wife, Leverne
M. T. Poe Laylon Poe
T. W. Churchill C. C. Poe
Emma Churchill Robena S. Poe
Earnest Churchill M. T. Wilkie
Rosa Churchill Florence P. Wilkie
John Churchill John Henry Churchill
Betsy Wilkie Minnie Wilkie Thomas
Milton L. Fitchett S. J. Harmon
Laura Fitchett M. A. Moore
Robert H. Fitchett Katie Lasater Moore
Ola Fitchett Powers Nannie Lasater Thomas
Evelyn Fitchett Wall Edd Thomas
J. J. Hackney C. C. Thomas
Pearl Watson Hackney Mr. & Mrs. C. D. Wilkie
On July 8, 1913, the church assembled in conference and decided to purchase a lot and build a house of worship. A building committee of the following men was elected: T. W. Churchill, C. C. Poe, C. D. Wilkie, John Bell, and M. T. Poe. The first revival services were held by Rev. Beach in August, 1913. At the close of this meeting, seventeen joined the church; three by letter and fourteen by baptism.
The first delegates to the Sandy Creek Baptist Association were C. C. Poe, T. W. Churchill, and S. J. Harmon. At the session of the Association, held at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in October, 1913, Moncure Baptist church was officially received into the Association. At that time, the church membership had grown to fifty-two.
In January, 1914, the building committee reported the purchase of the present church site. By February 1, 1914, a building plan had been decided upon. In July, actual construction of the building began. The Rev. R. R. Gordon, pastor, conducted the first revival services in the new building in September, 1914. On the first Sunday in May, 1915, C. B. Crutchfield, D. D. Thomas, and J. H. Churchill were elected the first deacons. These men were ordained by Rev. W. B. Woff and D. Dodson Poe in July, 1915. Under Rev. Woff's guidance and leadership, the church grew in membership and the debt was paid. The church was dedicated May 4, 1918. Walter U. Johnson preached the dedication sermon and membership had grown to one hundred seven.
Following Rev. Woff as pastor were: R. H. Williams, R. R. Gordon (supply), Jessie Blalock, T. Y. Seymore, George Griffin, O. A. Keller, Edward Humphrey (later a missionary to Nigeria), J. L. Walter Moose, Julius Corpening, V. W. Parrish, Robert Mobley, Asa Blount, George H. Hill, Darden Battle, Gene Moore. Dr. John Wayland had always come to our rescue in the capacity of interim pastor in times of crisis.
Middle Years 1960 - 1991
Services were conducted in the original building until 1960, when it was decided to remodel the entrance to the church, add central heat to the sanctuary, and add a baptistery behind the pulpit. Members were very proud of these additions, but before the debt could be paid, the church was completely destroyed by fire. The fire occurred early Sunday morning, July 23, 1961. The Organ, education furniture, benches, and hymnals were saved from the fire. The painting of "Christ at Gesthsemane," given by Mrs. Worth Kelley and Miss Elizabeth Thomas, and the Bible given by Mrs. Julie Lassiter and daughter, Tama, were also saved. (This painting and Bible and the original pulpit are now in the front foyer.) The bell was salvaged from the ruins and today appears on the church lawn. This bell had been placed in the original church by Mrs. Mollie Moore Crutchfield.
After the burning of the church, the members faithfully met each Sunday and Wednesday nights for prayer meetings at the old high school building, as well as Ray's abandoned store and the new high school building, while anxiously awaiting the building of the present sanctuary.
Money was borrowed from the First Federal Savings & Loan Association to supplement funds given by the many sister churches, friends, and members to build the present sanctuary. This note was burned at Home-coming in October, 1967, during services conducted by former pastor, Rev. Robert Mobley.
In August, 1972 David G. Moore, while a seminary student, accepted the call to pastor the church. In March of 1974, work began on the new Educational Annex. The Building Fund was supplemented by the Margie Poe Memorial Fund to make this possible. Earnest Holt was the builder for this project.
Many excellent pastors continued to serve the church including Herbert Brown (who came to us in 1977), Paul Kennedy, Dean Sisk, Ken Kelly, Robert Springle, Greg McGarvey, and Grant Howell. Most of these pastors served while they were students at Southeastern Baptist Seminary, commuting between the church and Wake Forest, NC. The church was happy to serve as a "training ground" for young pastors, who frequently moved on to a larger church upon graduation from the seminary.
In 1987, the church purchased the Bill and Katherine Barnes house to use as our parsonage. In 1992, extensive repairs and renovations were made to the Parsonage using memorial funds from the Seawell family and memorial funds from Emily B. Crutchfield as well as donations from members and church friends.
Recent Years 1992 - 2010
Andy McPherson, while a seminary student, accepted the call as pastor in August, 1992. Shortly after he and wife Cindy arrived, the church began its Young Adult Sunday School class. The church recommitted itself to its traditional vision of reaching out to the children and youth of Moncure. A van was purchased and dozens of children began to attend church programs designed for them. Under Rev. McPherson's leadership many renovations were completed including installation of new ceiling fans; air conditioning of the older Education wing, renovation of the heating and air conditioning system throughout the church, furnishing of the Pastor's Study (through generous contributions of the Barnes and Springle families), renovation of the nursery to make room for the ever increasing number of children, recarpeting of the sanctuary, moving the pews to make seating accessible from both aisles, painting the choir loft, tiling the Fellowship Hall, installation of new sanctuary lights, and the purchase of a new keyboard. The front church grounds adjacent to the paved road were landscaped with many plants and the addition of a new brick wall. The church no longer needed to provide housing for the pastor, so the parsonage was sold in 1995 and the proceeds saved as a "rainy day fund." (This fund was partially used in 2005 to re-roof the church building and to repave the parking lot.)
1995 was a difficult year for the church. A significant number of members moved their membership elsewhere, and the remaining 12-15 members wondered if the time had come to close the church. However, the Lord led them to enroll in a Bible study course called "Experiencing God." As a result of this study and a season of prayer, they felt that it was God's will for them to persevere and for the church to continue.
Dr. Matt Garrett accepted the call to pastor in September, 1996. The fellowship experienced an abundance of blessings during 1997. The Lord added seven new members, three of them being new converts, to the church. The church became involved in the Moncure Haywood Ministerial Alliance, an interdenominational fellowship of area churches. October 1997 saw Moncure Baptist Church join with other churches in the Moncure-Haywood area for a community-wide revival. The drawing together of these churches crossed racial and denominational barriers. This has now been an annual event every October through 2010, and over a dozen area churches have participated.
A youth revival was held at the local school gym in 1998. Using music, food, and the preaching of the Word the community was given the opportunity to know Jesus. Moncure Baptist Church was an active part of the Sprott Youth Center Outreach conducting a third Saturday night program each month for community children, using fellowship, refreshments, and games. Much door-to-door community witnessing was conducted, and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the church decided to hold a BBQ sale to furnish monies for community missions. The BBQ became an annual event through 2009. This provided the means for the church to give generously to community missions up til the present day. Every year the church gave thousands of dollars to help people in need with utility bills, medical bills, transportation problems, housing expenses, and Christmas gifts for children, as well as other needs. The blessing of our Lord was evident in a Lay-Led Revival in the community in 1998. The entire weekend was used to train in witnessing, to fellowship, and most important to bring the witness of our Lord throughout the community.
In March, 2000, the church called John Howard to be our Associate Pastor, serving with Pastor Garrett. Both of them served as bi-vocational ministers, while working as local educators. Then in October, 2003 Howard and Garrett traded roles, with "Pastor John" becoming the Lead Pastor and "Pastor Matt" as the Associate. In 2002, Mike Clements became the Minister of Music and led the church into a contemporary worship style. The church also adopted a "come as you are" casual dress for attending worship services.
During 1999-2003 the Lord especially worked in the children and youth programs. The children's program grew in numbers on Wednesday night and numerous children made professions of faith. The establishment of the Junior Worship Club on Sunday mornings grew into a wondrous ministry in the church that continued for five years. At times as many as 30 children and 40 teens attended these events. The church reached out through the use of television commercials shown on the local cable networks, and we mailed a monthly Christian newspaper into every home within the Moncure zip code. The church received the Association's Evangelism Award in Fall 1999. During Spring 2000 the church sponsored a Marriage Retreat and in July the youth traveled to West Virginia for a week-long Christ-centered retreat. (This youth camp in WV became an annual event, until 2010 when the camp was canceled.) In 2003 Jonathan Dillon was sent out from our church to serve as a full-time house parent with the Baptist Children's Homes.
In January, 2005 Mike Clements became the Senior Pastor, and Pastors Howard and Garrett both worked with him as Associates. The church was blessed to have these three bi-vocational ministers serving side-by-side, taking turns with preaching, visiting, counseling, and ministering to needs. The church was also blessed to have Nathan and Becki Seig as worship leaders during 2004-2007. Steven Garrett has served as worship leader from 2008 through the present day, and leads our Praise Band. Brenda Keller has been our faithful pianist from 1996 until the present.
During this decade the church tried unsuccessfully to purchase additional land that bordered the property. We also considered buying land elsewhere and relocating, but eventually decided that the Lord would have us to stay put and simply focus on serving Him and our community, rather than on constructing new buildings.
During 2005-2010 the church served the Lord and the community in many ways. Children and youth ministries remained important with many events for Bible study, fellowship, and service. The church began sponsoring its members to take short term mission trips which included missions to Alaska, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Azerbaijan (Asia), Dominican Republic, and Colombia (South America). Week-long work projects were conducted for renovations at the Sprott Christian Youth Center, and that work still continues to this date (2010). A strong commitment was made to missions so that more than 15% of the budget was given (and still is given) to mission organizations. Also a food pantry was established in the church, along with the "Angel Food" ministry, and food drives to help Moncure School and Baptist Children's Homes. In 2009 Emily Garrett left our church to become a full-time missionary to the street children of Bogota, Colombia.
In 2008 Moncure Baptist Church began a new organizational strategy. Pastors Garrett and Howard continued to work together as co-pastors, and both served without monetary compensation, which freed up funds for missions and church renovations (new carpet, renovation of the baptistery, and renovation of the Fellowship Hall). A Vision Team met for over a year and, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, reorganized our ministries into teams which lead all functions. At the time of this writing we look forward to God's using us to fulfill our new mission statement: "Working together to make disciples and share Christ's love." God has also decided to bless us with many young families and a lot of new babies, and we praise Him for that. In 2010 the church launched a website to help reach those outside of the church with the gospel (www.moncurebaptistchurch.org).
Through almost a century of growth, set-backs, blessings, and challenges Moncure Baptist Church has praised the Lord for His goodness, mercy, and grace. By God's grace we will remain active and zealous for the Lord until Jesus comes again!