A LOOK BACK TO THE PAST AND A LOOK TO THE FUTURE
MOUNT PEACE BAPTIST CHURCH AND OUR 75-YEAR JOURNEY
In 1946, the Reverend Norman Mitchell, desiring to have a place of worship for the small community in which he lived,
organized the Mount Nebo Missionary Baptist Church.
With the assistance of a small group of people, Reverend Mitchell purchased a lot in Southeast Raleigh, and through their dedication and perseverance, construction began on the new church just one year later.
Often, one would drive by the site and see Reverend Mitchell adding cinder blocks to the “DREAM” that would soon be Mount Nebo.
Upon its completion in October 1947,
- The building was dedicated.
- The Reverend Mitchell was installed as Pastor.
- The church officially opened its doors as Mount Nebo Missionary Baptist Church.
- The following persons joined the new fellowship: James Frierson, Mittie Frierson, Alice Mitchell, Mallie Banks, Fran Dunn, and Norman Mitchell.
- The new church experienced regular growth in membership until 1973 when a passing motorist lost control of his automobile and severely damaged the edifice.
With no place to worship, most of Mount Nebo’s membership united with other local churches. The faithful few who remained were overwhelmed searching for a place to worship. Also, during this period, the pastor reluctantly retired when he became critically ill.
He was succeeded by the Reverend George Mitchell (of no relation to the organizer). Still the search continued. Then in August 1976, a group of supporters from the former church membership purchased property at 1130 North Blount Street. The church was reorganized, and a new name declared - HALIFAX MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH.
The church began to experience renewed growth. Members who had united with other fellowships during the transitional period reunited with the newly organized Halifax Missionary Baptist Church.
Unfortunately, the Reverend George Mitchell became ill during this period and reluctantly relinquished his position at the church. His successor, the Reverend Sterling Burt, served as pastor for six years.
Faced with another overwhelming task, several members were appointed to seek out a Shepherd to lead the growing flock at Halifax.
God’s plan began to unfold. In 1982, while attending the First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church in Raleigh, a young man was informed, by Dr. W.B. Lewis, of the need and the potential for a Pastor at Halifax Missionary Baptist Church. This “Man of God,” accompanied by a friend, Rev. Timothy Hutton, made a visit to the church one Sunday after morning service to introduce himself to the Deacons and church leaders. In December, an appointment was set up for him to deliver a sermon at the church.
In the month of February 1983, that most successful sermon culminated into the congregation’s vote for the Reverend James Vincent Terry as the fourth Pastor of Halifax Missionary Baptist Church.
- He was just 19 years of age!
- Young Pastor Terry, a native of Rockingham, North Carolina, was active in many areas of church life in Rockingham, NC.
- He was Student Minister of Providence Baptist Church in Rockingham, NC; Associate Minister of Poplar Springs Baptist Church in Rockingham, NC.
- President of the Youth Department of the Pee Dee Association.
- He was a guest minister at numerous functions.
Pastor Terry revealed to the Halifax congregation that he had a “Vision” from The Lord to direct our bark.
- One important part of the “Vision” was the complete renovation of the little wooden framed church at the end of the unpaved street.
- This renovation included a new brick facade.
- The remodeling of the church’s sanctuary.
- The Pastor’s study.
- The creation of a classroom.
- The church office.
- The complete modernization of the fellowship hall and the facilities.
On Sunday, March 19, 1995, we added our first 8am service.
In 1996, the church purchased property valued at $300,000.00 (tax value).
In 1997, the membership voted to change the name of the church from Halifax Missionary Baptist Church to
MOUNT PEACE BAPTIST CHURCH.
On June 5, 1999, the Lord blessed the church to break ground for Phase I of the construction of the new facility.
During that time, we were meeting in three locations:
- Building Together
- Poe Elementary School
- The church membership watched as well as prayed as the “Vision” began to develop into reality.
On February 6, 2000, we moved into our new facility.
We have since purchased, approximately, fifteen additional acres for future growth.
- Garner Road
- Raleigh Boulevard
- Royal Pines
- The little white church on the dirt road is now the church in the heart of the community with total assets over $7,000,000.00.
- This is truly a testimony that little becomes much when you place it in the hands of the Lord.
In these years, under Pastor Terry’s guidance, Mount Peace Baptist Church has experienced significant growth.
At its height, church membership increased from 50 members to more than 2500 members and Sunday worship attendance had increased from 25 people to almost 1500 people. Because of the growth, we added a third morning service on January 13, 2002. Through stewardship and tithing, the annual financial statement has increased from less than $6,000.00 annually to over $1.4 million annually. Member participation has increased notably in the church choirs, mission activities, and mid-week worship service. In addition, a youth ministry and some fifty additional ministries have been established during his pastorate.
Our family has been blessed to have sons and daughters who have accepted the call to ministry.
At the time of this writing, these are current sons and daughters who were called and/or adopted into this ministry.
Rev. William H. Boykin Rev. Dr. Faye Lawlah
Rev. Linda Holden Bridges Rev. Dr. Telika McCoy
Rev. Angelene Chavis Rev. Dr. Debra C. McKoy
Minister Shanton Cherry Rev. Sarah McNeill
Minister Coleman Cobb Minister Marlene Molette
Rev. Dr. Shameka Coleman Rev. Brian Rogers
Rev. Mary Lou Dowd Rev. Elnora Sanders
Minister Alvin Downing Minister Derrick Sidbury
Rev. Dr. Robert Finch, Jr. Rev. Don A. Singletary
Minister Randy Gill Rev. Jamaine Smith
Rev. Alexander Herring Rev. Teresa Taylor
Minister Mary J. Hill Rev. Shirleatheia Walker
Minister Trina Hodges Minister Kim Walker
Minister Gwendolyn Horton Rev. Taurean D. Walston
Rev. Meryvn John Minister Charles Whittenburg
Rev. Darren Johnson, Sr. Minister Omar Wiggan
Rev. Wilma Jones Rev. Dr. Linda Winston
Rev. Shondra Jordan Minister Ronald Wright
God is still unfolding the “Vision” to Pastor Terry who is gently guiding us as we grow in grace and in the knowledge of God. For this, and much more, all the thanks, all the praise, and all of the glory is given to our God!
IT IS YET TO APPEAR WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS, BUT WE KNOW WHO HOLDS THE FUTURE.