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SUPPLY—It’s the oldest Missionary Baptist church in Brunswick County and it’s believed to be one of the three oldest Baptist churches in North Carolina.
In fact, Mount Pisgah Baptist Church on Mount Pisgah Road is celebrating its 250th anniversary this coming Sunday, Oct. 7.
The Rev. Tim Lynch said the congregation will celebrate with a special service at 10:45 a.m. Sunday. The service will include membership recognition, special singing by Sammy and Helen Thomas, a 250-year tribute video and a special sermon from Lynch.
“We’ll eat afterwards,” Lynch said. “There will be fellowship and celebrating the Lord and what he’s done for our church.”
He said everyone is invited to the day’s celebratory lunch taking place in the church fellowship hall.
According to historical information compiled by Brunswick County historian Susie Carson, who died in 2008, Mount Pisgah’s beginnings date back to a group of New England fishermen who settled in the 1750s near the mouth of the Lockwood Folly River. As they started having prayer meetings, they needed a place to worship.
“Being led by the Holy Spirit, they joined together in building a one-room log structure where they could meet together,” reads the historic account.
The church was organized 250 years ago when Ezekiel Hunter, pastor of the Baptist Church at New River in Onslow County, came down and baptized a few members.
This was followed by arrival of the Rev. James Turner, who settled here with the congregation and “preached with zeal and success.”
The log building apparently was used until around 1800. As the congregation grew, so did the church, which moved to Stone Chimney Road and just across the road from its current site in 1876 before settling at the corner of Mount Pisgah and Turnpike roads in 1939.
In 1963, education space was added to the old building. In 1964-67, the larger brick sanctuary that still stands today was built. This was followed by the addition of a fellowship hall in 1987 and sanctuary renovations in 1994.
Three years ago, the church added an expansive new education building housing classrooms for adults, youth and children and a fellowship hall.
The current congregation consists of 150 regular attendees and an estimated 400-500 people on its membership roster, Lynch said.
Come Sunday, “We will look at our wonderful past while also looking forward to a wonderful future,” Lynch said. “God has had his hand on Mount Pisgah for over 250 years, and we look forward to seeing what He will do in the future as we seek to minister to the community, love people and preach the Word of God.”
More information about the historic church is available on its modern-day website, at www.mtpisgahbaptistchurch.com.
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.