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Pastor Richard Hicks officiated over a milestone event in Mount Pisgah Baptist Church’s history; the Jan. 6 groundbreaking ceremony for the new education and activities building.
The church is at the corner of Mount Pisgah Road and Turnpike Road, one mile south of U.S. 17 in Supply.
The first of four planned new facilities, the 25,000 square foot building will face Mount Pisgah Road. Future plans include a new sanctuary, school, and gymnasium.
Among the guest speakers were Marty Lawing, Brunswick County manager and Mount Pisgah Baptist Church member; Rev. Jeff Gibby, missionary director for the Brunswick Baptist Association; and Lee Blackmon of Coastal Development and Realty.
Mark Saunders, chairman of the Mount Pisgah building planning team, introduced several people who have been instrumental in the developmental stages of the building project: Dan Weeks, a landscaping architect; architect Sam Goodrich; and Perry Davis of Cape Fear Engineering.
Several church members presented testimonies throughout the service.
Tony Bolling, Judy Clemmons, Kristy Gunther and Lloyd Tucker shared their personal testimonies of faith, encouraging the congregation to be faithful in prayer and commitment to God.
Gary McDonald presented a brief overview of the humble beginnings of the church, which was founded in 1762 by a group of New England fishermen who had settled on the banks of the Lockwood Folly River. As a result, it is known as the oldest Baptist church in Brunswick County. In 1820, the name was changed from Lockwood Folly Meeting House to Mount Pisgah.
A charter member of the Brunswick Baptist Association from its inception in 1899, Mount Pisgah Baptist Church represents a faith that has consistently extended beyond those long-ago log cabin walls into the rest of the county and around the world.
Among the churches that can trace their beginnings to Mount Pisgah are: Mill Creek (1776); Seven Creeks (1800); Cedar Grove (1872); Royal Oak (1821); Boone’s Neck (1945); and Shell Point (1959).
In its 246 years of continuous ministry, Mount Pisgah Baptist Church has flourished under the leadership of 35 pastors.
Rev. Darryll Hester, minister of youth and music, led inspiring renditions of sacred music throughout the 11 a.m. service. The congregation, the choir and the praise band/team blended the traditional with the contemporary through Rev. Hester’s selections of hymns of worship and choruses of praise. Musicians included Ashleigh Raines, Janice Kuigre, Carol Phelps, Chris Raines, Zachary Batson, Jimmy Phelps, Jesse Vipperman and Jeremy O’Dell.
Following a challenge to work together with God by Hicks, the deacons led the congregation outside for a groundbreaking ceremony. A responsive reading, a hymn and a dedication by Hicks on a beautiful Sunday afternoon set the background for the entire congregation to participate together in the ceremony from start to finish.
Waddell Clemmons furnished a one-horse plow and a 100-foot rope. Hulan Royals and Ashleigh Raines each held a handle of the plow, while the remaining members of the 170-strong congregation, led by the deacons, pulled the plow together, standing shoulder to shoulder along the length of the rope. The symbolism of going back to the old principle of working together served to launch the beginning of the new, state-of-the-art building dedicated to God’s glory and the service of the community.
Pastor Hicks said, “We acknowledge this as God’s building. We will build by His power and provision. We will do it together. The message of the plow being pulled by the whole congregation is that, as we pull together in God’s power, we will accomplish His mission in our world!”
The ceremony culminated in a prayer circle with the congregation holding hands, encircling the stakes that mark off the building, led in prayer by Rev. Gibby.