history of Mt pisgah

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Our History

 About Mount Pisgah beginning to Present (The Early Years) Long ago, when I was a little barefoot girl my grandmother would bring me here and three of her younger children. My mother was dead and she had two older sons, one a member of the church. She would put us on the front seat. The pastor was Rev. W. H. Moore of Wilmington, NC. Preaching would be every third Sunday. He would only preach one sermon on Sunday. They would collect all that they could and give it to him. Mt. Pisgah was a little wooden church with wooden shutters for windows. The benches and pulpit were homemade. The pulpit rostrum was about one foot higher than the floor. We used homemade oil lamps for light and a pot belly heater sitting in the middle of the floor for heat. The deacon board consisted of the following: Bros. Charles Moore, Calvin Murphy, W. H. Walker, Willie Peterson, Wesley Murphy and John Wright Wheeler. The trustees were Bros. James Johnson and C. S. Smith. Our board with the help of the membership decided we wanted to do better and we also wanted a better place of worship for the Lord and give more service to the Lord. They began to have weeks of prayer asking the Lord to show them the way and direct them to do the thing that was right and pleasing in his sight. So in the year of 1908, their prayer was answered and they elected Rev. L. T. Bonds of Windsor, NC . As soon as he came here, he saw the needs of the people and their desire. With someone as a good shepherd, the people began to get what money they could together and borrowed $2500 with a mortgage on the church property. They started the first black church in Burgaw. They were like the people in Nehemiah’s time. They had a mind to work. In the year of 1910, the cornerstone was laid. They had a big dinner and anyone who desired could lay a brick for 25 cents. The whole family would lay brick if it was not but one. My grandmother and her older son laid four each and we four little ones laid one brick. Every one paid as the Lord prospered them. In September 1912, I was converted and joined this church. You had to be baptized in the creek back then. In August of 1914, the mortgage was tied on each corner with a string and the four youngest girls held the strings which was Annie Bloodworth, Willia Johnson, Bessie Rich and myself. The oldest deacon, Bro. Charles Moore, set it afire. Then we went into the largest revival that has ever been in Burgaw. About fifty members joined this church. Some went to Halls Chapel and some to Macedonia. The majority were men and women. Bro. Bennie Tate was in the number. Bro. C. S. Smith was added to the deacon board. Later some of our older deacons passed away and Bro. J. D. Boney, R. R. Henry, and Hubert Faison was added to the board in the year of 1926. Rev. Bond resigned. We hated to see him go but he had got a church closer to his home. While he was here, he preached third Sunday morning and night and on the first Sunday night. Sunday School was at 3 o’clock p.m. and B.Y.P.U. was at 9:30 each Sunday morning. Mission Circle was every fourth Sunday p.m. A few months after Rev. Bonds left, we got a pastor by the name of Rev. Copeland from South Carolina. He was a preaching man, I did not hear him much, I was working away from home. He did not stay but about a year. On September 1928, Rev. J. D. McRae of East Wilmington was elected as our pastor. The choir then was on the south side of the pulpit with an organ in one corner. We began to work again. ( All the back end of the church was removed, a higher platform for the pulpit, a higher platform for the choir behind the pulpit, a pastor study on the north, a ladies lounge on the south, a piano for the choir, a pool under the pulpit and pulpit furnishings were bought a few years later.) The front end of the church began to go bad so the pastor called a meeting and asked for three volunteers to help get the church looking in better condition. Sis. Annie White, Sis. Lacy Graham and myself volunteered. We the church, borrowed money to have the work done and strove to pay the debt within five years back. With everyone having a mind to work, we paid the debt in one and a half years. Bro. J. A, Johnson’s health went bad and Bro. John Lamb was hired as janitor. He enjoyed ringing that bell until his health failed him. Bro. H. J. McMillian, Bro. Ralph Alderman and Bro. Bennie Tate was added to the deacon board. Rev. McRae served well until the Lord called him from labor to reward. He preached the third Sunday in February 1951 and was called on Tuesday morning. In June 1951, Rev H. C. Dixon of East Wilmington was elected as our pastor. He served well. Bro. Carroll Midgette was added to the deacon board. The old cracked paint was scrapped off the walls and new paint was put on. The Ladies Auxiliary was organized under his administration. Shrubbery was bought and put around the church. He resigned in 1956 In November 1956, Rev. W. E. Beaman of Kinston, NC was elected as our pastor. He read the terms of which he would serve under. They was received and adopted. He came with a mind to work also with the membership. He had a rally and paid off all the old debts that the church had. The church was getting in bad shape so we decided to build a new one and stop patching up the old church. The first rally was put on for the building and we continued until we had $3000 in the bank and then we started. The ground breaking was on the fourth Sunday in May 1959. The third Sunday in June 1960, we had our first service. We only had those three windows behind the choir in but we had a wonderful time. The windows cost $115 each and if anyone wanted to buy one it would cost $3.00 more to have your name put on the window. The following bought windows: Rev. W. E. Bemoan, the Sunday school, C. F. Pope School, Ladies Auxiliary, Dea. & Mrs. H. J. McMillian, Dea. & Mrs. Carroll Midgette family, Mr. & Mrs. W. B. Shaw, Mr. & Mrs. John Moody and Family, Mr. & Mrs. J. T. Newkirk, Mrs. Annie White, Mr. & Mrs. V. T. Maultsby, Mr. & Mrs. Malachi Jordan and family, Mr. George Riche in honor of his mother, Mrs. Jonah Riche, and Bro. J. T. Newkirk. Bro. C. C. Smith was added to the deacon board. We hated to see him go but Rev. Beamon resigned in October 1960 In July 1961, Rev. A. R. Smith of Whiteville, NC was elected as our pastor. The first rally we put on was to buy a heating system seeing that we were not able to launch out that deep. We had larger gas lines put in to give more heat and put up sheet rock where it was needed, plastered and painted the inside of the church, put in hardwood floors and put the pool in. Bro. Moses Porter and Bro. Jonah Newkirk was added to the deacon board. The A. R. Smith Club was organized. Bro. Cornell Midgette was licensed to carry the Word of God. On April 2, 1967, Rev. A. R. Smith resigned, but we still had a mind to work. The Ladies Auxiliary had our floors finished and also bought the  rug for the church. We still are holding on God’s hand knowing that we will get a shepherd. We hope it will be one sent from God. We have tried several so now with the help of God , this the 24 day of November 1967, we elected Rev. A. H. Murphy as our pastor but he refused to accept but we know with God’s help we shall overcome. On March 29, 1968, we elected Rev. H. L. Moore from Leland, NC. He accepted being our pastor and we thank God, one who never makes a mistake, for we think he is a man sent from God and if we as officers and members hold his hand as Christian brothers and sisters, we shall overcome. On January 19, 1969, we dedicated the church. Rev. House delivered the sermon “ that evening we were up on the mountain but we must come back in the valley.” Our pastor preached that morning and he said that life was like a ball game . When we make first and then second, then third base, we are in route for the home plate. January 20, 1969, we are still moving. We have a large payment on the pews and have installed air conditioning and a heating system. With the help of the Lord and those that have a mind to work, we shall overcome. In November 1970, our pews were installed and the rugs put down. Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Bellamy bought the pulpit set, a communion table and chairs. Those who bought pews are the following: Dea. And Mrs. Carroll Midgette, Dea. And Mrs. Moses Porter, Dea. And Mrs. Ralph Alderman, Dea. and Mrs. H. J. McMillian, Dea. and Mrs. Jonah Newkirk, Sis. Annie White, Dea. and Mrs. C. C.. Smith, Sis. Hattie Croom and Victoria Holt, Bro. Pearly Lee, Bro. Robert Lee, Miss Berneatha Fennell, Mr. And Mrs. Willie Wright, Mr. And Mrs. W. B. Shaw, Mr. Loftin Costin, Mrs. Thelma Murphy and family, Mrs. Alberta Armstrong, Mr. J. L. Hickson daughters, Mrs. Mattie Hand’s family, the three choirs (jr. sr. and gospel), Ladies Auxiliary and the Sunday School. Deacon Carroll Midgette was called to carry the Word of God and have been licensed by the church. On October 15, 1972, we had our homecoming service . After service, we dedicated the bell which have been down ever since the old church was torn down. Bro. Lloyd Bellamy and Rev. Carroll Midgette had it installed. We also had the role of getting the names of the members who had passed away. It was a sad occasion. This is what I remember of Mt. Pisgah from a child up. I don’t know if I will live to add to this history. I hope someone will carry on after I am gone. I am sending up my timber for a mansion on high where we won’t have to keep fixing for it will be a building not made by hand but eternal in God’s kingdom. I love thy church O God Her walls before thee stand Dear as the apple of Thin eye And graven On Thy Hand For her my tears shall fall For her my prayers ascend To her my toils and cares by given Till toils and cares shall end Written by Hattie Croom Our History Continued 1972 to Present Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church History (1972 – 2011) by Sherese Austin History repeats itself. Some of the same concerns of yesterday are the concerns of the church today. Those who are in Christian service are making a difference. Their work is a manifestation of God’s hands extended and their devotion is a revelation of His love expressed. May the Lord continue to make the members fruitful and encourage them in all their work in Him. The Lord will continue to bless Mt. Pisgah as Mt. Pisgah continues to be a blessing to many others. The flow of ministry is complete when God’s heart touches our hearts and our heart touches the heart of others. Some members that were here are no longer here but their legacy lives on. All thanks to Almighty God for Mt. Pisgah to have come thus far. It takes all of us to make the wheel turn easier. Worship Services at Mt. Pisgah were on the first and third Sundays. Bible Study was the first and third Wednesday of every month. On Thursday, February 5, 1976, the Willing Workers Club was organized under the leadership of Mildred Carr. The name symbolized the mission of the club. Members were instrumental in serving the community throughout the year. This club is no longer active. The club was also the catalyst for forming the Voices of Faith Choir on February 12, 1976. The choir sang at several churches in the area and is no longer active. Rev. H. L. Moore continued to be the pastor of Mt. Pisgah until June 1977. He submitted his resignation in March 1977 to pastor Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Winston Salem. Back then, Mt. Pisgah had an active Jr. Church formed in June 1978, Jr. Deacon Board formed in 1951, and Jr. Choir which was formed in 1965 under Catherine Midgette. The Sunday School thrived with an average of 100 members per Sunday. The membership realized that we were living in an age where young people are given greater responsibility in every walk of life that affects the manner in which they live. Because of that fact, the members of Mt. Pisgah felt that they needed to reassess their attitude toward the young people of the church. Rev. Aaron McCrae became Pastor of Mt. Pisgah on January 15, 1978. He found Mt. Pisgah to be a “wonderful church” but lacking in organization. Several auxiliaries were reorganized under his leadership. Mrs. Lillian P. Shaw and Mrs. Valdosia Williams were the first women trustees to serve as legal Trustees of Mt. Pisgah. Sister Lois Crews and Sister Frances Shivers were later added under Rev. McCrae’s administration. The church began to see improvement in finances and spiritual growth within the church. Communion began to be served every third Sunday  beginning in June 1978. Mt. Pisgah had various committees that were formed under Rev. McCrae’s administration : Bus Transportation (inactive), Benevolence Committee, Vacuum Cleaner Committee (inactive), Laymen’s League (inactive), Hospitality Committee and Pastor’s Aide. In 1985, there was a change on how the finances would be collected for worship services. The ushers usually took a plate around for offering. It was decided by the officers that members would take their offering to the table instead of the ushers taking up the money. Rev. McCrae had a desire for Mt. Pisgah to be a stationary church i.e. church would be every Sunday instead of first and third Sunday; but the officers did not agree that this would be a good idea at the time due to church beginning to decline in finances. On September 25, 1985, Rev. McCrae resigned as Pastor of Mt. Pisgah. On October 6, 1985, he preached his farewell sermon and wished the church well in its future endeavors. Rev. Leo Stevenson was elected Pastor of Mt. Pisgah on June 13, 1986. His first sermon as official Pastor was the first Sunday in July 1986. Mt. Pisgah began to once again grow in membership, finances and spiritual growth under Rev. Stevenson’s leadership. He led the helm for 16 years. Several choirs and departments were formed under Rev. Stevenson to make improvements within the church. In December 1986, Rev. Stevenson and Kimberly Bannerman formed the Young Adult Choir for members over age 18. Over the years, several other organizations were formed like the Male Choir, The Education Department, Outreach Program and Sacrificial Pledge Offering program. Deacon Malachi Jordan who was superintendant at that time felt that he needed to resign due to the lack of attendance in Sunday School but the membership felt the lack of attendance was due to a lack of interest by the people. Also many families were not having children as of old and the young people who had kept the Sunday School alive had grown up and left the community. There were many other reasons cited. In 1989, Deloris Shaw Hayes donated a lot to the church. In 1990, Roderick Monroe became our full time musician for first and third Sundays. Before this date, he was only playing on first Sundays. He would continue in this position until December 2009 when he resigned to become the Minister of Music at his home church, Hawes Chapel, Atkinson, NC. For a total of 23 years combined, he played piano and directed our choirs at Mt. Pisgah. In 1992, the church purchased land from David Durham for $21,000. In 1999, the church purchased the house and lot beside the church to serve as a parsonage. The house and lot was needed to aid our pastor, Rev. Stevenson, in providing services to our congregation and community. Rev. Stevenson had a great distance to commute to our church for worship services, programs, etc. The house is 1106 sq. ft. with an attached porch, 320 sq. ft. on a 60x 183 lot with three bedrooms, kitchen, dining room and bath. Rev. Stevenson was a very active Pastor so much so it seemed the church was at a function almost every week of the month. We often had fellowship with our sister church Big Macedonia of whom Rev. Stevenson was also the pastor. He preached many revivals, homecomings, pastor installations, etc. The choirs and membership were very supportive in following Rev. Stevenson on these missions to spread the Gospel. There were many position changes within the auxiliaries and offices over the years. On June 2, 2002, Rev. Stevenson announced to the congregation that he was resigning as Pastor of Mt. Pisgah. He stated a church needs a full time pastor to minister to the people and their needs. Officers decided to not go full time as a stationary church. Rev. Stevenson preached his last sermon on the first Sunday in October 2002. He became the full time pastor at his home church Big Macedonia in Supply, NC. On September 26, 2003, Rev. Jeffrey Carr was voted in as probationary pastor for one year. On March 19, 2004 at church conference, Rev. Carr came before the members and stated it was time to add another church Sunday or church needs to be stationed. A motion was made by Leroy Johnson to have church every Sunday beginning the first Sunday in April 2004. The motion was second and carried by the members present. In the months that followed, there was discussion that having church every Sunday was not working because attendance was slow and there was no choir or ushers in place for second and fourth Sundays. The majority of members decided that the church would continue with four Sundays of service. God worked it out and today, the church is well attended on most Sundays. On September 17, 2004, Rev. Carr was voted in as the official Pastor of Mt. Pisgah. In May 2006, Rev. Carr was dismissed as Pastor of Mt. Pisgah due to lack of attendance and spiritual growth in the church. On June 1, 2007, Rev. Christoppher D. Stackhouse was voted in as our Pastor. He was the youngest pastor to ever serve Mt. Pisgah at the age of 27 and Mt. Pisgah was his first official pastorate. Rev. Stackhouse was very good at interacting with the youth and elderly of the church. He was very active and energetic. Under his leadership, Mt. Pisgah began to grow and progress in membership, spiritually, materially and financially. He incorporated a fellowship & sharing as part of morning worship which included a Happy Anniversary Song for members celebrating an anniversary. We also had a motto “By the Grace of God, We Shall Go Forward” regardless of what might be going on in life. We were and are still determined to let nothing hinder us from going forward. He started an audio ministry so that members that couldn’t get to church could still be encouraged by his sermons and the music provided by the choirs. We had Supersize Sunday on 2nd Sundays to encourage attendance and participation which included teaching Sunday School in the dining hall for the young and the old which included breakfast provided by the Hospitality staff . He reformed the church website and had two (2) Praise in the Park functions, a Gospel Train Celebration at the depot that included the community by taking the Gospel to the streets. Under his administration, we hired our first Minister of Music, Rashon Keith, who is available to all choirs at all times for any service. Rev. Sylvia Smith of Joyous Praise Ministries, Warsaw, NC was the first woman allowed to preach in the pulpit at Mt. Pisgah for our Women’s Day Service in May 2009. Two Praise Ministries were formed – The Praise Group/ The Praise Team. Spring and Fall Revival services were changed from five (5) nights to three (3) nights during the week in December 2008. There were a lot more firsts for Rev. Stackhouse at Mt. Pisgah which included baby dedications, weddings, ordinations, etc. Rev. Stackhouse resigned as Pastor of Mt. Pisgah on June 27, 2010 and his last sermon was July 28, 2010. He accepted another pastoral position in Fayetteville, NC. Rev. Stackhouse stated he loves the people here and has enjoyed being Pastor of Mt. Pisgah. On January 21, 2011, our present pastor, Rev. James Eason was voted in. Since Pastor Eason has been here, two trustees have been installed. Nine (9) members have joined the church based on their Christian experience. In August 2011, the church had a Family Fun Day which incorporated helping the school children with school supplies upon returning to school. The church is currently working on several projects to make improvements within the church. The roof for the church and fellowship hall will be replaced. A church bus will be purchased by the end of 2011. The church van was deemed unsafe for transporting people. The members consider Rev. Eason to be a genuine, sensitive, humble and caring servant of God. We hope he will be with us for many years. To sum up our history, we consider Mt. Pisgah to be our home. The steeple stands tall, the rosebushes look grand and the windows sparkle. Mt. Pisgah is a joyous spiritual place where you can roam with family, friends and saints who come to learn, to grow, to share, to love and to teach. We sit, we sing, we laugh, and we pray as we gather in God’s name. We thank God for His house which is our home.