We the people of Baptist Tabernacle Church are a body of baptized believers in Jesus Christ. Ordained and commissioned by Christ to represent him on earth. Being empowered by the Holy Spirit, we seek to glorify God by: Exalting the Savior, Evangelizing the Lost, Equipping the Believers, Encouraging the Saints, and Enriching the Fellowship.
In the spring of 1921 Rev. C.H Matthews, an evangelist, came into the Nowell-Richardson Community and conducted a revival meeting under a large tent. It was during this revival that a group of Christians met and organized a church and named it Union Tabernacle, which was then non-denominational. The first service was held May 1922.
The first place of worship was a wooden structure built by the people of the community on land given by Mr. and Mrs. Reuben P. Batten. Later Mr. and Mrs. Allie W. Hocutt gave more land to enlarge the grounds.
As the Holy Spirit worked, the membership increased, and became interested in joining some denominational group. On January 12, 1936 a vote was taken of the membership, and a majority preferred to unite with the Missionary Baptist Association. A number of delegates from the Union Tabernacle Church met with the Johnston Baptist Association at Lee’s Chapel November 4-5, 1936, asked to be received into that Association, and were accepted. The name was changed from Union Tabernacle Church to Baptist Tabernacle Church.
In 1948 the members saw a need for more room and decided to build a new church. This building constructed of brick was finished and the first service held May 15, 1949. By this time the membership was increased to 271. This same year an oil heating plant was installed.
The ladies of the church met on September 20, 1949 and the first Women’s Missionary Society was organized.
In November 1959 the building of the six-room parsonage was begun on the land near the church donated by Mrs. Mamie Richerson and completed February 22, 1960.
Memorial windows were donated and installed on the church on 1960. A new Educational Building was erected in 1961 which provided additional Sunday School rooms, nursery and kitchen.
Mrs Vera Hocutt donated more land in 1962 to enlarge the grounds.
The next few years the Lord blessed in a mighty way, membership and attendance increased. Again, more space was needed in the sanctuary. Within the next few years plans were made and another building drive started.
The last worship service in the church built in 1949 was held July 25, 1971. A groundbreaking ceremony was held at 2:00 p.m., the same date in commemoration of the beginning of the construction of the new sanctuary and facilities on the site.
The construction of the new sanctuary began August 1, 1971 and the first service was held January 23, 1972 with a seating capacity of 450. The parking lot was paved November 1973.
In April 1988 the church voted to build a new parsonage on land purchased across from the church. In October of 1988 the parsonage was completed.
On May 1, 1996 during Church Conference, a Long-Range Planning Committee was appointed to study the feasibility of a Family Ministry Center. Out of this a Building Committee was formed. After six years of praying, planning and saving a groundbreaking was held on March 10, 2002. Our new Family Ministry Center (FMC) was completed in November 2002.
Our present church membership is 436 and growing.
Pastors in order of service, from our beginning to the present are L.F.Fielden, S.J. Betts, W.E. Anderson, J.N. Stancil, Duane Poole, Sherill Stevens, A.D. Stephenson, Dale Davis, Dan Silver, W.C. Barham, Shuford Edwins, Earl Lamm, Charles Stevens, Steve Holland, Mark Arrington, David Boroughs, Stan Jenkins, Rick Allen, Carlyle Hall Jr. and Glen Brock.
Not only do we see these events in the history of our church, but God has added many souls to the membership throughout the years. We cannot praise him enough for his divine leadership, the saving of the lost, the equipping of the laborers over these eighty-nine years. God has led and blessed us through these years.
Truly the words of the hymn writer should be felt in our hearts —” To God Be The Glory, Great Things He Hath Done!”
Baptist Tabernacle Church Wendell, NC 27591