ABOUT GREATER NEW HOPE


This church was duly organized June 17, 1903.

Ministers who sat in the Church Council were: Revs.: W. T. Bartlett, Smith, Tillmon and J. Simpson. The name Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church was given the Church and Rev. J. Simpson was elected Pastor; Sister Pearl Overstreet, Secretary.

April 20, 1904 the conference met and the name Pilgrim Rest Baptist was changed to New Hope Baptist Church. Rev. J. Simpson, Pastor, Brother G. H. Overstreet, Secretary.

Following the pastorate of Rev. J. Simpson, Rev. F. D. Rowe was elected in 1910. Learn Holland was Secretary. He served successfully for 9 years. The Church was moved from East Mulberry Street to South First Street. Under Rev. Rowe's pastorate a tract of land was purchased on East King Street.

Rev. P. W. Wiley succeeded Rev. F. D. Rowe. He was elected in 1919. He served successfully 9 years. The church purchased two tracts of land and built a church on King Street.

In 1928, Rev. Wadlow succeeded Rev. Wiley. He served until Rev. Haskell was elected in 1931. His service was very beneficial to the church.

Rev. E. J. Hatley, succeeded Rev. Haskell in 1932. Under his pastorate the church purchased Bethlehem Baptist Church Building, and the name ?New Hope Baptist? was changed to Greater New Hope Baptist Church. Bro. J. L. Dawkins, Secretary.

Rev. A. L. Wright succeeded Rev. E. J. Hatley. He served 7 years successfully. Bro. John Arterberry, Secretary.

Rev. Henderson succeeded Rev. A. L. Wright. He served 1 year, 1936-1937. Thelma Holland, Secretary.

Rev. B. B. Neal succeeded Rev. Henderson. He served 7 years successfully. The church paid off a $1,200 note during his pastorate. Thelma Holt, Secretary.

Rev. J. E. Johnson succeeded Rev. B. B. Neal, 1945. He served successfully for 6 years. Thelma Holt, Secretary.

Rev. S. M. Wright succeeded Rev. J. E. Johnson. He was elected pastor August 6, 1951, Thelma Holt, Secretary. In 1952 major remodeling?including the addition of a Fellowship Hall, renovation of the Baptistry the addition of classrooms on the second-level of the building, and the addition of brick siding to the building. Gas heaters were installed in the various rooms as well as the sanctuary. Dedicatory services to mark this milestone were held June 16-22, 1952, and in 1953, Greater New Hope was able to host the Annual Meeting of the Sunday School and B. T. U. Congress.

Rev. S. M. Wright was succeeded by Rev. Oscar Lacefield. He served 1 year . Mildred Cannon, Secretary. The Church was without a pastor when Rev. W. R. Gray, a Chaplain at the Perrin Air Force base, learned of its plight and stepped in to fill that void. He served for an extended period of time without pay to help the church. He was subsequently elected as Pastor and served the Church for the next 13 years. Mildred Cannon was Secretary.

Rev. Vernon Higgins was elected Pastor in 1971. He served 3 years. Mildred Cannon, Secretary.

Rev. Aaron Phillips succeeded Rev. Vernon Higgins as pastor and served the Church well for a period of twelve years: 1974 thru 1986.

Rev. Terry White succeeded Rev. Phillips and served as pastor for the years: 1986 thru 1988. Under Rev. White's leadership, the church acquired several tracts of land adjacent to church property to the West on Pecan Street. The Church thrived financially under his leadership leaving the Church well on its way to financial good health with a hopeful prospect of building a completely new church building. Under his pastorate: Bro Clifton Spencer, Bro. Robert Shannon and Bro. Wallace Young were ordained as deacans.

Rev. M. L. Moore was elected Pastor in October of 1988 Among other accomplishments, more than 60 new members were added to the Church Roll under his leadership. A proposal and tentative plan was initiated toward the construction of our present church building. The project, initiated toward the end of 1989 was referred to as Expansion 90. Rev. Moore resigned as Pastor in July of 1992.

Rev. C. L. McNealy was elected as interim Pastor (1992-1993) Rev. Alvoid Larkins, Rev. Marshall Walker and Rev. James Petty did great work for the Lord as Associate Ministers with and through this body of believers.

Rev. F. A. Cason was elected and preached his first sermon as Pastor on August 15, 1993, and was Installed on October 31, 1993. In 1995, plans were resumed for the construction of a new church building. A financial raising movement entitled DEVELOPMENT 94 was begun. This effort produced the necessary funds to construct the present building. Upon completion, the Church moved into its new quarters and held a Ribbon Cutting, Open House & Dedicatory Celebration on March, 28, 1999. Rev. James Petty, Rev. Steve Stell, and Rev. M. L. Walker all served as Associate Ministers under his pastorate. Rev. Cason retired in October, 2007, and Rev. Stell, whose family had been a part of GNH since 1992, was elected Interim Pastor. He served in this capacity through August of 2008 when the torch was passed to Rev. Walker, whose family had been a part of GNH since.

On January 24th, 2010 Rev. Rayford E. Malone was elected by the body of Greater New Hope, beginning his pastoral work on February 14, 2010. Rev. Malone continued the tradition of strong biblical preaching and teaching, and encouraged members to recognize and respond to their own gifts and callings to service. Pastor Malone also enhanced our online presence and sought to use technology in service to the Gospel. Pastor Malone resigned in April of 2013, when he felt called to serve a congregation in Alabama.

Rev. Steve Stell was elected Interim Pastor in May 2013. During this interim period, wise financial leadership by the Trustees and Deacons led to the new church building being fully paid off in the Fall of 2013.

The thorough search process for a permanent pastor which began in May 2013 narrowed the field to two candidates by the Fall, but neither one was elected by the congregation. Before beginning the search process again, Rev. Stell submitted his name for consideration and was elected in December 2013.

Rev. Stell's Installation Service took place on June 29, 2014, with Rev. James Petty preaching, Rev. Wendell Williams giving the Charge to Rev. Stell, and Deacon Chair Brian Boykin giving the Charge to the congregation.

The saints of Greater New Hope have taken to heart God's Word to Samuel (1 Samuel 16:7): "Do not consider his appearance . . . The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

We look forward to God's ongoing work in and through us as we faithfully hear God's Word and yield to God's Spirit.

 




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