HISTORICAL SKETCH OF JERUSALEM BAPTIST CHURCH
Jerusalem Baptist Church was organized in 1877 when a group of forty members withdrew from New Light Beulah Baptist Church. Reverend Joshua Williams was called as the first pastor. Worship service was held under a bush arbor until in 1883, the members purchased one acre of land for thirteen dollars from Samuel McCoy who was one of the first deacons of the church. The first worship structure was built on this land. Reverend Joshua Williams served as pastor from 1877-1884. Under Reverend Williams’ pastorate, Jerusalem Baptist Church became affiliated with the Pee Dee Association in 1877.
In 1887, records indicate that the membership had grown to seventy-two, at which time several members asked for letters of dismissal to organize St. Luke Baptist Church which is now defunct.
In 1887, Jerusalem Baptist Church was enrolled as a member of The Wateree Baptist Association Upper Division by Reverend Richburg who was the pastor at that time.
Jerusalem Baptist Church has been blessed with the pastoral care of many eminent Ministers of the Gospel and has survived the many assaults and tests of her ability to perpetuate the word of God to bring souls to Christ. The following Pastors served during the latter part of the 1800’s: Reverend William Lowman, Reverend Simon Jenkins, Reverend Andrew Richburg, Reverend Moses P. Goodwin, and Reverend Seamore Jones.
The Pastors who served Jerusalem Baptist Church during the early part of the 1900’s through 1956 were Reverend Green B. Neal, Reverend Frank Williams, Reverend J.S. Gordon, Reverend Frank Richardson, and Reverend Harry Taylor.
From 1956 through 2001, Reverend J. Alfred Peters, Reverend Lewis Gunter, and Reverend Chester Gray were called to be pastors of the congregation of Jerusalem Baptist Church.
There are nine families in the church who are direct descendants of the founding members. They are the Middleton-Stocker, Cohen, Robinson, Johnson, Deas-Throne, Mortimore, Richardson, Harmon, and Harris families.
However, the congregation has been richly enlarged throughout the years by many new families who have made Jerusalem Baptist Church their home.
The first church was built with weather board and was heated by a wood burning stove. In the early 1940’s, the church was partially destroyed by fire. Worship service was suspended at the church until the church had been renovated. After the renovation of the church, the leadership of the church had the church building moved forward approximately 100 feet.
The church building has undergone several renovations. In 1970, under Reverend J. Alfred Peters, a pastor’s study and restrooms were added.
Ten acres of land were purchased under the leadership of Pastor Lewis Gunter, and every Sunday worship service was initiated.
The members of Jerusalem Baptist Church constantly saw a need for improvements. When Reverend Chester Gray served as pastor, a new fellowship hall and kitchen were built.
Reverend Patrick A. Harvin was called to Pastor the Jerusalem Baptist Church in May 2002. The church membership has been growing steadily under his leadership. Because of his vision, he saw the need for a larger sanctuary which would better serve the needs of the congregation. On December 2, 2012, we held the Dedication Service for our new sanctuary .
For one hundred thirty-nine years, Jerusalem Baptist Church has reached out to the community in Christian service, carrying forth the traditions established by our founders.
We are indeed a church “Where the Lord is glorified and His people are edified” We pray that God will continue to bless this church and give us leaders after God’s own heart.