PLEASANT GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH
ONE HUNDRED, FORTY SECOND ANNIVERSARY
1874 - 2019
Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, we will journey back in time, taking a look at some of the events that lead up to this glorious occasion, as told over the years by many members and by church records.
The first worship was held in an old log cabin on the farm of Mr. Andrew Farrish under the leadership of Reverend T.W. Woodfolk.
In 1874, Brothers Beverly Brown, Horace Wilson, Edward Allen, Joe Sorrell and their families and other members and friends both black and white united to purchase a site for the church. They appointed Brothers Allen and Sorrell the task of locating a site.
The original church was established about 100 yards from the original church location, under a brush harbor on Walker Jefferson’s farm. Upon that site, a small house was built in which they worshipped for many years. As the membership prospered under the leadership of Rev. Woodfolk, the need for a larger worship place became necessary. The result was the original structure. The old building was then used as a serving hall and for youth gatherings until it was torn down in later years.
As Pleasant Grove’s membership flourished, another church was needed. Out of this need, the Evergreen Baptist Church was established in 1884, thus giving Pleasant Grove the title of its mother church.
From 1874 until February 1907, Rev. Woodfolk led his army of followers: Brother Beverly Brown, Ceasar Southall, George Sorrell, Webb Mills, Charles Hawkins, Edward Allen, Eugene Goggins, Charles Thomas, James Williams, Wallace Canady Sr., and Wallace Canady Jr., Walker Jefferson, Joseph Sorrell, Winston Estes, Herbert Wood, George Lewis, Frank Williams, Isaac Smith, Joseph Mills and James Jefferson and their families.
From this union of Christians the following ministers evolved: The Reverends Charles Hawkins, D.S. Woodfolk, Dudley Givens, Isaac Kennedy, James L. Carr, Jackson Payne, Chris Early and others.
After the death of Rev. Woodfolk, Pleasant Grove was fortunate to have the following ministers: The Reverends D. L. Gofney, Warner Jones, George Blakey, T.R. Hanner, James Wright, Maxwell Minis, Amy C. Reid, and our present Pastor, Rev. Shirley Chapman, and Assistant Minister, Rev. Ralph Carr.
Much history that was recorded was lost, which bring us to the recorded history that we have beginning in 1977 as recorded by Sister Shirley Barbour-Strother.
In February 1977, the Rev. Amy C. Reid came to Pleasant Grove as a supply pastor.
In January 1978, she became pastor-elect, and then became pastor on June 11, 1978. Under the bucolic leadership of Rev. Reid, many great things happened.
April 9, 1978 – Deacon George Barbour was put on trial as a Deacon and was later installed.
May 14, 1978 – Deacon Roy and Deaconess Ruth Dyer joined as watch-care members.
July 8, 1978 – Deacon Roy Dyer was installed on Board of Trustees, Also in July, Deaconess Shirley Barbour became the Church Clerk, and the tithe box was installed.
Serving on the Deacon Ministry; Deacons Woodsie Hawkins, William Miller, Wallace Kennedy, Jr., Sr., John Allen, John Jackson, Sr., Alfonsa Kennedy, Clifton Hawkins, George Nicholas, McKinley Goggins, Aubrey Blakey, Sr., John Dyer, George Barbour, James Thomas, Gregory Thomas, Ralph Carr and associate deacons, Nathaniel Wright, Sr., and George Golden, Sr.
As well, a Deaconess Ministry was formed. Members have included Lessie Hawkins, Ruth Dyer, Catherine Thomas, and currently Shirley Barbour-Strother, Yvette Care and Sylvia Hawkins-Scott. Associate Deaconess has been Marie Golden, and Nancy Wright.
Sunday School Superintendents have included Winton Estes, William Minor, Joseph Mills, James Jefferson, Woodsie Hawkins, John Allen, Wallace Kennedy, Jr., Clifton Hawkins, Ruth Dyer, and Catherine Thomas.
Church organists have included Frances Minor, Eliza Kennedy, Mable Miller, Hattie Nicholas, Lessie Hawkins (for both senior and junior choirs), Thelma Thomas, and presently Ms. Shirley Barbour-Strother (for senior choir), and Ms. Debbie Terrell (for the Pleasant Grvoe Gospel and men choirs).
On October 22, 1994, the Rev. Shirley H. Chapman of Cobham, Virginia was installed as our Pastor. Today, she still leads Pleasant Grove and has won the hearts of many. Working alongside her is the Rev. Ralph L. Carr. He was ordained on August 14, 2010, and then voted in as the Assistant Pastor by the members in January 2017.
This is the history of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church as told by our forefathers, members and church records. However, there is still more history that was carried in the hearts and minds of the people. Thank God for all the families who have dedicated their lives and have worked tirelessly to give Pleasant Grove a memorable foundation.
We thank God for bringing us this far, and pray that we continue on the path in which God has been leading us, through Faith and Mission.