Church History

The History of Second Baptist Church Washington, North Carolina April 30, 2016

During the summer of 1951the First Baptist Church of Washington, NC nominated and elected Hubert Edwards, Paul Waters, Merrill Daniels and Dorsey Welch as a committee to search around for a suitable place to begin a Mission Sunday School. Dr. Wistar Hamilton, Pastor of First Baptist Church, assisted much in the work. One day while driving on East 10th Street, one of the committee members spotted an empty building located on a large lot located on the corner of 10th and Nicholson streets. Upon investigating this building he found it contained several rooms, a large room used as a store, and at the back of this building there were two rooms used as a bedroom and a kitchen. On the side of the building, he found a small room and a bathroom. In the middle of this lot, stood a large beautiful oak tree.

Original Church Building (1954) Original Church Building (1954)

This man, seeing the potential of this property, contacted the rest of the committee. Each was in favor of this property and it was under this beautiful oak tree that they prayed to God for his guiding hand. These men brought back to First Baptist Church, at the regular business meeting, their report. This report was accepted and it was voted upon to look into the matter of finance. Mr. Paul Waters was chosen to look into this matter.

When Mr. Waters checked with a banker (also a member of First Baptist Church) at one of the local banks, he was informed that this venture was not advisable as it was too risky. However, upon hearing this Mr. Waters contacted Mr. Jimmy Roberson, a good friend of his and also uncle of K. R. Roberson (latter a member of our church). Mr. Roberson loaned the amount of $4, 000.00 at 2% interest to purchase the building and property. First Baptist Church was the underwriter of the loan.

The workers that were elected from First Baptist Church to come and begin this work were Merrill Daniels, Hazel Edwards, Stella Manning, Olga Mitchell, Stella Williams, and Maggie Hales. This group cleaned and painted at night for three months to get the building ready. The first chairs used were borrowed from the Masonic Lodge. Then First Baptist Church donated $200.00, and with this money folding chairs and small children’s chairs were purchased. First Baptist continued to give $50.00 each quarter and then $25.00 each quarter until about 1972. We also received one of the pianos from First Baptist Church.

The first Sunday School began the 4th Sunday in October 1951, with 35 present. Mr. Merrill Daniels was the Sunday School Superintendent, having served over 12 years in this capacity at First Baptist Church.

In May 1952, the Sunday School Mission organized as an arm of First Baptist Church. Morning worship services began under the able leadership of Merrill Daniels, who was doing the preaching. Olga Mitchell gave the first communion set in memory of her mother, Mrs. J. T. Hardison. It was a set of two plates and two trays. Merrill Daniels was given the authority from First Baptist Church to preside over the Lord’s Supper.

A Circle was started in the group of ladies and this was affiliated with the WMU of First Baptist Church. In the summer of 1952, Mr. L. Grady Burgiss, the associational missionary from the Roanoke Association in Greenville, brought a tent placed it on the vacant lot. From this tent he conducted a week long revival service, along with Vacation Bible School. He also brought a small organ to be used in the services. By this time the mission was outgrowing their facilities. Four rooms were added to the back of the building at the cost of $350.00. The Builders Club of the Roanoke Association helped to finance this endeavor.

On Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May 1953, the mission had their first wedding. Being united in Holy Matrimony were Mr. Willie S. Edmondson and Miss Sallie Williams. Every year until his death, this couple has visited our church on Mother’s Day to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Mr. Russell Smith, Pastor of Albemarle Church of Christ, a friend of the bridegroom, and Dr. Wistar Hamilton performed the ceremony.

In late summer of 1953, Mr. Burgiss came again with the tent and trailer, which was hooked up to the building, so he, his wife and son could reside there while he conducted the second revival meeting. The first night of the meeting he asked if there was a possibility of borrowing a piano. One was loaned by Stella Warren. During this week a hurricane came this way. Mr. Burgiss stated, “He stayed up all night strengthening the stakes of the tent and keeping the piano covered.”

On the fourth Sunday in October, 1953, the Mission was organized into a duly Constituted Church with 41 Charter members. The following is the minutes of this meeting:

Minutes Of The Organizational Meeting Of The Nicholsonville Baptist Church, Washington, North Carolina October 25, 1953

The meeting opened at 3 o’clock Sunday afternoon, October 25, 1953 at the Church on the corner of Nicholson and 10th Streets. There were more than 100 people present.

With Brother Merrill Daniels presiding, the hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation”, was sung after which responsive reading of Psalm 84 was read by Brother Daniels. Brother Tom Miller led in prayer.

Brother Grady Burgiss, Missionary of the Roanoke Baptist Association, was recognized and took charge of the service, explaining the meeting was called for the organization of a new Baptist Church. Brother Burgiss called for nominations for Moderator of the Council. Upon the nomination by Rev. Wistar Hamilton of the Cherry Point Baptist Church, who was pastor of the Washington First Church until May, 1953, and seconded by Rev. Earle J. Rogers, present pastor of Washington First Church, Brother Burgiss was unanimously elected Moderator of the Council. Brother Earle Rogers nominated Brother William A. Daniels of the First Church Board of Deacons as Clerk of the Council and he was duly elected. Brother Burgiss then called upon Brother Merrill Daniels to state the needs for a new Baptist Church. Brother Daniels stated that a Sunday School was organized there as a branch of First Baptist Church on the last Sunday in October, 1951 with an attendance at that time of thirty-five. He further stated that because of the potentialities of unchurched in the section that the need for a new church was evident. Brother Daniels further stated that the present enrollment of the Sunday School is 114. Brother Burgiss, Moderator, called upon Brother Earle Rogers to make a statement. Brother Rogers spoke of the wonderful spirit at Nicholsonville and the prospects of a great church. Brother Burgiss read the Resolution of Organization for a Baptist Church, after which Brother Merrill Daniels read the names of the charter members who had signed the Resolution. Letters of dismissal from the First Church were read of former members of the First Church and other churches, who were becoming charter members of the Nicholsonville Baptist Church.

Brother E. W. Holmes, Moderator of the Roanoke Baptist Association, read the Covenant which was accepted by the Body. The Articles of Faith were read by Brother Wistar Hamilton. It was moved by Brother Merrill Daniels and seconded by Brother Dick Jefferson that the Articles of Faith be adopted as read. This was unanimously passed.

A motion was made by Brother Merrill Daniels and seconded by Brother John Rochelle that this new organization be a duly constituted Missionary Baptist Church. This was unanimously adopted.
It was then declared a duly organized Missionary Baptist Church by Moderator Burgiss. Brother John Rochelle made a motion, seconded by Brother Dick Jefferson that the name be Nicholsonville Baptist Church. This vote was unanimous.

Upon a motion by Brother Merrill Daniels and seconded by Brother Dick Jefferson, the following Church Officers were unanimously elected:

Moderator ——————- W. H. Jones
Vice Moderator————- W. L. Jones
Clerk————————– Mrs. Tom Miller Treasurer——————— Mrs. Olga Mitchell Custodian——————– John Rochelle
Assistant Custodian——– Joe Leary
Trustees———————- Tom Miller & Albert Roach Deacons———————- (One Year) Tom Miller & Graham Parks

(2 yrs.) John Rochelle & Dick Jefferson

(3 yrs.) W. L. Jones & Merrill Daniels Sunday School Supt.——- Graham Parks

Associate Supt.————- Tom Miller Secretary——————— Mrs. Tom Miller Pianist———————— Mrs. Olga Mitchell Financial Sec.————— Mrs. W. L. Jones B.T.U. Director————- Mr. J. D. Warren Pres. Brotherhood———- Mr. W. L. Jones

Brother Hamilton paid tribute to Bro. Merrill Daniels for his constant leadership and help in leading in the new enterprise. Brother Daniels was Superintendent of the First Baptist Sunday School for 12 years. Upon the suggestion of Brother Hamilton a standing vote of appreciation by the entire group was given Bro. Daniels.

Brother W. B. Harrington of Piney Grove Church made a few remarks stating that God would bless and let this grow into a great Church.

An offering was taken which amounted to $40.86

The hymn, “Bless Be The Tie”’ was sung by the entire group. Brother Earle J. Rogers led in the closing prayer. The right hand of Christian fellowship was extended members of the new Church by the Council. Brother Burgiss then took a picture of the entire group assembled in front of the Church building.

The Charter members of the New Nicholsonville Baptist Church are as follows:

Mrs. J. B. Mitchell Mrs. A. J. Jefferson Mrs. Jesse Manning Mr. A. J. Jefferson

Mr. Dick Jefferson Mrs. Dick Jefferson Mr. Alfred Jefferson Mrs. Alfred Jefferson Mr. Graham Parks Mrs. Graham Parks Mr. John Rochelle Mrs. John Rochelle Mr. S. W. Whitaker Mrs. S. W. Whitaker Mr. W. H. Jones Mrs. W. H. Jones Mr. W. L. Jones

Mrs. W. L. Jones Mr. Joe Leary Mrs. Joe Leary Mrs. Albert Roach Mrs. Albert Roach Mrs. E. L. Johnson

Members of the Council were as follows:

Mrs. James E. Stokes Mr. William Braddy Mrs. William Braddy Mrs. David Barton Mrs. Tom Miller

Mr. Tom Miller
Mrs. J. D. Warren
Mr. J. D. Warren
Mrs. Harold Oehrli Mr. Walter Hodges Mrs. Walter Hodges Miss Andra Edwards Mrs. B. Frank Clark Mr. H. T. Wallace, Jr. Mrs. H. T. Wallace, Jr. Mrs. H. W. Swain

Mr. Lyman Beacham Mr. Merrill Daniels Mrs. I. V. Ferguson

Rev. Wistar Hamilton, Ray J. Lackey, J. A. White, J. D. Dickens and Ralph Beasley of Cherry Point Baptist Church. Rev. John Smith and Robert Paramore of Chocowinity Church. Rev. E. W. Holmes of the Farmville Church. Rev. Earle J. Rogers, William Daniels, James M. Knight, W. D. Welch, Jr., J. D. Clark of the Washington First Church and Rev. L. Grady Burgiss, Missionary of the Roanoke association.

______________________________ William A. Daniels, Clerk

In January of 1954, Thelma Mayo from Rocky Mount, N.C., Assistant Associational Missionary, came to meet with the ladies of the Church at the home of John and Oneda Rochelle. There were over twenty in attendance. Miss Mayo taught the WMU Manual. A few weeks later the ladies met in the home of Albert and Betty Roach to organize a WMU. Mrs. C. S. Graves, President of the WMU of the First Baptist Church met with the group to assist in the organization of a WMU and Sunbeam Band, now called Mission Friends. Also, in January, 1954 the first Pastor was called, Mr. Kenneth R. Casstevens. He was a student of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary at Wake Forest, N. C. He pastored the Church until February, 1955 commuting each weekend. His health did not permit him to do this so his Doctor told him that he must either give up the school or the Church. Since he had only one more year of school, he decided to resign.

The State Mission Board helped the Church for five years with the Pastor’s salary.

The second Pastor called was Mr. Charles Ray Frye who had just graduated from Southeastern Seminary in the spring of 1955. He was called in August of 1955 and began his work here on September 1, 1955. His wife was the former Kathy Bradley.

First Homecoming Dinner on the grounds (1955)

In the fall of 1956 the Church changed the name of Nicholsonville Baptist Church to Second Baptist Church. During this time, the Church grew until the building must be enlarged again! There were six more rooms added to the back of the building, three on each side with a hall down the middle. A Junior Department across the back was also added. Once again the Builder’s Club of the Association helped to finance this expense. The amount of $850.00 was given.

In 1958 the State Mission Board contributed to the Church the sum of $500.00 and during this year the Church was able to pay off the original note on the property with the 2% interest to Mr. Jimmy Roberson. Having been advised by Mr. Paul Waters at the beginning of the Mission Sunday School to begin Building and Loan shares.

These shares had matured and a note burning service was held on a Sunday Afternoon (Fall 1958).

L to R: John Moore (SRBS Director), Rev. Ray Frye (SBC Pastor), Thurman Williams (Deacon), Rev. Earle Rogers (First Baptist Pastor), Albert Roach (Deacon), Paul Waters (Church Friend and Lawyer), John Rochelle (Deacon), Merrill Daniels (Sunday School Director).

During these years Miss Ivey Harmon, a member of the Church, gave her piano. This made three, the Church had bought one and the First Church gave one. This gave each department a piano and Mrs. Olga Mitchell, the first pianist, was kept very busy.

The third Pastor, Mr. Rufus L. Morgan, was called in September of 1959 and began his work here November 15, 1959. During this time plans were beginning to be drawn up in preparation for a new building which was badly needed. However, Mr. Morgan resigned in August of 1962 and moved to New Jersey. The plans were presented to the Church on October 14, 1962.

OCTOBER 14, 1962

Having been elected by the Church to present alternate plans for new structures on the present site, the Planning and Survey Committee is pleased to make the following report and recommendations: First of all, the committee was faced with two big problems which we believe we have overcome. The problem of space was always before us and the problem of providing space without exorbitant cost was a real problem to be solved. We believe we will have provided for us enough space for several years with a beautiful and adequate Sanctuary for worship.

We turned to the plans that have been provided by the Architecture Department of the Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville, Tennessee. These plans were designed for us, to meet our needs, here at Second Baptist Church. We believe these plans are the very best that can be devised at this time. The plans call for a building to be built at the rear of the lot facing Nicholson Street and

extending back to within five feet of the property line adjacent to the Ramsay property. It will be a two story edifice with the lower floor containing the Sanctuary and the top floor containing space for three departments of the Sunday School. This building will be constructed of blocks, brick and redwood. Also on the ground floor will be the present classes for adults and an assembly room. Another department will be adjacent to the present building. The schedule calls for a seating capacity in the Sanctuary of 225 with more space available if needed.

The fourth Pastor, Mr. Oscar O. Turner, was called and came to the Church July 1, 1963. His wife is the former Mildred Hopper. In August of 1963, $40,000.00 worth of Church Bonds was sold to begin the first phase of the new building. A clipping from the Washington Dailey news was entitled “August 28, 1963 Kick-Off Night turns out to be Victory Night.” Second Baptist Church is on the move. What was planned to be “Kick-Off Night” turned out to be “Victory Night”. Last night as Teams started out to complete the selling of the $40,000.00 in 6% bonds, reports were made of progress thus far: When the reports were completed, a total of $36,000.00 had been sold and the remaining $3,100.00 was sold this morning.

Pastor Oscar Turner

A few months later, $20,000.00 in bonds was sold to complete the building. Second Baptist Church is beginning the first building of the two structures to be erected on the lot at Nicholson and 10th Streets. Ground breaking for the first building will be held Sunday at 3pm, with actual construction set to begin Monday AM. The public is invited to the ceremony Sunday afternoon, which is the first Sunday in September.

Believe it or not, a plow was used instead of a shovel.

Groundbreaking Sept 1, 1963 Groundbreaking Sept 1, 1963 (note plow at right in picture)

2nd Second Baptist Church Building (1980’s) Sanctuary in 2nd Building (1980’s)

Second Baptist Church (1980’s)
In October of 1964, the Church was Hostess of the Fall meeting of the South Roanoke

Association. (see picture and write up on another page).

Mr. Turner resigned the Pastorate in 1969 and went home to be with the Lord in January, 1976. The first Sunday in February of 1970, Mr. Leonard Gerald, began his Pastorate and stayed until July 1973. His wife was the former Nancy Smith. In September 1973 Pastor Gerald accepted work with the Baptist Children’s Home of North Carolina.

In 1974, the second Sunday of May, Pastor, Mr. E. C. Reeves, began his work here. His wife is the former Kathryn J. Rich.

Among the Interim Pastors between the times of not having a Pastor, the Church was very fortunate in having such able Leaders as Dr. R. L. Holt from Greenville, N. C. in 1959. Mr. J. R. Everett from September, 1962 through June, 1963. Mr. Percy Upchurch from September, 1973 through the first Sunday in May of 1974.

Now Second Baptist Church has a Mission in Eastern Village, Sunday School, Sunday and Wednesday night’s worship services are held in the Housing Authority Building. Once again under the able leadership of Merrill Daniels, Jesse & Judy Manning, Mrs. Ruth Stevens and Mrs. Stella Manning. All were elected by Second Baptist Church to “go forth, telling the story of Jesus”.

There have been several conversion experiences and several have been baptized in this Church. This work has been in progress now for eight years. Second Baptist has a daughter and the First Church has a granddaughter. If you want to receive a great blessing, just go out to visit the Mission sometime.

Compiled By: Stella M. Warren The original First Typing done by: Mrs. Odell Horton

Pastor E. C. Reeves resigned from the Pastorate on August 21st, 1977 and a retirement reception was held for him and his wife on December 1st, 1977 at Second Baptist Church.

The seventh Pastor called to Second Baptist Church was Rev. Sherwood Allcox. The call was issued in church conference on March 5th, 1978 and Rev. Allcox accepted the call and began his ministry on May 7th, 1978. His wife is the former Frances Williamson. On January 30th, 1983, Rev. Allcox resigned from the Pastorate with an effective date in June, 1983. He will be in semi- retirement and working some in home missions in West Virginia.

Pastor Sherwood Allcox (third from left) at Dedication of new parsonage (1979)

The eight Pastor called to Second Baptist Church was Rev. John Melancon, Jr. The call was issued on May 20th, 1984. His wife is the former Pamela Temple.

Pastor John Melancon, Jr. and his wife the former Pamela Temple (1985)

The ninth Pastor to be called to Second Baptist Church was Rev. William Massey. The call was issued on December 9th, 1990. His wife is Vivian. Pastor Massey obtained his Doctorate Degree while at Second Baptist Church and then took a church in South Carolina.

Interim Pastors in the 1993-1994 timeframe were Rev. John Phillips and Rev. Steve Conerly.

The tenth Pastor to be called by Second Baptist Church was Rev. William I. Gay, Jr. His pastoral duties at the church began on August 1, 1994 and a Service of Installation was held for him on September 18, 1994. His wife is the former Ann Dale. Pastor Gay left Second Baptist Church on September 30th, 1998.

Pastor Bill Gay (1997)

Interim Pastor, Rev. Mack Styron was called by the church on Homecoming Day, October 4th, 1998.

The eleventh Pastor called to Second Baptist Church was Rev. Phillip L. Hayes.
Rev. Hayes’ wife is Della. Pastor Hayes started at Second Baptist as the Interim Pastor in January 1999 and received a called to full time ministry there on August 28, 1999. Pastor Hayes obtained his Doctorate degree while at Second Baptist Church and retired from the Ministry in October 2008.

Pastor Phil Hayes (2001)

The twelfth Pastor of Second Baptist Church was Rev. Scott Setzer. Rev. Setzer’s wife is Crystal. A call was issued in church conference to Rev. Setzer on March 19, 2009. Pastor Setzer resigned from his position as Pastor on November 9, 2014 in order to accept a call as Director of Missions for the South Roanoke Baptist Association.

Pastor Scott Setzer, Crystal, their daughter Hope and son Levi (2010)

Interim Pastor for the November 2014 – October 2015 time period was Dr. Chuck Campbell, a church member.

The thirteenth Pastor of Second Baptist Church is Rev. John Koch. Rev. Koch’s wife is Kay. A call was issued in church conference to Rev. Koch on November 15, 2015. Pastor John accepted the call of the church on November 15th, 2015 and started his full time work at the church on December 6, 2015.

Pastor John Koch and his wife Kay (2015)

Vermont and West Virginia. And in 2011 the church joined in a multi church effort and sent one member as part of a missionary team to the Ukraine. In 2012, the church sent a mission team of 7 members to Guatemala to assist in

Compiled By: Ken Maness Church Historian


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