The first to minister in North Carolina
1742 – Mr. Henry Sater deeded an acre of land to Henry Loveall, the first pastor of the Chestnut Ridge congregation for a church site, because the church had been organized in Sater’s home. Sater had come to America from England and had purchased land about nine miles northwest of Baltimore Town. He frequently cared for travelers, quite often Baptist ministers, who would be invited to preach. Being encouraged by the numbers in attendance, this sincere Christian erected a place of worship on his own land at his own expense. The church was organized with fifty-seven members. The church covenant began: “We…the professors of the Gospel of Christ, baptized on a declaration of faith and repentance, believing the doctrine of general redemption (or free grace of God to all mankind), …bind and settle ourselves into a Church.” It was signed on July 10, 1742, and the church continued on until the Revolutionary War. The church began as the Chestnut Ridge Church, but was later known as the Sater’s Baptist Church. The pulpit was temporarily filled by George Eglesfield of Penn., and later by Paul Palmer, whose ministry resulted in nine baptisms, who was also the first to minister the Word in N.C. as early as 1720. However, Henry Loveall, from N.J. is regarded as the first pastor, who baptized forty-eight converts in the four years that he was there. This activity was made possible because in 1649 the Colonial Assembly, through the inspiration of Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, passed an act of religious toleration. Though it was not as expansive as R.I., it did allow Baptists the right to exist. [ George F. Adams, A History of Baptist Churches in Maryland (Baltimore: J.F. Weishampel Jr., 1885), p. 27. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. pp. 628-30.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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First Baptist Church in Louisiana
1812 – Was the likely date that the first Baptist church was organized in Louisiana. Most believe that Rev. Ezra Courtney founded the church, with the help of two laymen, Joseph Lewis and Joseph Irwin. Its name was The Half Moon Bluff Baptist Church and it functioned until about 1870 when it ceased to exist. The oldest church in the state with a continuous history is the Calvary Baptist Church in Evangeline Parish, near Bayou Chicot, that was organized on Nov. 13, 1812. Joseph Willis, a mulatto who was a licensed Baptist preacher, had labored with Richard Curtis in Miss. He courageously crossed the Mississippi River as early as 1804 and began to preach wherever he could gain a hearing. It was this effort that the church was started. Willis was used of God in establishing churches in five other towns. Other men of God joined him in his labors on Oct. 31, 1818 in Cheneyville and organized the Louisiana Baptist Association. When Baptists first entered the territory of Louisiana, the law of the land provided, that religious services could be conducted only by Roman Catholic priests. The territory had been in the hands of France by Treaty from Spain since Oct. 1, 1800 so Romanism had total control when the U.S. made the Louisiana Purchase of 885,000 for $15 million on April 30, 1803. The first record of Baptists going into the state was when Rev. Bailey E. Chaney from S.C. went from the Natchez in Mississippi into eastern Louisiana or West Florida in 1798. He was arrested and imprisoned in Baton Rouge. In time he was released but not allowed to establish a church. [William Cathcart, The Baptist Encyclopedia (Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881, 2:718. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 559-60.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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From Start to Finish
The Greater Marshall Memorial Baptist Church was organized in this community as the Progressive Baptist Church by the late Rev. W. H. Marshall on February 17, 1952. There were six members in the church’s organization.
One of the first worship places was a garage across the street on Northeast 16thStreet. Later the congregation moved to some lots on Northeast 17th Street where Rev. Marshall erected a one-room structure, which was used during the winter months.
Rev. Marshall began construction on the first church building in 1953, on the same lots in which the building stands today, and made improvements on the building from time to time until we had a modest and comfortable place to worship. During that time, Rev. Marshall was also the pastor of the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church located at 612 N. Massachusetts, a church that he organized and built in 1937.
As a builder of buildings and of souls, Rev. Marshall worked untiringly, but he was limited in time and finance. When the Lord called him home on January 10, 1964, he had not been able to fulfill his dream of the type of edifice he thought the Lord’s house should be. His funeral was the first to be held in the church that he had organized, built, and pastored.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from the “History of the Greater Marshall Memorial Baptist Church”