Mount Moriah History 1831-1931
Mount Moriah Church had its beginnings when a non-denominational group erected a building in 1831 on the present site of this building and began to hold services. When a preacher was available a notice would be sent around the community stating that services would be held the following Sunday at Mount Moriah. Sometime prior to 1834, Mrs. Busbee was given the responsibility of selecting a preacher for this group and she recommended that Brother P. W. Dowd, a Baptist minister, be called to preach at the church. Brother Dowd served the church from 1834 to 1836.
The minutes of the Raleigh Baptist Association, held in 1839 at Muddy Springs Meeting House, Moore County, show that the church was established in 1834. It had a total membership of 19 and sent $1.50 to the association as a contribution.
The letter sent to the association the following year, 1840, reported 51 baptisms, 7 received by letter and 1 excluded, the total membership being 76. The first church building provided space on the east side for the use of the Negro members. Their numbers reached 47 in 1866, but by 1870 there was only one Negro member. He kept his membership at Mount Moriah until he died. There are a number of Negro members buried in the central part of the church cemetery. Dick Baucom, the one remaining Negro member, led a movement to establish a church of their own. The white Baptists helped to purchase a lot and assisted in supplying material for a log structure which became Springfield Baptist Church.
In Mount Moriah's early days services were held on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning on the first Sunday of each month. The Saturday service, which began at 11 o'clock, was followed by a conference at which time the vigilance committee reported on the conduct of the members. Anyone who strayed from the standard of conduct, as set up in “The Rules of Decorum,” and had failed to ask for forgiveness through this committee, was tried by the church. These trials sometimes lasted until sunset. Revival services for many years were held the first week in August with morning and afternoon services and dinner on the ground. The time element did not enter into the consideration of the proper length of these services.
There was no musical instrument in the church until about 1885. The hymns were pitched by means of a tuning fork. The first organist to serve in that capacity was Mrs. Eva Baucom Pool. The decision to purchase an organ caused considerable discussion among the members.
At least fourteen members of Mount Moriah Church saw service in the Confederate Army. All of them lived to return to their homes.
In 1897 Mount Moriah members set aside a day, “Arbor Day,” on which all members planted a tree in the church grove. This group did not realize how much this would mean to the church. Years later, in 1912 when a new church was to be built, much of the lumber used in the building came from the trees in the grove.
Many of the people you will meet attending Mount Moriah Church each Sunday are descendants of the early settlers of the community. Names like Poole, Baucom, Stallings, Johnson, Avery, Jones, Powell, Honeycutt, Smith, Gower, Penny, and Dodd are very well remembered here. Also Sturdivants, Woodalls, Branches, Barringtons and Brummits have played an important part in the life and early history of Mount Moriah.
When the Raleigh people were building what is now the Tabernacle Church (then known as Second Baptist) they asked us for help. We responded by paying for the windows in their church. Mount Moriah helped build other churches and some of our members became charter members of these churches: Swift Creek, Garner, and Bethlehem.
Mount Moriah was a small church, but with dedicated Christians working it was growing in grace and love for the Lord. The church was in the Raleigh Association from around 1839 until 1903 when the Johnston Association was formed. After 56 years in the Johnston Association, the church voted to return to the Raleigh Association in 1959.
The women of the church were very active in the work of the Lord. The Woman's Missionary Society was organized and was holding regular meetings in 1905. They organized the Sunbeam Band in 1906, Royal Ambassadors in 1910, Girls Auxiliary in 1928, and the Young Woman's Auxiliary in 1935. During the flu epidemic of 1918 the W.M.S. was disbanded. It was reorganized in 1923. The Treasurers yearly report for 1906 shows the W.M.S. gave $7.00 towards the purchase of a clock for the church. This is the same clock we use in the church today, 100 years later.
In 1914 when the new church building was completed, Mr. Icana Pool, chairman of the building committee, reported the church was built at a cost of $3,305.73. This amount was paid in full. In 1915 new pews were bought and pulpit furniture was acquired, except for the pulpit lectern. This was built and hand carved by a cabinet maker in Selma who gave it to the old church. This beautiful lectern is still in use at the beginning of the 21st century. The church was heated by two large iron stoves. Much of the wood used to heat the building came from the grove. This building served the members until 1997 when it was condemned due to termite and hurricane damage.
B.T.U. (Baptist Training Union) was organized in 1915 and for many years was the primary training tool for members. In 1921 the deed to the Mount Moriah schoolhouse, located across the road from the church, was given to the church. The schoolhouse was renovated in 1925 at a cost $4,370.06 and used as a parsonage. Mr. R.H. Hall was the first pastor to live there.
In 1922 lights were installed in the church at a cost of $138.00.
Photos - 1831-1931
Mount Moriah History 1932-1957
In January of 1934, at the request of the pastor, W. O. Andrews and the deacons, a choir was organized. In a period of two weeks, a 25 voice choir was ready for service. As the work of the Lord increased and membership grew, the need for more room led the church to add an educational building and a baptistery. The new baptistery was first used on Sunday night, September 22, 1946. In 1953 the beautiful baptistery painting of the Jordan River was given to the church by the Ferrell family.
In 1947 when Mr. M. M. Johnson became pastor, the church went on full-time. In the past, for years, services were held on the 1ST and 3rd Sundays of the month. Now services were held every Sunday morning and evening.
The Christian Flag and the U. S. Flag were purchased by the church in 1948.
In 1949 the church voted to install a gas heating system, donated by the members at a cost of $1500.00. That same year Mr. John Honeycutt was influential in securing the bell of the Junior Order of Auburn when they joined the Junior Order of Garner. Mr. Roy Baucom and his intermediate boys Sunday School Class installed the bell in the belfry of the church. The first Bible School was held in the summer of 1949.
Several members of the church have given themselves to full time Christian service. Dr. Willie Powell, President of the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board and pastor of the First Baptist Church of Nashville, Tenn.; Dr. Frank Poole, who taught Bible at Wake Forest and at his death was head of the Bible Department at Furman University; Dr. Douglas M. Branch, served the BSC as First-Vice Pres., President, and as General Secretary; Mr. Claude Gower, Minister; Brother Rommie Gower, Moderator of the Raleigh Association for 25 years; W.F. Woodall, pastor in Western North Carolina, and at present one ministerial student, Harold Powell. (Date 1948)
The windows in the church were clear glass until 1952 when a committee was organized to investigate the possibility of securing memorial windows. During the week of November 3, 1952 the beautiful memorial windows were installed and a dedication service followed.
In 1955 the church bought nine acres of land adjoining the church grove at a cost of $200 per acre. In 1956 a portion of this land was used to build a new brick parsonage. It was completed in 1957. The pastor at the time was Mr. A.C. Phipps. He was the last pastor to occupy the old parsonage and the first to occupy the new one. In 1955 the Sunday School Board of the Convention recognized Mount Moriah as having a Standard Sunday School. Mr. Leland Poole was superintendent.
Photos - 1932 to 1957
Mount Moriah History 1958-1983
Mount Moriah members voted to have the first Easter Sunrise Service on Easter, 1960 with Mr. James West, the new pastor, directing the service. This tradition continues. In May 1960 the family of Mr. Jim Lane, in his memory, gave the church a Baldwin Chapel Organ. The organ was given in May and a dedication service was held on July 3, 1960. Also in 1960, a recreation committee was formed to plan and guide the total recreation program of the church.
The first Communion Service, a silver pitcher and two silver goblets, was given to the church by Mr. Troy Baucom. Some of our older members remember the services when a goblet was passed on each side of the church and everyone took a sip. In 1927 the Communion Service underwent a great change. A new service was bought, a round waiter holding many small glasses. Everyone would take a glass and the bread was passed on a silver plate. The Communion Service now used by the church was purchased in 1972. Observance of Communion has been and continues to be a very sacred service.
In 1961 the Brotherhood was organized and has served the church and community in many ways since that time. The Brotherhood sponsors the Royal Ambassadors, (R.A.) In 1962 the church approved a motion to start a building fund. Minutes from that conference reported Sunday School enrollment of 313 with average attendance of 193. The Langston family, in 1964, gave in memory of Mrs. Rosa Langston, the cherry trees planted along the front of the property line. Every year they usher in the spring with their beautiful and fragrant blossoms.
In 1966 a new educational building and fellowship hall were completed. In 1967 the church voted to employ a part-time secretary and in 1972 established a church office. An organ and piano were purchased by the church in 1973, adding much to our worship through music.
In 1974 the church called Dr. Henry C. Dollar as pastor and in 1975, under his leadership, a senior citizen club was formed. The LLL Club (Live Long and Like it) has been a great blessing to seniors and to the church.
In 1975, during Homecoming services, an access ramp for the handicapped was dedicated. In 1832 the membership was 19. Today (1975) the membership is 553. After 143 years God's lighthouse on the hill is still sending its light to the world.
In 1981 a staff position of Minister of Youth was established.
In celebration of its sesquicentennial, on October 17, 1982 at the Homecoming service, church members dressed like their forefathers, sealed two time capsules filled with church history, photos, and memorabilia and buried them on the church grounds. One capsule is to be opened in 2032 and the other in 2082.
Photos - 1958 to 1983
Mount Moriah History 1984-2006
In November, 1986 the church voted to sponsor two Montagnard families. These were from the mountain region of Vietnam and were especially helpful to our troops in the war effort. After the war, they were persecuted by the new government and many were killed. A church member provided a rental house for these refugees and the church family helped them to learn the ropes of their new society.
In 1987 the deacons recommended and church approved the establishment of two Sunday morning services. The first service started at 8:30 a.m. with Sunday School and second service remaining the same.
In 1988 the church established a Long Range Planning Committee and elected 13 members to plan for the rapidly changing needs of the church with respect to classroom space.
In 1990 a motion to initiate a building fund was passed and the fund was established with a goal of $100,000 to be reached before construction start. By the end of the year approximately two thirds of fund goal was donated.
Due to increasing involvement of the church in community missions, a Missions Committee was established in 1991 to oversee and enhance the total missions program of the church. Through the leadership of this committee the church has reached beyond the immediate community to minister to victims of natural disasters in our state and nation, and has gone to an impoverished state of the former Soviet Union to help believers build a church and to encourage them in the faith. In 1996 the church purchased a construction trailer to be used for the construction ministry. Mission trips to other countries, such as Jamaica and Brazil, have been sponsored and many members have given, and continue to give, their time, their labor, and their means to carry out our Lord's command.
In 1992 the church approved construction of a two-story, 8000 square foot educational building, including a kitchen and fellowship hall, at a cost of $430,000. A giving program was established with member pledges above the regular tithes and offerings, which would retire the debt in three years. Sunday School membership grew to 393.
In 1994 the new educational building was dedicated. It was comprised of eleven classrooms, four bathrooms, kitchen, fellowship hall, and a covered walkway.
In 1997 a Handbell Choir was begun and has blessed our worship through music.
In the fall of 1997 the church family received the sad news that our beloved sanctuary was beyond repair due to termite and hurricane damage. After the initial shock the church set about to seek God's will in going forward with replacing the sanctuary. On April 18, 1999 the congregation gathered to say goodbye to our 87 year old sanctuary.
The Rev. Charles L. McMillan, interim pastor, led the service.
The necessary committees were formed, funding was secured, and construction began.
Our new sanctuary was dedicated on December 17, 2000. A celebration service was held on March 25, 2001. Dr. Hal Bilbo, pastor, led the service. A new era of worship and service began, and continues today.
Other additions to the educational building were made when the new sanctuary was built: four new bathrooms, a youth suite, library, three new classrooms, and a choir room.
In July, 2001 the church entered into a partnership with three other churches (Central, White Oak, and Clyde's Chapel), The Johnston and Raleigh Associations, the Baptist State Convention of N.C., and the North American Mission Board to intentionally plant a new church, The Church at Clayton Crossings, in the Riverwood community of Johnston County in order to reach the lost and unchurched so we might fulfill the biblical and Kingdom mandate to “go into all the world.” Five families from Mount Moriah went out as charter members to the new church. In 2003 The Church at Clayton Crossings reported 15 baptisms, 18 first time faith professions, average worship attendance of 100, and $18,000 given to missions. Growth continues and in 2006 weekly worship attendance is 300. Praise God!
In 2001 our church experienced God in a powerful way through Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames, an evangelistic drama. We saw 77 persons call on Christ as Savior.
On September 2, 2003 a Christian Preschool was established at Mount Moriah, ministering to preschoolers of members and others in the community.
Members devoting themselves to full time Christian ministry during these years are Ed Rose, pastor of Central Baptist Church, Wendell, N.C.; Brian Phillips, Youth Director, Antioch Baptist Church, Middlesex, N.C.; Diane Cox, Chaplain, WakeMed of Cary, N.C.; Andy Brown, Christian counseling at House of Hope and Clayton Counseling, Clayton, N.C.; and Pete and Billie Jean Williams. The church commissioned three short-term missionaries: Jim and Toye Creel, and Eva Jones.
Photos - 1984 to 2006