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Our Church History

From its humble beginning in December, 1951 to the present time, the history of Sharon Heights Baptist Church can be called a “miracle of faith”. Faith gave way to a vision by Rev. & Mrs. A. T. Wood, Paul Wood, Ronald Wood, Ina Faye Wood, Fred Wolfe, Sr., Lora Wolfe, Fred Wolfe, Jr., Allen Wolfe, Ethel Pickle, Porter Pickle, Lois Burr, Lena Pickle, Robert Black, Earline Black, Joe Colburn, Mary Ann Colburn, Ralph Wolfe, and Mildred Wolfe. The vision became reality on April 20, 1952, when the first pastor, Rev. A. T. Wood, preached the first sermon in the new church building at the present site. Sunday School, Church Training, and W.M.U. were already organized and growing. By 1954, enrollment in Sunday School has increased to 50 and Church Training to 30.

In October, 1954, the church welcomed Bro. Harry Stewart as pastor. Two years later, Bro. Richard Waddell accepted the call as the third pastor. In October, 1958, Bro. Charlie Turner began his pastorate and continued until January, 1963. During 11 years of faithful service by church members, God has blessed us with 41 additions to the church; however, the “faithful ones” were not satisfied – they wanted to grow – spiritually and numerically. Re-organizational plans called for a new Educational Building and pasorium. Work began on the Educational Building on April 10, 1963, and was paid for by July, 1966. With that love of Christ and a deep abiding faith, the curch obtained a loan for and built a pastorium. Pastor Marvin Jackson moved into the new facility. Bro. Rayborn Sutherland served as the fifth pastor for a short time after Bro. Turner resigned. By 1966 GA’s abd RA’s were organized and mission gifts grew to $599.66. Bro. Gerald Hodges was pastor. Sunday School had reached 82 and Chruch Training at 52. Bro. J. W. Stitcher, Jr. came as pastor in October, 1968 and resigned in January of 1970.

Continued blessing came with the purchase of an organ and remodeling of the auditorium. Bro. S. R. Anderson was called as pastor in January, 1970. With the note on the pastorium paid off, the Building Fund was now to be used to build a new auditorium and baptistery. March 11, 1973, saw the first services held in the new auditorium. The first baptismal service followed in August. Another gaint step in faith came with the calling of the first full-time pastor, Bro. Wayne Pinegar, on October 21, 1973. Additional improvements to the building came: the building was bricked, the church front was finished, a steeple erected, and carpet was installed. Bro. Pinegar resigned in January, 1979, and the church called Bro. W. E. Hatley Jr. in July of 1979.

Mission gifts hit record high in 1985-86 with $3,632.69 being contributed for Lottie Moon Christmas Offering; $2,368.00 for Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and $159.00 for Kathleen Mallory State Missions. Facilities at this time included a three-story educational building, a recreation area behind the church, paved packing lot, modern office equipment, and dependable transportation in form of two vans and a bus. Sunday School enrollment was 300; Church Training had an enrollment of 164. Sunday worship included a children’s workship and extended session for children of all ages. Our future plans were to enlarge and remodel the sanctuary. “To God be the Glory, Great Things He Has Done” is the theme for that “miracle of faith” that has taken place over the past 35 years.

Over the period of the next five years we had noticeable changes take place. (1) The sanctuary had been renovated and enlarged almost doubling its seating capacity. (2) 56 acres of land across the road were purchased for future expansion – at a price of $156,000. (3) Sunday School had an average attendance of 141 and Discipleship Training was at an average of 72. (4) Missions giving had reached new heights with $7,700 for Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, $4,150 for Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, and $250 for Kathleen Mallory State Offering. (5) The ministerial staff had increases with the addition of Bro. Randy Mahaffey as Associate Pastor. (6) Missions outreach had exploded as: the youth served as Frontliners with the Kelly Green Evangelistic Association for three years and had led 170 plus to Christ and mission volunteers have gone to Israel, South Africa, Russia, Alaska, Hawaii, and South Texas to serve in various capacities; the men’s softball team had won three straight State Brotherhood Championships and represented both our church and State in the National Tournaments.

On October 4, 1993, our church offically celebrated its 40th anniversary. That “miracle of faith” begun 40 yeras ago, marched throughout this becade of the nineties with a prayer in our hearts and a song on our lips of “To God Be the Glory, Great Things He Hath Done!”

1993 – 1997 As we march on through the nineties, over the period of the next five years brought several more changes. (1) Staed in the February 1994 minutes it is recorded that the 56 acreas of Land is paid in full. This is recorded as thuly a historical event in the history of our church. (2) A planning committee was formed to plan our future move to a new building across the street. (3) In July of 1995 the church voted to call Bro. Bill Garner as Minister of Education. (4) Rev. W. E. Hatley Jr. resigned after 16 years of service at Sharon Heights. (5) Rev. Randy Mahaffey also resigned. (6) September 1996 Rev. John Killian was called as pastor. (7) Bro. Jason Dunlap was called as Minister of Singles and Youth. (8) By the end of 1997 Mission Offerings were at $6,500 for Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and $7,500 for Lottie Moon Christmans Offering. (9) Sunday School had an average attendance of 140 and Discipleship Training had an average of 65.

1998 – 2002 The next five years also brings with it more changes. (1) With great sadness Mrs. Janice Bensko resigned as Music Director. (2) October of 1998 we welcomed Rev. Bob Wood as pastor. (3) Jere Bensko was called as Part-Time Music Director. (4) In June of 1999 Bro. Bill Garner resigned. (5) In February of 2000, Bro. Jason A. Dunlap was called as our 14th pastor. (6) Vinyl siding and new gutters were placed around the eves of the church and a new roof was put on. (7) In January of 2001 the church authorized to have a survey sone of the land across the street at a cost of $2,500 to begin planning for the building of a new church. (8) A special “Thank You” was given to Leslie Walker and Michelle Creel for the drawing and painting of the scene in the baptistery. (9) In October of 2001 the church voted to hire an architect, Mr. Rodney Sartain, to assist in the drawing of the Master Plan. (10) In December of 2001 3 new deacons were ordained. (11)By 2001 Mission Offerings were at $7,500 for Annie Armstrong Easter Offering and $10,000 for Lottie Moon Christmas Offering; Sunday School had an average attendance of 200 and Discipleship Training had an average of 120. (12) In March of 2002, the Master Plans were presented to the church. There were 5 phases to the building before the final building will be completed. This will be done as we grow and the need is there. Again “To God Be The Glory, Great Things He Hath Done!” as this “miracle of faith” continues may God Bless in the years to come.