On July 13, 1824, David Nickens, Elder William White, DD of the Deer Creek Presbyterian Church and Rev. Nathan Cory, a Baptist, met with several African American citizens at the Nickens home with the purpose of organizing a
The new church adhered to the strictest moral standards. Drinking alcohol was not allowed, working on Sunday was not permitted, and persons living together must be man and wife. Women who bore children out of wedlock were also censured. Members were required to attend church and forbidden to take part in “worldly plays.” Many of the new members were skilled craftspeople and workers and were property owners in the community. On July 5, 1832, Nickens and his congregation joined with the congregation of the
Prior to the Civil War, the congregation was instrumental in providing education for the young people of the community. Rev. John R. Bowles and Mrs. A.E. Chancellor were early teachers operating a school in the church building. Members of the congregation excelled in the field of music. In the 1850’s, Rev. Bowles organized a choral group with James D. Hackley as the director. Hackley’s fine tenor voice was well suited for leading songs for this group and the choir was considered the finest in southern
In 1867, the congregation purchased a brick structure at
The late 19th century found the Sunday School Department of the church active and the Sunday School meeting regularly with sister churches in the Second District Sunday School Convention. Ministers serving in the latter part of the 19th century were: Rev. Jesse Meeks, Rev. Isaiah Redman, Rev. H.H. Butler, Rev. John W. Carter, and Rev. Wallace Shelton for the second time, Rev. H.H. Williams, Rev. A N Howe, Rev. H. J. Storts, Rev. J. F. Walker, and Rev. Henry Randolph.
The church was quite active in community affairs during the 20th century. The congregation affiliated with the Ohio Baptist Association and the Eastern Union Baptist Association. The congregation purchased a parsonage and both properties adjacent to the church. Other improvements to the church structure were made and the auxiliaries of the church flourished.
The following devoted leaders served the congregation in the 20th century: Rev. P. H. Hill, Rev. B. S. Merchant, Rev. Forest Mitchell, Rev. Charles Douglas, Rev. W. H. Reynolds, Rev. A.L. Dooley, Rev. Melvin Woodard, (20 years), Rev. Bernard Cooper, Rev. Paul Schooler, Rev. J. A. Outlaw, Rev. Donald Thompson, Rev. Melvin Woodard (10 years), and Rev. David Tanneyhill.
An era of progress seems likely in the 21st century. To date the following progress can be noted. In 2002, a new structure was erected and dedicated. It houses a convocation hall, a new kitchen, as well as office facilities. The lower floor of the new structure houses a clothing bank, nursery, computer room, assembly hall, and classrooms. In 2006, the former Fellowship Hall was refurbished and re-dedicated as “Woodard Hall”. Changes were made and the church ministries expanded to include a Van Ministry, Children’s Church, Children’s Nursery, the addition of 2 Sunday Services, Mass Choir, Praise Team and the establishment of a Scholarship Fund. Several existing ministries that continued to grow include the Missionary Society, Usher Board, Deacon Board, Deaconess Board, as well as the Trustee Board.
Rev. Jonathan McReynolds served as pastor for the first seven years of the century. In January of 2009, Rev. Michael Alston of
Rev. Eric Carson, of Columbus, Ohio was called to the pulpit in April of 2014.