OUR CHURCH HISTORY
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Our history is full of dedication, devotion, and hope. The New Hope Missionary Baptist Church was founded on June 9, 1909, by Reverend B. J. Henson, who was a member of Corinthians Baptist Church on Kentucky Street in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was president of the Baptist Young People’s Union (BYPU) and organizer of most of the BYPU’s in the Knoxville District.
Reverend Henson took the opportunity to come to Knoxville to look at some property that belonged to Mr. B. J. Sprinkle with the idea of purchasing land to build a church. In the meantime, services were held in the homes of Mrs. Sarah Redmond, Mr. C. H. Olden and Mrs. Climmie Stafford. It was in the home of Mrs. Climmie Stafford that Reverend Henson named the church New Hope at the request of the members.
After a few services in the Stafford house, another building was rented. Then, on Easter Sunday, the congregation started working toward building a church. About 40 to 50 children and adults met that Sunday. The preaching that day began a two-week meeting. The two-weeks culminated laying claim to five new souls.
Believing that God would bless their efforts if they trusted in Him, they went forward with their work of purchasing a lot. A big rally was planned for July 8, 1909, and was held in Davis Grove. (A man named Joe Davis, a curb setter for the city, owned a fine grove in the north part of the city.) The congregation was blessed with $53.00. On August 15, 1909, they gathered once again for the laying of the cornerstone, which was donated by C. H. Olden and R. McGraw. Not only were they successful in completing the building, but they were also successful in increasing the church membership. Overcoming hardships, the congregation moved into the new building on the third Sunday in November 1909.
The church was dedicated under the leadership of Reverend B. J. Henson. On December 26, 1909, the following deacons were ordained: John Nance, C. H. Olden, Rick McGraw, E. L. Olden, Charlie Reed, Tom Woodard, Joe Jennings, Will Blackwell, and Isaac Johnson. The Sunday School Superintendents who served in the early years were C. H. Olden and Lula Middlebrook. John Nance, Mamie Brown, Lula Middlebrook, and Effie Johnson. Lillie Mae Olden served as BYPU officers for several years.
Since the church’s organization, the following men served as pastors: Reverend Ayre Thompson, Reverend Woods, Reverend P. L. Croon, Reverend D. R. Robinson, Reverend B. J. Henson (who was recalled and served until December 1919), Reverend B. Rogers, Reverend Fain, Reverend Allen, Reverend J. M. Tate, Reverend L. H. Harshaw, Revered C. S. Moore (who served over 50 years), and Dr. Joe B. Maddox (who has served since February 1986). There were also three protems who served but were never called as pastor: Reverend Jenkins, Reverend W. M. Johnson and Reverend White. Each pastor, under the leadership of God, served the church in his unique way.
It appears (the record is not clear) that around 1920, a rally was planned and led by Reverend E. J. Cannon. The rally brought many funds, which resulted in the mortgage being burned and the property set free. The burning of the mortgage ceremony was led by Dr. Presnell, a leading physician and financier of the city of Knoxville. Another rally, called “The Churches of Asia,” was steered by Mrs. Lula Middlebrook and assisted by Joe Jennings and Isaac Anderson, resulted in all debts being paid.
There was plenty of work to be done. Those years produced spiritual and physical growth. Reverend C. S. Moore came to New Hope in February 1930, from Brown’s Mountain Baptist Church to serve as pastor. Membership increased from 25 to 200 during his pastorate. The church was completely remodeled and property on both sides of the church was acquired. He proved to be a great leader until he became ill in 1980. Reverend Moore served as pastor emeritus from December 1984 until his death in June 1986. During his many years of dedicated service and leadership, New Hope was blessed with the following sons in the ministry: Reverend J. W. Wilson, Reverend W. O. Lynch, Reverend I. J. Stafford, Reverend O. Toles, Reverend J. H. Breedlove, Reverend J. Woodard, and Reverend Willie Andrews. Reverend David Ware, a member of New Hope, served as “interim pastor” from August 1982 until December 1984.
Our church records have been kept by the following clerks: Sister Emily Curd, Brother Wallace Johns, Rev. I. J. Stafford, Sisters Iva B. Johns, Bessie Sullivan, Marie White, and Melissa Johnson and Aleda Douglass. Others who have served include: Deacons—Brothers W. O. Lynch, J. W. Whatley, E. L. Kinnebrew, Ross Hall, Joe Waters, Willie Andrews, Sr., John Breedlove, J. B. Dave, James Waters, Sr., Ezell Sullivan, William Moore, James Neal, James Jamison, Henry Freeman, Howard Smith, Boyd Stafford, Joe Mitchell, James Gilbert, Melvin Winston, Ruley Brown, Maurice Waters, James Brown, Raymond E. Andrews, Sr., Lawrence Andrews, Daniel Lewis, Daryl Thomas, and William Glanton. Trustees - Brothers L. R. Davis, E. D. Emory, I. J. Stafford, H. D. Reese, Wallace Johns, Richard Davis, Jerry Carter, Joe Price, McBrady Andrews, Jack Winton, James Mack, Raymond E. Andrews, Sr., Raymond E. Andrews, Jr., Joe Downs, Raymond Woods, Melvin Winston, Harrison Curry, and Daniel Lewis. Sunday School superintendents - Reverend W. O. Lynch, Reverend J. H. Breedlove, Deacons Joe Waters, Melvin Winston, Maurice Waters, James Brown, Daniel Lewis, Daryl Thomas, and Gloria Andrews, who is our present superintendent. Treasurers - Sisters Sarah Redmond, Aslee Davis, Vina Turley, Reverend Willie Andrews, Deacons James Neal, William Moore, Brother Richard Davis, and James Brown, our current treasurer.
After being without a pastor for several years, God sent another servant, Dr. Joe B. Maddox, on the third Sunday in February 1986. Dr. Maddox serves New Hope with the conviction of taking Jesus as his example: to teach, preach and lead with authority and personal interest. The program of promoting the Gospel required the continuance of work that had already begun.
During the years that Dr. Maddox has been at New Hope, God has blessed us abundantly. Our church membership is currently is over 300. The budget has grown from $18,000 to over $350,000 annually. In addition to Wednesday night Prayer Service, the word is taught during Sunday School, Bible Study and Teachers’ Meetings. Sunday School attendance and mission work by the Mission Ministry have increased tremendously. Noon Day Prayer Service held every Wednesday. In 1994, the church building on Cecil Avenue was torn down and a new one was built with the front facing Crockett Street. The beautiful sanctuary has a seating capacity of approximately 250 seats. The 1994 rendition (with about 10,000 square feet) is equipped with a new sound system, a fellowship hall that can be divided into two classrooms, a children’s classroom, four bathrooms, a pastor’s study, a business office and a commercial kitchen. The most recent facility (completed in February 2006 and adding about 16,000 square feet of space) has a sanctuary seating capacity of about 500. The building is equipped with new administrative offices, conference room, and a choir department. It also has a new fellowship hall and kitchen, which are to be completed and furnished later. Also to be completed at a later date is the remodeling of the older 10,000-square-foot area for the educational wing.
Since 1994, Dr. Maddox has been retired from his secular employment and is now serving as a full time pastor. The church employs a part-time secretary and assistant secretary, custodian, and several musicians. We also provide van transportation and a radio and television ministry for our members and the community.
While the church was under construction in late 1993 and early 1994, services were held at the Vine Middle School for approximately 8 months.
Several parcels of land have been purchased around the church, to include the J. B. Dave estate. TREASURES
There are many pertinent facts that need to be remembered as part of our church history, however, the occurrence may or may not be chronological.
The first record of Vacation Bible School was in the forties and dedicated church members were the teachers. They planned the activities and had Bible Study. In the fifties, the Knoxville District Baptist Association sent two trained workers each year to work with the Bible School, which lasted two weeks every year and was held in the morning from 9:30 a.m. until noon each week day. Church members donated homemade cookies, sugar, lemons, and kool-aid for refreshments each day. Beginning with the sixties, more mothers started working outside the home and the Bible School was held for one week in the evening from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. The Missionary Society would get a budget from the church to help fund the program and parents continued to donate refreshments. Bible School is now included in the church budget for all planned activities and refreshments.
In the old church, there was a bell in the steeple that one of the deacons would ring every Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. for Sunday School. The bell also tolled before funerals. For such solemn occasions, it only tolled once.
The church furnace blew up in the sixties. We met in the two-room school that was converted into a recreation center located in the back of the church for approximately six months. Everything in the church was damaged with water and soot. The church was cleaned and restored for worship services.
Before purchasing a church van, Deacon Ezell Sullivan, Reverend Willie Andrews, Brother Joe Price, Brother Lacy Davis, and others would volunteer to transport those members needing transportation to and from church. In 1975, God blessed us, and our first van was purchased from TVA (executive vans were being sold to the public).
In 1985, a parsonage was purchased for the pastor. Brother Richard Davis, the treasurer, stated that the Reinhardt house on Cecil Avenue was worth $40,000, however, the house and its furnishings were purchased by New Hope for a cash payment of $27,000. The parsonage was sold in 1993 for about $60,000.
The church celebrated Reverend C. S. Moore’s 50th Pastoral Anniversary in 1980.
The church would take two to three buses to North Carolina, alternating visits between Waynesville, Canton, Sylvia, and Asheville churches each year in the spring. It was a very exciting trip because we would stop at the Indian Reservation to purchase souvenirs and food. We would always have two services and all the choirs would sing. North Carolina would return the fellowship visit in the fall of each year.
Under the leadership of Dr. Maddox, God has blessed us with the following sons of the ministry: Elder Alfred Blount, Elder Jessie Gilbert, and Elder John Ghosten. All of these men are currently pasturing other churches. He licensed Ministers Roy Johnson, Charles Clark. Brandon Williams, and William Glanton. Elder John Underwood and Elder Joe Colquitt are members of New Hope. The late Reverend J. H. Breedlove had also returned to his home church. NO PARAGRAPH For the past few years, God has Blessed New Hope with a continuous physical, spiritual, and financial growth. Several new ministers have united with our congregation, and they are: Reverend Johnny Reid, Elder James Knaff, Elder Michael King (deceased), Elder Adolph Jones, Reverend Louis Thompson (deceased), and Reverend Larry Shearer.
We have shared Tent Revival and Vacation Bible School with Mt. Olive Baptist Church and First Baptist Church of Powell.
The Lord has blessed us with several Ministries. The youth choir has been organized, and music lessons have been offered and taught to several young people. Music lessons have been under the leadership of Sis. Gloria Colquitt, Brothers Tim Bolden, Dane Johnson and Minister Brandon Williams. Music lessons are being offered in partnership with the Mt. Olive Baptist Church Music Academy, where Reverend Dr. Kelly Miller Smith, Jr., is the Pastor. Ninety-nine (99) years have passed since the founding of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church and we are doing God’s will—telling the good news that He died, was buried and rose again (He Lives) just for you and me.
“THANK YOU LORD”