Lee’s Crossroad Missionary Baptist Church History
Following the civil war and freeing of those in slavery, our ancestors felt a need for a place to assemble with other believers of God and those seeking God’s salvation. The exact date when they organized is not known. It could have been as early as 1870. It was in 1881 when Paul H. and Ellen T. Lee permitted the group to meet in a large building located on the present site. They later donated the building and one acre of land to “said parties and their successors as trustees and deacons to be used only as a Missionary Baptist Church known as “Lee’s Crossroad” as recorded in Book H7, page 325 by the Johnston County Registrar of Deeds on December 22, 1898. Thus, the church bears the name of its’ donors.
A record book of church activities dating from 1892 to 1897 (pgs 31-98) shows there were thirty-three (33) female and thirty-one (31) male members in 1893. Fifteen scholars were present for service on October 13, 1895 and three (3) pennies were collected. Some of the members at that time were Cellia & Bryant Morgan, Julian & L. E. Barnes, Clem & Ador Whitley, Asin & Mollie Lee, May Allison, Melvina and Robert Dunston, G. S. Watson, Eller Williamson, J. H. and W. L. Montague, Maggie Watson, W.J. Lee, George
Mitchiner, Rufus Merritt, Joe Heath, Eliza Cook, Cannie Duke G. H. Hinton, S. C. McCullers, C. R. & Hettie Pair and S. H. Heath. A grand rally day was held on the third Sunday in November 1895 with different divines preaching at 11:00 AM, 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM.
Pastors who have led or continue to lead the congregation have been:
B. P. Peterson , pastor in 1895. It is not known if he was the first pastor or not. He is the first on record and at the time when funds were solicited from the public for aid of the church.
Bob Spence, Hence Jones, William H. Mitchell and A. T. Price served up to 1917 in the old big building. Early deacons were Effram Barnes, Latney Montague, Bennett Lee, Bob Horton, Bridges Richardson, Henry Montague, Roman Watson, Aaron Hall and Sidney Heath.
Sylvester Hall,( 1918-1933)
described as a preacher and reacher. It was under his leadership that the old building was torn down and a new one started in 1918. The church grew in membership but the building was left unfinished due to a lack of funds. He died in 1933. Deacons serving with him or ordained by him were Joe Bullock, Ivan Merritt, Samuel Mials, Columbus Bryant, Robert Merritt, Cephus Richardson, Nathan Watson, Barney Watson and David Merritt.
Robert Crockett (1934-1939)
saw an increase in membership. The building was patched, plastered and panes were installed in the windows. His health failed, thus delaying completion by the time of his death in 1939.
E. M. Sanders (1938-1939)
served during the time Rev. Crockett was sick and for a short time thereafter. Steps were placed at the right front entrance.
H. D. Eaton (1939-1958)
was a spiritual and dynamic leader who led the church in phenomenal growth. One hundred seventeen (117) members were added to the roll. The building was completed by adding steps to the left front and right side entrances. Walls were plastered, new top added, woodwork painted, water system installed on grounds and all indebtedness paid off. Ted McFarland and James Robertson were given licenses to preach the gospel. William Lee & Rufus Whitley were ordained as deacons.
George A. Jones Sr. (1959-1964)
led the congregation in spiritual growth. Membership continued to grow. More than thirty-six (36) were added with greater than thirty- one (31) baptized. However, it was a time that church attendance started to decline. The building was under pinned, central heating system installed, and choir stand paneled. Six deacons were ordained; Austin Bryant, Haywood Wilder, Levi Jones, Wes
Hinton, Marvin Spells and Elmore Watson.
Otha Kearnev (1965-1978)
was a gospel preacher, a humble leader who kept the congregation moving forward. The building was remodeled and the front entrance changed. A room was added on each side of the building, back hall added with bath rooms and pastor’s study. Three deacons were ordained, Dorsey McFarland, Leslie Watson and Marvin Hinton. His health declined, resulting in his resignation in June.
Thomas B. Jiles (1978-1980)
continued the spiritual ministry by a significant increase in Sunday School attendance, reactivated the B. T. U., increased worship to bi-monthly by adding the first Sundays and organized a gospel choir. Twenty (20) were added to the roll of which eight (8) were baptized. The building was painted on the outside, finance room partitioned off, paid off mortgage for past renovation, and church became financially sound. He resigned in December.
Arnell Dunn (1981-1983)
was an evangelistic minister & teacher. Thirty-three (33) were added to the roll during his tenure of which nineteen (19) were baptized. Duct vents were added to the heating system, interior painting done. He resigned in January. Twenty-three (23) others
resigned within a ninety day period.
Jeffrey Williams (June 1983-1984)
stressed the need for the church to operate in a business manner by implementing the first budget and constitution by-laws. Eleven (11) were added to the roll of which six (6) were baptized. Ceiling fans were installed. He resigned in August.
Leroy Spells (1985-1993)
continued the ministry for which the church was founded, spreading the word to bring souls to Christ as he shared with and cared for His flock. Fifth Sunday services were added with focus toward the youth and a youth choir was started. Thirty-four (34) were added to the roll of which eighteen (18) were baptized. Minister Dennis Stiles was licensed to preach the gospel. Five (5) deacons were ordained; Rudolph Adams, Lewis Barnett, Jerry Bryant, Frank Watson, and Rudy Watson. The building was renovated, pews upholstered, new kitchen appliances and fund raising started for a fellowship hall. He resigned in September for health reasons.
Edward Washington (1994-1996)
was an advocate for the Sunday School and fostered community race relations. Nine (9) were added to the roll of which five (5) were baptized.William Clayton was ordained. The building was shored up in the back. He resigned in July. The church was without a pastor for the next Twenty (20) months. It was during this time that the fellowship hall was started under the supervision of Deacon Rudolph Adams. The men of this Church, Clyde’s Chapel and various churches in the community donated their time and resources to build the structure.
Gaddies Barnes (1998-2001)
encouraged the church to strengthen the ministries and preached love. The first baptism in the church pool was in January, 1999. Thirteen (13) were added to the roll of which eight (8) were baptized. Minister Dorothy O’Neal was licensed to preach the gospel. She was the first female licensed by the church. The pastor resigned in July.
associate minister in the church, served as Interim Pastor from November 2001 until October 2002. He kept the church on course, preaching & teaching God’s word. Six (6) were added to the roll of which four (4) were baptized. Minister Dorothy O’Neal was ordained.
Rickie Johnson (Oct. 2002 – September 30, 2007)
stressed the need for all members to find a ministry and become more involved, every Sunday services were started and a male chorus organized, re-activated the youth choir, radio ministry was initiated, and youth activities and participation were encouraged. Minister Daisy Adams was licensed to preach in May 2007. Seven (7) were added to the roll of which two (2) were baptized.
Minister Ann Mitchener was our interim pastor from
January – May 17, 2008.
Rev. James Allen ( Aug. 2008 – present)
is our current shepherd, continuing to lead the disciples to glory. He encourages us to be not only hearers of the Word, but doers also. He has an affinity for teaching, which has lead to an increase in Bible Study attendance. To date, twenty-three (23) new adult disciples have been added to the roll, along with 14 youths Ten of these new disciples have been baptized. The church parking lot was paved in early 2009. The church has become computerized and a website was installed and activated. Rev. Daisy Adams became the assistant to the pastor in September 2009. The position of Administrative Assistant was added to the staff and is currently filled by Sister Marjorie Archer. The current deacons are James Rudolph Adams, Jerry Wayne Bryant and Kenneth Watson. LCMBC has added four (4) members to the trustee ministry. Currently serving as trustees are : Roy Bryant, Saundra Bryant, Carolyn McMillian, Norman Lynch, Richard Archer, James Harris, and Clyde Watson.
To God be the glory for the things He has done.