Our History

13 August 2015
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In 1869, a few dedicated Christians came together in the small community of Friendfield in Florence County, to establish a place of worship. This first place of worship was under a bush harbor.

LED BY A WHITE MINISTER, THE REVEREND JAMES SMITH. THE FIRST DEACONS WERE: JAMES FRANKS, ANDREW BROOKS, PETER BROOKS, CEASAR EADDY, ABNER RUSH, LONZA TIMMONS, ELLISON BROWN, AND STELLMON GIBBS. THE FIRST CLERK WAS MY. JERRY GREEN. THE BUSH HARBOR WAS THE PLACE OF WORSHIP UNTIL MT. HEBRON, A LOCAL WHITE CONGREGATION, BUILT A NEW FACILITY AND DONATED THEIR OLD BUILDING TO THE NEWLY FORMED, MOUNT RONA BAPTIST CHURCH. MOVING FROM THE BUSH HARBOR, THE MEMBERSHIP OCCUPIED THEIR FIRST BUILDING IN 1905, UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF REVEREND J.R. BROOKS. OTHERS WHO SERVED AS PASTORS OF MOUNT RONA WHERE: REVERENDS JAMES R. SMITH, LOMAX CARTER, E.R. ROBERTS (SERVING THREE TIMES)/ R.B. SALTERS, A.J. STREATER, I.W. WILLIAMS, J.L. BROOKS, ISAIAH HAM, E.L. WILSON, JAMES LAW, JAMES LEWIS, T.L. JONES, W.A. JOHNSON, FRANK HAM, JAMES HALL JR., JAMES O. RICH, JAMES WALKER, JAMES BYRD, RALPH CANTY, JAMES ANDERSON, EDWARD CHANEY, WILLIAM N. HUNTER, AND TRUMAN C. TART. ALL OF THESE GREAT LEADERS WERE INSTRUMENTAL IN THE SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENT OF THE CHURCH. ELECTRICITY WAS INSTALLED, STEEPLE WITH BELL TOWER AND CHIME MACHINE ADDED AND NEW PEWS PURCHASED, UNDER THE PASTORSHIP OF REVERNED FRANK HAM. THE FIRST PASTOR’S STUDY AND INSIDE BAPTISMAL POOL WERE COMPLETED UNDER REVEREND JAMES HALL JR. A.LUNCH ROOM WAS BUILD DURING THE TENURE OF REVEREND J.L. LEWIS AND REVEREND JAMES ANDERSON, LED THE CHURCH IN BRICKING THE CHURCH, INSTALLATION OF CARPET, AND INTERCOM SYSTEM. IN 1974, KNOWING HE WAS NEARING THE END OF HIS LIFE, REVEREND WILLIAM HUNTER CALLED THE CHURCH OFFICERS TOGETHER AND RECOMMENDED THAT REVEREND TRUMAN TART BE CONSIDERED TO REPLACE HIM AS PASTOR. HE STATED THAT REVEREND TART WAS YOUNG IN THE MINISTRY AND HAD IMPRESSED HIM AS SOMEONE WITH THE POTENTIAL TO BE A GOOD LEADER. IN 1975, IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE DEATH OF REVEREND HUNTER, REVEREND TART WAS HIRED AS PASTOR. MANY CHANGES AND IMPROVEMENTS OCCURRED DURING REVEREND TART’S PASTORSHIP. THE MAJOR CHANGE WAS WORSHIP FROM TWICE MONTHLY TO EVERY SUNDAY. THE PHYSICAL IMPROVEMENTS INCLUDED STAINED GLASS WINDOWS, PAVED PARKING LOT, PRUCHASE OF ADDITONAL PROPERTY, ADDING OF NEW RESTROOMS AND THE T.C TART FELLOWSHIP HALL. REVEREND TARTS’ VISION WAS TO BUILD A NEW CHURCH. THIS VISION CAME INTO EFFECT AND CONSTRUCTION BEGAN ON THE NEW CHURCH PRIOR TO HIS DEATH IN JULY, 2010. FOLLOWING PASTOR TART’S DEATH, GOD CALLED PASTOR PARISH BROWN TO LEAD THE CONGREGATION, MAKING HIM THE FIRST PASTOR IN THE NEW CHURCH. THE DEDICATION FOR THE NEW CHURCH WAS HELD ON 4/10/2011. PASTOR BROWN HAS PROVEN TO BE A GREAT LEADER HE IS AN OUTSTANDING TEACHER/PREACHER AND IN THIS SHORT TIME OF SERVING, HAS LED THE CONGREGATION IN PAYING OFF THE NEW FACILITY. SUPPORTING MINISTRIES AND INDIVIDUALS OF THE PAST ALSO INCLUDED DEACONS SUCH AS: SHANNON TIMMONS, LEVI TIMMONS, LORENE TIMMONS, JOHN GARY, ARMSTRONG MCALLISTER, MARVIN GARY, JOHN EARL FRANKS, JOHN EADDY, AND OTHERS. SOME OF THE FORMER TRUSTEES WERE MRS. ANNIE RUTH PITTMAN, GERTRUDE SMALLS, THELMA GREGG, BARBARA WILLIAMS, AND SHELTON BLOUNT. AMONG OTHERS WHO IMPACTED THE HISTORY OF THIS GREAT CHURCH WERE: KITTIE MAE TIMMONS, SUSIE EDWARDS, SARAH AUSTIN, JACKIE BRUNSON, HENRIETTA TIMMONS, ROSA PICKEN, SARAH MCALISTER, ANN MCALLISTER, JAMES EDWARDS, LEONA GARY, AND MANY OTHERS.

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