History Of Good Hope Baptist Church
Good Hope Baptist Church was organized in 1860. Members banded together to form a Baptist Church. They were James &
Nancy McFarland, Brack & Elizabeth Hill, Martha McFarland, A. K. & Jane Whitlow. The James McFarland family donated
2 1/2 acres of land for the site of the Good Hope Baptist Church. Due to the Civil War this little group did not accomplish their goal. In the records we find there were some meetings held in the Pretty Bob Schoolhouse. Rev. W. B. Lawler came as pastor and served for 12 years. There were 19 conversions which resulted in reorganization of Good Hope Baptist Church in August 1865.
Charter members were the seven named previously and the following, John Peelor, Mark Roark, Daniel Thorton, Joseph &
Sara McFarland Parks, Ellen McFarland Allcorn, Dee McFarland Jennings, Mary Terrill, William C. & Calprena Simmons,
Mary Renfro, Nancy Jean Coale and Alec & Catherene Hill. In 1867 when the first church was built A. K. Whitlow and
church members did a great deal of the work. In the 1870's & 1880's we do know some large revivals were held with
35 to 70 conversions.
In 1895 the members decided to build a new larger building at the cost of $1200.00. This new church building was a large
beautiful structure that would seat 200. W. C. Greer was the building chairman. The church was completed and dedicated
on May 19, 1895.
In the 1928 history of the Tebo Baptist Association the church was valued at $3000.00 and had a membership of 115 with
Sunday School and B.Y.P.U. We had three preachers to feel the call of God, and be ordained and sent out by our church.
They were Harris Wilkerson, Lee Penny and W. S. Weir, he also served the church as pastor.
First records we have of Women Missionary Society is in 1935, with Mrs. T. A. Law as president. Down through the years we
have had Brotherhood, Young Women Auxiliary, Acteens, G.A.'s , R.A.'s. Sunbeams and Mission Friends. God truly blessed our
church through each of these organizations. In 1949 G. E. Rittenhouse was called as our pastor and was ordained by our church.
In 1950 & 1951 Good Hope became the Mother church to Parks Chapel Missions. Rev. Cornelius as our pastor, working with Rev. C. J.
Ford Associate Missionary the church was establish. Rev. Raymond Rukes as their pastor.
In 1954 under the direction of Rev. Ervin Benz, our pastor, we dug and finished the basement under the church for the oil
furnace and classrooms. We celebrated our Centennial in 1960 under the direction of Rev. Bryon Atkinson, our pastor.
In 1964 Rev. Wayne Williams was ordained by our church, Rev. Wayne Williams is a great grandson of W. C. Greer who planned
and built the old church building. Rev. Wayne Williams was pastor of Good Hope from 1980-1985. In 1964 Rev. Harold Norfleet
was called to be our pastor. We had a tent revival at Coal with the help of Tebo & Parks Chapel Church.
The Church was feeling a need to move from a very quiet place in the woods to the highway where people could see God's
house and be drawn to his worship service. On June 7, 1967 under God's leadership with Rev. Harold as pastor the church voted to build a new building. Mr & Mrs. Ralph Lane
donated 1 1/2 acres of land for the new church building. The site of the church would be at the junction of 7 & U Highways.
Bill Whitlow was chairman of the building committee. He is the great grandson of A. K. Whitlow who was instrumental in building the
first church in 1867.
The cost of our new building was $30.000.00. It was built in 1968 and dedicated on November 10, 1968.
October 1969 Elvin Fowler, Glen Howell and Melvin Dennis were ordained as Deacons. February 1999 our deacons were honored at
a Valentine's Banquet.
Elvin Fowler, Ralph Lane, Glen Howell and Larry Johnson are still serving as our present deacons. Elvin Fowler is our oldest
active member. He is a descendant of charter member W. C. Simmons.
In 1970 we purchased a bus and began our bus ministry.
In 1972 & 1973 with Rev. Paul Midgett as pastor we entered into a share ministry with Parks Chapel Church.
In 1974 the church felt the need for a parsonage and land was donated again by Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Lane. The parsonage was built
and dedicated on November 5, 1974.
We had a note burning service November 12, 1978 as our church was paid off. Rev. R. T. Dismuke was our pastor.
In November of 1987 at our regular business meeting, it was decided to have a 20 year Celebration for the Anniversary of being
in our present building and combine it with a Homecoming.
In 1989 we upgraded our parsonage by redecorating and adding a utility room and garage.
In 1993 Rev. Harold Norfleet returned to be our pastor. In 1994 we had a service of "This Is Your Life" for Rev.
Harold Norfleet. This was in honor of his 45 years off being in service for his Lord as a Christian Minister.
In 1998 as our parsonage was sitting idle our Helping Hands and Food Pantry was organized with Cheri Staton as coordinator.
Our last two revivals have been great, we have had 14 children and youth making a profession of faith and two youth dedicated
to Christian Ministry. Scott Braun was one of the youth who dedicated his life to God's Service. Last Sunday February
11, 2001 during morning worship service Good Hope Baptist Church licensed Scott Braun to preach the word of God. Scott
is the great, great, great grandson of Mr. & Mrs. William C. Simmons who were charter members of the first church.
In 1999 we felt the need for more classrooms we were praying for God's leadership toward our Educational Wing. In July God blessed
us through our Vacation Bible School. We had 82 children and 34 workers in 100 degree temperatures. We prayed for more
classrooms before next years Vacation Bible School. God answered our prayers.
In August a survey was taken to see what improvements the members felt needed to be made. In September a building committee was
appointed to check on the cost of building an Educational Wing. After much prayer and guidance from the Lord we voted
to enter into a building program. Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Lane donated the additional land needed to get the project started.
Ground breaking was November 14, 1999 for the Educational Wing that would be added to our church, which was originally
constructed and dedicated November 10, 1968. We started building, in the spring of 2000 and were grateful that Jim Price
agreed to be our contractor. We are so grateful for all the willing hands that helped us meet our goal, which was to
have the classrooms ready for Bible School in August.
To date, we have a wonderful new building with a new septic system completely throughout the church, three new bathrooms one handicap
accessible, new carpet throughout the building and a remodeled sanctuary with new drapes. We extended our kitchen with
a new serving bar/cabinet, our fellowship hall has also been extended with the addition of ten 60" round tables and 50
new folding chairs. We have a new completely redecorated nursery, a nice pastor’s study and a new library which is
already being well stocked with movies, music and books. Lord willing as soon as the weather permits we will pour a
handicap walk along the east side of the fellowship hall.
Our total construction cost to date is $113,129.91 plus an additional $1.200.00 for the completion of the sidewalk. As of today
we have borrowed only $22,100.00. This is truly an amazing testimony of the love and support our church has been
blessed with. This could not have been possible without God's help and the people who seek to do his will.
Do to the illness of Rev. Harold Norfleet we called Dr. Gary Deskins to be our interim pastor in October 2000. The Lord is still
blessing us as we have had 6 new members to join our church with Emily McQuillen being the youngest. This brings our
total resident membership to 104.
We at Good Hope Baptist church covet your prayers as we dedicate our lives anew. May God continue to bless us as we strive to be
obedient to his calling. Our main goal here at Good Hope is to Glorify GOD.
February 18, 2001