Mount Nebo Missionary Baptist Church History
In the early days of reconstruction under the administration of President U. S. Grant, when Negroes were very oppressed, Mt. Nebo Baptist Church was organized by Rev. Pharaoh Benson. Our first minister was ordained and sent by Spruce Street Baptist Church, which was pastured by Rev. Nelson Merry, because the early settlers of the community saw a need for a place of worship. The first members met for worship in the Davidson County School house, in the 13th District. Because of the growth of the church, during the twelve years of his ministry, he became known as an evangelist. The church was destroyed by a storm and rebuilt during his pastorate. These pastors followed with no change in structure of the building: the Reverends Jack Harding, Luke Coleman and O’Neal, With Rev. Cyrus Dillard, in 1888, the ceiling was raised, new pews installed and a choir stand was built. In the later years of the first period, Rev. George W. James purchased pulpit furniture and under Rev. J. C. Crosby’s pastorate of five (5) years, a parsonage was built. Rev. E. M. Merritt was called just before this era ended in 1896, thereby ending the first era.
At the beginning of this period, the membership had grown so much that it became necessary to enlarge the church building. This became a reality under the seven (7) years of leadership, the membership continued to grow. The church was rebuilt with brick, the cornerstone dated 1908, Mt. Nebo stood with other churches of the city, a two (2) story building, After Rev. Slaughter, came Rev. George Dixon, He was able, during his two years as pastor, to beautify the new building with plastered walls and install it’s first electric lights. Following the resignation of Rev. George Dixon, the church selected leadership from its own members – Rev. S. S. Page, Rev. E. L. Cleggett and Rev. Henry Brown, who served one year each, They did well in holding the church together.
The beginning of the third era found Rev. Alfred still leading the congregation. During this period the Mt. Nebo Mirror was founded and published monthly with the late A. G. Thomas, Sr, as editor. Rev. Alfred served the church for 14 years, which is longer than any other pastor in Mt. Nebo’s history. His pastorate spanned both the second and third eras. Following his resignation, in 1928, the church was faced with a mortgage debt of $1,500.00. The church called our own Rev. E. L. Cleggett who ministered from 1928-1930 and liquidated the debt during this, his second administration. Later Rev. H. G. Hockett was called and during his one year of service, the church’s interior was decorated. Our own Rev. Henry Brown was called again to serve for one year. Rev. L. A. McIntyre was then called and the basement was completed during this period.
Reverend Gill Gordon was called. His ministry started with the theme “LETS MARCH TOGETHER ASKING GOD TO SHOW US THE WAY”. This theme paid off in many ways. The membership of Mt. Nebo Baptist Church grew and flourished around Reverend Gordon and his programs. Many accepted the calling to ministry under his pastorate. After much prayerful consideration, Reverend Gordon was led by the Holy Spirit to build a new sanctuary. We purchased property, refinished the church’s furniture, and purchased a van and a car under his directorship.
On March 30, 1993, the Rev. Theodore H. Bryson was elected pastor. He was installed on June 20th of that year. Under Rev. Bryson’s leadership, Mt. Nebo continues to be a light in the community and is prayerfully seeking to increase programs and outreach ministries.
Under Rev. Bryson’s pastorate the Youth Ministry has been strengthened. Monthly ministry with the residents of Windsor House Nursing Home was initiated: Children’s Church, a Big Brother/ Big Sister program, for new members and a Single’s ministry were initiated; a Food Certificate Program through a local grocery chain was initiated for needy individuals and their families; an Adopt-A-Street program and regular community clean-up efforts were initiated. A community cookout for area residents was instituted as well.