For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future
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The Lord birthed the ministry of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church on January 30, 1939. It began when a small group of Christians known as the “Willing Workers of Ammon’s Additon,” met under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost to organize a place to worship God. The leaders of this group were Sister Annie Smith and Sister Georgia Woodard. This new congregation met at the home of Sister Lydia Fuller and was first pastor by Reverend Carr.
The first elected officers at the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church were: Deacon Ed Smith, Sister Annie Smith, Brother Willie Woodard and Secretary Georgia Woodard. The five church officers and eleven others made up the first congregation of New Salem Baptist Church.
Rev. Carr served as Pastor for 1 year. Under the leadership of Rev. G. W. Woods a new church building was erected and the name of the Church was officially changed to “New Salem Missionary Baptist Church.” The Church grew under the leadership of Reverend Morgan and then Reverend J. B. Brown, who served until 1952.
In January of 1953, Reverend Simon was elected as pastor and served 8 months. Following Reverend Simon’s tenure as pastor, Rev. J. T. Stroman was elected and served for 18 months.
In August of 1955 the Rev. P. J. Jasper was called to fill the pulpit. Pastor Jasper was a meek man with an awesome preaching gift and leadership qualities. Under his pastoral care many were converted and baptized. He believed in shouldering his own responsibilities and was always willing to lend a helping hand. Pastor Jasper served as Pastor of New Salem for 25 years.
Reverend Melvin Franklin was called to pastor New Salem in March of 1977. He served faithfully and made many significant contributions to the building of God’s Kingdom at New Salem for 11 years and 5 months.
Rev. Henry Yearby was called to leadership in December of 1988. There was no limit to what he was willing to do for Christ. The banner of his ministry was “Only what you do for Christ will last.” He served 6 years and 7 months.
In November of 1994, God placed Reverend Harvey B. Simmons as the leader of His flock at New Salem. He was a good shepherd, always caring for God’s sheep. Anyone could feel welcomed and safe under his leadership.
In 1995, the Lord gave us an interim leader, Rev. Ronald Hunter Sr., for several months. He was later elected as Pastor. God strengthened the church with the teachings of this Holy Ghost filled Pastor/Teacher who never met a stranger. His teachings grew the church spiritually as the body was trained to carry out various methods of evangelism. Under his Pastor Hunter’s Leadership a new Pastor’s Study was added, as well as a church clerk’s office. He served faithfully until November of 2009.
In February 2010 God sent Rev. James L. Boatner, III to fill the pulpit as New Salem’s Interim Pastor. On May 28, 2010 he was elected as the youngest pastor in the church’s history at 23yrs old. The Lord used him to give the church both mission and vision statements to be constantly guided by. As we were trained in ministry our church became, “The House Where Love Lives!”
Under the leadership of Pastor Boatner, New Salem became a full time ministry in the Summer of 2010. The church grew rapidly both numerically and spiritually. Fulltime musicians were soon hired and a roster of church leaders were elected to accommodate the needs of this swiftly growing congregation. Pastor Boatner, under divine inspiration, led the church into being a viable and relevant ministry as he made various changes and upgrades to equip us for ministry in the 21st century.
Under his leadership structural renovations have been made, 10 ministers have been licensed, 4 interchurch ministries have been organized, over 100 people have been baptized and nearly 300 souls added to the church in 5 short years. The ministry of New Salem is now heard around the world biweekly through radio ministry and locally thru television ministry.
…TO GOD BE THE GLORY