History Of The Mount Airy Baptist Church
The origin of the Mount Airy Baptist Church started during the year of 1869. The late Rev. Frank Green, Mrs. Virgie Barbour and a few others decided to form a prayer band, with the intentions of winning souls to Christ. There was no building in which to meet, so the meetings were held along the roadside. With Christian souls stirring other souls and heart piercing prayers ringing through the pines, many others were moved to join in the praises of God. An old fashioned revival was then in progress. It has been told that during these roadside meetings there were seventy-five or more converted and baptized.
The faith and courage of those believers created an interest in some of the white friends in the neighborhood. A plot of land was given that a building might be erected for worship services. The name given then was "The African Church". A white friend by the name of David Lacy recorded the minutes and helped in other business matters until the members learned the order of business for themselves.
The first minister elected as pastor was the late Rev. Dave Kirk. The light of life continued to shine and drew men, women, boys and girls into "its" path.
In the latter 1800's, the late Dave White was called as the second pastor. During Rev. White's administration, the name was changed from the "African Church" to its present, The Mount Airy Baptist Church. The late Mrs. Lou Isa Lewis served as the church clerk. The blessings of the Heavenly Father continued to flow upon His children. A new building was erected; one that would provide more comfort and a better place to worship. The lighting was poor, but the Bible was used as a lamp unto their feet and a light unto their pathway. There was little heat, but deep down in their hearts was a warmness of God's love and the love they had for each other. We pause today to salute these pioneers for their efforts, who, without the modern conveniences that we enjoy today, accomplished so much. There wasn't much fashion, but there was much determination to do the will of God.
Around the year 1907, the late James S. Chambers became the third pastor. Rev. Chambers served until somethime during the year 1927. During this time, Mrs. Sarah P. Miller was appointed as church clerk.
The late Rev. L.E. Coleman was elected as y fourth pastor in 1927. His term was not as lengthy as others before him, but was a productive one.
In 1929, the late Rev. H. L. Brooks began serving as the fifth pastor of The Mount Airy Baptist Church. He was in his early twenties, but age and opposition were no barrier. He held on to the faith and the church continued to grow.
Due to her age and declining health, in 1950 Mrs. Sarah Miller resigned as church clerk with more than 40 years of devoted service. Mrs. Mabel V. Chambers succeeded her.
In 1966 new ground was broken and the present edifice that cojoins our renovated building, was constructed and dedicated. With the Heavenly blessings still flowing and the cooperation of members and friends, three years later the mortgage was burned.
In 1970, after twenty years of service, Mrs. Mabel Chambers resigned as church clerk. Mrs. Othello D. Rice became church clerk of the Mount Airy Baptist Church.
In 1977 Rev. Brooks' health began to fail. The accomplishments during his fruitful years cannot be numbered. Many souls were converted and many hearts were comforted. Rev. Brooks was a staunch supporter of the Virginia Seminary and College in Lynchburg, VA. Mount Airy Baptist Church still supports this College. In June of 1979, our beloved pastor, Dr. Brooks fell asleep, after serving over 50 years as the pastor of this church.For him life's battle was over and the victory had been won.
During his absence, his instructions of "Love thy neighbor as thyself" and" Blessed are the peacemaker", remain in our hearts. With these words, a strong Board of Deacons, dedicated members, uplifting prayers of praise and thanksgiving, and the comforting arms of our Savior, the Church family was kept together.
In February of 1980, our newly elected sixth pastor was the Rev. William J. Coleman. His first sermon was taken from Hebrews 13:5 with a subject of "Satisfied With Jesus".
In 1982 we joined the DAWN(Dollar-a-Week-Neighbor) Program. This same year we purchased our first bus and started a bus ministry. Our first trip was to the Peaks of Otter in Bedford, VA. We were next in fellowship with the Third Baptist Church in Hampton, VA. Many more engagements followed. Also in 1982, we celebrated our 113th Church Anniversary in the lower auditorium, with covered dishes and Kentucky Fried Chicken.
In 1983 a Cub Scout Chapter was organized.
On November 5, 1983 we celebrated our 114th Church Anniversary with a dinner at the Ramada Inn in Lynchburg, VA.
In 1984 a handicap ramp was installed, a pavilion was built, and many other accomplishments were achieved during Rev. Coleman's pastorite. On January 4, 1986, Rev. Coleman announced that God had called him into another field of labor, and that he would be leaving Mount Airy Baptist Church as pastor after the third Sunday in September 1986.
During his absence and being without a pastor, we remembered the proverb of, "Together we stand and divided we fall." Also we remembered that " An idle mind is the devils workshop". So with these thoughts in mind and with leadership of our Chairman of the Deacon Board, the late Deacon Naamon Miller, and the cooperation of the members and most of all the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we continued to stay together and move forward. It was during this time that we were blessed to have cushions put on the pews for additional comfort.
On April 4, 1987 Rev. Robert P. King became the seventh pastor until he resigned January of 2010. Pastor King spirtually guided us as we expanded the church and paved the parking area's. After twenty-seven years of working as the church clerk, Mrs. Othello Rice resigned and we are please to present Mrs. Clauden C. Dixon as our Church clerk.
God saw fit to send us our newlyand present pastor, pastor Steven E. Taylor and our First lady, Marie Taylor. we are expecting God to continue to do marvelous things in Mount Airy Baptist Church as we continue to grow and be servants of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.