It has been said that history should not be written until one hundred years have elapsed, but facts and circumstances should be preserved so that history may be presented accurately. Fire and other circumstances destroyed much of the history of the Ned Branch Missionary Baptist Church. The whole truth we reserve to God alone and to those resting in their graves. We hope this history will be a token of gratitude to those resting in hallowed ground who toiled, struggled, prayed and fathered generation in order to make this year one to celebrate.
May we also take the recommendation of our fathers to take the talents he has given us and use them so that they may multiply for all mankind. Our fields of labor are ripe; they have been sown by the hard struggle of our fore-founders. This is our day and with faith in god, who has promised to be with us we are able to grasp courage for whatever is before us.
We must recognize leadership and condone good fellowship. We must encourage aggressiveness and restlessness. With this awakening, we the present generation and those who will follow after us will be ready to take their place in a church old, yet new, made by promises of God. A church that awaits new discovery, new thoughts, and new talents by someone who might be you.
In the year of 1874, Bro. Sam Rachett, Emond Dunbar, Elex Dunbar, Bob Killingworth, Dave Anderson, Sis. Rebecca Rackett, Angeline Beck, and Lendy Dunbar got together and decided to purchase four acres of land from Mrs. Eliza Darlington for a church. Here they built a bush harbor and worshiped for one year. Having no pastor, Rev. Jack Williams was asked to pastor for them.
In the year of 1875, these faithful few built a log cabin and called Rev. Hard Thompson as pastor. He served faithfully for several years. Under Rev. Thompson, he ordained the following deacons, Sam Rackett, Elex Dunbar, Taylor Thompson, Washington James, John Walker, A.W. McKnight Sr. and Elex Thompson. During his tenure, many souls were added to the church. He was then called from labor to reward.
Rev. Tom Walker was called as pastor. During his administration, lost by death the following deacons, Taylor Thompson, Sam Rackett and Washington James. It was necessary then to ordain more deacons. He ordained Spencer Odom, Boston Roundtree, Council Gibson, and ordained to the ministry Rev.W. L. Singleton, many souls were added to the church. Rev. Walker was called from labor to reward. The church again without a pastor called Rev. Singleton as a shepherd to the flock. Many souls were added to the church. Rev. Singleton served faithfully for many years and resigned.
Rev G. W. Cherry was called as pastor. He ordained Walter Dunbar, Abraham Dunbar, Sam Lish, Elex Brown, John C. Gibson, D.F. Thompson Sr., Mike McCreary, Saxon Graham, Crosby Roundtree, A. M. McKnight Jr., E. W. Frederick Sr., and John O'Neal. Ordained to the ministry were Rev. Abraham Dunbar, Rev. A. P. Price and Rev. W. M. Anderson. Lost by death the following deacons: John Walker, A.M. McKnight Sr. Council Gibson, Elex Brown, Mike McCreary and Saxon Graham.
Rev. Cherry served as pastor for twenty (20) years. During his administration the church membership grew considerably. Then the master saw fit to call him into judgment. The church again without a pastor called Rev. J.S. Smith, he ordained the following deacons, G.P. Peeples, Ruben Beck, E. W. Frederick Jr., and James Dunbar. He licensed and ordained Rev. Aaron Price. Lost by death the following deacons, Elex Thompson, Sam Lish, Ruben Beck, E.W. Frederick, J. C. Gibson, W.M. Anderson and A.P. Price.
During Rev. Smith's administration the church continued to prosper. In 1950 we were notified that our Holy Temple would have to be moved from Dunbarton, were it had its beginning to a new location. At first we were a bit sorrowful but we put our trust in God who does all things well and decided that God knows best. The officers began searching for a new location and found this spot where the church now stands. The land was purchased from Bro. F. B. Beck.
On the second Sunday in July of 1952, we carried over our fist meeting at this spot. Rev. Smith served faithfully for thirty (30) years. He served us well until the year 1955. The church then called rev. A.H. Dunar as pastor for the year of 1956. He served faithfully and many souls were added to the church.
In 1957 Rev. E.M. Sumter was then called as pastor. During his administration many souls were added to the church. In 1961 our church was destroyed by fire, all souls of the church were saddened. But we took our burdens to the Lord who does all things well and went about rebuilding our present structure. It took many hours of toil and sweat but everyone was determined. Bro. Archie Odom gave the first set of blocks and the second by Bro. Willie Brown. With much hard work and the help of the Lord we carried over our first service in September of 1961.
Some of our hard working members purchased pulpit furniture. A modern water system was installed; Rev. E.W. Frederick Jr. was licensed and ordained. Rev. Sumter served us until the year 1964. He served faithfully for seven (7) years. The church saw fit to use their sons of the house, Rev. E. W. Frederick Jr. and Rev. Aaron Price to carry out the year of 1965, they served faithfully.
In the year of 1966, the church saw fit to call Rev. W.E. Davis. During his 28 years of faithful service many souls have been added to the church and many things have been accomplished. He ordained the following deacons Earther Price, James Odom, John Morris and Willie Moses Odom. He licensed and ordained to the ministry, Nathaniel Odom. Under Rev. Davis administration with the cooperative spirit of the fellowship, the following improvements and additions were added. Rev. Davis installed the church windows, the front entrance altered, the porch replaced, and the dining hall was added. Carpeting and pews were installed with the help of some members extra effort, namely Sis. Carrie Odom, Sis. Edith Bates, Sis. Mattie Garrett, Sis. Alma Sanders, Dea. A. M. McKnight and Dea. G. P. Peeples. A piano and clock was given by the Thompson Family, microphone and PA system was installed by the Oliver Family. Sis. Ella McNealy gave linen for the communion table. Hymn books were given by Sis. Carrie Wallace and Sis Annie Peeples. Mirrors for the bathroom by Bro. Leon Bartley. Linen given by Sis. Essie Dunbar. Fans given by Sis. Carrie Wallace. The Junior Choir was organized and bought furniture for the pastor's study. Dea. James Odom, Bro. Doc Thompson and the Young Men's Club did the painting of the church. Sis. Othella Sapp and Sis. Willie Mena Ashely donated floral arrangements in memory of their mother, Sis. Willie H. Dorch. Central air/heating was also installed and we also finished paying off our mortgage. Sis. Edith Bates and the Usher Board donated flags to the church. The Usher Board also reupholstered the pulpit furniture. Sis. Diane Davis purchased tables and chairs for the new dining hall. The Senior Choir purchased curtains, blinds, a piano, water coolers, ceiling fans and lighting fixtures.
In the year of 1986 and 1990 we did some much needed remolding to our church structure and with God's help we intend to do more. During this period we have had ten clerks, Bro. Clarence Roundtree, Dea. E. w. Frederick, Sis. Louisiana Peeples, Sis. Rosa Hankerson, Bro. William Thomas McKnight, Sis. Mae Bing, Sis. Brenda Davis, Sis. Mary Williams, and our current secretary, Sis. Vickie Allen. Seven Assistant Clerks, Sis. Jonell Frederick, Sis. Eufalla Brown, Bro. William Thomas McKnight, Dea. James, Sis. Essie Mae Dunbar, Sis. Victoria Davis, Sis. Sonya Felder and Sis. Vickie Allen. Sis. Rosa Hankerson was our church clerk for thirty (30) years, which means she served faithfully.
In November of 1994, our pastor, Rev. W. E. Davis was called from labor to reward. Rev. Audrey Lofton was called as pastor in 1995. During his administration, William Barker was ordained as a deacon. Fourth Sunday service and weekly Sunday school were added The sanctuary walls were repainted and paneled, the ceiling and floor was replaced, and the exterior of the church was brick veneered. Rev. Lofton resigned in 2002.
On the second Sunday in June of 2003, Rev. Curtis Govan was called as pastor. During his administration the church completed remolding of the back restrooms, pastor's study and added restrooms to the front of the church. Diane and Brenda Davis purchased the front doors to the front of the church. Yulanda Roberts assisted with setting up the new AC/Heating system during remodeling. Six new units were purchased for $2500.00 through her job, Excel Heating and Cooling. Dorothy Glover donated 2 high-back chairs for the front foyer. Mozelle Armstrong had them covered to match the other two that were in the front foyer. Perry Lee Harden purchased the rugs that are in the front foyer, and Russell Garrett purchased the collection box inthe front foyer. Worship service every Sunday started in January of 2006 and weekly bible study and prayer service on Wednesday nights were added. A van was donated for the use of the church in 2006. Also under his administration Thomas Dunbar was ordained as a deacon, and three new trustees were added, Thomas Evans, Randy Carr and Adolph Cofield. Randy Carr resigned in 2007. Under his administration ordained to the ministry was Rev. Patricia Dunbar. With the help of the Lord the church was paid off in 2008. On May 16, 2010 four new trustees were added, Charles Anderson, Willie Dunbar, Eloise A. Moore, Vickie Allen and Bridget Carr. In August 2010 a new church van was purchased. Sis. Georgia Savage purchased a table and chairs for the pastor and his guests. She also purchased china dinnerware, glassware, silverware, cooking pots, and tablecloths for the dining hall. On September 12, 2012, we celebrated our 142nd Church Anniversary along with the Laying of the Church Cornerstone. Rev. Curtis Govan resigned in 2010, he served faithfully for seven years and many souls were added to the church.
On the second Sunday in January of 2011, Minister Bobby L. Dukes was called as pastor. He was ordained as an Elder on July 1, 2011 and installed as our Pastor on July 10, 2011. Under his administration the baptism pool and water heater was upgraded. A new electric fuse box was installed and a new stove purchased and a new copier/printer was purchased. A children's choir was started called The Ned Branch "Sunshine Choir"and the church name was put on the church van. A new computer was purchaed; we upgraded our sound ststem, cut out a window for the sound system, and installed 3 new TV monitors. A baby changing station was installed in the front ladies restroom, a new glass door was installed to the fellowship hall, railing were installed to the front porch and side steps. We also set up a new church website and put up a new church sign at the beginning of the road leading to the church. A new church steeple for our beloved church was installed in August of 2012, it was made by Trustee Adolph Cofield. He also made the wooden cross outside of the church and the gate in the dining hall. The following contributed to repairing broken windows within the church and having them stained: Elder and First Lady Dukes, Deacon Thomas Dunbar, Sis. Sonya Felder, Deacon Willie Dunbar, Sis. Doris Williams, Sis Gwen Dunbar, Sis Clarice Roberts, Sis Viola Holmes, and Sis Theresa Hargrove-Jones. Also a new praise team was formed in September of 2012 and a new Finance/Budget Ministry was re-organized with the following members, Sis Eloise A. Moore, Sis. Sonya Felder, and Dea. Charles Anderson.
Many people conributed to beautify our church. The following contributed to the purchase of church pews: Elder Bobby Dukes, First Lady Shanikia Dukes, Rosa Ford, Russell, Katherine, & Marion Garrett, Doris Williams, Mary Williams & Children, Jackie L Odom, The Barker Family, Deacon James Odom, Deacon Willie Dunbar, Viola Holmes, Vickie Allen & Family, Gwen Dunbar, Theresa Hargrove-Jones, Mr & Mrs. George Gibbons, Hiwatha Glover, Andre & Reginia Stewart, Deacon Charles & Vickie Anderson, Clarice Roberts, Deacon William Barker, Vickie Anderson, The Harden Family, Gloria J. Godfrey, Deacon Thomas Dubar, Eloise A. Moore, Evelyn Peeples, and The Ned Branch Baptist Church Family. During Elder Dukes administration the following deacons were ordained: Bro. Charles Anderson and Bro. Willie Dunbar on November 12, 2013. The following contributed to the repairing of the dining room floor by purchasing tile: Elder & First Lady Dukes, Deacon James Odom, Deacon Willie & Rev. Patricia Dunbar, Deacon Charles & Vickie Anderson, Eloise A. Moore, Sonya Felder, Russell & Kathering Garrett, Jackie L. Odom, Joan Perry, Jannie Mae Breeland, Gwen Dunbar, Doris Williams, Carl & Marsha Brown, Curtis & Diane Brown, Roberta Willis, Jasmine Rhodall, Da'Tron Corley, Andre & Fonda Patrick, Chandra Ford, Lionel Black, Kyona Moss Brown, Cord Bunyon, The Joyner Family, Harriett McKnight, Rosa Ford and Albert Odom Jr. In 2013 monthly Praise Night Service was added. In 2013, on the left side of the church, the land was cleared and grass added for additional parking. We installed 3 new teleprompter monitors in June of 2014. Rev. Patricia Dunbar made curtains for the windows in the dining hall in July of 2014. On July 12, 2014, The Ned Branch Baptist Church Family Honored First Lady Shanikia Dukes. In 2014 two new doors were installed at the entrance of the church.
in 2015 we purchased and installed new interior doors leading into the sanctuary. As well as replacing the carpet and revarnishing the floors in the sanctuary. In 2015, Pulpit rails were installed. In February 2016, the chandeliers were removed from the sanctuary and recessed lighing was installed, along with two new ceiling fans, of which one was donated by the Peeples Family. Also in February, we purchased the 2 acres adjacent to the church building. in the summer of 2016, we had the land timber cut and the land cleared. in this same summer, we began Camp Ned Branch. In August 2016, we had the pews reupholstered by Sis Margie Banks and husband Bro. Marshall Banks and Deacon Robert and Minister Maxine Gordon donated a keyboard to the church. Also a Childrens Church, Hospitality, Committee, and Intercessory Prayer Ministry were formed. During this time many souls were added to the flock.
In 2017, Brenda Buxton agreed to become the Church Secretary, and Chandra McKnight Ford was selected as the Pastor's Secretary. In 2017, with Pastor Dukes leadership and guidance, Ned Branch Missionary Baptist Church opened a new Thrift Store located on Dunbarton Blvd. Barnwell, SC. A grand opening was held on Saturday, May 13, 2017. In August 2017, new chairs were purchased for the Dining Hall. Also Mother Viola Holmes purchased a new refrigerator for the kitchen. The mobile app is available for members as well as our guest to download to their phones to keepthem aware of upcoming events and activities happening at the church.
In July 2018, Adolph Cofield alsong with the Deacon Ministry renovated the ladies restroom adjacent to the Fellowship Hall. Also, in 2018 new chairs were purchased for the Fellowship Hall by the following members: Margie Banks, Andre & Fonda Patrick, Thrift Store, Brenda Buxton, Eloise Moore, George and Sonya Dukes, Jackie Odom, and Kathering Garrett.
We will continue to do God's work as it is written in the bible.
Matthew 16:18-And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Ephesians 5:23-For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and his is the savior of the body.