First Baptist Church of Bladenboro
Bladenboro, North Carolina
The members of First Baptist Church of Bladenboro strive to be loving, caring and committed followers of Christ. Anyone and everyone is welcome in our church. Men and women serve in leadership roles in our church—-including the office of deacon. We support the Baptist World Alliance, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of NC with our offerings of money, talent, and energy.
Worship is the heart of all we do at FBC. We are pleased to share our worship services by broadcasting live each Sunday on WZCO 89.9 FM. Live streaming is available. Past services are on our website and each worship service and some special services are recorded. A CD is available upon request. The Sanctuary Choir is a vital part of the ministry of FBC. The excellent organ and choral music are a part of each Sunday worship service and also have offered comfort through song at funeral services. The children’s choir is a group of 1st-6th graders who are being trained to carry on the excellent music tradition. They sing on various Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings. Our Audio Visual Team is a group who keeps our services LIVE on the radio and ensure good sound quality for our services.
Our ministries include a knitting group called Closely Knit who meet each Monday morning. They have knitted, prayed over, blessed and delivered Prayer shawls to over 500 people over the last 12 years. Another ministry of FBC is the Food Pantry which is open the second Saturday of each month to distribute food to those in need. Isaiah 6:8 is a group of young women in the church who make arts and crafts to sell and host paint and praise parties. The proceeds help buy school uniforms for children in need at our local primary school.
Our mission groups’ purpose is to share the love of God with the world, near and far, with our focus on giving to others with our donations of time, skills and money. The Baptist Men of FBC is an active group. The men meet once a month for a meal and a program. The Baptist Men of our church have built dozens of wheelchair ramps for people in Bladen County and have helped with yard work for shut-ins. The Women’s Mission Union also meets once a month for a program and a meal. Throughout the year these women collect and contribute supplies and money for groups such as Families First, an organization to support victims of domestic abuse. Also, contributions are made to a local drug rehabilitation center. Our mission groups helped with collection of supplies for our neighboring county for the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew. Some of our ladies helped paint a local church after hurricane damage and some of our men helped in debris removal after the hurricane. Kids in Action is a mission minded group of children who meet on Wednesday nights to learn about and do mission work. These are children in 1st-6th grade. Mission Friends is another group that meets on Wednesdays and are ages 3-PreK. They are learning about loving all God’s people. This group collected stuffed animals and presented them to First Responders to give to children they encounter in crisis situations. The Youth Group (7th-12th grades) meets on Wednesday and Sunday nights. This group has taken several trips to Savannah, Georgia to minister to the homeless. Favorite activities include Fort Caswell Youth Retreats and attending Christian concerts. Members of FBC have participated in national and international mission trips. Teams have been to Belize in Central America 5 times since 2005. Also groups have been to GulfPort, Mississippi and Helena, Arkansas.
First Baptist Church was organized in 1911 and in 1955 the final expansion was completed. This includes the educational building, fellowship hall and offices. There is a pastor’s residence located beside the church. Every other year since 1966 the church has presented a Live Nativity for three nights before Christmas. The following pastors have served the church:
- Iggie P. Hedgepeth 1911-1918 7 years
- R. E. Powell 1918-1922 4 years
- S. N. Watson 1922-1930 8 years
- Remus James Hall 1931-1944 13 years
- Charles P. Burchette 1945-1951 6 years
- John H. McCrimmon 1952-1963 11 years
- Thomas C. Womble 1964-1969 5 years
- Harry E. Poovey 1970-1974 4 years
- Roger B. Gilbert 1974-1980 6 years
- Harold A. Shirley 1981-1987 6 years
- E. Steven Ayers 1988-1992 4 years
- Dr. Russell T. Cherry 1993-2002 10 years
- Dr. Bruce A. Young 2003-2016 13 years
The total membership is 256. (As best we know; our safe was stolen several years ago along with all old records.) The average worship service attendance is 130-140. The average Sunday School attendance over the last couple of years is 115. The 2016 budget was $378,834. The received amount was $526,046. The over budget amount was for a roof restoration project (to be completed in 2017) that was a non budgeted item.
The latest population figures show Bladenboro with a population of 1,773 people within the city limits. (www.city-data.com) This is a .9% increase since the year 2000. The median resident age is 37.7 years old. Bladenboro is located in rural southeastern North Carolina in Bladen County. Elilzabethtown is the county seat of Bladen. Bladen County has an approximate population of 35,000. Two tourist attractions for the county are White Lake and Jones Lake State Park. There are several triathlons held at White Lake per year and Elizabethtown has a newly developed bicycle trail that is visited by people from across the state. Bladenboro is one hour driving distance to the coast and five hours to the NC mountains. It is an hour and a half from the state capital of Raleigh and approximately 70 miles from Myrtle Beach, S. C.
The public schools that serve Bladenboro are Bladenboro Primary (Pre-K-4th grade), Bladenboro Middle (5th grade-8th grade), and West Bladen High School (9th grade – 12th grade), Our Middle School in Bladenboro is very active in the state Beta Club where they consistently place high in their respective competitions. West Bladen High School has a history of outstanding performance in Skills USA on state and national levels.
The Bladenboro Benefit Committee is a group of community residents that involve many churches in the area. In the 12 years it has been organized, approximately $345,000 has been raised to help people in financial hardship, mainly due to medical problems. About $10,000 to $12,000 is usually raised at each event. At a recent event, over $40,000 was raised for the family of a 13 month old child who has leukemia. One humdred percent of the money goes directly to the families. There is no money used for administrative cost. Corporations, churches, and individuals donate food for the benefit, bake sale and the auction. The community comes together and holds the events as the need arises. Members of First Baptist Church are actively involved in each aspect of the Benefit Committee events.
The Bladenboro community has an active historical society. It is housed in the original, first school building circa 1917. Bladenboro Fun Day, always held the second Saturday after Labor Day each year is a fun event for the entire family.
Boost the Boro is an organization that promotes Bladenboro. They have an annual Beast Fest on the last Saturday of October of each year. It draws many people from surrounding communities. It is based on a folk lore legend from early 1950’s about a beast in Bladenboro. A documentary was done by PBS. These festivals are well supported by the community and are a fun gathering time for friends and family.
The Pastor of First Baptist Church is a strong leader who works with the Deacons and others in leadership roles. He maintains a strong relationship with the staff. The congregation counts on the Pastor to encourage them to remain faithful and helps equip them to carry out their God directed missions. The visitation of potential and new members by the pastor sets an example for the congregation to do the same.
The Pastor of FBC is seminary trained and is considered to be the spiritual leader of the church. Members expect the pastor to be able to communicate faith and beliefs through teaching and preaching that is Biblically based, thoughtful, challenging and inspiring.
The Pastor is to be a caring person who relates well to all ages. He is to have a passion for helping people in the church and community. Visiting the sick and grieving is a constant priority.
Conflict is a normal part of life and the Pastor should know how to address issues openly, directly, in a timely manner and in a way that honors all voices.
The Pastor is supported by the prayers of the congregation. We want to be the people God calls us to be, and our desire is that our pastor will work with us and lead us in this effort.
- Postal Address: P.O. Box 176 Bladenboro, NC 28320
- Physical Address: 500 South Main Street Bladenboro, NC 28320
- Pastor’s Residence: 506 South Main Street Bladenboro, NC 28320
- Telephone 910-863-3618
- Fax 910-863-4530
- Staff Secretary (Full time)
- Other Staff (Part time) Music Director, Co-Youth Directors, Children’s Director, Organist
- Highlighter is a bi-weekly publication mailed or emailed to members with upcoming events and reminders
- One-Call phone message system for informing members of urgent prayer requests and reminders of upcoming meetings and events
- Website: fbcbladenboro.org