First Baptist Church of Bladenboro
Bladenboro, North Carolina
Bladenboro First Baptist Church is located in the southern part of rural Bladen County on the corner of Main and Bladen street in Bladenboro, North Carolina, with its two large beautiful stained glass windows of Jesus holding a little lamb and Jesus with open arms for all to come to him. The town of Bladenboro is in close proximity to tourist attractions such as White Lake, and Lake Waccamaw as well as Myrtle Beach and southern beaches of New Hanover County and Brunswick County.
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 Cooperative Program, SBC, the Baptist World Alliance, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of NC, NC Baptist State Convention, and the WMU of NC with our offerings of money, talent, and energy.
Worship is at the heart of all we do at FBC. The Sunday morning service is Live Streamed at FBCBladenboro.org . Past services are on our website and each worship service and some special services are recorded. A DVD is available upon request. The Sanctuary Choir is a vital part of the ministry of FBC supported by an excellent pipe organ, which was manufactured by M.P. Moller Company of Hagerstown, Pennsylvania and was installed in 1927 in the church sanctuary choir loft. After almost 50 years, this organ began experiencing many problems. In the fall of 1977, a new and refurbished organ was installed by W. Zimmer and Sons Pipe Organ Company of Charlotte, North Carolina. The organ now has over 850 pipes. The Bladenboro First Baptist Church pipe organ is one of only two pipe organs in Bladen County. The excellent organ and choral music are a part of each Sunday worship service and also have offered comfort through song at funeral services through the years.
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 20 years. Another ministry of FBC is the Food Pantry which has traditionally been open the second Saturday of each month to distribute food to those in need. But due to Covid and the closing of the area food bank, the Food Pantry is closed.
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, having built dozens of wheelchair ramps for people in Bladen County, doing yard work for shut-ins, and giving fruit baskets at Christmas time to shut-ins, widows, and widowers. The Women’s Missionary Union is also active. 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 have helped with collections and distribution of supplies after the devastation caused by hurricanes. Members of FBC have participated in national and international mission trips. Teams have been to Belize in Central America five times since 2005. Other groups have been to Gulf Port Mississippi, and Helena Arkansas.
First Baptist Church was organized in 1911 and the Sanctuary was completed in 1912 along with four classrooms. In 1955 the last expansion was completed. This included the educational building, fellowship hall and offices. The present paid staff is the pastor, secretary, choir director, and nursery attendant. 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
- Samuel VanSlyke 2019-2022 3 years
The Pastor of First Baptist Church is a strong leader who works with the Deacons and others in leadership roles. The congregation counts on the Pastor to encourage them to remain faithful and to help equip them to carry out their God directed mission efforts. The Pastor of FBC 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 Biblical based, thoughtful, challenging and inspiring. The Pastor is supported by 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.
The physical address of Bladenboro First Baptist Church is 500 South Main Street, Bladenboro, NC 28320. The church telephone number is 910-863-3618, with an answering machine available to leave messages. A one-call phone messaging system is used regularly to up-date the membership quickly of prayer concerns and other important information. The postal address is P.O. Box 176, Bladenboro, NC 28320. A bi-weekly publication, The Highlighter is mailed or emailed to members to keep them up-to-date on activities for the week. The church website is: fbcbladenboro.org.