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New Green Mountain Baptist Church, Esmont

New Green Mountain Baptist Church, Esmont

Name:  New Green Mountain Baptist Church, Esmont

Date:  2007

Image Number:  CG095cdCG0

Comments:  New Green Mountain Baptist Church was organized in 1896 in Esmont, Virginia, about 7.9 miles northeast of Scottsville, and is located at 7259 Porters Road.  The congregation was first housed in a small wooden structure heated with wood stoves.  In 1946, this building was torn down, and construction on the current cinder block church building began in 1948. This structure, shown above, was completed by 1950, and various upgrades have been made over the years to include furnace heating, air-conditioning, indoor plumbing, and a finished church basement.  The church's cemetery adjoins the cemetery of New Hope Baptist Church about 2.1 miles southwest at 7725 Porters Road in Esmont.

In November 1911, educator Benjamin Franklin Yancey spoke at New Green Mountain Church about "school improvement."  This meeting is indicative of the grassroots nature of educational support in early 1900's Esmont.

Entry in Benjamin Franklin Yancey's Diary, dated November 1911

On September 22-29, New Green Mountain Baptist Church (NGMBC) celebrated its centennial anniversary.  As much of the church's early history had been lost over the years, members of the congregation assembled the following brief history for the benefit of all:

As we reflect on life at New Green Mountain Baptist Church, the following come to mind:

1)  In the early history of this church, we didn't have the luxury of having a baptizing pool in the church. For those who joined the church, many were baptized in ponds. One of the most notable baptismal at this church was that of Mr. Jim Jones. Today, it is Thomas Lake

2)  During revival services, those young individuals, who chose to join the church during the Sunday afternoon services, were asked to come to the front of the church. For the rest of the week all those, who had made their intentions known, would sit on the mourners' bench until they were baptized. The Saints of the church would sing and pray over the individuals as they made the ultimate decision. In most cases the baptism would take place before the next Sunday.

3)  Lunch was served under oak trees on wooden benches during revival. Most of the food was brought in bushel baskets, and the drinking water was in barrels which were placed on wagons. In order to get a drink of water, it was necessary to use a dipper. People would catch a train from Schuyler to Esmont and walk to church for services.

4)  The heat didn't seem to make a difference during the activities that were held at the church. The spirt of the Lord was always there regardless of the weather.

5)  As we listen to Trustee Graham Paige on the organ on Sunday mornings, this brings back memories as when many use to listen to Mrs. Betty Pryor.

6)  In building this church, money was hard to come by, and so the trustees and members worked together through love to build the early New Green Mountain Baptist Church.

7)  NGMBC was the first church in the area with weatherboard siding.

8)  It was heated with two wood on each side of the church.

9)  Each Sunday morning, there would be someone to ring the church bell to signal Sunday School and finally church services. Times have really changed. Where are those bells today? Maybe they have been in storage too long.

10)  When NGMBC hosted any of the church associations, vendors set up their tents and sold food.

11)  During the early days of this church, people were so thankful for just little things. They would thank the Lord for their hogs, chickens, cows, horses, and crops in their testimonies. People didn't mind praising the Lord.

12) This church is special because from its inception, the ministers selected to have been men of God and have trained others to follow in Christian fellowship. Some earlier ministers of the church were: Rev. Samuel Harris, Rev. Abraham Moon, Rev. L.B. Goodall, Rev. D.S. Woodfolk, and Rev. O.W. Nowlin. Every member in the church is important, and when members need assistance, provisions are made to help. The motherly love shown by the older ladies of this church is always apparent.

  Important Milestones in New Green Mountain Baptist Church's History:

1942     The baptizing pool was presented to the church by the Women Auxiliary.  It was dedicated in October 18, 1942.
Anna Eliza Hudson (Bridgeford) was selected to be the Recording Secretary.
1944     Plans were made to erect a monument in the church yard in honor of Tech Sgt. Wilson S. Nelson, Jr.  He was the first to be killed in WWII from Esmont, Virginia.
1946     The first New Green Mountain Baptist Church was torn down because it was in a state of disrepair.  Plans were made to construct a new church with cinder blocks, center aisles, and a basement.
1947     The plans to build the church were revised.  This included having a basement large enough for a furnace.
1948     Construction began on the church.  Because money was always a major issue, the plans were changed.  A discussion was held on how the church should be heated.  After much discussion, it was decided to purchase wood stoves to heat the church.
1950     John Paige painted the interior of the church.
Sister Clara Brown was appointed the church's sexton.  A decision was made to upgrade the heating system to that of a furnace.
1951     A light was placed in the basement.
Plans were made to clear a section of the graveyard.  The money received from the timber was used to help the church pay its debts.
1953     Brother Charles Brown was appointed the church's building treasurer.
The plans to complete the work on the church continued.
1955     The pastor's salary was raised to $50.00 per month.
1956     E.L. Paige finished wiring the basement.
A rally was held on the third Sunday in May to help pay on a bank note. The money was borrowed on December 6, 1955.
The church received $1000.00 from the will of the late Mrs. Lottie Coles.  Part of that money was used to help pay off a bank note.
It was decided that the Sunday collection would be counted in the Pastor's Study.
Bernard Brown and Edward Robinson became Trustees.
A decision was made to build a men's restroom and to repair the ladies' restroom.
The current trustees had their names recorded at the County Clerk's Office.
1957     John Gardner was appointed the church's treasurer.
A.E. Bridgeford became the church clerk and Ruth Brooks was the assistant.
An electric stove was purchased for the basement.
1958     Mt. Pleasant requested that R.M. Jordan be ordained as an assistant pastor.
Lilliane Bruce became the financial secretary.
1959     A decision was made that everyone would stand during the prayer for the offering.
1960     The choir joined the congregation during Communion Service.
1961     John Gardner was appointed the Superintendent of the Sunday School with Deacon Leroy Thomas as his assistant.
1963     A committee was appointed to oversee the maintenance of the cemetery.
1964     A recommendation was made to accept Carlton Luck as a member of the Deacon Board.
1971     The Young Adult Choir completed the choir stand.
Work began on the water system.
A.E. Bridgeford was recognized for her twenty-nine years of service as clerk.
Carlton A. Luck was ordained.
1972     Repairs were made on the vestibule.
Betty Jordan was selected as the church's clerk.
1973     Plans were made to upgrade the basement to make it suitable for programs.
The deed and plat of the church were ordained from Deacon Thomas' father.  A chain link fence was placed around the cemetery.
1974     New Green Mountain Baptist Church provided a donation to the Scott Legal Fund.
Sister Izetta Woodside preached her trial sermon.
Lorraine Paige was appointed the Financial Secretary with Lloyd Feggans as the assistant.
Air conditioning units were placed in the church.
Sister Izetta Smith was licensed to preach.
Rev. Roger Ford conducted the annual revival.
1975     Improvements were made to the basement lights.
Air conditioning was placed in the church.
A special service was held for Rev. O.W. Nowlin.  He received a pension and a retirement donation.
Christmas packages were sent to Michael Harris and John R. Paige.
Jettie Gardner Hardy donated an organ to the church.
A water cooler was installed in the vestibule.
1976     A decision was made to move the monument which honors service men, who had given their lives during World War II, from the parking lot to the cemetery.
The insurance of the church was increased to $56,000 and the contents of the church to that of $10,000.
The church was involved with Scottsville as it celebrated its Bicentennial Celebration.
Portable fire extinguishers were provided for the church.
Rev. Horace R. Rice was nominated as the New Green Mountain Baptist Church's pastor-elect.
Preparations were made for the church's sign.

New programs were introduced Christian Education, Evangelism, Welcoming, and Membership Committees.
1977     New Green Mountain agreed to have a checking as well as a saving account.
An outside light was placed in the upper portion of the parking lot.
1978     A gift of land was received from the Paige Family.
Preparations were made to unveil a portrait of Rev. Nowlin.
Recommendations were made regarding the choirs: Gospel Chorus and Buds of Promise on the third Sunday and the Senior and Junior Choirs on the first Sunday.
Rev. Montague was selected to preach an appreciation service for Rev. Nowlin.
Plans for the Sunday School Room addition began.
Bernard Curry expressed an interest in painting a picture for the church.
1979     Work continued on the church's addition.
Excavation to eliminate water entering the basement was completed.
A church bus was purchased.
1980     A Senior Center was opened in the basement of the church.
Renovations were made to make this area accessible for senior citizens.
The railing project for the front of the church was completed.
The Scholarship Fund increased its donation to college students from $26.00 to $50.00.
A recommendation was made to have church three times per month beginning in 1981.
1981     New Green Mountain Church participated in the Carl Steppe Fund.
A church trip was made to Natural Bridge.
1982     Baseboard heat was installed in the addition.
Plans were considered to have church service on the fourth Sunday of each month.
A decision was made to sell the old wooden pews for $50.00 each.  Also, a storage building was purchased for church use only.  The 37 pews were sold as follows: 23 to St. Joy, 13 to Jacob Breeden, and 1 to William Johnson for services rendered to the church.
Plans were made to beautify the church yard and to improve the driveway.  Church service would begin at 11:30 A.M. with the addition of the fourth Sunday (June). 
An evening service on the third Sunday in May would be designated for the Cemetery Rally.
A drive was spearheaded to purchase an organ.
Plans were discussed to renovate the choir stand with elevated rows of chairs.
Rev. Winston Jones consented to do the 1983 Revival with Rev. Horace Spears as the alternate.
Lloyd Feggans preached his introductory sermon on November 13.
A decision was made to purchase a new organ from Richmond, Virginia (December).
1983     Connie Eubanks accepted the position as assistant church clerk.
All of the work to elevate the choir stand was completed (February).
Rev. Lloyd Feggans was appointed the assistant pastor at N.G.M.B.C.  He was ordained officially on June 4, 1983.
A telephone was installed in the Pastor's Study.
Rev. Rebecca Jordan and Janice Martin were delegates to the Piedmont District Baptist Association.
Henry Reid and Jesse Mills became candidates to be ordained as deacons.  John Paige was ordained as a deacon by the Pentecostal Church in Colorado.
Lorraine Paige became a member of the Trustee Board (November).
A voucher system was developed to withdraw money from the treasury.
1984     John R. Paige was granted a license to preach (June).
Henry Reid and Jesse Mills were ordained as deacons.
A new Yamaha piano was purchased.
Paving of the driveway and the parking area began in the form of surface treatment.
Fred Eubanks and Melton Gardner became trustees.
1985     Rev. Phillip Elliott was selected to carry on the revival (Brookville Baptist Church, Lynchburg). Outdoor services were held in Deacon Thomas' field.
Railings were placed at the rear door of the kitchen area.
Rev. Emmanuel Aderotimi was accepted as an honorary member.
Lula Feggans was granted a license to preach, and her introductory sermon was preached on October 23, 1985.
Work began on the sidewalk in front of the church.
A copying machine was purchased for the church.
1986     Dwight Johnson was appointed Sunday School coordinator.
Rev. Ernest Scott was the revival minister form First Baptist Church (Coolwell, Virginia).
1987     Connie Eubanks was appointed church clerk with James R. Washington as the assistant clerk.
Plans were made to renovate the interior of the church.
Mrs. A.E. Bridgeford was honored at the Piedmont District Baptist Association Banquet.
Community-wide tutoring sessions began to assist students with their academic progress.
1988     Plans for renovating the church continued.  The church was renovated in three phases: roof, interior, and exterior.
Dr. Rice was featured on the front page of The Daily Progress.  He was the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King Commemoration Celebration.
The sick and shut-in list was placed in the church bulletin on Sundays.
1989     Lolita Curry accepted the position as interim assistant clerk.
Plans to renovate the church moved forward, which included the roof, exterior, interior, front, and steeple.
Plans were made for summer services as the church was being renovated.  St. Stephens (Esmont) opened its doors to us to use their facilities.  Revival service was not held because of renovations to the church.
1990     An outdoor service was held the first Sunday in June.
The monument erected to honor our soldiers, who died fighting in World War II, was moved to the cemetery.
The Youth Committee was revitalized.
Ligon Construction Company completed the work on the church (July).
1991     Rev. O.W. Nowlin died.
The church made an effort to support the soldiers in the Gulf War.
The Rev. Johnnie Hunt of Lynchburg, Virginia, was the guest minister for the revival.
A community fellowship was held on the first Sunday in November.
The use of the church bulletin was reinstated for Sunday morning services.
Lorraine Paige was elected the church treasurer.
James Jordan became the financial secretary.
John Gardner was honored for his many years of service to New Green Mountain Baptist Church.
1992     New carpeting was installed in the basement.
The prison ministry was reactivated.
Dr. Rice was recognized for his recently published book.
The Sunday School was commended for sponsoring a drug awareness workshop.
Henry Reid preached his introductory sermon.
Rev. H.D. Scales of Rose Chapel Baptist Church was the revival minister.
The parking lot was repaved.
Work continued on the church's steeple.
1993     Eric Starks erected the steeple on the church.
Rev. Edward Austin was the revival minister.
A vote was taken to change the time of worship from 11:30 A.M. to 11:00 a.m. beginning in January of 1994.
JABA donated a television set to the senior citizens.
A new furnace was installed.
1994     Plans were discussed regarding the renovation of the lower level of the church.
The church participated in the "Gun Buy Back" program by donating money.
Rev. James Harrison conducted the revival services for the week.
A bulletin board was placed in the annex.
The project committee planned a trip to Atlanta, Georgia.
1995     Graham Paige was appointed the official organist for the church.
Ella Carey became the assistant church clerk.
The church was involved in a summer reading program.
Plans were made to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the church.
Leslie Harris presented a workshop on aids (May 6).
Eugenia Durrett, Connie Eubanks, James R. Washington, Graham Paige, Viola Watkins, Lauren Eubanks, and Pierre Gardner were selected to plan the church's anniversary.
Theodore Gardner was chosen as the official repairman for the church.
Work was completed on the main room in the lower level of the church.
1996     The kitchen was completely remodeled with new cabinets, formica tops, sink, and lights.
A point system was developed to help members keep track of their involvement in church activities.
Bishop Ray McKenzie conducted our annual revival.
Rev. Horace R. Rice celebrated twenty years of faithfully serving as the pastor of New Green Mountain Baptist Church.
New Green Mountain Baptist Church celebrated its Centennial Anniversary (September 22-29).

In 1996, the New Green Mountain leadership board consisted of:
Dr. Horace R. Rice, Pastor
Mrs. Connie C. Eubanks, Church Clerk
Deacon Theodore Gardner, Chairman of the Deacon Board
Deacon Jesse Mills, Sr.
Deacon Dwight D. Johnson
Deacon Benjamin F. Paige, Sr.
Deacon James R. Washington
Deacon Major Durrett
Deacon Leroy Thomas

Brother Graham Paige, Chairman of the Trustee Board
Brother James Jordan
Brother Melton Gardner
Sister Lorraine Paige
Brother Fred Eubanks
Deacon Leroy Thomas
Brother John Bolden

Sister Thelma C. Reid, President of Missionary Circle
Sister Deborah C. Washington, Co-Chairperson of the Deaconess Board
Sister Gloria F. Rice, Co-Chairperson of the Deaconess Board
Sister Viola Watkins, President of the Usher Board
2006     On November 12, 2006, Rev. Dr. Sylvester Turner was installed as Pastor of New Green Mountain.
2007     Current officers are:
Deacon Jesse Mills, Chair of Deacon's Ministry
Deaconess Berlinda Mills, Chair of Deaconess Ministry
Trustee Graham Paige, Chair of Trustee Board
Trustee Ava Morris, Church Treasurer
Deaconess Connie Eubanks, Church Clerk
Deacon James Washington, Chair of Christian Education
Sister Lauren Eddy, Chair of Youth Ministry
Deacon Jesse Mills, Sunday School Supertindent

Current Deacons:
Jesse Mills
Theodore Gardner
James Jordan
Ben Paige, Sr.
James Washington

Current Trustees:
Graham Paige
Frank Boling Jr.
Bernard Curry
Fred Eubanks
Ella Jordan
Ava Morris
Lorraine Paige
Muriel Paige

Scottsville Museum wishes to thank Maxwell Johnson for his additional research on this Esmont community church!

1)  Benjamin F. Yancey papers, 1906-1915, Accession #11599-1, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA.
2)  "New Green Mountain Baptist Church (NGMBC) History" Prepared by NGMBC, 1996.  Scottsville Museum, Scottsville, VA

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Image Located On:  Capturing Our Heritage, CDCG06



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