USGENWEB ARCHIVES PORTSMOUTH
Monumental United Methodist Church
Monumental's Cemetery on Glasgow Street
Ministers of Monumental United Methodist Church
Park View Baptist Church History
Pastors of Park View United Methodist Church
Park View UMC Transfers from Monumental UMC
A TIMELINE OF MONUMENTAL’S EVENTS IN THE CONTEXT OF THE TIMES
Information collected by Margaret Windley, Monumental UMC’s historian
1752: The city of Portsmouth is founded by Col. William Crawford
1772: Portsmouth resident Isaac Luke hears Methodist missionary Robert Williams preach in Norfolk in the spring or summer. Luke intercedes for Williams when the crowd becomes unruly and the mayor of Norfolk tells a constable to arrest the missionary for disturbing the peace. Luke invites Williams to come to his home and preach from his porch. A Methodist society grows up and is formally organized on November 14 under the leadership of another Methodist missionary Joseph Pilmore who read the rules of a Methodist society to 27 people in a private home. A warehouse is set up as a place for worship.
1773: Portsmouth is part of the Norfolk Circuit for Methodist ministers during the first Methodist conference in this country in Philadelphia.
1775: Under the leadership of our third minister, the Rev. Francis Asbury, later the Methodist church’s first American bishop, the first church is built at the corner of South and Effingham Streets (the South Street Meetinghouse).
1776—1783: The American Revolution. Rev. Asbury preaches throughout the East Coast. During this time, Isaac Luke is in charge of the Methodists of Portsmouth according to a letter by John W. H. Porter. Luke dies in 1784 about a month before the Christmas Conference which makes the Methodist Episcopal Church a separate entity from the Episcopal Church. He is buried in Trinity Episcopal’s graveyard.
1792: The trustees buy land on Glasgow Street and move the church to Glasgow Street, now the site of the church’s Glasgow Street Park. Here it becomes known as the Glasgow Street Methodist Episcopal Church. Among the trustees are William Porter, the son-in-law of Isaac Luke, and James Gaskins, the first silversmith in town. Between this time and 1816, Francis Asbury visits the Glasgow Street Church several times as the bishop. One of our best known ministers during this time was John Early (1808), who went on to serve as a bishop for 12 years and president of the board of trustees for Randolph-Macon College for many years.
1812—14: The War of 1812—Adjutant William Ball was shot accidentally by a sentry during the Siege preceding the Battle of Craney Island (the sentry claimed that he didn’t give the correct password). Ball was buried at the Glasgow Street Churchyard.
1818: Monumental (Glasgow Street Methodist) and First Presbyterian begin the city’s first Sunday school as a joint effort. Within an appropriate time, they separate to their own churches and continue there.
1831—33: The trustees buy the current site on Dinwiddie Street for the church. Work starts on it. The trustees consult with an architect, Henry Singleton (not William Singleton, the architect of the 1846 Courthouse but Henry Singleton, designer of the St. Louis, Missouri Courthouse in 1839). The Glasgow Street Methodist Episcopal church becomes known as the Dinwiddie Street Methodist Episcopal Church. The African American members get the Glasgow Street Church for their place of worship. According to their records, they had been worshipping separately on King Street until the 1831 Southampton Insurrection (also known as the Nat Turner Insurrection). As part of the black codes, they begin worshiping with us. Our members continue to worship at the Glasgow Street Church until 1833. We then begin worshipping at the Dinwiddie Street Methodist Episcopal Church and the Glasgow Street Church becomes known as the African Methodist Church. It burns in 1856 but is the forerunner of Emanuel AME.
1832: A cholera epidemic hits the city. Our minister, Rev. Vernon Eskridge sets up office hours under a tree in the middle of the city and visits the sick. During this time, some of our members assist Rev. George M. Bain, Jr. as class leaders at the African Church. Rev. Bain is a member of our church who was chosen to be minister of the African Church by their members.
1844—45: The issue of slavery splits the Methodist Episcopal Church into northern and southern branches. The Virginia Conference joins the Methodist Episcopal Church, South and our church joins suit.
1855: The Yellow Fever epidemic hits. Rev. Vernon Eskridge, by then a navy chaplain, returns to the city and helps the sick until he dies from the plague. He served as our minister in 1832 and then as our assistant minister and superintendent of the Sunday school from 1839 to 1850. During the epidemic, about ten percent of Portsmouth’s population dies. By this time, the members of the African Church become leaders of their own classes.
1861—65: The Civil War—Virginia joins the seceding states. In March 1862 our member John Luke Porter designs the CSS Virginia, the first ironclad specifically for war purposes and it fights in two battles. But beginning in May 1862 Portsmouth is occupied by Northern troops. Our Virginia Conference minister, Rev. P. A. Peterson leaves and the church goes from pro-Confederate to pro-Union control. In 1864 the church burns because of a defective flue. Members are allowed to worship with the soldiers at St. John’s Episcopal, which has been taken from its own members for the use of the soldiers. Northern Methodist Chaplains Joseph Wheeler and G. W. Hobbs become our ministers and continue records of births, marriages and deaths. The only artifact saved from the fire is the pulpit Bible, which is saved by member Robert Cutherell, who heroically rushes into the burning church to retrieve it. That Bible still exists and is in the History Room.
1866—67: Monumental rebuilds as a small chapel on the rear of the lot with $6,000 in insurance and $2,000 to $3,000 in private donations.
1872—76: Monumental rebuilds at the present site and officially takes on the name, Monumental Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in honor of Robert Williams, the founding missionary. The post Civil War chapel becomes the nucleus for the Sunday school building.
1917—18: American involvement in World War I—Monumental members become active in supporting the effort.
1925—26: Edith Neville, Louise Earnest and Nellie Simmons become the church’s first female stewards. Women had been active in Sunday school, had served as class leaders before the Civil War, and active in the missionary societies. But it was not until 1925 that women received official appointments within Monumental. Since then, the church’s leadership has usually been composed of both men and women.
1927: Monumental closes the graveyard at Glasgow Street. Two trustees remove the markers. Most are taken to Cedar Grove but a few are taken to the church.
1930’s: The Great Depression
1933—36: Lelia Deans becomes the first female Sunday school superintendent
1941—45: American involvement in World War II—the church becomes active in support of the war effort. Long time member John “Daddy” Deans brings sailors to church during this war and during the Korean Conflict.
1950—53: The Korean Conflict—the church becomes active in support of the war effort. Long time member John “Daddy” Deans continues bringing sailors to church.
1956: The Sunday school building is demolished and completely rebuilt as the Fellowship Hall.
1960s—1970s—America is involvement in the Vietnam War. Monumental members support the USO.
1972: As part of the commemoration of Monumental’s bicentennial, the church in conjunction with the Beazley Foundation, give money to found the Monumental Chapel at Virginia Wesleyan College.
1985: The church’s former churchyard on Glasgow Street is beautified and made into a church park available for all to enjoy.
1995: Monumental’s sanctuary undergoes a complete renovation.
2000: Monumental starts the Community School for the Arts.
Today and into the Future: Monumental continues to strive to serve the spiritual needs of its members and of the community.
CEMETERY ON GLASGOW STREET:
The Methodists of Portsmouth began worshipping at the Glasgow Street site in 1792. In 1831, the white Methodists moved their place of worship to Dinwiddie Street and gave the old church on Glasgow to the black members. However, the white members continued to use the graveyard until about 1840 when Cedar Grove was opened. In 1856, the church on Glasgow Street was burned and the black members built Emanuel AME on North Street. At that time, they removed the three graves that they had placed at the park. Monumental reclaimed the site.
In 1927, Monumental's trustees closed it and moved the graves.
In 1945 the park became the site of a Quonset hut for Boy Scout meetings. By the 1980s, the scouts had grown up and moved on. Catherine Hatcher, the historian at the time, led a successful fundraising effort to fix up the lot and turn it into a park.
Barbara Early became intrigued with the park’s history and took on its chairmanship about 2001. Under her leadership, a very exciting opportunity to study the land came about. Using an electrical scan similar to sonar, Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander of Norfolk State University led an investigation of the lot in conjunction with that of Emanuel AME in 2004. At our site, she found two graves, the possible locations of others and the outline of some of the church walls. About the same time, David Hazzard, State Archeologist for the state’s Department of Historic Resources, on an independent investigation, found evidence of the same.
In 2006, the church's United Methodist Women have taken on buying a memorial stone for the burials as the church's Jamestown 2007 project. The Memorial Stone was paid for and installed within about nine months. The formal dedication was held on May 20, 2007.
By Margaret Windley
People known to have been buried at the Glasgow Street Park (the site of the present Monumental UMC from 1792 to 1833)
1. Mrs. Mary Bell, wife of Captain Henry Bell, and daughter of Robert and Jane Peed, died November 27, 1820, aged 21 years and three months.
2. Francis A. Bloxom died November 29, 1836, aged 33 years.
3. William Bloxom was born June 30, 1831 and died September 14, 1831.
4. Mary Ann, consort of Richard Granbery, died August 16, 1832, aged 21.
5. Lt. William Porter, 12th Virginia militia infantry during the American Revolution, died 807—source: JLARC study of Revolutionary War veterans' graves as Jesse Nicholson
6. Benjamin P. Rudd, born February 11, 1791 and died July 3, 1821.
7. Benjamin, infant son of Benjamin P. and Fanny Rudd, born February 15, 1819 and died September 27, 1821.
8. Miss Eliza Spencer, died June 22, 1831 in the 24th year of her age.
9. Eveline S., wife of William H. Spooner, died July 31, 1832, aged 26 years.
10. George Weaver, died December 9, 1839, 45 years old, Private in the War of 1812—source: Society of the War of 1812 and church records.
11, 12, 13. All inscriptions gone. There is a tradition that three members of the congregation now known as Emanuel AME were buried there but were moved after the fire of 1856. Sources--Sarah Brown, historian of Emanuel and Alice Hanes of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum.
14. James Toomer Owens, son of Zachariah and Fanny Owens, April 8, 1828 to April 19, 1835.
15. Mary Frances Moore, daughter of Joseph and Caroline N. Moore, died October 11, 1832 at the age of three years.
16. “The Christian Sea Captain,” James Hamilton, a native of Scotland, was born August 5, 1760. He was converted in July 1790 and died May 12, 1835 in Portsmouth in the 75th year of his age.
17. William Ball Jr. of the Winchester Rifles Company, adjutant of the 4th Virginia Militia Regiment, was shot by a sentinel at Fort Nelson on May 24, 1813--this was during the siege preceding the Battle of Craney Island. He was born in Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia on October 14, 1790.
18. Edmond Prior, died August 3, 1811 in the 28th year of his age. He was a minister and teacher
19. Sarah Prior, died February 5, 1837, aged 47 years. She and her husband Edmond were charter members.
20. Dr. Daniel Hall, our minister in 1827-28, died in 1831.
21. Rev. Jesse Nicholson, a veteran of the Revolution, our minister in 1790—2, and then a member. Source for burial: church roster, JLARC study of Revolutionary War graves. He died in 1834. NOTE: He also went on to become a teacher, postmaster and head of the local Democratic party. Lucy was his wife.
22. Lucy, the wife of Rev. Nicholson., died in 1833,
23. Rev. Levy (or Leroy) Merritt, our minister in 1813, died in 1813—source: newspaper obituary.
24. Captain Joseph Porter, War of 1812 veteran, died in 1831—source: Society of the War of 1812 and Porter family history
25. Calab Nash, death betw 1815 and 1820, source: family tradition
26. Isaac Watts, orphan, source: church trustees minutes
27. Ann Lawrence, died 1832—source: church trustees minutes
28. Elizabeth Griffith, died 1835--source: church trustees minutes
29. Joseph A. Freeman, died 1832—source: church trustees minutes
30. Frances Grear, died 1832—source: church trustees minutes
31. Edward Webb, Private in the War of 1812, died 1832—source: church trustees minutes
1. 1772—Robert Williams and Joseph Pilmore founded the church with 27 members
2. June, 1773—Richard Wright
3. May 25, 1774—John King
4. May 17, 1775—Francis Asbury—South Street Meetinghouse was built
5. May 21, 1776—John Wesley called all Methodist ministers and clergy to return to England. Francis Asbury was the only English Methodist clergyman to remain. However, American Methodists remained. According to a tradition passed down by his descendants, Portsmouth resident Isaac Luke took over the Portsmouth congregation.
6. May 20, 1777—Edward Bailey
7. May, 1778—Portsmouth and Norfolk were occupied by the British. Isaac Luke was in charge of the local congregation.
8. April 28 and May 18, 1779—Portsmouth and Norfolk were occupied by the British. Isaac Luke was in charge of the local congregation.
9. April 24, 1780—Portsmouth and Norfolk were occupied by the British. Isaac Luke was in charge of the local congregation.
10. April 16, 1781—Portsmouth and Norfolk were occupied by the British. Isaac Luke was in charge of the local congregation.
11. April 17, 1782—Portsmouth and Norfolk were occupied by the British. Isaac Luke was in charge of the local congregation.
12. May 6, 1783—James Morris
13. April 30, 1784—James Martin
14. May 8, 1785—Thomas Anderson and John Street
15. April 10, 1786—Terence Burns
16. June 19, 1787—Thomas Jackson and David Jefferson
17. June 17, 1788—John Barker
18. April 20, 1789—Archer Davis and Lewis Dawson
19. June 14, 1790—Jesse Nicholson and William McKendree
20. April 20, 1791—Thomas Anderson and Daniel Stringer
21. December, 1791—Jesse Nicholson and Benjamin Blanton—during their tenure the congregation moved their church to Glasgow Street property
22. November 25, 1792—William McKendree
23. November 15, 1793—Leroy Cole
24. November 25, 1794—Stephen Davis, John Easter, Thomas Anderson, and Richard Ivy
25. November 24, 1795—Philip Bruce, Joshua Cannon and William Moss
26. November 15, 1796—Philip Bruce
27. April 9, 1797—Anthony Sale and James G. Martin
28. 1798—Anthony Sale and James G. Martin
29. April 9, 1799—Alexander McCaine
30. April, 1800—James Tolleson
31. April 10, 1801—Lawrence Mansfield
32. March 1, 1802—Lawrence Mansfield and John Buxton
33. March 1, 1803—William Ormond and Joseph Foy
34. April 10, 1804—John Potts and Thomas Jones
34. March 1, 1805—Thomas L. Douglas
35. February 14, 1806—Thomas Shands
36. February 2, 1807—John Potts
37. February 2, 1808—William Hubbard who left to get married and John Early filled in
38. February 2, 1809—Richard Lattimore
39. February 9, 1810—William W. Hill
40. February 11, 1811—Joel Arrington
41. February 20, 1812—Thomas Moore
42. February 10, 1813—Leroy Merritt
43. February 20, 1814—Christopher L. Mooring, Elijah Sparks and Shadrack M. Gividend
44. February 20, 1815—Samuel Garrard
45. January 24, 1816—Robert Griffith
46. February 5, 1817—Robert Griffith
47. February 26, 1818—James McAden (during his tenure, the Sunday School was started)
48. February 10, 1819—Henry Hardy
49. February 23, 1820—Amos C. Treadway
50. February 23, 1821—Ira Parker
51. March 20, 1822—Thomas Howard
52. March 19, 1823—George A. Bain
53. March 18, 1824—George A. Bain
54. February 24, 1825—Overton Bernard
55. February 15, 1826—Philip Anderson
56. February 15, 1827—Dr. Daniel Hall
57. February 27, 1828—Bennet T. Blake
58. February 25, 1829—Thomas Crowder
59. February 17, 1830—Abraham Harroll
60. February 16, 1831—John Kerr
61. February 23, 1832—George W. Nolley, who was not received, and Vernon Eskridge filled in.
62. February 27, 1833—Caleb Leach—during his tenure Dinwiddie Street Methodist was dedicated.
63. February 12, 1834—Leroy M. Lee, who stayed several months and John Kerr took his place.
64. February 11, 1835—Thomas Crowder
65. February 10, 1836—Thomas Crowder
66. February 8, 1837—William J. Waller
67. February 21, 1838—William J. Waller
68. February 20, 1839—Gervase M. Keesee
69. February 19, 1840—Gervase M. Keesee
70. January 13, 1841—George W. Langhorne
71. November 10, 1841—William J. Waller, who was relieved by Joseph H. Davis
72. November 16, 1842—Thomas Crowder
73. November15, 1843—Thomas Crowder
74. November 13, 1844—G. M. Keesee
75. November 12, 1845—George W. Langhorne
76. November 11, 1846—James D. Couling
77. November 10, 1847—James D. Couling
78. November 1, 1848—Robert Michaels
79. November 7, 1849—Robert Michaels
80. Conference of 1850—Jacob Manning
81. October 29, 1851—Thomas C. Hays
82. October 20, 1852—Thomas C. Hays
83. October 19, 1853—William H. Wheelwright
84. November 29, 1854—William H. Wheelwright
85. November 28, 1855—Charles A. Davis—Emanuel at the Glasgow Street Church burned September 29, 1856
86. November 26. 1856—Isham R. Finley
87. November 18, 1857—Isham R. Finley
88. November 24, 1858—Charles H. Hall—conference was set up in Emanuel AME on North Street, building just having been finished
89. November 16, 1859—Charles H. Hall
90. November 21, 1860—Peter A. Peterson
91. November 20, 1861—Peter A. Peterson
92. November 19, 1862—within the federal lines—no appointment made. Peterson had fled in early May, 1862 at the warning of the Confederate government just before Hampton Roads went under the Northern Occupation. T. Y. Cash was appointed but arrested by the Yankees and his place was supplied by Northern Methodist ministers, first J. W. Grant and then by Joseph Wheeler and G. W. Hobbs as a team of chaplains.
93. November 18, 1863—E. N. S. Blogg was appointed but his place was supplied by Northern Methodist ministers.
94. November 22, 1864—E. N. S. Blogg was appointed but his place was supplied by Northern Methodist ministers. Dinwiddie Street Methodist was destroyed by fire.
95. November 22, 1865—William Blount was appointed but killed in an incident. J. L. Fisher was appointed and William E. Edwards served.
96. Conference of 1866—Thomas B. Sargent—in 1866 the Queen Street chapel of Dinwiddie Street Methodist was rebuilt with insurance money from the fire.
97. Conference of 1867—Thomas B. Sargent
98. November 18, 1868—William H. Christian
99. November 10, 1869—William H. Christian
100. November 9, 1870—William E. Judkins
101. November 15, 1871—William E. Judkins—conference was held at Court Street Baptist because Monumental’s Queen Street Chapel was not large enough
102. November 1872—J. Powell Garland
103. November 25, 1873—J. Powell Garland—the rebuilding of Monumental began in the spring of 1873. On July 10, 1873, the cornerstone was laid.
104. November 18, 1874—J. Powell Garland
105. November 17, 1875—J. Powell Garland—Monumental was completed in September 1876
106. November 15, 1876—William E. Edwards
107. November 1877—William E. Edwards
108. November 13, 1878—William E. Edwards
109. 1879—William E. Edwards
110. 1880—William E. Judkins
111. 1881—William E. Judkins
112. 1882— William E. Judkins
113. 1883—John Davenport Blackwell
114. 1884—John Davenport Blackwell
115. 1885— John Davenport Blackwell
116. 1886— John Davenport Blackwell (Rev. Blackwell died in June of that year and his place was supplied by J. W. Howell until Conference)
117. 1887—W. E. Edwards
118. 1888—W. E. Edwards
119. 1889—W. E. Edwards
120. 1890—W. E. Edwards
121. 1891—Thomas McN. Simpson
122. 1892— Thomas McN. Simpson
123. 1893— Thomas McN. Simpson
124. 1894— Thomas McN. Simpson
125. 1895—Lewis B. Betty
126. 1896—Lewis B. Betty
127. 1897—Lewis B. Betty
128. 1898—Lewis B. Betty
129. 1899—E. H. Rawlings
130. 1900—E. H. Rawlings
131. 1901—E. H. Rawlings
132. 1902—E. H. Rawlings
133. 1903—Joseph N. Latham
134. 1904—Joseph N. Latham
135. 1905—Joseph N. Latham
136. 1906—George H. Spooner
137. 1907—George H. Spooner
138. 1908—George H. Spooner
139. 1909—George H. Spooner
140. 1910—George H. Spooner
141. 1911—John T. Bosman
142. 1912—John T. Bosman
143. 1913—John T. Bosman
144. 1914—John T. Bosman
145. 1915—W. B. Beauchamp
146. 1916—James Weaver Moore
147. 1917—James Weaver Moore
148. 1918—James Weaver Moore
149. 1919—James Weaver Moore
150. 1920—James Weaver Moore
151. 1921—1925—Thomas Rosser Reeves
152. 1925—1928—Clayton Orlando Tuttle
153. 1928—W. Asbury Christian
154. 1929—W. Asbury Christian
155. 1930—1933—Hawes Palmore Clarke
156. 1933—1935—Walter C. Gum
157. 1936—1939—Bernard Lipscomb
158. 1940—1943—William Archer Wright
159. 1944—D. D. Holt
160. 1945—1947—Harold H. Hughes
161. 1948—1951—A. E. Acey
162. 1952—1955—H. E. Cromer
163. 1956—1958 (?)—J. Eugene White—he died and his place was supplied by J. J. Rives and by R. Bayard Proctor
164. 1959—1963—George S. Lightner
165. 1964—1966—John F. Owens
166. 1967—1969—Frank H. Van Dyck
167. 1970—1972—Carl H. Douglass, Jr.
168. 1973—1975—W. Dabney Walters
169. 1976—1979—Harry W. Craver (minister of visitation
170. 1980—Howard W. Peters
1981—R. Franklin Gillis, Jr. with associates John N. Vest added in 1982 and M. Mochel Morris Hendrix in 1984
171. 1990—Arthur Wingfield
172. 1994—Raymond Edmonds
173. 2001—Michael Browder
174. 2003—Louis Strickler
175. 2006—Robert Friend
By the History Committee, 1924.
Park View was originally what may be termed a Baptist community; a religious census taken early in 1891 by our late Bro. T. C. Carney showed as many as forty families living in the ward at that time, other denominations were allowed, however, to organize their churches and erect their houses of worship and so get the advantage and some of the members of other denominations in Park View today are the decedents of Baptist parents.
From the best information obtainable at this time the first steps taken by the Court Street Baptist Church to look after the Baptist interest in Park View was during the latter part of 1891, which was two years after the first residence was erected. At that time a committee was appointed consisting Geo. R. Trant, Chairman, R. A. Hutchins, W. H. Fairless, T. C. Carney, J. D. New, and D. A. Williams, and in June, 1892, E. O. Young was asked to cooperate with this committee, and later in 1892 Bro. Young was appointed Chairman of this committee, nothing, however, seems to have been accomplished by this committee, except to consider sites offered by Messrs. C. S. Sherwood and Virginius Butt. The lots at the southeast corner of Hatton and Cooke Streets were offered by these gentlemen for a church site, with the restriction that if at any time they should be used for any other than church purposes they should revert back to them or their legal heirs, and because of this restriction the lots were not taken over by the committee. In the early part of 1893 two lots on the north side of B Street, between Hatton Street and Webster Avenue, were considered by the committee but nothing was done.
In July 1893, the Court Street Baptist Church appointed a committee to conduct Monday night prayer meetings in Park View and these meetings were held in the county school house on Holladay Street.
In January, 1894, the lots at the southeast corner of Hatton and Holladay Streets were purchased at the cost of $1,100.00 and $600.00 of the amount was collected.
In February, 1894, a Sunday School was organized with the following officers: E. O. Young, Superintendent, Geo. R. Trant, Assistant Superintendent, Miss Ella Morris, Secretary, and J. T. Anderson, Treasurer, and this Sunday school met in the county school house and was started with 77 members, officers, teachers and scholars. This school, however, only existed about two months.
About the middle of the year of 1894, a committee was again appointed by the Court Street Church and was composed of Jas. T. Borum, Chas. R. Robertson, F. T. Beazley, R. A. Hutchins, Rev. A. E. Owens, D. D. and A. R. Williams, and this committee met at the home of E. O. Young to discuss plans for a church building, submitted by A. R. Williams. The meeting was informal and nothing official was done.
None of these efforts to organize a church seemed to meet with the desired success, except to keep the interest alive by a new committee being appointed every once in a while or a new site considered.
In the opinion of your committee the real beginning of our Church’s organization was started in April, 1896, when the step was taken which was without a doubt the direct cause of the organization of our Church, and this was the meeting of the Baptists of Park View held at the residence of Mr. Lewis Morris, at the corner of Hatton and B Streets, and at this meeting a Ladies Aid Society was organized with the following officers: Mrs. F. T. Beazley, President, Mrs. H. L. Maynard, Vice-President, Mrs. J. H. Gaskins, Secretary, and Miss Fannie B. Trant, Treasurer, and this society, under the able direction of its President, Mrs. Beazley, has been and is today a very efficient and faithful branch of our church life and it has accomplished a great deal of good in these years of its existence. At this meeting about $500.00 was pledged to pay the balance on the lots purchased at Hatton and Holladay Streets.
The ladies being desirous of having some place in which to hold lawn parties and entertainments, secured permission from Mr. W. S. Johnson to use his vacant land at the southwest corner of Hatton and Ann Streets, and upon this property our Bro. F. T. Beazley erected a pavilion, which when first built only has roof and floor, no side, but as the weather grew colder the building enclosed and doors and window put in, and this building was used until our present church building was erected, prayer meeting were held in this tabernacle every Thursday night, the different pastors of Portsmouth and Norfolk doing the preaching, and those who were fortunate enough to attend these meetings will long remember the precious seasons of prayer held in this old building, and while it had to be torn down because of its condition many of our members hated to see it done because of the pleasant recollections of the hours when the Lord seemed to so wonderfully bless our services.
After the letters were read, J. A. Tabb was elected Clerk, pro tem., and the Articles of Faith were read, after which the meeting took a recess to allow the Presbytery to confer relative to these Articles of Faith, and as they were accepted, the following officers were elected:
Geo. R. Trant, Treasurer, J. A. Tabb, Clerk, Geo R. Trant, A. R. Williams, C. C. Rice, J. A. Tabb and F. T. Beazley, Trustees.
Rev. Dr. W. F. Fisher then delivered an address taking as the basis for his remarks the 13th Chapter of the Acts, and he was followed by Rev. J. W. Mitchell, who took as his text some verses from the 13th chapter of Matthew, Rev. A. E. Owen, D. D., then followed.
Among the visitors present was the Rev. R. J. Willingham, D. D., Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board, who addressed the new Church, and after his remarks a collection was taken for Foreign Missions which was turned over to him.
The first regular monthly conference of our Church was held on Friday night, February, 3, 1899, in the tabernacle. The meeting was called to order by Bro. C. C. Rice, who conducted devotional exercises and Bro. J. M. Corbitt who was elected Moderator.
A building committee was appointed consisting of Geo. R. Trant, A. R. Williams, F. T. Beazley, E. L. Miltier, W. R. McGehee, with J. M. Corbitt, Chairman.
A pulpit committee was appointed as follow: J. B. Trant, E. O. Young, Geo R. Trant, Miss Maggie Wilson, Miss Ida Turner and Mrs. M. E. Sanford.
Carroll Myers was elected Financial Secretary of the Church.
The second monthly conference was held on Friday night, March ,6, 1899, with Bro. J. M. Corbitt, Acting Moderator, after the Moderator had read the scriptures with special reference to the duties and elections of Deacons and Bro. E. L. Miltier had offered special prayer for divine guidance, the meeting proceeded to elect five Deacons by ballot, as follows: J. M. Corbitt, Geo. R. Trant, A. R. Williams, C. C. Rice and E. L. Miltier.
The question of calling a pastor at this time was then discussed and it was decided to then elect a pastor, the pulpit committee presented the following names: Rev. H. E. Martin, Rev. J. P. Essex, Rev. W. P. Hines, Rev. W. W. Hamilton, Rev. Taylor, Rev. J. L. King and Rev. Reames. Rev. W. P. Hines was elected by ballot and the election was made unanimous. This call was extended for one year at a salary of $600.00 per annum, but the clause limiting the pastorate to one year was afterwards eliminated at a called conference held on Sunday, March 12, 1899.
The new church building was well under way and the and the work was being done under the supervision of Bro. A. R. Williams, and the weekly pay roll was being met regularly each week, the subscriptions being paid in by the members and collected from friends in all parts of the city.
At a called conference of the Church held on Thursday, March 16, 1899, the Trustees were authorized to borrow the sum of $2500.00 which was necessary to complete the new building, and when the need of the money was compulsory.
At the monthly conference held on March, 31, 1899, Mr. R. S. Brooks offered to sell to the church the organ which was being taken from old St. Johns P. E. Church, then being torn down, a new Church building having been erected at the corner of Washington and London Streets, but the offer was not accepted. Dr. V. G. Culpepper offered to donate the pews and cushions, formerly used by the congregation of St. Johns Church, and his offer was accepted with thanks.
A letter was read from Rev. W. P. Hines accepting the call which had been extended him. Mrs. Sarah Olivia Walcott presented a letter of dismission from the Wasonboro Baptist Church, Wilmington, N. C., and was received as a member of our church, and she was the first to be received into the fellowship of the church since its organization.
The present church building was opened for public worship when Rev. W. P. Hines began his pastorate, which was the first Sunday in May, 1899. The building was not quite completed at that time but sufficiently so, however, to hold services. The building was not entirely completed until July or August of the same year.
The report of the Treasurer of the Building Committee is well worth serious thought, when we consider the short time in which the money was raised and the further fact that the membership at that time was less then 75. The report follows:
Total amount contributed by our members and members of our congregation $1,100.00
Amount received from Ladies Aid Society 350.00
Amount received from friends outside of our church and congregation 550.00
Loans from Jas. T. Borum and the Bank of Portsmouth 5,100.00
This money was raised about eighteen months or from January, 1898 to August, 1899, and the self-denial exhibited and the faithful, earnest work of those who bore the burdens of the struggles of the organization and erection of our present church building ought to inspire us to nobler and better things, and we are able to do even more, if we will seize the opportunity which lies before us and all around us.
During this year the Pastor’s salary and other expenses of the church were all promptly met and every object of the Baptist General Association received our consideration.
In passing it is well to remind you that our church has never received any support from the denomination, but has been self supporting from its organization, having always paid its own way and contributed to the several boards of of the General Association.
During 1899 the membership was almost doubled, forty-four members being received into the church, thirty-four by letter and experience and ten by baptism. The total membership at the close of 1899 was 98.
Just a few weeks after the Christmas holidays of 1899 and as the new year of 1900 was opening on January, 12, the home of our brother A. R. Williams was made sad and lonely by the death of his daughter, Miss Sallie Williams, who was so bright and happy, a young lady just budding into womanhood, and this death cast a gloom over our entire membership. But we weep not as those without hope, but we rejoice in the fact, and promise, yet, she had given her heart and life to her Master and called home by the Lord in whose name she had just been baptized only three months before. This was the first death in our Church.
At the annual conference in 1900 the following officers were elected:
J. A. Tabb, Church Clerk, Geo. R. Trant, Church Treasurer, W. B. Harrell, Financial Secretary, W. T. Claud, Missionary Treasurer and Mrs. Sarah Eastwood, Treasurer of the Poor Fund.
At the monthly conference held on January 31, 1900, Brethren J. B. Trant and F. T. Beazley were elected Deacons in place of C. C. Rice, who had moved out of the city, and E. L. Miltier, who had joined South Street Church. Bro. Beazley, however, resigned at the next conference.
At the February conference of 1900 the Pastor’s salary was increased from $50.00 per month to $75.00 to date back to January 1900, and this additional amount was felt by the new Church as the monthly reports of the Treasurer for the year would indicate.
Brethren J. A. Tabb and W. B. Harrell were elected Deacons on Sunday morning, December 16, 1900.
At the annual conference in January, 1901, Brethren Tabb, Trant and Harrell were re-elected to their respective positions and M. T. Mayo was elected Missionary Treasurer and A. R. Williams, Treasurer of the Poor Fund.
In February, 1901 the new pews (or rather the present ones) were purchased at a cost of $500.00.
At the November 1901 monthly conference the first steps were taken looking toward the paying off of the $2,000.00 borrowed from Bro. Jas. T. Borum, which was a resolution offered by Bro. Geo. R. Trant, authorizing the Trustees to subscribe to twenty shares of Building and Loan Association stock to be paid in monthly, and the Finance committee was directed to canvass the membership to secure pledges of $30.00 per month, to take care of this and interest on the loan, but this effort was not entirely successful.
At the close of the year 1901 there were 127 members in our church.
The Church received a great blow during the year of 1901 in the death of Bro. J. M. Corbitt, our Senior Deacon, one to whom all looked for counsel and advice, being a man of years and experience, and in whom all who knew him had the highest regard and the utmost confidence. Bro. Corbitt’s home was in Boykins, Va., prior to moving to our city, where he spent the latter part of his life, living with his daughter, our sister, Mrs. Mattie S. Pood. He was one of those who came from Court Street Church to organize this Church, and was the Superintendent of the Sunday School from its organization until his death.
The annual conference held January 5, 1902, was presided over by the Pastor, Rev. W. P. Hines, and at this time the question of an organist became quite a perplexing one and came very near causing our church serious trouble and would have in all probability but for the influence of that man of God, Brother Geo. R. Trant, whose sweet, tender loving spirit calmed the trouble waters and in a short time all was peace again. Miss H. Agnes Clay had been organist, but had resigned on account of leaving the city.
At the monthly conference of April 9, 1902, Brethren John L. Nelson and E. O. Young were elected Deacons to fill two vacancies, and they were ordained in May, the Pastor being assisted by Rev. W. V. Savage, D. D., of Churchland and Rev. J. L. King, then Pastor at West Norfolk.
At the annual conference of January 1903, the total amount of receipts reported from all sources was $ 2,626.50. At this time all the officers were re-elected.
At the monthly conference held in February and March of this year (1903) the question of securing a home for the Pastor was considered and finally lots on the north side of B Street, between Hatton Street and Webster Avenue were purchased, but nothing else was done. The money with which to pay for these lots was borrowed and the Church held them for several months only to pay interest on the loan and finally sold them for the same price at which they were purchased.
At the annual conference in January 1904, the same officers were all re-elected, with the exception of Bro. W. B. Harrell who declined to longer serve as Financial Secretary and Geo. A. Mitchell was elected in his stead, and Bro. Geo. R. Trant, who had served the Church as Treasurer since it organization, asked to be relieved of his position on account of his failing health and Carroll Myers was elected Treasurer. Bro. W. M. Trant was elected Treasurer of the Building and Loan Fund, which had been taken care of by Bro. Geo. R. Trant up to this time.
Rev. W. P. Hines, the Pastor, tendered his resignation as such on June 26, 1904, and the same was accepted.
At the same time a Pulpit Committee was appointed and proceeded without delay to keep the pulpit supplied and to secure a successor to Bro. Hines.
Bro. Hines left in a few months for Lexington, Ky., to accept the Pastorate of the Upper Street Baptist Church.
On October 9, 1904, Rev. D. P. Harris was called as Pastor of the Church and he accepted and took up the work one month later or on November 6, 1904.
Just at this time our Church sustained the most severe loss in its history (at least those who were charter members will agree) just before Bro. Harris took charge, and this blow was the death of our beloved Bro. Geo. R. Trant who died on October 13, 1904. A sweet, tender, loving spirit and a man of God who was devoted to every phase of the Church life and never weary or uneasy about the future, a man who always looked upon the bright side of life and who kept his kindly spirit and loving disposition in spite of his poor health and his business cares. And as a Christian Gentleman he was always accorded the highest respect and admiration of all our citizens, generally and of whatever denomination. A visit to his bedside during his last days was an inspiration to the hardest heart and he was a comfort to those who came to comfort him and the nearer the end it seemed the happier he was until his last words “Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The annual conference of 1905 for reports for year’s work of 1904 was held on Sunday morning January 1, 1905, with the Pastor Rev. D. F. Harriss the Moderator. The Clerk’s report showed a membership of 157. The report of the various Treasurers were as follows: Church Treasurer collections $1,672.37, Missionary Treasurer $211.75, Treasurer of the Building and Loan Fund $235.45, and the value of the book on January 1, 1905, to be $705.10. The Ladies Aid Society $301.11
The total receipts for the year being $2,662.31.
The officers elected were J. A. Tabb, Clerk, J. L. Robertson, Financial Secretary, Carroll Myers Treasurer, A. J. Batchelor, Missionary Treasurer and W. H. Trant, Treasurer of Building & Loan Fund.
At a special conference on Sunday morning September 7, 1905, a resolution was offered by Bro. J. W. Leafe and unanimously adopted relative to the payment of the $2,000.00 debt on the church and a committee was appointed as follows:
W. H. Fairless, J. L. Robertson, A. R. Williams, E. O. Young, F. T. Beazley, J. E. Sparkman, W. R. McGehee, Mrs. J. B. Trant, Mrs. F. T. Briggs, Mrs. Geo. E. King, Mrs. Edith Clinton and Mrs. E. O. Young.
This committee led by the Pastor went to work at once to raise the necessary amount to complete the $2,000.00, the face value of the book being $960.78. The church had to raise a certain amount in a few weeks and if this was accomplished Bro. Borum had agreed to accept this with the Building Association book in full payment of the debt. The amount was raised within thirty days and paid over to Bro. Borum.
The Church building was dedicated on Sunday afternoon, November 6, 1905, at 3 P.M. which was also the first anniversary of Rev. D. P. Harris’ pastorate. The sermon was preached by Rev. A. E. Owen, D. D., and from the text Timothy, third chapter and fifteenth verse. “The Church and the living God”.
The Pastor’s salary was increased to $100.00 per month at special conference held November 5, 1905 to take effect January 1, 1906.
At the close of the year 1905 the total membership was 198.
At the annual conference of January 7, 1906, the total receipts for all purposes was $4,623.61.
Under the Church manual just adopted, the following were elected Deacons for one year, W. H. Fairless, A. J. Batchelor, and W. B. Harrell, who were elected by ballot and without nominations.
At the monthly conference held June 27, 1906, the Deacons recommended that the old tabernacle in the rear of the Church be removed, as it was now a menace to the adjoining property and the Trustees were directed to have the old building torn down, which was done.
A committee was appointed at the monthly conference of August 1, 1906, to take under advisement the erection of a Sunday School room and this committee reported later and recommended that a committee be appointed to solicit funds for the erection of the building.
Bro. W. H. Fairless tendered his resignation as a Deacon on August 1, 1906, which was accepted.
The annual conference of January 6, 1907, showed the membership to be 213 and receipts for all purposes during the past year to be $2,077.92. At this time the following Deacons were elected, as follows: W. B. Harrell, J. A. Tabb, J. B. Trant for two years. A. J. Batchelor and Carroll Myers, one year, each. All the other officers of the Church were re-elected.
The Church decided on May 27, 1907, at the regular monthly conference to proceed with the erection of the Sunday School room and a building committee was appointed, but the building was not built until the next year.
On October, 30, 1907, the Church was called upon to mourn the loss of Deacon J. B. Trant, who had just departed this life, and suitable resolutions were adopted.
At the annual conference held January 5, 1908, the office of all the deacons was declared vacant and the following were elected: W. B. Harell, J. A. Tabb, for three years, A. J. Batchelor and E. O. Young for two years. Calvin Johsnson, S. O. Cox and J. H. Williamson for one year, each.
The following officers were elected:
J. L. Robertson, Clerk
B. E. Lawrence, Treasurer
S. O. Cox, Financial Secretary
A. J. Batchelor, Missionary Treasurer
The receipts for the year of 1907 were $2,424.16, and the total membership was 223.
On September, 2, 1908, at the regular monthly conference, Bro. B. E. Lawrence was elected Trustee in place of Bro. A. R. Williams, who resigned.
The new Sunday School was nearing completion, and on September 6, 1908, at a special conference the Trustees were authorized to borrow $3,000.00 with which to complete and furnish the new addition.
Rev. D. P. Harris, tendered his resignation as Pastor on October, 18, 1908, to take effect on November, 30, 1908, to accept the pastorate of the Central Baptist Church of Chattanooga, Tenn. The resignation was accepted and the following pulpit committee were appointed to recommend a new pastor: J. A. Tabb, E. O. Young, and J. L. Robertson.
The annual conference held on January, 3, 1909, the Clerk’s report showed the total membership at the close of 1908 to be 233.
The receipts for the year were:
Church Treasurer $1,675.77
Missionary Treasurer 179.75
Treasurer of Poor Fund 35.37
Ladies Aid Society 171.73
Sunday School 232.01
The Sunday School Building Committee reported the cost of improvements to the property $4,550.12, with donations of labor and material of $401.59, making a total of $4,651.71, Merchants and Farmers Bank of $3,000.00 and bills due of $764.47.
The following Deacons were elected for three years:
T. D. Roper, S. O. Cox, and Calvin Johnson
The officers elected for the year were as follows:
Carroll Myers, Clerk, B. E. Lawrence, Treasurer, J. L. Robertson, Financial Secretary.
The Church manual was changed at the conference held February, 3, 1909, and was made to read: The Deacons shall be elected for an indefinite period, that is, until removed by death, incapability to serve or because of immorality.
On January, 17, 1909, the Pulpit Committee made a report and recommended that a call be extended to Rev. R. D. Stephenson of Windsor, N. C., to become Pastor, which he accepted and began his pastorate on the first Sunday in April 1909.
At the monthly conference of May, 5, 1909, the individual communion service was adopted, and a complete set purchased a few months later.
At the monthly conference of December 1, 1909, a committee of three were appointed to present to the next Annual Conference some plan to raise the $3,000.00 debt on the church property. At the same time the number of Deacons was increased from seven to nine, and by amendment to the church manual three to be elected for three years, two for two years, and three for one year.
At the annual conference held January, 2, 1910, the Clerk reported the total membership to be 258.
Total receipts for all purposes were $3, 299.44
The following Deacons were elected, as the change in the church manual just mentioned was not yet in effect. E. O. Young, J. A. Tabb, S. O. Cox, T. D. Roper, W. B. Harrell, M. M. Miller, A. J. Batchelor, Calvin Johnson, and Carroll Myers.
The following officers were elected for the year: Carroll Myers, Clerk, J. L. Robertson, Financial Secretary, B. E. Lawrence, Treasurer, W. T. Daughtrey, Missionary Treasurer, W. B. Harrell, Treasurer of the Sunday School Building Fund, and M. M. Miller, Soliciting Committee.
It was at this annual conference that the Church confirmed for the first time the election of the Sunday School Superintendent.
It is well to note that during the year of 1909 the first Women’s Missionary Society was organized, as well as the Sunbeams and the Young Woman’s Auxiliary under the direction of the Pastor’s wife, Mrs. Stephenson.
Also during the year of 1909 the Baraca Class was organized by Bro. A. J. Batchelor.
At the monthly conference of February, 2, 1910, Carroll Myers, resigned as a Deacon, and on Sunday morning February, 6, 1910, Brethren L. M. Harrell and E. L. Hawkins were elected to fill the vacancies as Deacons, Bro. S. O. Cox having resigned moved to Norfolk.
At the monthly conference held December, 28, 1910, the time of holding the annual conference was changed from the first Sunday in January to the third Sunday of September each year.
At the annual conference of December, 28, 1910, the Clerk reported 265 members, and total receipts for the year was $2,387.08.
The following Deacons were elected for three years; L. W. Harrell, Calvin Johnson and E. L. Hawkins, however, Bro. Hawkins declined to longer serve as a Deacon and Bro. B. E. Lawrence was elected in his stead.
The following officers were elected:
Carroll Myers, Clerk
L. M. Harrell, Treasurer
J. L. Robertson, Financial Secretary.
F. D. Lawrence, Treasurer Sunday School Building Fund
M. M. Miller, Chairman of Soliciting Committee.
E. L. Hawkins, Business Manager of the Park View Baptist, a monthly paper published about this time.
During the year of 1911 the church again changed the church manual relative to the office of Deacons, and it was made to read: The Deacons shall serve during the pleasure of the Church, in lieu of a specified time.
The regular annual conference held September, 17, 1911, the membership had grown to 302, the receipts for eight months of 1911 were $2, 206.01, all the officers were re-elected.
At the monthly conference of November, 8, 1911, on the recommendation of the Finance Committee the Pastor’s salary was increased to $110.00.
At the annual conference held September, 15, 1912 the Clerk reported total membership 323.
The officers elected were:
T. D. Roper, Clerk
M. O. Lawrence, Financial Secretary
L. M. Harrell, Treasurer.
F. D. Lawrence, Treasurer Sunday School Building Fund
M. M. Miller, Chairman of Soliciting Committee
The reports for the years work showed progress along all lines and the note on the new Sunday School room had been curtailed to $925.00
The Pastor, Rev. R. D. Stephenson, tendered his resignation as such on August, 24, 1913, after serving the church for four and one-half years, to accept the Pastorate of the Mullins Baptist Church, Murfreesboro, S. C. The resignation was referred to the Deacons who recommended that it be accepted, and the following pulpit committee was elected: J. L. Robertson, S. B. Hutchins, L. M. Harrell, O. S. Hart, and F. D. Lawrence.
At a special conference called on Sunday morning Oct. 26, 1913, the pulpit committee made its report and recommended that a call be extended to Rev. C. B. Arendall of Madison, Georgia, and he accepted the call and began his pastorate two months later.
Under the first year of Pastor Arendall the church showed a net gain of 128, or total membership of 444 and the contributions for church expenses and all the objects of the denomination were much improved. The total receipts for the year closing August, 31, 1914, being $53,42.86.
During the year of 1914 one of our members, Bro. R. W. Torbert was called to preach and ordained to the gospel ministry.
And it was in 1914 that the first movement was made looking to the erection of a new church building, when the following resolution was adopted: “Resolved, That we hereby commit ourselves with all our heart to the furtherance of any plan looking to a new house of worship," which resolution was adopted at the annual conference held September, 20, 1914, and a committee of ten were appointed as an executive committee.
This committee made a prompt report and at a called conference held October, 27, 1914, Bro. J. S. Parker, Chairman of the Committee offered certain recommendations which were unanimously adopted and F. D. Lawrence, Secretary of the Committee presented the following plan and recommendations which were also unanimously adopted.
First, The committee recommends that the church as a whole definitely commit itself to the erection of a new church building, adequate to meet its present and future demands.
Second, That it is the sense of your committee that a sum of not less than $30,000.00 be considered for this purpose.
Third, We submit the following plan for raising the necessary fund: That the male membership be divided into ten teams, each team to select its own captain, that the lady members of church be divided into ten teams, and each team select its own captain, that the male teams be designated by number and the women teams by letter, and each class in the Sunday School below the adult classes be a team with its teacher as captain.
The committee recommends further that weekly individual contributions be made by the entire membership of the church, and that the teams report weekly so that the results may be posted on a black board which will be provided for this purpose. After this plan was organized the members set to work with enthusiasm on its first effort looking to a new church building.
The condition of the church and the finances were moving along so nicely just at this time that the Finance Committee recommended an increase in the Pastor’s salary to $150.00 per month.
On Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, May, 9, 10, 11, 1915, the church celebrated its sixteenth anniversary with appropriate services during Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Rev. D. P. Hines our first pastor, preached in the morning, Rev. D. P. Harris, preached at night, and other services were held and these meetings will long be remembered for the good fellowship between the former Pastors and the people.
At the annual held September, 1, 1915 the membership was 468 and the total receipts for the year were $4,712.02, the officers were elected as follows:
T. D. Roper, Clerk
L. M. Harrell, Treasurer
T. A. Willett, Financial Secretary
T. D. Roper, Missionary Treasurer
F. D. Lawrence, Treasurer of the Building Fund.
The Pastor, Rev. C. B. Arendall tendered his resignation on December, 15, 1915, which was referred to the Deacons, who recommended his acceptance, effective January, 3, 1916.
The following pulpit committee were elected: J. S. Parker, H. A. Hunt, A. J. McDowell, Jr. T. D. Roper and F. D. Lawrence to secure a new pastor, and on March, 1, 1916 this committee made its report and recommended that a call be extended to Rev. R. G. Kendrick, then Pastor of the Forrest Avenue Baptist Church of Greensboro, N. C., which call he accepted and began his work among us in April of this year.
The annual conference of September, 17, 1916, showed an increase of 58 members during the past church year, making a membership of 526, and the total receipts for all purposes $7, 763.55. The building fund for the new church at this time was $6,217.03.
At the monthly conference of May, 30, 1917, Bro. M. M. Miller resigned as a Deacon and Bro. Jno. W. Lawrence was elected to fill the vacancy.
It is interesting to note that during the quarter of April, May and June of 1917 the collections to the building fund were $763.63, with an average of 200 members contributing regularly.
On July, 17, 1917, Bro. G. S. Morrison was ordained to the gospel ministry, and was acting as Pastor of the Westhaven Baptist Church at the time.
The annual conference of September,16,1918, showed a decrease in the number on our roll, due to the granting of a number of letters and the erasure of quite a few names, and the membership at this time was 496. The officers elected at this conference were:
J. S. Parker, Superintendent of the Sunday School
T. D. Roper, Clerk
J. H. Lawrence, Financial Secretary
L. M. Harrell, Treasurer
F. D. Lawrence, Treasurer of the Building Fund
T. D. Roper, Missionary Treasurer
At the monthly conference of February, 1918, Bro. T. A. Willett, offered a motion which was unanimously adopted that a committee be appointed to look into the advisability of building a new church at this time, and the Pastor appointed the Building Fund Committee to serve in this capacity.
This committee made a report at the next conference and recommended that in their opinion it would not be wise to proceed at this time on account of war, but that an architect be employed and a permanent building committee be appointed and plans for a new building be prepared so that when a favorable time should arrive that the work could be commenced at once. The recommendation was adopted and building committee consisting of S. B. Hutchins, J. L. Robertson, H. A. Hunt, L. M. Harrell, J. S. Parker, E. O. Young, W. R. McGehee, F. D. Lawrence and T. D. Roper were appointed. At this time the building fund was a little over $13,000.00 and the spirit was inspiring.
The annual conference of September, 15, 1918, showed the membership 495, and total receipts for the year just closed of $7,570.00. The amount of the building fund $14,005.65, and this annual conference set as a goal that we would raise $60.00 per week during the new year on the building fund, and $1,500.00 for missions.
On November, 26, 1918, the Pastor’s salary was increased to $2,200.00 which showed that the current expenses of the church were being provided for while we were contributing to our building fund and to missions.
On Sunday morning January, 12, 1919, a special conference was called to consider a report and recommendation from the building committee relative to purchasing the property at the north-east corner of Hatton and A Streets, and the recommendation of the committee was unanimously adopted and the property purchased at a cost of $10,000.00, and after paying for this property, the balance in the hands of the Treasurer for the building fund was $5,560.07.
A special conference was called April, 16, 1919, to consider the question of proceeding with the erection of the new church and it was decided that on account of the unsettled conditions of the country due to war that the immediate erection of the building be postponed.
The Pastor, Rev. R. G. Kendrick tendered his resignation on April, 30, 1919, to take effect June, 1st, 1919, and the resignation was accepted and a pulpit committee consisting of F. D. Lawrence, J. L. Robertson, M. O. Lawrence, L. M. Harrell and T. D. Roper were elected.
It is only fair and just to say that Pastor Kendrick preached the gospel with all the earnestness of his being, and without casting any reflection upon any of the former Pastors, your committee believes through his preaching seed was planted which brought forth a bountiful harvest in latter years. Pastor Kendrick was a man of deep piety and in all his Pastorate never went into his pulpit but that he was thoroughly prepared.
On July, 30, 1919, the pulpit committee made its report and recommended that a call be extended to Rev. E. E. Dudley, D. D., at a salary of $4,200.00. and the report was adopted and Dr. Dudley began his work on the first Sunday in September.
At the annual conference of September,17, 1919, the membership was 485 and total receipts from all sources $4,728.43.
On October, 1, 1919, the building committee offered a recommendation that a church be built to cost approximately $100,000.00 which was adopted.
At the monthly conference of December, 2, 1919, the church took over the property at No. 928 Ann Street, which had been purchased by Brethren T. D. Roper, J. L. Robertson, F. D. Lawrence, C. C. Hall and L. M. Harrell in order to provide a home for the pastor, and the church agreed to take this property over at the same price they had paid for it or $8000.00.
On December, 31, 1919, the conference elected the following as Deacons: J. S. Parker, H. A. Hunt, K. O. Howell, J. W. Stroud, and J. L. Robertson, but all refused to serve except Bro. Stroud.
The plan for collecting the building fund by teams in weekly contributions was abandoned at this time, and pledges were take on the new building fund amounting to $84,000.00 and while we have no record before us, we believe the larger part of this was never paid.
On March, 31, 1920 the Pastor’s salary was increased from $4,200.00 to $5,000.00 per annum.
At the close of the church year ending August, 31, 1920, the membership was 597 and the building fund was $12,055.34.
On December, 6, 1920, Bro. W. B. Harrell resigned as a Deacon and Trustee and his resignation was accepted with much regret. The Clerk was instructed to write him a suitable letter expressing the regret of the church and appreciation for his faithful service. At the regular monthly conference held November, 3, 1920, the election of Deacons to fill existing vacancies was considered and the election was postponed until the next regular conference and the pastor and deacons were named as a committee to make suggestions of suitable persons.
On December, 1, 1920, at the regular monthly conference the following were elected, the names having been suggested by the committee above mentioned: W. R. McGehee, J. Frank Lawrence, F. B. Handley and D. S. Alexander. This was the first time in the history of the church that deacons were elected except by ballot and without nominations, as provided for in the manual.
Bro. M. O. Lawrence was elected Trustee in place of W. B. Harrell.
The building committee on the new church made a report that they were ready to proceed with the new church (at the monthly conference of August, 31, 1921) provided $70,000.00 would be placed at their disposal by October, 1, 1921, but the amount was not provided.
At the annual conference held September, 18, 1921, the membership was 646. The balance in the building fund was $21,792.84 and collections during the year to this fund were a $6,769.56. The Treasurer of the church, however, reported a deficit of $144.26 in the current expenses.
The following officers were elected: J. L. Robertson, Clerk, L. M. Harrell, Treasurer, B. L. Jackson, Financial Secretary, T. D. Roper, Missionary Treasurer, F. D. Lawrence, Treasurer of the Building, M. O. Lawrence, Superintendent of the Sunday School.
The question of proceeding with the erection of the new church was not mentioned for several months until the regular monthly conference held May, 3, 1922, when the matter was brought up and discussed at considerable length and with a great deal of feeling exhibited on the part of both pastor and people, and motion was finally adopted that the matter be deferred until Thanksgiving Day of that year, when the building committee would bring in a report.
On July, 23, 1922, Bro. F. B. Handley was ordained to the gospel ministry, and accepted the pastorate of the London Bridge Church.
On August, 2, 1922, the monthly conference authorized a loan of $7,800.00 from the building fund to pay off the mortgage on the parsonage property, and this left a balance in the building fund of $14,995.16.
On September, 6, 1922 a committee was appointed to revise the church roll consisting of L. M. Harrell, T. D. Roper, B. L. Jackson, J. L. Robertson and Carroll Myers.
At the annual conference of September, 17, 1922, the membership showed a net loss of 29, and the Treasurer reported a deficit of $194.62.
The committee on revision of roll reported at the monthly conference of January, 31, 1923, and recommended that 39 names be erased, which recommended was adopted.
On March, 20, 1923, the church was called to mourn the loss of our Deacon, J. A. Tabb, who had been in failing health for many years. Bro. Tabb was one of the charter members of our church, and its first clerk, and during the early days was one of the most zealous and devoted to every good work and it was always his delight to serve the church in any way he possibly could. His long illness had kept him from active service for some time prior to his death, but his heart was in the work because he loved his church.
Bro. C. M. Cartwright was elected as Trustee in place of Bro. Tabb, at the monthly conference of March, 28, 1923.
On April, 8, 1923, the Pastor Rev. E. E. Dudley, tendered his resignation which was accepted to take effect June, 30, 1923. The Deacons were instructed to keep the pulpit supplied during the vacancy.
At a special conference held on June, 6, 1923, the Treasurer was authorized to make a loan from the bank of $600.00 to pay off the deficit in the current expenses and to pay the Pastor’s salary.
The use of the parsonage was tendered to Dr. Dudley from July, 1, 1923, to September, 15, 1923, free of charge.
On Sunday July, 1, 1923, the Deacons announced that they had secured the services of Rev. Henry A. Griesemier, D. D., of Baltimore for three months as temporary pastor.
On July, 11, 1923, a special conference was called to elect a pulpit committee and on recommendation of the Deacons the following were elected: L. M. Harrell, B. E. Lawrence, Carroll Myers, B. L. Jackson, Alwyn Howell, Christopher T. Hutchins, K. O. Howell, W. M. Smith, H. A. Hunt, Dallas R. Overman, Mrs. F. T. Beazley, Mrs. J. M. Gaskins, Mrs. J. H. Mobley, Mrs. W. R. Maynard.
On August, 1, 1923 the pulpit committee made a report and recommended that Dr. Griesemier be invited to remain with us as temporary pastor until January, 1, 1924, and was adopted, and Dr. Griesemeir later announced that he had decided to remain.
At the annual conference of September, 16, 1923, the membership was 572 and the Treasurer reported a deficit of $566.31. All the officers were re-elected with the exception of Bro. B. L. Jackson, who declined to serve longer as Financial Secretary and later Bro. Christopher T. Hutchins was elected in his stead.
At this meeting the Trustees, who had been instructed at a previous conference to inspect the parsonage property with the view of having it reconditioned, recommended that the property be sold and the funds turned back to the building fund from which it had been borrowed, and the recommended was adopted and the Trustees were empowered to dispose of the property to the best advantage.
Bro. J. W. Stroud tendered his resignation as a Deacon, which was accepted.
During September and October, 1923, under the leadership of our temporary Pastor, the deficit in the current expenses including the loan from the American National Bank was paid off and at the monthly conference of October, 3, 1923, the Treasurer reported a balance in bank of $13.93 with all bills paid.
On November, 7, 1923, the Trustees recommended that the parsonage property be sold to W. F. Taylor for $6000.00 and the recommendation was adopted and the Trustees authorized to consummate the sale.
On Sunday morning, November, 25, 1923, the church was called in special conference, with Dr. A. R. Love, Pastor of the 4th Street Baptist Church, present and presiding, to hear the report of the pulpit committee which recommended that a call be extended to Dr. Griesemier to become our permanent pastor from January, 1, 1924, at a salary of $4,200.00. The report of the committee was adopted and the working committee of five were requested to notify him and urge his acceptance.
At the time of Dr. Griesemier’s coming into our midst as temporary pastor, our church was to all appearance hopelessly divided, in fact a split was expected at any time, but through his influence and during his six months as temporary pastor, conditions were beginning to improve slowly, and in the opinion of your committee if Dr. Griesemier had not come among us we believe our church would have been divided.
At the monthly conference of November, 28,1923, the committee on revision of roll recommended that 90 names be erased, which recommendation was adopted.
On December, 16, 1923, Dr. Griesemier read his letter of acceptance of the call recently extended him.
On January, 2, 1924, the Deacons recommended that in view of the new situation relative to the erection of a church building, a new church building committee of seven be appointed by the pastor and the following were appointed: F. D. Lawrence, J. L. Robertson, F. W. Beazley, H. A. Hunt, J. S. Parker, M. O. Lawrence, T. D. Roper and C. C. Hall.
The Treasurer of the Building Fund reported on January, 30, 1924 a balance of $16,998.68.
At the monthly conference of January, 30, 1924 the committee on revision of roll recommended that 18 names be erased, which was adopted.
On April, 2, 1924, Bro. F. D. Lawrence, tendered his resignation as Treasurer of the Building Fund which was accepted and K. O. Howell was elected in his place.
On May, 5, 1924, we were called to mourn the death of Deacon Jno .W. Lawrence, who also had been in failing health for some time prior to his death and had been unable to engage in any of the church activities for several years. At the very beginning of our organization in its very earliest history, Bro. Lawrence was very active in both Sunday School and Church work and served both for many years in various ways and was a great help even long before he was actually a member. He was baptized by Pastor Stephenson on October, 6, 1909, and took a great interest in every department of the church life. In addition to having been a Deacon, he was Superintendent of Sunday School.
On May, 21, 1924, a special conference was called and the building committee submitted a set of revised plans for our new church, not to exceed $75,000.00, and after thorough explanation, the committee was instructed to proceed with the securing of plans and the erection of the building.
After an effort extending over a period of ten years, actual work on our new church was started September 15, 1924, contract price $56,640.00, estimated cost equipped $75,000.00. Calvin Johnson and Son, Contractors, Wickham C. Taylor, of Norfolk Architect.
At the annual conference of September, 21, 1924, the Treasurers of the church and the various organizations reported total receipts for all purposes $14,697.11, and the membership was 463.
We believe special mention should be made that Bro. A. R. Williams has been elected a delegate to the Portsmouth Association every year since our church was organized.
J. L. Robertson
On July, 28, 1920 the church sustained a severe blow in the loss by death one of our four deacons, Bro. Edgar O. Young – he had served the church faithfully as member and deacon, and was one of the pioneer workers for the Baptist Cause in Park View, keeping up unabated interest until God called him home.
His work as a member of the Building Committee is now telling in the erection of the new church.
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Beauchamp, W. B. - 1892-1893
Carter, D. D. – 1893-1895
Proctor, W. R. – 1895-1899
Latham, J. N. – 1899-1902
McGee, J. Ellington – 1903-1904
Dey, Bascom – 1904-1905
Parker, Walter G. – 1905-1908
Davis, Henry W. – 1908-1909
Smart, W. A., DD – 1909-1913
Haynes, W. T. A. – 1913-1917
Chapman. J. A. – 1917-1918
Chandler, R, M, - 1918-1922
Finch, James L. – 1922-1923
Green, J. T. – 1923-1927
Merritt, Daniel T. – 1927-1931
Dunkey, H. H. – 1931-1932
Batten, J. S. – 1932-1935
Clarke, A. B. – 1935-1938
Aaron, E. W. – 1939- 1943
Winton, W. G. – 1943-1947
Allen, Joseph T. – 1947-1949
Boyd, George H. – 1949-1954
Calvert, Delford N. – 1954-1958
Curry, H. Wark – 1958-1960
Craver, Harry W. – 1960-1964
Eason, Robert H. – 1964-1968
Whetzel, Kenneth – 1968-1972
Ayers, William – 1972-1974
Taylor, Willuiam – 1974-1977
Edge, Fred – 1977-1980
Shepherd, Joseph – 1980-1984
Hundley, James H. – 1984-1988
Sligh, Gary L. S. – 1988-1992
Bright, John – 1992-1996
Spaugh, Dan G. 1996-2000
Johnson, Ervin – 2000-2003
Davis, Alexander – 2003-
First black minister-only 12 members retained after transition, 35 black members were taken in 2003
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Submitted by Margaret Windley
Park view Methodist was established by Monumental Methodist at the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Church, November 1892
Charter Members of Park View United Methodist Church
John H. Brownley – 2 July 1893
Eliza H. Brownley – 2 July 1893
Emily Finley Lawrence Bunting – 16 July 1893
Thomas L. Cleaton – 2 July 1893
Nettie Dill Cleaton – 2 July 1893
M. T. Dill – 2 July 1893
Susan Dill – 2 July 1893
Mary E. Dill – 2 July 1893
David R. Harrell – 2 July 1893
Elizabeth N. Harrell – 2 July 1893
James W. Harrell – 13 August 1893
Rosa Lee Harrell – 2 July 1893
C. W. Hudgins – 2 July 1893
Carrie L. Hudgins – 2 July 1893
Nancy Jones – 9 July 1893
J. G. Kornegay – 7 October 1893
Sallie Kornegay – 7 October 1893
Sandy Martin – 2 July 1893
Lillian L. Mears (Married Taylor) – 7 October 1893
Mary M. Mears – 7 October 1893
Marion F. Mears – 7 October 1893
Elizabeth F. Mears – 7 October 1893
Willis K. Neville
J. J. Robinson (Robertson) – 2 July 1893
A.R. Robinson (Robertson) – 2 July 1893
J. B. Shipp – 9 July 1893
Fannie Shipp – 9 July 1893
Addie Turner – 9 July 1893
E. V. White – 2 July 1893 **
Mrs. Samuel (Mary F.) Woods – 7 October 1893
**Mrs. Samuel (Mary) Woods was the widow of Samuel Woods, a Medal of Honor recipient for action during the Siege of Suffolk. Mary Woods joined us in 1864. Samuel was admitted a little later.