JERUSALEM MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church’s first deed was drawn up on June 13, 1899 for three and one-half acres of land, but was not actually recorded until October 11, 1929 (Book 1266 page 469). The land was purchased and deeded to Jerusalem from Carrington and Margaret Jones with Trustees Peter Towns, Jerry Martin and Willie Shields acting in part of the church. On April 21, 1999, we purchased one-half acre from one of our members Mrs. Blanche Jackson (deceased) for $450.00. This made the total amount of land that Jerusalem has presently, four acres.
From 1899 to the present the following ministers have had the privilege of serving as pastor of Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church: Rev. Mabry, Rev. House, Rev. Flynn, Rev. Strodder, Rev. J. W. Greer, Rev. Jim Brown, Rev. Sam Hardaway, Rev. Jessie King, Rev. Newson, Rev. J.T. Wynn, Rev. John W. Hardaway, Rev. James Wesley Williams, Rev. John S. Howard. Rev. William F. Jones, Rev. Gifton H. Jones Jr. and our present pastor Rev. Wallace Cunningham.
At one time Jerusalem was a wood church that was erected facing the East direction. In 1956 the old sanctuary (now our fellowship hall) was built under the leadership of Rev. J.W. Hardaway. While erecting the edifice, church service was held at Whites Chapel School. Following the pastoral leadership of Rev. J.W. Hardaway, Rev. John Westley Williams served in this building baptizing many souls in Joe Gallina Pond, once located across the street. In 1975 Rev. John S. Howard’s tenure began at Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church. Under his leadership, an educational facility, kitchen and fellowship hall were added to the old structure. Following Rev. John S. Howard, Rev. William F. Jones was elected as pastor; he served until God called him from labor to reward in July 1988.
On November 14, 1988, Rev. Gifton H., Jones Jr., was elected the pastor of Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church. Under his leadership, we purchased a new van in 1989. We began our kick off building fund drive on January 20, 1991. We marched from the old sanctuary to the East side for our ground breaking ceremony on the 1st Sunday in April 1991. From April 1991 until February 1994, the Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church’s new edifice was under construction. During the construction, in Sunday school we were studying a series on Nehemiah building walls around Jerusalem. It was at this time the tresses built to uphold our new edifice came tumbling down. Therefore, we leaned on our faith, picked up the debris, and began to rebuild the walls of our Jerusalem. This misfortune could have been a setback, but through the grace of God, God allowed this to be a stepping stone. We picked up the pieces of debris and kept marching by faith.
Let us take notice that the first two years of construction were financed through the tithes, offerings, and pledges from the membership. The new edifice was finished in mid-February in 1994 at a cost of $550,000.00. We financed $231,144.00 with interest, finance charges and closing cost. The membership was also blessed to purchase a Baby Grand Piano for cash under Pastor Jones leadership.
We were blessed spiritually and financially. In addition, the membership continued to grow in grace and in the knowledge of God. On March 7, 1994, the church motorcade down Shelby Dr. to Weaver Rd. to Raines Rd and down Sewanee Rd. to Shelby Drive. After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Pastor Gifton H. Jones Jr. and the contractor, Mr. Lurton Lipton of L.E.L. Construction Company, led the congregation into our new sanctuary, where we are presently worshiping and praising God.
On January 13, 2003, the congregation met and began a financial drive of $30,000.00 to climax the third Sunday, March 6, 2003. Our goal was to pay Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church off in the year 2004. The goal of $30,000.00 was not met in March of 2003, but by the grace of God, we started another financial drive in January 2006, which climaxed the first Sunday in March 2006. We were able to pay the balance of the Mortgage off in March 2006. On June 4, 2006, the Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church burned the mortgage on this edifice.
In 2008, Pastor Jones and the congregation saw a need to renovate the old sanctuary and educational building. After careful consideration, it was more feasible to demolish the educational building and to completely renovate the sanctuary into the Fellowship Hall. On May 1, 2008, the construction was started and the renovation was complete two months later on Saturday, July 12, 2008. On Sunday, December 7, 2008, the congregation named the fellowship hall in honor of our Pastor, Dr. Gifton H. Jones Jr. Fellowship Hall.
In late November of 2013 Rev. Gifton Jones appointed Elder Ollie Gardner and Rev. Wallace Cunningham to carry on his worship service in his absence. After the passing of Rev, Gifton H. Jones Jr. on March, 19, 2014, Elder Ollie Gardner and Rev. Wallace Cunningham continued to carry the worship service on.
On Saturday, July 12, 2014 Elder Ollie Gardner presided over a church business meeting in which the church unanimously elected Rev. Wallace Cunningham as our new pastor. Elder Ollie Gardner continued to worship with Jerusalem through the transition. On Sunday, September 21, 2014, Rev. Wallace Cunningham was installed by his father Rev. Frank Cunningham Jr. Since his installation we have been working to carry on the good work of faith.
Under the leadership of Rev. Wallace Cunningham, in January 2016, the church purchased an additional 7.19 acres of land, making our current total of land assessed at 11.19 acres. From 1899-2018 Jerusalem has been a beacon on the hill. As we continue to seek the Lord’s will for our church, we look forward to the great future God has in store for us. “Our Mission is to shine the light of Christ through faith, prayer, word and deed.”
1. Of the Scriptures
We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is a perfect treasure of heavenly instruction (1); that it has God for its author, salvation for its end (2), and truth without any mixture of error for its matter (3); that it reveals the principles by which God will judge us (4); and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union (5), and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried (6).
2. Of the True God
We believe that there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, whose name is JEHOVAH, the Maker and Supreme Ruler of Heaven and earth (1); inexpressibly glorious in holiness (2), and worthy of all possible honor, confidence, and love (3); that in the unity of the Godhead there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (4); equal in every divine perfection (5), and executing distinct and harmonious offices in the great work of redemption (6).
3. Of the Fall of Man
We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker (1); but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state (2); in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners (3), not by constraint, but choice (4); being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin (5), without defense or excuse (6).
4. Of the Way of Salvation
We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly of grace (1), through the mediatorial offices of the Son of God (2); who by the appointment of the Father, freely took upon him our nature, yet without sin (3); honored the divine law by his personal obedience (4), and by his death made a full atonement for our sins (5); that having risen from the death, he is now enthroned in heaven (5); and uniting in his wonderful person the tenderest sympathies with divine perfections, he is every way qualified to be a suitable, a compassionate, and an all- sufficient Saviour (7).
5. Of Justification
We believe that the great gospel blessing which Christ (1) secures to such as believe in him is Justification (2); that Justification includes the pardon of sin (3), and the promise of eternal life on principles of righteousness (4); that it is bestowed, not in consideration of any works of righteousness which we have done, but solely through faith in the Redeemer's blood (5); by virtue of which faith his perfect righteousness is freely imputed to us of God (6; that it brings us into a state of most blessed peace and favor with God, and secures every other blessing needful for time and eternity (7).
6. Of the Freeness of Salvation
We believe that the blessings of salvation are made free to all by the gospel (1); that it is the immediate duty of all to accept them by a cordial, penitent, and obedient faith (2); and that nothing prevents the salvation of the greatest sinner on earth but his own inherent depravity and voluntary rejection of the gospel (3); which rejection involves him in an aggravated condemnation (4).
7. Of Grace in Regeneration
We believe that, in order to be saved, sinners must be regenerated, or born again (1); that regeneration consists in giving a holy disposition to the mind (2); that it is effected in a manner above our comprehension by the power of the Holy Spirit, in connection with divine truth (3), so as to secure our voluntary obedience to the gospel (4); and that its proper evidence appears in the holy fruits of repentance, and faith, and newness of life (5).
8. Of Repentance and Faith
We believe that Repentance and Faith are sacred duties, and also inseparable graces, wrought in our souls by the regenerating Spirit of God (1); whereby being deeply convinced of our guilt, danger, and helplessness, and of the way of salvation by Christ (2), we turn to God with unfeigned contrition, confession, and supplication for mercy (3); at the same time heartily receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, and relying on him alone as the only and all-sufficient Saviour (4).
9. Of God's Purpose of Grace
We believe that Election is the eternal purpose of God, according to which he graciously regenerates, sanctifies, and saves sinners (1); that being perfectly consistent with the free agency of man, it comprehends all the means in connection with the end (2); that it is a most glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, being infinitely free, wise, holy, and unchangeable (3); that it utterly excludes boasting, and promotes humility, love, prayer, praise, trust in God, and active imitation of his free mercy (4); that it encourages the use of means in the highest degree (5); that it may be ascertained by its effects in all who truly believe the gospel (6); that it is the foundation of Christian assurance (7); and that to ascertain it with regard to ourselves demands and deserves the utmost diligence (8).
10. Of Sanctification
We believe that Sanctification is the process by which, according to the will of God, we are made partakers of his holiness (1); that it is a progressive work (2); that it is begun in regeneration (3); and that it is carried on in the hearts of believers by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, the Sealer and Comforter, in the continual use of the appointed means-especially the Word of God, self-examination, self-denial, watchfulness, and prayer (4).
11. Of the Perseverance of Saints
We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end (1); that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors (2); that a special Providence watches over their welfare (3); and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (4).
12. Of the Harmony of the Law and the Gospel
We believe that the Law of God is the eternal and unchangeable rule of his moral government (1); that it is holy, just, and good (2); and that the inability which the Scriptures ascribe to fallen men to fulfill its precepts arises entirely from their love of sin (3); to deliver them from which, and to restore them through a Mediator to unfeigned obedience to the holy Law, is one great end of the Gospel, and of the means of grace connected with the establishment of the visible Church (4).
13. Of a Gospel Church
We believe that a visible Church of Christ is a congregation of baptized believers (1), associated by covenant in the faith and fellowship of the gospel (2); observing the ordinances of Christ (3); governed by his laws (4), and exercising the gifts, rights, and privileges invested in them by his Word (5); that its only scriptural officers are Bishops, or Pastors, and Deacons (6), whose qualifications, claims, and duties are defined in the Epistles to Timothy and Titus.
14. Of Baptism and the Lord's Supper
We believe that Christian Baptism is the immersion in water of a believer (1), into the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost (2); to show forth, in a solemn and beautiful emblem, our faith in the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour, with its effect in our death to sin and resurrection to a new life (3); that it is prerequisite to the privileges of a Church relation; and to the Lord's Supper (4), in which the members of the Church, by the sacred use of bread and wine, are to commemorate together the dying love of Christ (5); preceded always by solemn self-examination (6).
15. Of the Christian Sabbath
We believe that the first day of the week is the Lord's Day, or Christian Sabbath (1); and is to be kept sacred to religious purposes (2), by the devout observance of all the means of grace, both private (3) and public (4); and by preparation for that rest that remaineth for the people of God (5).
16. Of Civil Government
We believe that civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society (1); and that magistrates are to be prayed for, conscientiously honored and obeyed (2); except only in things opposed to the will of our Lord Jesus Christ (3) who is the only Lord of the conscience, and the Prince of the kings of the earth (4).
17. Of the Righteous and the Wicked
We believe that there is a radical and essential difference between the righteous and the wicked (1); that such only as through faith are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and sanctified by the Spirit of our God, are truly righteous in his esteem (2); while all such as continue in impenitence and unbelief are in his sight wicked, and under the curse (3); and this distinction holds among men both in and after death (4).
18. Of the World to Come
We believe that the end of the world is approaching (1); that at the last day Christ will descend from heaven (2), and raise the dead from the grave to final retribution (3); that a solemn separation will then take place (4); that the wicked will be adjudged to endless punishment, and the righteous to endless joy (5); and that this judgment will fix forever the final state of men in heaven or hell, on principles of righteousness (6).
Rev. Wallace Cunningham
Deacon Board Chairman
Minister of Music
Rev. Clennon Saulsberry Jr.
Kitchen Committee Chairwoman
Men's Ministry President
Women's Ministry President
Youth Ministry President