Salem Missionary Baptist

Salem Missionary Baptist Church

Salem Missionary Baptist Church was established through God’s calling and after prayer by a small group of Christians in 1983. Early in that year five couples who were members of a Baptist Church in a neighboring community began praying together specifically about a church in their community of Salem. God answered these prayers very clearly and supplied each need as it arose. His blessings were so great that every expense was paid as it was incurred and the church has never owed anything.

On July 17, 1983, the first services were held in the old Church of God building across the railroad with 42 in Sunday School with a class for each age group and 60 in morning worship services. That night the attendance in Church Training classes was 36 and in the evening worship services the attendance was 44. The men of the church led in the service that day.

On the 21th of August 1983, Rev. Roland Gilliland, a friend met on missions in Honduras began as pastor while he was a student at Baptist Bible Institute. Rev. Jerry Pettyjohn began as the first full-time pastor on November 25, 1984. Rev. Marc Pargo came in February of 1993 and Rev. Jay Black in September of 2001.

Because of following God’s leadership in volunteer mission work, Christian friends from many areas of this country and Honduras have supported this Church with their prayers, finances, and physical labor. Their help and support were gifts from God. Salem Missionary Baptist Church has truly been a Church “built from scratch”. The men cut cypress logs in local woods, brought them out of the woods with the equipment and help of logging friends, sawed them into lumber on a sawmill loaned by a friend, and planed the boards on a borrowed planer.

On July 1, 1985 fifty men from Miami to North Georgia were in Salem to put the roof on the entire building. Salem Missionary Baptist Church thanks God especially for their brother, Tom McCollum, of Augusta, Georgia (another friend met on the mission field in Honduras) who is responsible for all the beautiful woodwork of the building (“Bezaleel” – Exodus 31:2-5) and for his wife, Ruth, who has so graciously loaned him to Salem for so long.

The children, youth, ladies, and men of Salem have all had a part in the work of finishing this Church. The work was hard but the love, joy, and fellowship shared has been unbelievable.

Anyone who passes through Salem is welcome to stop and visit, pray, and worship with Salem Missionary Baptist Church.