Bass Chapel United Methodist Church
The beginning of Bass Chapel United Methodist Church makes an extremely unusual; but interesting story with a lasting impression.
The first church was organized in 1875 under the leadership of Rev. Charlie Burlock. The site for the church was purchased from Mr. Milton Bass, the purchase being spearheaded by a few, but interested persons; namely, Mr. John McKnight, Mr. James McAdoo, Mr. Preston Rankin, Mr. Calvin Gorrell, Mr. Leven Davis, Mr. Henry Davis and others. A small church was built on the site, but never completed.
The church was so small that some of the members had to build an arbor near the church. When the annual meeting was held in August some of the members who lived a good distance away put up tents and slept on the church grounds. Aside from the August annual meeting, Sunday services were held three times a day 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and at night.
For five years Rev. Burlock preached the pure "Word of God" to a very small number of faithful members. Rev. Lewis Gibson came in 1880 and he was a teacher as well as a preacher. He did much to lift the religious and cultural standards of those who resided in this small community.
In 1888, Rev. George Hill came to Bass Chapel Church. He stayed for two years and was followed by Rev. S. L. Johnson in 1890. Rev. Johnson showed great concern for everyone with whom he worked with in the community. Many of the older members were converted during his pastorate.
Rev. W. A. McMaster became the next pastor in 1895. He worked faithfully for two years and was succeeded by Rev. Ben F. Thomas in 1897. Rev. Thomas showed great interest in young people and was successful in saving many souls for Christ. In 1902, Rev. R. D. Bethea came to our community. Like Rev. Gibson, he assumed the role of teacher as well as preacher. During his eight years at Bass Chapel a frame church was completed to replace the first one that was built. At this time, a well was also dug on the church grounds.
Rev. Bethea was succeeded in 1910 by Rev. D. C. Skeen who served two years. Rev. Skeen was followed by Reverend J. A. Laughlin in 1912. For the next four years, Bass Chapel Church underwent another important development. Wings were built onto the church, which greatly improved the appearance of the church. Rev. G. W. Byers was the tenth minister to serve the church. He was well known as an evangelist as well as a good pastor. From 1916 to 1919 he served with benign influence, winning many souls for Christ. He was succeeded by Rev. M. C. Laughlin in 1919. He too, was a dynamic speaker. Rev. Laughlin was followed by Rev. W. R. Ziglar (1920-1922), Rev. J. B. Meekins (1922-1924), Rev. P. I. Wells (1924-1926), and Rev. P. F. Johnson (1926-1927). These men served well and gave untiringly of their services.
The years 1927 to 1935 marked another important development in the life of the congregation. Rev. J. W. Shuford was pastor during these years. He gave several years of rare leadership to the church. He engineered the building of a modern brick church with cathedral windows in 1929 and the membership grew tremendously. Following Rev. Shuford in 1935 was Rev. T. H. Wooten, he rendered unique service to the training of the youth of our community.
For the next few months Rev. M. M. Patrick served as pastor. After his death in 1939, the conference sent us Rev. J. H. Ledwell (1939-1941) and Rev. T. C. Frazier (1941-1942). Both were Christian leaders and both won many friends while at Bass Chapel Church.
From 1942-1949, Rev. W.T. Lomax served with an exceptional fruitful ministry. A recreational building was erected which was used for many purposes until on Sunday morning, January 8, 1961 a fire completely destroyed it.
In 1949, Rev. Eugene Black came to work with us. He performed his ministry to the delight of everyone. He made needed repairs to the sanctuary, installed a furnace, enlarged the choir stand and purchased a new organ for the church. Rev. Black was followed by Rev. W. E. Tyler in 1959. The pastorate of Rev. Liston Sellers Jr. began in June 1960 and he worked diligently with us. He sternly believed in devotion, service and sacrifice and geared his program to that end. His conviction can best be summed up with, "Christian training and fellowship are essential for living more hopefully".
In the 86 years of her existence Bass Chapel have shared in supplying resources that have enriched the church's life and promoted growth. There were a number of spiritual leaders at Bass Chapel United Methodist Church who gave inspiration through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. During the administration of these great leaders Bass Chapel Church was able to make many physical accomplishments; as well as spiritual growth.
In 1964, Rev. Belvin Jessup came to work with us. His love and concern for each member was expressed in a unique service to the church and community. Under the leadership of this young man of courage, faith and vision an educational building was erected. A building with three classrooms, restrooms, kitchen, fellowship hall, and pastor's study fully equipped. The sanctuary was also newly renovated.
After Rev. Jessup were numerous others; Rev. John W. Jones (1967), Rev. William Royster (1974), Rev. David Harkness, and Rev. D. J. Hughes.
The pastorate of Rev. Cornelius Holland (1976) was an exceptional ministry. His inspiring sermons were received to the delight of the congregation.
In 1982, Rev. Paul Milton became our pastor. He firmly believed in giving the best of his service as he served humanity through prayer, visitation, and service. We are grateful to Almighty God for his Christian leadership. He was followed by Rev. Peter Addo (1988) and Rev. Diane Jones (1991).
Bass Chapel has progressed tremendously from the brush Arbor in 1875. We thank God for giving that small band of Christians the vision to organize the church.
We were blessed to have Rev. Larry E. Fitzgerald come to us in 1992. Under his great leadership our vision will become a reality. Our hopes and desires would be fulfilled as we continued to work together in love, peace and unity. We are grateful to Almighty God for his love and guidance as we move toward building a new church. Knowing that with him all things are possible. Giving thanks to our Lord and Savior for our accomplishments. "Great is thy faithfulness".
The Bass Chapel United Methodist Church family gives God the glory for all of our blessings. For many years the Bass Chapel Church family had a vision to build a new Church. In 1995 following the guidance of the Holy Spirit and under the leadership of our minister, Rev. Larry E. Fitzgerald we were able to purchase 3 1/2 acres of property from Mr. Ulysses Pleasant for the new structure.
On December 17, 1995 we walked from the old church to the new location for the Groundbreaking service. Our vision became a reality September 1996 when the new church was completed. On September 15, 1996 we marched from 5064 to 5075 Bass Chapel Road to a beautiful new edifice for 11:00 am service which was a joyful and spirit-filled occasion. We praised God for his goodness, grace, and mercy that brought us through. The new edifice was consecrated to the GLORY of God with a series of services October 13-18, 1996. Bass Chapel United Methodist Church has moved to a new level. Our spirituality has been enriched by a Wednesday night Bible Study Class. During the 1995 Conference year twelve new members were added to our membership. We are an impact church where lives are changed, Many great things have been accomplished through prayer, service and dedication since moving into the new building. The cornerstone service was held on October 11, 1998, performed by the Invincible Lodge 251 P.H.A., paying tribute to the memory of the late Brother Andrew O. Jones Sr., Past Master of the Lodge. The cornerstone is considered to be the most important stone of the edifice. The Stone which the builders refused has become the head stone of the corner. This is the Lord's doing. It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day in which the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:22-24.) Jesus Christ himself the chief cornerstone.
On July 10, 2011, through the Guidance of the Holy Spirit and WNCC; we were Blessed with the appointed an Ambitious, Humorous, Spirit-Filled Minister, Rev. Donald E. McCoy. His inspiring and uplifting sermons were a delight to the congregation. We have Come This Far By Faith - Leaning On The Lord. To God be the Glory for the things He has done. We have had 33 ministers at Bass Chapel United Methodist Church.
Our outlook back on July 10, 2011 was to be faithful in the face of discouragement, remain constant before criticism, or doubt. To believe in eternal truth and work diligently so our names will glow with a holy luster on the ages of the Divine Record. This sort of spirit will send our church through another one hundred and thirty-six years of service.
Willie Mae Jones
Historian, July 10, 2011
Pastor McCoys sermons kept our minds focused and we anxiously awaited to hear more each Sunday after Sunday. Rev. McCoy also had a special message just for our children each Sunday. He had a nice sounding harmonious singing voice and he shared this gift with Bass Chapel.
Rev. McCoy proposed a birthday fundraiser which became popular with the congregation. The monthly birthday ministry became very successful over the years and is still ongoing. It was through this ministry that Bass Chapel was able to pay our mortgage in full in 2016. This was a momentous highlight that was celebrated with a mortgage burning event.
Bass Chapel UMC is still standing on a firm foundation in 2018. We have been blessed with new members in our family.
Now under the divine leadership of God and our Pastor who has a heart of love and caring, Bass chapel will continue to be an instrument in the hands of God. On Christ the Solid Rock we will stand. Our outlook now is to be faithful in the face of discouragement, remain constant before criticism of doubt. To believe in eternal truths and work diligently so our names will glow with a holy luster on the ages of the Divine Record. This sort of spirit will send our church through another one hundred and forty-two years of service.
Humbly submitted by
Willie Mae Jones, Historian
Rev. McCoy’s ministry centered around our place in “His Story or His History”, as concerning Jesus Christ. He provided lessons on the things Jesus did and how these shape our past and present. He also stressed how we should interact with our church and community.
Rev. McCoy often used the phrase “Lessons for Your Blessing” to start his messages. He used the bible to show we are blessed and how we can bless others. Prayer was always at the center and often unplanned, but spirit led prayer sessions blessed the services.
Rev. McCoy loves people and his smile and hugs blessed this church and the local community. He shared this smile when we provided meals at the homeless shelter. His smile was shared with the young men at the “Ball Ministry”. His love for basketball provided an opportunity to share his love for Christ with young men who knew nothing of Jesus.
Rev. McCoy led or supported the activities and ministries of Bass Chapel. The United Methodist Women of Bass Chapel sponsored a number of events; usually one event in the spring and fall. The United Methodist Men led the management of the breakfast ministry at the homeless shelter. The men sponsored a yearly car show on the father’s day weekend.
The Sounds of Bass continue the long history of fine music presented at Bass Chapel UMC. Some of the choir members also support the Ecumenical Greensboro Cluster Choir. The Nehemiah Men Chorus provides the music on the second Sunday each month.
Some other ministries of Bass Chapel include the Love in Action and the support of the Crop Walk. The Adult Ministry held weekly bible studies, a fall festival, and a yearly community attended Senior Christmas Party.
Rev. McCoy’s passion and love for people shined during the 2020 COVID 19 pandemic. He was able to keep the fellowship active in church starting with Thursday night teleconferences. He video recorded sermons which were played each Sunday on Facebook. He held socially distanced approved outdoor services with most members attending via teleconference or watched on Facebook Live.
In the 2020 In response to hundreds of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who took his last breath under the knee of a police officer. Rev. McCoy messages reflected how we should react during this time of time change. Rev. McCoy was also active in the community. Rev. McCoy, Rev. Ingram (who would follow as Pastor at Bass Chapel UMC) and other local pastors took part in a Prayer Vigil at St. Matthews UMC in Greensboro titled “Let's Talk Race”, held June 25, 2020.
Rev. McCoy said his living passion motto is: “I shall pass this way but once; therefore, I shall so all the good I can, making a difference while I can to God’ glory for I shall not pass this way again.”
Humbly submitted by
Willie Mae Jones and William L. Mitchell
Historians, June 26, 2020