By Darlene Bright
[Extracted from a manuscript by Mrs. Frances Ray and Mrs. Blanche Tucker, titled, “Our Church History 60th Anniversary November 22, 1998”.]
Present day Carolina Beach Baptist Church got its beginning on November 20, 1938. Baptist members of an interdenominational Sunday School building, which was built a few years before on Fourth and Cape Fear Blvd., decided it was time to build their own church. Other denominations began to splinter off as the area was growing and the population increasing.
Members continued to meet in the Sunday School building during the organizational period. With sponsorship by the Wilmington Baptist Association, a special service was held on November 20, 1938, where a Council of Ordained Elders was elected with Dr. A. J. Barton as Chairman. With leaders of nearby Baptist churches present, Rev. Dr. Barton led the congregation in singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy” and prayed for guidance of the Holy Spirit and suggested, “the congregation should be motivated by love, tender mercy, and desire to spread the Kingdom of God on earth.”
At the end of the service, twenty persons stood and became charter members of the Carolina Beach Baptist Church. Committees were formed to make the new church happen.
Progress was slow until 1942 when the influx of military personnel and defense workers made the erection of a building for worship imperative.
On April 25, 1942, eighteen charter members of a Woman’s Missionary Society was organized with Mrs. Estelle Robinson elected as President. These women got the ball rolling by contributing liberally of their time and money. They organized several christian youth auxiliaries and helped the NC Baptist Mission Board to recognize their need to gain their support.
During a frenzy of effort and fundraising, building lots on Lake Park Blvd. and Wilson Avenue were purchased and paid for by the State Mission Board at a cost of $7,250. “On Tuesday, January 25, 1944, ground was broken for the new edifice”, with a seating capacity of 300. Mr. L. J. Jordan, local contractor and member of the church supervised the construction, completed and first occupied August 17, 1944.
Through the next 69 years, Carolina Beach Baptist Church grew in many respects. A new parsonage was added along with a huge educational building, always meeting the needs as they arose. Through hard times, easy times, storms and sunny days, Carolina Beach Baptist Church has been held up by strong pillars and good christian people guided by dedicated
We should never forget Mrs. S. C. Ogburn, who opened her home around 1930 on Sundays for Sunday School and sparked the idea that became First Baptist Church of Carolina Beach.
Published December, 2013 – Federal Point History Center – By Darlene Bright