Reflections of the Past 1984 – 2005
“A church born in prayer, bound by love and committed to Christ’s Lordship”
On April 1, 1984, following forty days of prayer, around 300 dedicated people met at St. Andrew’s High School and decided to organize as a fully cooperating Southern Baptist Church, with Midland Park as our sponsoring church.
Dr. R. Elton Johnson was called as our first pastor, preaching his first sermon on April 8th, with Randy Wagner serving as first Minister of Music and Rita Varnadoe as Pianist. Sunday School was staffed with a complete slate of workers for all age groups. All missionary organizations were formed with experienced leaders. There were over 300 Charter Members. Services were held at Oakland Elementary School.
Quoting from the first issue of the newsletter THE VISION, “It is not by chance that the congregation chose that name for the newsletter. God has given us a great vision of a great Bible-believing, Christ-honoring, soul-winning, mission-minded, warm-hearted lighthouse church reaching out to the entire Charleston area. We have committed ourselves to that vision, whatever it takes, to the glory of God!”
Sixteen deacons were elected in September that first year. A Church Family Ministry and Prayer Chain was in operation, day and night, as well as a Ministry to the Deaf. A room was set aside each Sunday at 8:30 A.M. for all. who could come for a time of prayer.
In 1985, the church was voted into the Association. We also purchased 15.63 acres of land near Citadel Mall. In May 1986, our first revival was held on the property in a tent, with Carey Miller as visiting evangelist.
Following the master plan that had been approved by the congregation, the first building was started on August 17, 1986 – a multipurpose building to be used as a sanctuary, office space and Sunday School rooms. For financing the church had a very successful bond program and The Foundations for the Future Program exceeded the Victory Goal! The first day in the new building was September 6, 1987. Because of tremendous growth, two new buildings were later added: Victory Hall in April 1991, and Harmony Hall in April 1992. We are currently completing Phase 2 of our building program, which includes our Family Life Center.
Two families have been called from our church to foreign missions, and Larry, Peggy and Maggie Carnes are now serving in Romania. A number of members have been called into full-time Christian service.
Dr. Jack C. Moore was called to Charleston Baptist Church and preached his first sermon as Pastor on June 4, 1989. On March 17, 1994, Tim Holley was called to the church as our first Minister of Education. He was followed by Minister of Education and Administration, Don Hawley, in July 2000. Our emphasis on youth led us to call Tony Bowman as Youth Minister in June 1997. On August 9, 1998, Boyd Ammerman became our full-time Minister of Music. In February 1999, Teresa King became our Children’s Director.
On April 29, 2001, Charleston Baptist Church dedicated its Family Ministry Center. This new building includes a gym and fellowship hall, as well as a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen and additional classrooms. In the words of Pastor Jack C. Moore, “We thank God for our past and look forward to a glorious future. We take our hats off to the past and our coats off to the future. We have come this far by faith and with Jesus the best is yet to be.”