The Jordan Hill Missionary Baptist Church began under a brush arbor in 1859 and a building was later constructed on this site; part of the foundation still remains. The genesis of this church was 6 years before the end of the Civil War. Located in the Five Forks community was a small band of former slaves who believed God wanted them to have a church of their own and not just be a part of someone else church. Still suffering from the effects of slavery and with little money available; not looking at their past but looking to their future with a strong faith in God and that God will make away. They made a move from Five Forks community to a location across the road where the present structure stands. The Reverend Jim Gardner founded the church, serving as its first pastor and a brush arbor structure was erected.
The church consisted mostly of rocks for pews and a dirt floor. Times were very difficult and trying to make ends meet was very hard. Worshipping was most difficult when it was cold and rainy. A plan was quickly put in place for a permanent structure. The church purchased approximately three acres of land from the Palmer Plantation for $75. The church building was built in 1905 approximately 100 feet to the left of the present structure. Rev. Gardner served as pastor for 32 years.
In 1912 God sent our second pastor the Reverend Bennie Bullock from the Manson area. Under Reverend Bullock’s leadership, the present structure was built in 1923 and the old building was torn down. The creation of BTU was incorporated into the Sunday School. Reverend Bullock served for forty years until his health declined. His farewell sermon echoed for years on the walls of Jordan Hill, “When Noah Built the Ark”.
The year of 1959 bought our third pastor, the Reverend P. K. Davis, from the Afton area. His tenure was three years before his work on earth was completed. Under his leadership, a steeple was built, new windows installed, and the fellowship building was added.
The fourth pastor was the Reverend Shirley Edwards of Potocasi, North Carolina. Reverend Edwards was a strong advocate of church union, Shaw University, and Sunday School. Under his leadership, new gas heaters were installed, pulpit set purchased, and a Holy Communion set was purchased. The church was underpinned, Reverend Edwards served from 1962 to 1973. His love for Jordan Hill was tremendous! He came back to visit often after retiring from pastoralship; practicing what he preached, “show love and educate my people”.
In the year of 1973, God sent our fifth pastor, the Rev. James Melton, from Spring Hope, North Carolina. He served for fourteen years. Under his leadership, bathrooms were installed, the pews were purchased, the PA system installed, carpet added, and the church was painted.
On the fourth Sunday in February 1988, God sent our sixth pastor, the Reverend John Rooks of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. Under his leadership, central heating and air conditioning were installed, and the addition was added to the rear of the church. An additional 4.2 acres of land, across the street from the current structure, locally known as the Thomas and Nannie Shell place was acquired from the late Hattie Stith in the early ’90s. It was purchased for use as a cemetery. The church was repainted inside and out, and the church started celebrating its anniversary.
On August 27, 2010, God sent our seventh pastor, the Reverend Rickie R. Bell from Durham, North Carolina. God has enabled him to make a tremendous impact on the way we serve the Lord. There’s an old Aesop fable that we all know, “the Hare and Tortoise”. The Hare took off from the starting line in a full sprint believing speed alone would make him victorious. The Tortoise started much slower but was focused and determined to cross the finish line. As the race concluded, the Tortoise made it across the finish line first, which ties in with our new pastors’ first sermon for Jordan Hill Baptist Church “Don’t Count Jordan Hill Out”. To the community, “Don’t count Jordan Hill Out!” To the United Shiloh Association, “Don’t Count Jordan Hill Out!” To Warren County, “Don’t Count Jordan Hill Out!” for God is not through with us yet.
Under his leadership:
- The church initiated a second Sunday Morning Worship Service.
- Communion is served every fourth Sunday which includes visits and communion with the sick and shut in.
- A baptismal pool was installed.
- The church property was re-surveyed, and permanent markers were established.
- Bible Study was moved to Saturday before the 2nd and 4th Sunday.
- New Church Ministries: Missionary Circle, Usher Ministry, Outreach Ministry, Back to School Ministry, Community Day Ministry, Evangelistic Ministry and Pastor’s Aid.
- The church was completely renovated inside and out with restrooms added to the front of the church and new one in the rear; new pews, pulpit and choir chairs.
- The rear ladies’ restroom and conference room were transformed into the church’s Business Office, Kitchen and Fellowship Hall.
- New office equipment, tables, seats for the Fellowship Hall, and kitchen appliances.
- Pastor’s Study renovated and new furniture added.
- Sidewalks installed, paved the parking lot and added aerial lights.
- Directional signs to the church were installed throughout the community along with a New Illuminated Church Sign.
- The Church Annex Building’s was completely renovated with new features such as added storage spaces.
- Wi-Fi was added that gave the Church the ability to live stream our services, webpage and Facebook, security camera’s, install, thermostats that we remotely control the HVAC System, new monitor installed as well as speakers in the fellowship hall.
- The Lord is not through with him or Jordan Hill yet, the above is a major list of items but it is not inclusive. The Lord has blessed him and the Church to accomplish many of items.