521 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Bladenboro NC 28320

Post Office Box 866, Bladenboro, NC 28320

First Baptist of Bladenboro

521 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive

Bladenboro, NC 28320

PO Box 866, Bladenboro, NC 28320

The History Of First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church is located at 521 Martin Luther King Jr., Drive in Bladenboro, North Carolina under the leadership of Pastor Gregory D. Taylor.


The conception of First Baptist Church evolved in 1912. During that time, members commuted to the Mother Church, Bryant Swamp, in Richardson, North Carolina. History has it that the “First Church” structure was a one-room building with a “pop belly stove” in the center of the room.


In 1918, First Baptist Church was formally established. The land for the Church was and always has been situated at what is now known as 521 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive in Bladenboro, NC. Once First Baptist was established, paramount to the leaders’ visionary goals became that of land ownership and an improved edifice in which to worship. The Church remained without major renovations and improvements until the early 1940’s. The deed records 1918 as the date for the land acquisition of First Baptist Church.

History credits the late Mr. Jeff Rush, Mr. Pate Willis, Reverend Harrison Elwell Singletary, Mr. Ruben Brunson, and Mr. Benjamin Lacy, Sr. as founders/co-founders of First Baptist Church.


During A. C. Jones’ tenure, the vision of building an upgraded edifice for worship was graciously undertaken with Superintendent Wade Banner as an integral and key player.

Mr. Banner was a bricklayer (exalted for his craftsmanship) engaged in numerous masonry projects in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Monies were appropriated over several years. When enough money had been donated, bricks were ordered through Bridger Corporation. These bricks were delivered by railroad boxcars.


First Baptist Church was built by dedicated members (no charge) personally undertaking the task of using their skills, abilities, and their physical labor. Mr. Wade Banner took a building leadership role. He would lay the brick corners during the week. The members of First Baptist who were skilled in building and masonry would work together and lay the bricks on the weekend. These members were French Ruffin, Tennison “Buddy” Ruffin, Booker T. Ruffin, Wade Banner, and B. J. Lacy, Jr.


Dr. A. C. Jones, a talented carpenter, utilized his skills to complete much of the interior design of First Baptist Church. Wade Cain was hired to sub-contract other carpentry jobs.

In 1949, under the esteemed leadership of Dr. A.C. Jones, the present structure was erected. The current structure was designed to accommodate a seating capacity of 350 worshippers. First Baptist Church was initially equipped without a central heating and air conditioning system, but one was later added. New pews, pulpit furniture, musical instruments (piano & organ), carpet, audio-visual materials, bibles, and hymnals were purchased. Since 1949, the basement of the church has been renovated to include classrooms, a kitchen, and dining facility. Also added were the Pastor’s Study, an administrative office, and Baptistery.


Under Pastor Taylor’s leadership, additional land for parking was purchased along with the Roosevelt Singletary property. In 1995, as the result of Reverend Gregory D. Taylor’s vision, the “Loving Hands Child Care Center” opened. The Child Care Center’s architectural design was drawn by a member of First Baptist Church, Sister Cleopatrice Lacy Robinson. The men of First Baptist provided the labor to renovate the existing house. To date, the “Loving Hands Child Care Center” is licensed by the State of North Carolina to provide quality, Christian child care and educational services to 25 children.

During the 1930’s, the Church served as an elementary school, and Mrs. Mary Hayes was the teacher. First Baptist Church has had a list of esteemed ministers who have served as Pastor of the Church.


Reverend E. D. Womack

Reverend Paul Merritt
Reverend Leroy Blount

Reverend John Beatty
Reverend Latty Powell

Reverend A. R. Arnette
Reverend Saul Eagle

Reverend B. B. Bethea
Reverend A. R. Reeves

Reverend W. D. Mitchell
Reverend A. C. Jones (1948 – 1991 “42 Years”)
Reverend Gregory Taylor, Pastor (1991- Present)

Deacon Benjamin Lacy, Sr.
Deacon Pate Willis
Deacon Ruben Brunson
Deacon Eugene Simpson
Deacon Charlie Brunson
Deacon Memory Purdy
Deacon Louis Bowens
Deacon James Bowens
Deacon James Bethea, Sr.
Deacon Irvin Brunson
Deacon Benjamin “BJ” Lacy, Jr.
Deacon Russell T. Ruffin
Deacon Nathaniel Lennon
Deacon James Livingston
Deacon Herbert Freeman
Deacon Wilson A. Lacy
Deacon William Singletary
Reverend Att Gillespie*
Reverend Dr. Van Rhoe*
Reverend Ernest Kelly*
Reverend Crayton Lacy, Jr.*
Reverend Leato Ruffin*
Reverend Barbara Singletary*
Reverend C. B. Walters*
Reverend Alexander Turner
Reverend Dr. Cleopatrick Lacy
Reverend Georgiana Turner
Reverend Doris Haynes
Reverend Frank “Rex” Lacy

Preach the word in season and out of season; rebuke, convict, plead with your hearers: never lose patience with them, and never give up teaching’ (2 Timothy 4:2)