HISTORY OF BEAR CREEK
MISSIONARY BAPTIST ASSOCIATION
The Bear Creek Missionary Baptist Association was organized in 1872 by Rev. R.H. Harper, who was in the organization of Educational and Missionary Convention, together with Rev. W.H. Croom, Rev. J. C. Carroll and Rev. I.N. Patterson. Much credit is also given to Rev. A.A. Smith, the secretary who did much to strengthen the cause of the Bear Creek Baptist Association. Rev. A.A. Smith served as moderator until his death. Rev. W.L. Hood and Dr. E.E. Smith also served as moderator for many years.
In 1960, there were 34 churches and nearly two thousand members in the Association. The church property was valued at $12,175.00. Among the leaders were Rev. J.E. Bowden, Rev. U.G. Moye, Rev. B.F. Johnson, Rev. C.C. Crawford, Rev. J.S. Lyon, Rev. V.A. White, Rev. E.G. Williams, Rev. M. Mitchell, Rev. W.C. Cotton, Rev. A.B. Bryant, Rev. H.B. Joyner, and Rev. R.W. Underwood. The Brethren included C.J. Wall, H. Draughin, J.C. Coore, L.S. Swinson, Fred Isler, A.B. Jones, H.C. Sutton, C.L. Loftin, A.W. Bizzell, J.F. Evans, Major Bizzell, and many others.
Rev. J.E. Bowden served as moderator during the latter part of the 1950's. He was succeeded by the Rev. E.L. Daniels of Goldsboro, NC. Rev. Daniels served until his death April 4, 1981. Rev. W.C. Cotton of Rocky Mount served as Vice-Moderator with Daniels until his death.
In 1971, a Resolution of Cooperation was signed by Rev. Dr. W. C. Horton, Moderator, First Vice Moderato, Rev. Dr. Willie J. Cox and the Secretary, Mrs. Mercie Suggs.
Rev. Spencer Williams of Goldsboro was elected in 1981 to fill the unexpired term of Rev. Daniels as Moderator and Rev. W.C. Horton of Morehead City, NC was chosen as Vice Moderator. In October 1987, the Association elected Rev. W.C. Horton, Moderator; Rev. C.H. Brown, Rocky Mount, NC, 1st Vice Moderator; Rev. J.A. Mumford, Kinston, NC, 2nd Vice Moderator; Deacon Allen Coley, Recording Secretary; Sister Elnora Grantham, Financial Secretary; Sister Ida Canady, Assistant Financial Secretary; and Deacon James Coley, Treasurer. Dr. Isaac B. Horton was chosen as Parliamentarian.
The Association lost some great leaders in 1987 and 1988, which included Rev. R.B. Sykes, who served as Financial Secretary for many years and Rev. Charlie Locklear who served as President of the Western Union.
Many years ago, the leaders of this great Association had a dream of one day having a centralized place where all of its members could come together and worship God under one roof. The dream was on the planning board for many years, but the dream was never forgotten. The Association purchased a little more than 19 acres of land On South Slocumb Street in Goldsboro, North Carolina in hopes of constructing a facility large enough to house all of the activities of the Association under Moderator Williams. The construction was started on August 22, 1992 and Phase I was completed on the Headquarters Building October 1, 1993. On October 3-10, 1993, the One Hundred and Twenty-First Session convened at the new location. This was followed by the General Baptist State Convention under the direction of the President, Dr. W. B. Lewis. A week of dedication services were held at the Building April 18-24, 1994 featuring various speakers and choirs each evening.
THE DREAM IS FINALLY A REALITY. A Historical Book Committee was formed with Sis. Smithie Pearcill serving as Chairman along with members from the twenty- seven churches for the purpose of enhancing our historical efforts and enlighten the future generations of the Bear Creek Association’s initial years.
Dr. W.J. Cox was elected Moderator following Rev. Horton. In his cabinet was Rev. Roosevelt Taylor, 1st Vice Moderator and Rev. Johnny C. Sherrod 2nd Vice Moderator. In this administration, the building mortgage was paid and the Bear Creek fellowship Hall was built.
Dr. Michael A. Johnson was elected Moderator in 2003. Serving with him was Pastor Harold Warren, 1st Vice Moderator; and Pastor Joe A. Jackson, 2nd Vice Moderator. Under this administration, a new sound system was installed and the parking lot was paved.
Rev. Dr. Harold O. Warren was elected Moderator in 2011. Serving with him was Pastor Joe A. Jackson, 1st Vice Moderator and Pastor Larry M. Johnson, 2nd Vice Moderator.
Rev. Joe A. Jackson was elected Moderator October, 2015. Serving with him is Pastor Charles H. Kittrell, 1st Vice Moderator and Rev. Marshall K. Thompson, 2nd Vice Moderator. Moderator Jackson, 2nd Vice Moderator Thompson, Trustee Chairman Deacon John Best and Vice Chairman of the Trustees Deacon Robert (Bob) Jones secured a modified mortgage loan that lowered the interest rate to 4.25%, reducing the monthly payments by $600.00. Moderator Jackson, 1st Vice Moderator Kittrell and the Trustees work to ensure the Bear Creek Board of Directors were updated and current with state requirements.
The approved renaming of the Fellowship Hall to the “Cox, Taylor and Sherrod Fellowship Hall” was completed in December 2015 and the portrait of the late Rev. Johnny C. Sherrod was unveiled and hangs in the Fellowship Hall along with Dr. Cox and Rev. Taylor.
The “Thank You” to all living past Moderators was given during the 2015 Christmas party. Former Moderator, the Rev. Dr. Harold O. Warren’s portrait was unveiled and he along with former Moderator, the Rev. Dr. Michael A. Johnson, former 2nd Vice Moderators, the Rev. Larry M. Johnson and the Rev. Jimmy Mumford received an engraved Bear Bust thanking them for their leadership and service to the Bear Creek Association along with gifts and tokens of love from the moderators, staff, friends, guest and members of our great Association.