In 1885, Grover Cleveland was entering the White House and in Greenbrier, 22 people were meeting in the home of John T. Hinkle, a local general store owner, to organize Greenbrier Baptist Church. With no cash on hand, they worked for over a year to raise money. In 1886, after purchasing a lot on East Main Street for $50, a one-room frame building was constructed for about $700. Preaching services were held one weekend a month. Membership grew to 57 by 1888.
Womens Class – circa 1921
GFBC Building Circa 1934
There are still people in our congregation today who have vivid memories of worshiping at 411 East Main Street. Barry Chism, a member of our church for over 50 years recalls when the church was one of the few buildings in town to have electricity and what a treat it was to come to church and see the lights on. Mrs. Billie Lou Watts (now deceased) recalled baptisms done in the distillery’s pool or in Sulpher Fork Creek. Throughout the years, some things have changed while others remain the same. Sunday School classes were held even before the first building was occupied – they continue today. And early members can’t recall a time when there was no Wednesday evening prayer meeting.
In 1945, sixty years later, the church voted to build a new building. A lot at 300 South Broad (our present location) was purchased for $1,000. Although much work remained unfinished, the opening of the new sanctuary was observed by having a Homecoming Day the first Sunday of September in 1946. Our own Evelyn Williams and her late husband Ernest were the second couple to say “I DO” in the new church.
Changes and renovations to our physical facilities keep pace with growth and needs. In 1997 the education/fellowship addition was paid off. In 1999, the current office site on South Street was purchased. And in 2007, the house at 107 Parker Street was purchased and currently houses our food ministry called the Dorcas Room.
Throughout its history, Greenbrier First Baptist Church has pushed forward with the Gospel message. Men have been licensed and ordained to preach the Gospel, missions have been established and maintained to carry that message forward and mission teams have been sent into all the world.
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