1907-2024 - 117 Years
With the unwavering determination inherited from our ancestors, Jerusalem Baptist Church, a courageous endeavor, was established 117 years ago on February 8, 1907, under the divine guidance of our Lord.
The trustees of Jerusalem Baptist Church, namely Brothers A. McDade, D.A. Bell, J.T. Stacey, S. Woodard, and T. S. Webb, acquired this church and its land for the symbolic amount of one dollar, paid in cash.
Rev. Thomas, whose given name remains unknown, united a small group of devoted Christians to foster moral development, intellectual growth, and, above all, unwavering religious principles within the community. Among the founding members were Rev. D.A. Jones, who served as the first deacon and church clerk, along with Rev. Taylor and Rev. M.J. Madison. Rev. Thomas served as the inaugural pastor of Jerusalem Baptist Church. During the early years, the church witnessed frequent changes in pastoral leadership, with Rev. M.J. Madison and Rev. D.A. Jones also assuming the role of pastors. Unfortunately, on April 15, 1937, a storm ravaged the church, reducing it to ruins.
Following the church's destruction, some time passed until Rev. Madison returned, tirelessly attempting to rebuild and reorganize the church. With the support of a faithful few, he endeavored to raise funds by organizing fish suppers. After thirteen years, Rev. J.V. Robinson and Rev. W.C. McDuffie successfully collected funds by conducting church services in the homes of Jerusalem Baptist Church members and neighboring households. One of these homes belonged to our esteemed pastor, Rev. Reuben P. Magee, who, by God's grace, remains with us to this day—a tremendous honor and a testament to his visionary leadership. These funds were utilized to purchase two military barracks, with the best one being erected on this very ground. The Mississippi National Guard Armory sold these barracks for the sum of ten dollars, and the second one was repurposed for flooring and other necessary uses.
In 1950, Rev. W.C. McDuffie assumed the pastoral role for a year and a half. Tragically, on August 16, 1951, the Lord called him from his labor to his eternal reward.
In November 1951, Rev. W.C. Rice was appointed as the pastor of Jerusalem Baptist Church. During his tenure, the church was reconstructed using blocks procured for nineteen dollars. The newly rebuilt church was modest, featuring six pews on each side of the aisle. In July 1951, the senior choir was established, consisting of six dedicated members. The church's dedication took place in February 1953. Despite its small membership, the spirit of God guided them towards a promising future. On March 10, 1967, after serving for sixteen years, Rev. Rice resigned as pastor.
In June 1967, Rev. W.W. Burkett was called to lead as pastor. Under his guidance, the church experienced substantial growth. Rev. Charlie Spann faithfully served as assistant pastor until his passing. Spirit-filled services abounded, and the sanctuary was expanded to its current capacity. Various organizations were established within the church, including Sunday School, the Gospel Chorus with twelve committed members, Brotherhood, Home Mission, and the Usher Board. The Sunday School children actively participated and served as delegates to the Sunday School Congress. In February 1972, the church was renamed "New Jerusalem Baptist Church."
On January 25, 1989, after thirteen years of dedicated service, Rev. Burkett was called to his heavenly home.
Rev. Magee took on the role of interim pastor for the following three months. Then, in April 1989, he officially became the pastor. Under his leadership, the church underwent numerous improvements, including the installation of central heating, air conditioning, a fellowship hall, a fully equipped kitchen, new pews, musical instruments, a computer, an outside lighted announcement marquee, enhanced restroom facilities, and a new church van. Additionally, a scholarship fund was established to support deserving high school graduates. On April 12, 1999, New Jerusalem Baptist Church was officially chartered by the state of Mississippi for a fee of fifty dollars. Non-profit status was granted by the Internal Revenue Service in July 2000.
Our church convenes every Sunday, featuring a vibrant children's choir. We host a well-attended Vacation Bible School at the end of June. Wednesday nights are dedicated to Prayer Meetings and Bible Studies, while Sunday School is held weekly. An annual picnic brings joy to the children. On January 1, 2009, Rev. Reuben P. Magee retired after serving as Pastor for 19 years, leading to the formation of a pulpit committee. On January 28, 2009, Rev. Harold A. Spann, Sr. was called to pastor the church. In his inaugural year, Pastor Spann exhibited strong leadership, spearheading the renovation of the church. The renovation project included new pews, carpeting, stained glass windows, a baptismal pool, a steeple, and a state-of-the-art audio and video system. Under Pastor Spann's guidance, the church membership experienced remarkable growth in just two years. In 2010 alone, we welcomed 39 new members. The ministries within the church expanded from 4 to 16, with a particular emphasis on the music department, resulting in the growth of choirs from 2 to 4. Presently, the church has a Security Department and is in the process of constructing an addition to the sanctuary, which will include a Pastor's Study, a Secretary's office, classrooms, and an expanded kitchen.
Hurricane Katrina stands as the most devastating storm of the past century. On August 29, 2005, New Jerusalem Baptist Church endured significant damage. However, by God's blessings, we swiftly restored the church to its former glory. As we embark on the next century, we rely on the grace of our Heavenly Father, acknowledging that He was our help in ages past, and He will remain our hope in the times to come. We have journeyed this far through unwavering faith!
A Church Where People Can Become Part Of God's Family In Seeking His Face Humbling Themselves and
WHAT WE DO
We exist to Praise and exalt God, to Evangelize to the lost and edify and equip Believers to fulfill God's purpose for their lives.
New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church is a place where people of all races can experience a new lease of life through Jesus Christ.