Reverend Theodore Breeden Reverend Theodore Breeden accepted the call to become Johnston Piney Grove’s spiritual leader on January 4, 1998. Under his leadership the church has undergone tremendous growth. Membership has increased, tithing has been taught, Sunday school has grown, and a number of other programs are now functioning. Johnston Piney Grove has been among the top 12 financial giving churches in the General Baptist State Convention of N.C for the last 11 years. Our church is a member of the Lydia Circle of the Woman’s Baptist Home and Foreign Missionary Convention of North Carolina – an Auxiliary to the General Baptist State Convention. Also under Pastor Breeden’s leadership, the following physical improvements have been made at Johnston Piney Grove:
- paying off of the fellowship hall
- purchase of a church van
- purchase of a $16,000 church organ
- carpeting the sanctuary
- re-doing the church pews
- paving of church parking lot
- a new sanctuary ceiling
- new sanctuary lights
- purchase of an electric piano
Other accomplishments that have taken place during Pastor Breeden’s administration are the appointment of female trustees and the ordination of 4 new deacons. Four associate ministers now faithfully serve our church under his guidance. Also, Johnston Piney Grove is now blessed every Sunday morning by his wife, Mattie, who serves as the praise leader for Sunday morning worship. Pastor Breeden’s motto is: “He’ll go anywhere but backwards”.
Reverend Joseph R. Rogers, Sr. Reverend Joseph R. Rogers, Sr. became our spiritual leader on April 25, 1985 and ended his tenure in 1996. Under his leadership, the five wards were organized. Prayer Meeting and Bible Study were held every Wednesday after the first and third Sunday of each month at 7:30 p.m.
On Sunday, October 25, 1985, we held our Mortgage Burning Ceremony at the 11:00a.m. service. Mr. John Moore, our eldest trustee and the oerson who was instrumental in initiaing the fund for building the new church was given the special privilege of burning the mortgage.
Reverend James A. Fogg There are church records to support the fact that our church went through a period of division and without a spiritual leader. This period of re-organization was from November 1983 to April 1985. Reverend James A. Fogg served as interim pastor. He displayed a great interest in the well-being of the church. He preached and served in the general worship and practices of the church.
Reverend Luther Coppedge We were blessed to have the Lord send us Reverend Luther Coppedge in March of 1969. Under his leadership, he continued some of the Baptist doctrines and practices that had been established under the reign of Reverenc Avery. In October 1969, we held our first Annual Homecoming inviting educators, supervisor and faculty from two local schools: Williams M. Cooper in Clayton, North Carolina and short Journey, Smithfield, North Carolina.
Our present-day edifice held its Grand opening service on Sunday, February 1, 1976. The congregation triumphantly marched and melodiously sang, “The Battle Hymn of Republic” from the old church to the new church. Our church continue to grow under the tenure of Reverend Luther Coppedge who served from 1969 to 1983.
Reverend James A. Avery Reverend James A. Avery became our pastor from November 1949 and continued until his death in 1969. His sole aim in life was to do the Master’s will and to make full proof of his ministry. Several organizations and auxillaries were prevalent under his leadership.
Physical improvements were made to the church building under the tenure of Reverend Avery. Many events took place in the early 1960’s and continued to the latter part of 1960. The church had a Junior Church and Junior Deacons.
Reverend James W. Powell One of our early pastors, Revered James W. Powell, delivered dynamic sermons and possessed spiritual leadership. He served our church from 1929 to 1949.
During the 1930’s and 1940’s, our church experienced spiritual awakeniung and the true meaning of “church” was whenever “two or three came together” in the name of Jesus.
Reverend Essex Blake Waiting for the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, a small group met under a bush arbor with a mission: the birth of our church. They were located three miles from Clayton, North Carolina on a place called Duncan Hill.
Our first building was erected and established on January 27, 1879 under the leadership of our first pastor, Reverend Essex Blake.
As early as the 1920’s, our roots showed that the members were stewards. These stewards knew about faith and wisdom of God. They had a desire to worship, praise God and serve mankind in the loving manner the Word of God commands and to be a blessing to the community.