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HISTORY OF JERUSALEM BAPTIST CHURCH

    Jerusalem Baptist Church was organized on June 6, 1866, when the African-American members of Salem Baptist Church decided to form its own house of worship.  Rev. Gabriel Winston was the first pastor, and was assisted by Rev. Henry Young.  For the first couple of years, Jerusalem did not have a regular place to hold services of worship.  Services were held in the home of Minor Young and Old Antioch Church near Bowling Green. 
    In 1868, the church purchased for $15.00, an acre of land on its present site and built an arbor. The following year, a log cabin was erected. The congregation greatly increased during 1869 to the extent that the church had to be renovated in 1871. Rev. Herod Johnson took charge of the church in 1870 and served as the third pastor serving faithfully and leading many to Christ.  In 1881, Rev. Spencer Todd, who had served the church from its organization, was ordained for the ministry and took charge of the church as its fourth pastor. Though physically blind, he was a man of great vision – urging people to buy land, build homes, engage in business, and educate their children.  In 1886, the building of a new edifice was started. It was dedicated on August 17, 1892. 
    In 1903, Rev. W.L. Young was installed as Pastor.  In 1904, Dr. Randolph W. Young was elected pastor of Jerusalem. He was a distinguished builder and during his pastorate he remodeled the church edifice.  In 1930, Rev. Andrew P. Young was elected as Jerusalem’s 7th pastor. In 1958, Rev. Young recommended that plans be made for building a new edifice.  Ground was broken in April 1966. After hard work and dedication the edifice was dedicated in November of 1967.
    After Rev. A.P. Young retired, we were blessed in 1975 with another strong pastor, Rev. Henry Blunt.  He led the church successfully for three years and made several progressive innovations such as Children’s Story Time, Altar Call, refurbishing the sanctuary with new pews and wall-to-wall carpet. Rev. Reginald Stevens was elected pastor in October 1980 and showed great interest in the Church School, B.T.U. and missions – foreign and home. Rev. Willie L. Banks succeeded Rev. Stevens in March 1985 to become our 10th Pastor.  In 1987, during Rev. Bank’s pastorate plans for an addition to the edifice were developed and drawn by Deacon Raymond F. Alsop. The new wing would increase the size of the sanctuary to seat an extra 100 people and increase the choir loft and pulpit area. Classrooms, offices, a new baptismal pool, kitchen, stage, lavatories, and more were included in the plan.
    In 1991, Rev. William D. House, III was elected and installed as our 11th pastor. In 1992, the first phase of the additions—increased sanctuary size, classrooms, offices, baptismal, new pulpit and choir loft was completed under the direction of Rev. House. In 1997, the second phase of the addition was completed – relocation and building of the new kitchen, installing of two new bathrooms, nursery, and several classrooms in the basement.
    In 1998, Rev. Dr. Willie L. Banks was elected and installed as our 12th pastor. Rev. Dr. Banks was a caring pastor whose tenure as pastor for the second time was only enhanced by his previous pastorate at Jerusalem.
    In 2002, Rev. Gregory M. Howard was elected and installed as our 13th pastor. Under his leadership our membership grew. During his pastorate we started the Todd Learning Center, which provides educational opportunities for the community, we cleared land and created a playground and started plans for an outdoor worship/eating area and more.  Rev. Howard put forth an enlightened plan that enhanced the ministries of Jerusalem and helped us reach many of those in need in the community.
    In June of 2008, Rev. Jared S. Beasley was installed as our 14th pastor.  Under his pastorate we have paved the parking lot and erected a new marquee at the front of the church. Rev. Beasley has many enlightened plans for the church and community.
    Many Christian men and women have labored over the years along with great dedicated Christian leaders to make Jerusalem what it is today.  We invite you to become a part of Jerusalem today and a piece of its history tomorrow!