THE HISTORY OF NEW HOPE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, the first to serve the black
community in the downtown area of Gladewater, was founded in 1893
by the late Rev. Louis Holloway and seven members. They were the
The first building for New Hope was erected near the fork of the old Tyler Highway which we know as South Main Street. This was around the year 1896. It was a small one room frame building.
The first funeral service held in New Hope was that of the late Sis. Sylvia Perry in 1896. She was the mother of Sisters Mollie Daniels and Elenora Turner and Bro. Matt Perry. Rev. Louis Holloway officiated.
The first revival ever held at New Hope was conducted by the late Rev. Riley Miller in the summer of 1896. Some of the families living near the church complained that the services were much too noisy, so the church was torn down and moved to the present site. The first building on this site had it's main entrance in the east. Later the main entrance was changed to the north and finally it was changed to the west as it is today.
The first and for a long time, the one and only deacon of New Hope was the late Deacon Bot Johnson. Some of those ordained later and served with him were Deacons Frank Johnson and Turner Bell.
New Hopes pastor after Rev. Holloway was the Rev. Peter Lee. One of the deacons ordained during his pastorate was Bro. Matt Perry.
The next pastor was the late Rev. Israel Stevens. After him came Rev. J.A. Vinson. Those added to the deacon board under his leadership were Bro. Sandy Pritchard and Bro. Pat Thompson. The next pastors were Rev. T.C. Rogers and Rev. A. Murphy. Then followed three pastors named Thomas, only first names or initials, Johnny and A. of the trio are given.
In 1916, Rev. Peter J. Sears came to pastor New Hope. Deacons ordained under him were Bros. Perry Merrill and Henry Greenwell.
In 1924, Rev. Grady Steverson came to be pastor. After him the Rev. S.R. Roberts. In 1934, Rev. Garfield Walker became pastor. The deacons who served under him and were responsible for the old two story building as indicated on the plaque located on this building were Bro. George Boyd, P. Thompson, J.H. Curry, P.M. Merrill, D. Diamond, Fred Walton, B.D. Francis and E.L. Turner.
He was followed by Rev. Jack Walker in 1942. Rev. M.A. Coleman came to pastor in 1949. Some deacons ordained under him were the late Bros. O.W. McCauley and Willie Jeffrey.
It is not known when the following were ordained, but they were deacons in the 1950's. Bros. Luther Turner, Fred Walton, Will Smith and Tommie Whitaker.
In 1950, there was a renovation of the church building under
the trusteeship and deaconship of Bros. Fred Walton, Will Smith,
Obie Ragsdale, Tommie Whitaker, E.F. Green, B.O. Francis and D.
Rev. Edwin Brown was pastor from March 23, 1953 to 1962. Rev. W.I. Menefee came to us in 1963. Some deacons ordained during his pastorate were Bros. Johnny Square, Maurice Hunter, and Mack Charles Moore.
In 1968, Rev. N.D. George came to pastor. To him goes the credit
for the leadership while building where we currently worship in.
Bro. Matthew Fortson came to us as a deacon from a church in Longview.
Rev. C.C. Carter came as our pastor June 1, 1973. Under his pastorate, bros. Lee E. Choice, Elijah Anderson, J.L. Elder, Chris Holt, Amdrew Cockran were ordained as deacons and Bro. Elisha Anderson came as a deacon from a Baptist church in California.
In January 1983, the Rev. L.H. Henderson became pastor. In 1994, Bro. Laydell Simmons came to New Hope as a deacon from St. James Baptist Church in the Red Rock Community. In June 1994, Rev. Frankie D. Steward Jr. became pastor. Under his pastorate, Bro. Moses Smith came as a deacon from Dallas, Texas.
In October 1998, our very own Rev. Bobby J. Moore became pastor. Under his pastorship, Bro. Calvin Frieson came as a deacon from Greater New Hope Baptist Church.
The lives of these great men and women remind us we can make our lives sublime and departing leaves behind us footprints in the sand of time. A few other great leaders of New Hope were: Sis. Knolly Mae Marshall, long time church clerk; Bro. Grady Homes and Bro. Matthew Fortson, Sunday School Superintendents; church trustees, Bros. Luther Johnson, Johnnie Oliver, Will Daniels and Otis Sanders; Sis. Bernetta Webb, benevolent fund and reporter of the sick; Sis. Beatrice Smith and Sis. Beulah McCauley served as missionary presidents; Sis Lillian O. Booty was president of the ushers; Bro. Darryl Dedman, Bro. Theophus Taylor, Sis. Sadie Barnes Donaldson, Sis. Minnie C. Cooksey, and Sis. Geneva Steward served as our musicians; Rev. Jessie Handle, Rev. Clayborn, and Rev. Merrill were assistant pastors.
Because this history is written from the memory banks of different people, it should be easy to understand why this history may differ somewhat from that, some others may have heard at other times from other sources.
Since we who are here have been helped along the way by those who have served and gone before, we too must so inspire those coming on that the light will continue burning through them until a new generation has caught the gleam and has gone steadily marching on.
As proud as we are of our church, we are constantly praying to keep humble enough to be of service, that the master may be able to point with pride to us as those who've kept the faith, who've stayed in the fight for right and righteousness, and who, one by one, will answer to the higher call from a righteous father.
"God of our weary years, God of our silent tears. Thou who hath
brought us thus far on the way. Thou who hath by thy might led
us into the light, keep us forever in the path we pray."
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