Timeline of events

Compiled by Bernard Collins, Church Historian

1802, July 2.  Members met to write a one page church covenant.  This was signed July 10, 1802 and the church was formed from  members who had been going to Upper King and Queen and Upper Zion(Tuckahoe) churches.  Members met in an arbor near Alps until a wooden frame building was constructed.  The Bill of Rights which included the First Amendment to the United States Constitution which insured freedom of religion had been ratified December 15, 1791.  Thomas Jefferson had just become president of the United States when our church was formed.  (A copy with the words to the original church covenant is still available.)  Note: Church was located 1.9 miles southwest of Alps.  The name Alps was chosen in 1906 when the post office at Alps was formed.

MINISTERS 1802-1820. Theodore Noel, Spilsby Woolfolk and John Sorrell.  Note:  John Sorrel was the founder of Enon and Providence churches.

1818.  Another group started a church in Sparta which was to become Mount Calvary.

MINISTER 1820-1848.  Andrew Broaddus I.  (He lived for a time at the place where Gordon Beazley now lives.)

1842.  The Dover Association which was made up of 58 churches met at Salem Church near Alps.

1843.  The Dover Association was divided and Salem joined the Rappahannock Association which had churches in 11 counties.

1846.  A large log house structure existed at Sparta which was Mount Calvary Church.  Some members from Salem at Alps came to Mount Calvary because of the temperance question.  Andrew Broaddus II, Joseph Atkinson and Robert Cole were pastors of Mount Calvary at Sparta.

MINISTER  1848-1896. Andrew Broaddus II.  He purchased a farm, “White Plains” near Sparta.

1850.  Salem Church had 285 white members and 178 black members. Most Baptist Churches in the county in 1850 had more black members than white members.

1850, April 27.  Andrew Broaddus and William Murray deeded 3/4 acre of land to Mount Calvary Church (now Salem) which already had a house of worship.  See Deed Book (DB) 47, page 103.

1852.  Frame building was replaced with a brick building for Mount Calvary at Sparta.  This is our present sanctuary.

1854, March 1.  Leroy Martin sold one and 1/8 acres of land to Salem Baptist Church (at Alps) joining land of present Salem Meeting House.  See DB 48 book 2, page 282.

1854.  Andrew S. Broaddus, (nephew of Andrew Broaddus I and member of Mount Calvary) served as superintendent of Sunday School at Mount Calvary.  He led 200 people (120 black and 80 white) from the Sparta area in a wagon train to settle in Texas.  He had been licensed to preach, became a lawyer, and was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.  He helped build a Salem Church in Caldwell, Texas.  He served in the Texas legislature and as a Texas district judge.  An official Texas marker in his memory was established in 1971 at Cooks Point, Texas.  They established a Salem Baptist Church in Texas, but the church disbanded some years later.

1856.  Remaining members at Mount Calvary in Sparta dissolved their church constitution and the members from both churches joined.  They held services at the Salem meeting house near Alps on the second Saturday and Sunday and at the Mount Calvary brick meeting house in Sparta on the fourth Sunday.

1856.  Andrew Broaddus I introduced a resolution which passed at the Rappahannock Association calling for total abstinence and condemning the selling of intoxicating drinks by members of the churches.

1865.  Salem was in a new association due to the increase of churches in the area and the Rappahannock Association met at Salem in 1865.

1866.  The Civil War ended in 1865 and members of Salem Church helped the black members establish Jerusalem Baptist Church in 1866.

1869.  Members began to use the better meeting house (Mount Calvary) at Sparta.

1872.  Mount Calvary Church at Sparta was renamed Salem.

1882.  Salem Church began to meet only in the building at Sparta which is the building we occupy.

1885,  April.  Building fund had $28.94 on hand.

1885,  May 12.  Christopher Broaddus sold one acre (for cemetery addition) to Salem Baptist Church-Andrew Broaddus and Deacons Phillip Pitts, O.D. Pitts, John Broaddus, and Mordecai Puller for $5.00 which joined Salem property.  See DB 61, page 118.

1885,  August 24.  Received $2.63 for old bricks from Salem.

1886, September.  Motion passed to enclose grave yard with barbed wire.

1886.  Record book (excerpts)  Includes a brief history at beginning.  1852, large brick building–at this writing pastor was Andrew Broaddus (2nd); clerk, Eugene G. Pitts and five deacons: Phillip B. Pitts, John P. Broaddus, Oscar D. Pitts, Mordecai E. Puller and C. C. Broaddus and Treasurer, John L. Motley.

1886.  Church Constitution and Rules of Discipline (excerpts). White male members may vote.  Unanimous vote required to receive and dismiss members, roll called at each business meeting and members required to give reason for non attendance.  Deacons prepared budget in January or February and assessed each member based on pecuniary ability of each member to be payable one half the second Sunday in June and the other half the second Sunday in December.  Members can not engage in business in the sale of intoxicating drink.  Dancing not sanctioned but there would not be discipline for members dancing in small social gatherings.  Discipline would be taken if members danced at public balls or parties.  Members would not be permitted to hold a dancing party at their home.

1886.  Rules of Decorum (excerpts)  Respectful posture during church sessions–stand before speaking–do not indulge in personal reflections when speaking–speak no more than twice on subject until all are heard.

1886.  Duties of Sexton (excerpts)  Open church–start fire one and one half hour before service–keep stove well supplied during service– furnish well seasoned wood to be kept out of weather at least two weeks before burned–supply pulpit with fresh water–fill oil lamps–clean church including spittoons–open and close doors, windows and window blinds and keep dogs out of the building.

1887,  March.  Four church members excluded from church for not paying assessments and two widow ladies released from balance of their subscriptions.

1887, July  Report to Rappahannock Association on Salem, pastors salary for year $220, aid to poor $12.14, support Sunday school $4.00, building repair $13.81, ministers relief furnished $4.05, foreign missions $30, state missions $40, home missions $40, education books $11.84, printing minutes $3, miscellaneous $51.89.  Total $430.73.

1888. March.  Noted–the old building, at Alps, owned by the church is being used as a public school.  Brother M. E. Puller appointed to see and advise the teacher that the school trustees must pay $2.00 a month for use of the building.

1888, July 9.  $4.00 received for rent of old Salem Church.

1889, January.  Low bid for services as sexton of $24.00 a year was awarded to brother Judson Cole.

1889, March.  Five members released from balanced owed for last year after appeal.

1890. Statistics.  Sunday preaching second and fourth Sundays; Business meeting second Saturday every other month.  Members- 76 white males and 117 white females.

1891, March. Eugene P. Carter and Eugene Pitts appointed to dispose of the old house of worship.

1891, September.  Reported a member committed a dishonest act and he was to appear for hearing–did not appear and he was excluded from church.

1891, September.  $5.00 paid to tune organ.

1892. Three members dropped for not paying dues, two members relieved from balanced owed on assessment.  Three members appointed to see Andrew Garnett for depredations he made to old church.

1892,  May.  Decided that $6.00 damage had been done to old church.  (Note:  $6.00 was collected December 23, 1894 from A. S. Garnett).

1892.  William Moore and Eugene G. Pitts were ordained as deacons.  Reverend R. L. Gay preached revival.

1892,  November. Five members absent and two members appointed to visit and find out why. Two members restored to membership who had not attended in a long time.

1892,  November.  Seventeen new members joined after baptism on second Sunday in 1892 and four more by baptism the fourth Sunday in November 1892.

1894,  September 23.   Had a called meeting to discuss old church and motion passed that no one is to take down any bricks, carry away any portion of old Salem building (Alps) and no trees to be cut and no land cultivated.

1894,  September 25.  Andrew Broaddus, pastor, Mordecai Puller, Walter Gravatt, William Moore, Eugene G. Pitts, deacons appointed as church trustees by order of judge.  Certified by Thomas W. Valentine.

1896,  November.  Old church grounds still a problem.  Brother Burton Sorrell offered $6.00 for church building and grounds, excluding cemetery and he would grant access to cemetery.  Voted on and accepted by church.  (It appears no money was passed and no deed prepared.)  Note:  No record of $6.00 in Treasurer.

1896,  December 27.  Dr. A. Broaddus resigned due to health.

MINISTER 1897-1926.  Andrew Broaddus III. He earned a law degree before he became a minister.

1897,  May.  Motion made to have church building insured.

1898,  January.  Church insured for $1,000 with Virginia Fire Marine Company.

1898,  May.  Women’s Missionary Society (WMS) was started at Salem for women 25 and older.  Miss Minnie Broaddus, the sister of Andrew Broaddus III was the first leader.

1898,  September.  New pulpit furniture presented to church by the Ladies Aid Society.

1898,  December.  Proposal to have preaching every Sunday and raise preachers salary from $240 to $400 a year passed.

1900,  July.  Church offered to buy one acre of land from Mr. Moses Rolph, and Mr. Rolph gave an acre to church.

1900, October.  Revival – Junius Sale preached.

1900, Dec. Calvary Church in Bowling Green wanted to hire Andrew Broaddus part time.  Salem members voted no and raised his salary to $550 a year to keep him full time.

1901, August 15.  Rappahannock Association met at Salem.  The memorial window for the Andrew Broaddusses was unveiled.

1901, Moses Rolph gave gift of one acre across road from Church to be used for conveniences and horses and mules.  Said “Church must erect fence.”  See DB 69, page 249.

1902, May.  Small attendance at business meeting as it was noted the season for setting tobacco.

1902, July 10.  The 100th Anniversary of the founding of Salem was celebrated with the morning and afternoon preaching.  Dr. William E. Hatcher, the main speaker spoke on “The Value of the Local Church.”  A portrait of Dr. Andrew Broaddus, which was donated by Miss Bettie Broaddus, was unveiled and a portrait of Dr. Andrew Broaddus II, donated by John W. Sale was unveiled.  The Reverend Andrew Broaddus III made an historical address at this meeting (text still available) which provided a wealth of the earlier history of the church.

1902, October 7.  Thirteen churches met at the Mount Hermon Church and founded our present Hermon Association.

1902, October.  Reverend Frank Beale led a revival and 22 persons were saved, including Lottie Broaddus.

1902, November.  Pastor asked that shade trees be set in the church yard and several brethren agreed to set and care for trees.

1903, July.  A parsonage committee was appointed.

1904, January.  Sunday services on fifth Sunday canceled so members could join Upper Zion in response to their invitation.

1904, May.  Church voted to start Saturday business meetings at 3:30 p.m. in May, July and September and at 2:00 p.m. in November, January and March.

1904, January thru 1905 January report. (Excerpt)  Paid pastor balance owed of $193.89 for 1903 and $436.70 of $550.00 owed for 1904.

NOTE: It was usual practice to call roll at business meetings to determine who was absent and appoint members to contact absent members for an explanation.  It was also reported if persons had not made financial payments as assessed.  Persons who had been drunk or committed other sins were noted.  Based on future reports, request for forgiveness, promises, etc., actions would be taken to delete persons from the church roll by exclusion or erasure, or persons could be restored to the roll.  It appears some persons asked for letters of dismissal to join other churches or avoid the hassle.

1906, Sunbeams.  The first youth organization was started and leaders were Miss Annie Johnson and Mrs. Andrew Broaddus.

1906. The portico with columns in front of the church was added with funds provided by the Women’s Missionary Society.

1908, January.  Brother J. W. Bell was extended thanks for installing the tablet on the church with the name and date of establishment.

1908.  First Salem offering to China was $9.00.

1910, July.  Hermon Association would meet at Salem in August and committees established to prepare were: Hospitality, order, tables, stables, arbor and water.

1912, December.  An all day meeting was held to dedicate the addition of the Sunday School rooms built on to the church.  Graded Sunday School started.  (This addition was removed and replaced in 1984.)

1916, January.  It was announced that the “Farmers Club” would meet following the church business meeting.

1916, April.  At a special called meeting the fourth Sunday in April, the Ladies Aid Society offered to present the individual communion set to the church.

1917,  December.  Sparta School burned and the church served as the school until it was rebuilt in the fall of 1918.

1919, July.  Church constitution changed to allow women equal rights with men on governmental matters of the church and changed business meetings from every other month to once each quarter.

1921. Royal Ambassadors (RAs) started and Miss Lottie Broaddus was the first leader.

1921, October.  Three were dropped from rolls for failure to pay church dues.

1923, March.  Third Sunday, Reverend David Highburn from the Anti-Saloon League of Virginia spoke at Salem.

1926, October 1.  Reverend Andrew Broaddus died at his home.

1926. Dr. Rolux Harlan, from University of Richmond faculty served as interim pastor.

1926. December 26.  Called meeting.  It was decided to meet with Mount Hermon Church to see if Salem and Mount Hermon could call a pastor to serve both churches.

1927, May 24.  Samuel and Sadie Pitts donated three and one half acres to Salem to be used as parsonage.  Said “parsonage to be erected in five years and cost no less that $3,000.”  See DB 97, page 131.

1927.  Motion changed to change constitution so as not to drop members delinquent in payment of church dues.

MINISTER-1928-1929.  Reverend E. V. Peyton, first to live in parsonage and also served Mount Hermon and Salem.

1928, March.  Adopted every member canvas method of raising funds (changed from assessments to pledges) and started using the duplex envelope system for contributions.

1928, October.  Regular business meetings changed from Saturday to Friday nights.

1929, October.  Reverend Peyton resigned, effective at once.  Dr. Harlan returned as interim pastor.

MINISTER  1930-1936.  Dr. Thomas C. Allen, called at salary of $1800.  ($1550 by Salem and $250 by Mount Hermon.)

1930. BWC started and the first leader was Mrs. T. C. Allen.

1931, May.  Baptism at Moore’s mill pond on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. where ten were baptized.  (Now Lohr’s pond.)

1934. Building Fund for new building started.

1936, August. Dr. Allen resigned to go to Baptist church at Warrenton.

MINISTER 1937-1941. J. Frederick Parker came as student pastor for Salem, Mount Hermon and Bethesda.

1937, July.  Committee appointed to establish plan to raise money to wire the church for electricity.

1937, September.  Reverend Parker granted permission to attend the Theological Seminary in Richmond during week-days.

1937, October.  Paid R. W. Supply Company for wiring and hanging fixtures at a cost of $137.90.

1937, December 6.  Light bill paid, $2.00.

1940, April 8.  Report from Mr. Emmett Beazley, president of Cemetery Association.

1940, October. Decided to drop members (with income) from roll if no support given to church in last three years.

1941, December 7.  Pearl Harbor.  Many members had been displaced from homes and farms in the A. P. Hill military reservation and moved to other parts of the county and continue today as supportive members.  A group from Upper Zion joined Salem.

MINISTER.  1941-1945. I. E. Province served Salem and Mount Hermon.  Reverend Province served as Director of The Baptist Student Union at VPI from 1949 until 1966 when he retired for health reasons.  He died in 1978.

1942. Joseph F. Parker became a chaplain in the U. S. Navy and served until retirement in 1966.  He died in 1988 and was buried at Winns Baptist Church  at Elmont, Virginia.

1943.  Mrs. Oliver Upshaw elected as pianist.

MINISTER, 1946-1971.  H. Curtis Holloman came as pastor of Salem and Mount Hermon.

1946, August.  Baptism held at Collins’ pond.

1951.  Nannie Bland David Missionary Circle organized and the first leader was Charlotte Durrett.

1952, July 2.  150th Anniversary.  Dr. T. Rupert Coleman from Ginter Park Baptist Church in Richmond spoke.  Dr. Peyton and Rev. Province, former Salem ministers spoke.  The new $24,000 education building, completed 100 years after the sanctuary, was dedicated.

1954, January.  Women were added to serve on the building and grounds committee.

1954, July.  WMU purchased mimeograph machine for church.  Roof to church was replaced for $1284.

1954, October.  Reported that 124 (of 356) church members had made no recorded payment of 1953 church dues.

1955, October.  Thanks were given to Barbara Beale and her father, C. T. Watkins and uncle J. C. Watkins for a gift of a church bell.

1956, January.  Forty four members voted to have revival in August and 44 members voted to have revival in October.

1956, April.  After recommendations made by deacons, the church voted to have the revival in September.

1956. Brotherhood committee started.

1957, May. Approved $440 to purchase pulpit stand and two pulpit chairs.

1957. “A History of Salem Baptist Church,” 1802-1957 was compiled and printed by the church historian, Mrs. Sadie Pitts.

1957, October.  Voted that organ music be played between Sunday School and worship service to reduce other noise.

1958, April. Six collection plates were donated.

1959, April.  Brotherhood accepted as a church organization and the Brotherhood committee was discontinued.

1959, October.  Mrs. R. H. Norment gave painting of “Saul on the Road to Damascus” to the church.

1960, January.  Salem voted to call Reverend Holloman as the full time minister so he could discontinue serving both Salem and Mount Hermon.

1960, October.  Mount Hermon called a minister and the Reverend Curtis Holloman began to devote full time as pastor of Salem.  This ended a 32 year practice when the Reverend Peyton started serving as pastor of both Salem and Mount Hermon in 1928.

1962, January.  Church considered storing church records at the Virginia Baptist Historical Society at the University of Richmond.

1963, January.  Started electing two deacons each year for six year terms to start a rotation of deacons.

1963, May.  Church voted to add a basement, kitchen, dining area and central oil heat to parsonage, rather than build a new parsonage.

1963, July.  Church officers and teachers began serving terms from October until October rather than from January until January.

1964, September.  Approved resolution not to allow beer to be sold in Caroline on Sunday and the resolution was sent to the Board of Supervisors.

1966, April.  $2,666.50 authorized for trip to Holy Land by Reverend and Mrs. Holloman.

1968, April.  Lord’s Supper Service set presented to the church by Miss Elizabeth Pitts, Mr. Francis Pitts and Mr. Edward Pitts in memory of their parents, Mr. and Mrs. S. E. Pitts.

1969, April. Cemetery fund with perpetual care started.

1969, September.  Church voted not to build a new sanctuary.

1969, October.  Part-time church secretary was authorized to be paid by the hour for hours required.

1969, December.  Robes for church choir authorized.

1970, April.  Church started purchase of bulk subscriptions of Religious Herald for all church families.

1971, March.  $58,000 authorized for repair and addition to church sanctuary.

1971, April.  Approved installation of a church bell (donated by Barbara Beale family) on a pole in front of the church to

be rung prior to Sunday School and the worship service.

1971, June 22.  Funeral service for Reverend Curtis Holloman was held in the sanctuary to honor the Salem pastor who served for 25 years.  He was buried in Richmond.

MINISTER 1971-1975.  Charles Anderson.  He was a music major and  wrote and composed songs and had a service in song each fifth Sunday.

1972, June 18.  The enlarged and renovated sanctuary was dedicated to Reverend Curtis Holloman and a plaque was placed in the library.  The pulpit was enlarged, the choir loft added and rooms and a basement were added.  The interior was decorated, new pews were installed and central heat and air were added.

1973, July.  Authorized the education building to be used as a kindergarten and nursery school.  The preschool was directed by Mrs. Jan Anderson and had 47 children enrolled the first year.  This school was operated for five years.

1973. Dec. An agreement was made with Union Bank and Trust Company to set up a Church Cemetery Trust Fund.

1975. Charles Anderson left to attain a Doctor of Ministry degree in Kansas City, Missouri.

1975, August.  Ryland Reamy called as interim pastor.

1975, October.  Elizabeth Pitts, Church historian, stated that the church records from 1906 to 1920 had been sent to the Virginia Baptist Historical Society.

1976, Sunday, July 4.  A bicentennial service to recognize the United States was held.

1976, August.  An urn, part of the original Salem communion set, was received from the Joseph Ben Carter family and it was decided to store it at Virginia Baptist Historical Society.

MINISTER 1976-1977.  Elliot Herweyer.

1977, Feb. 15.  Thelma Pitts and Elizabeth Pitts donated 0.259 acre to Salem.  See DB 233, page 406.

1977. Frances Allen hired as church secretary.

1977, July 31. The 175th anniversary was held in conjunction with a revival led by Doctor Eric Rust, Senior professor in seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.  Reverend Ryland Reamy was interim pastor again.

MINISTER 1977-1980.  Reverend Tim Sellers

1978, March.  Girl Scouts authorized to meet in the education building.

1978, October. Motion approved to furnish teachers for a class during the Sunday School hour at the Harper Home (later named Arbor Christian Home).

1979, February.  Barry Allman, Band Director at Caroline High School was hired part time as the first paid Music Director.

1979, Aug. 27.  Lannie C. Smith donated 0.99 acre to Salem located to rear of property donated by Rolph.  See DB 249, page 744 for plat of land across road from church.

1979, November 25.  David F. Upshaw, who grew up in Salem was ordained.

1981, August 16.  Homecoming was held while Edgar Burkholder was serving as Interim pastor.

MINISTER 1982-1987. Steve Jones

1982, August 29.  180th Anniversary. Fred Anderson, Executive Secretary of the Virginia Baptist Historical Society spoke on “The Broadduses” a Baptist Dynasty.

1982, October. Motion made to have a church pictorial directory printed in color.

1982, November.  Motion made to accept gift of seat cushions for church from Clifton and Ann Broaddus.

1985, February.  Mrs. Peggy Pickett was hired as the Choir-Music Director.

1985, August 4.  Homecoming and dedication of new brick addition to the church which included church offices, Sunday School rooms, and bath room facilities were held.  The addition replaced the addition built in 1913.

1989, July.  Baptist Women's Night Group donated a microwave and a motion was made to secure the church kitchen. Berkely Garnett was serving as interim pastor.

1989, August.  Handicapped parking spaces established.

1989, September.  Major renovation of parsonage was completed which included a new shingled roof, new heating and cooling, floors refinished, kitchen cabinets replaced and the interior painted.

MINISTER 1989-PRESENT.  Reverend Kevin C. James.

1989, December.  Room in basement of sanctuary was renovated by volunteers and was put in use as a youth Sunday School room.

1989. Announced that Brenda James would organize a Handbell Choir.

1990, July.  Church constitution and by-laws were revised.

1990, December.  Organ purchased to replace existing organ.

1991, February.  Old organ donated to Cornerstone Baptist Church which had been destroyed by fire.

1991, June.  Church voted to provide financial support through the Hermon Association for a church planner in a New England mission.

1991, October.  Exterior of church and education buildings were painted.

1991, October.  Average Sunday School attendance rose to 138 having steadily increased since 1988 when it was 109.

1992. The church minute books for 1954-61 and 1962-66 were stored at the Baptist Historical Society for safe keeping.

1992.  New brick sign was placed in front of church.

1992.  The interior of the sanctuary was painted, new carpet was installed, new brass lights were installed, and the pews in the balcony were renovated and rearranged to provide more leg room.

1992, July 26.  Homecoming was held.  Fred Anderson, the Executive Director of the Baptist Historical Society was the guest speaker and dressed as and portrayed Dr. William E. Hatcher who spoke at the 1902 Homecoming when Salem was 100 years old.

1992, Sept.  Group of Baptist Men went to the Baptist Children’s Home in Salem, Va to perform mission work (now an annual trip).

1993. Youth led in actions to have a children’s playground constructed

1993. Sherry Parke replaced Frances Allen as the Secretary in the church office working two days a week.  Frances completed 15 years of dedicated service.

1993. Baptism was held at Pitts’ Pond in Milford.

1993  Fall. “Experiencing God” Bible Study begins.  Since its start, many other groups have completed this Discipleship course.

1994. R.W. Jones was recognized for many years of faithful service as Church Treasurer and was replaced by Joe Thomas

1994. Anonymous gift of $5000 was received to hire a youth worker and Mike Womble was hired as the Summer Youth Director.

1994. Sparta Ruritan Club was formed and granted permission to use the Educational Building the second Tuesday of each month.

1994. Susan Morris, a student at the Baptist Theological Seminary was hired as Youth Director to meet with the youth weekly

1995. A committee was appointed to decide on the type of new building required to provide a larger fellowship hall and more Sunday School space.  (Parsonage living room presently being used by Pastor for Sunday School class)

1995, April.  Mrs. Ethel Penney, our oldest church member, died at the age of 100.

1995. May.  Salem began attending “Promise Keepers” men’s conference and formed a regular Bible Study/Support group of Christian men.

1995. Thelma Pitts and Elizabeth Pitts donated 5.049 acres to Salem.  See DB 437, page 332 for consolidated plat showing total of 11.033 acres on south side of Rt. 721.

1995. Brass rail was installed around balcony of church

1995. An annual yearbook was initiated to consolidate a list of deacons, officers, teachers, committees, church members, monthly calendars, etc. into one document for use by all church members

1996. The Master Plan concept developed by the Building Needs Committee with the help of the Architect William Henry Harris was accepted and approved by the church

1996. A Fund Raising Committee for the proposed new construction was appointed

1996. A new organ was purchased for the church and a donation of $8,000 in memory of Bob Upshaw was used to help in this purchase

1996. October.  Mission trip to Bedford, PA to work on church’s unfinished building & parsonage.

1996. A 1996 Van was purchased for the church through work by the youth, donations and several anonymous gifts

1996. The average Sunday School attendance in 1996 was 172, which was up from 138 in 1991

1996. Mike Alsop, Brenda James, Janice Mundie and Aileen Pitts joined as a music committee and volunteered to lead the church music activities.  The church had a paid Choir Director from 1979 until 1995.

1997. Two new children’s choirs are formed, called “Kids’ Chorus” & “Praise Choir.”

1997. A Building Master Plan Committee was appointed to administer and oversee the actions to carry out the plan

1997. The Fund Raising Committee initiated the “Find Us Faithful” Stewardship Campaign

1997. The church approved the plan to build a picnic pavilion with labor and equipment provided by the Baptist Men group

1997. February. “Chimers for Christ” formed, which is a children’s chime choir.

1997. March. “Living Lord’s Supper” presented as an outreach to our ministry.

1997. March. The Sunday School mission provided to the Arbor Christian Home since 1978 ended when the home closed.

1997. May. A new deep well was dug on Salem property.

1997. July 13. Eleven were baptized.

1997.  Mike Womble hired as the part-time Youth Minister while attending Seminary.

1997. August. A Homecoming to celebrate the 195th anniversary and to kick off the “Find Us Faithful” building fund was held.

1997. August. The “Find Us Faithful” committee announced that over $600,00 had been pledged for the building fund.

1997. The Women to Women group had a trailer placed on the grounds for the collection of newspapers with the proceeds to go to the building fund.

1997. November. Salem helped to sponsor a Community Wide Crusade at the Caroline Middle School led by Jamie Ragle.

1998. Mr. Major Garnett left $20,000 to the church and the major portion was used to purchase a grand piano.

1998. There was an increase from 12 to 15 elected deacons due to an increase in the congregation size

1998. Contract to build the new building for $725,000 was awarded to B.R. Pitts and Sons and work began in June 1998.

1998. September.  Internet domain name, www.salembaptist.org, was secured by Frank Beale..

1998. September. Nineteen Baptist Men went to the Baptist Children's Home on a weekend and replaced the shingles on a building.

1998. October.  The Trustees were authorized to borrow up to $400,000 for the new building.

1999. January.  The church added a paid full time Minister to Students to the church staff and Mike Womble filled this position.

1999. Mike Alsop reported that the average Sunday School attendance for 1998 was 203.

1999  March.  The church authorized Blakemore Construction Company to pave and curb the driveway and parking lot for $15,200 plus cost of stone and curb.

1999  May.  A gift of 200 Hymnals was made to the Church.

1999 June.  The new two-story building was completed and occupied and a dedication service was held.  The cost of the building including the architect, building septic systems and the pavement and curbs was $893,182.  The donations for the building fund were collected, with the major portion being received before the building was completed.  The Church borrowed $268,000 to complete the payment.

1999 August.  Mike Womble was instrumental in starting the First Priority program at the middle school.

1999 September.  Average Sunday School attendance for the last year was 211.

1999 September.  Church approved the opening of a Daycare in the lower floor of the new building.

1999 September.  Clothes Closet was established in the old Education Building for people in need.

1999.  A porch was enlarged and enclosed at a cost of $9,191.95 to add a new room to the parsonage.

2000.  God’s Garden Daycare was opened in the new building.

2000 June.  An early praise service at 0845 AM on Sunday mornings was started.

2000.  Pastor James and his family moved out of the parsonage to their newly constructed home.

2001  July.  Mike Womble left Salem to assume a new position in North Carolina.

2001.  Number of Deacons increased from 15 to 18.

2001 August.  Richard Green organized a golf tournament to raise money for a family in El Salvador.

2001 August.  Plans made to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the church on July 14, 2002.

2001 September.  Elizabeth Pitts, Church Historian, school teacher, artist, long time member and garden supporter died.

2002. Ron Vermillion created the website: www.salmbaptist.org

2002 January.  Mrs. Dana Blanton hired as a fulltime Minister of Music and Students.

2002 April.  Sherry Parke resigned as part-time Secretary to take a fulltime job.

2002 April.  Pastor James initiated and led the efforts of 25 churches to bring the Power Team ministry to the county schools for a week.

2002.  Plans were started to replace the church ceiling and renovate the choir loft and pulpit area.

2002 May.  Tracy Beasley was hired as the part-time Secretary.

2002 June.  The church fellowship hall, funded by “Find Us Faithful”, was paid in full.

2002 , Sunday, July 14..  Homecoming was held to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the church.  Doctor David Upshaw, from Heritage Baptist Church in Farmville returned to his home county to be the guest speaker.  Bernard Collins presented the church history.

2002 Oct.  Mrs. Ruth Beazley, our oldest church member, died at the age of 105.

2002 Dec.  The adult choir presented “The Christmas Shoes”, a drama and musical Christmas presentation at the Caroline Community Services Center auditorium.

2003 April – The choir sponsored and presented three performances of a musical during the Easter season at the Caroline Community Services Center.

2003 May – Began using the parsonage for youth Sunday School and youth activities.

2003 –  Photograph of early church congregation, which belonged to Elizabeth Pitts, was displayed in the sanctuary.

2003 –  Mimi Woodward is the Commander of the AWANA program to teach children.  Wednesday night dinners were started in conjunction with the program.

2003 July – Youth and leaders went on a mission trip to Nashville.

2004 –  Dawn Trivette became webmaster.

2004 – Joe Thomas recognized for service as Church Treasurer.  Replaced by Frank Gee.

2004 – Paved parking lot was extended.

2004 Dec. – Mary Haley took over as the Daycare Director.

2005 – Church purchased a 48-passenger bus.

2005 – The average Sunday School attendance for 2005 was 267.

2006 – Mrs. Nancy Elliott was hired as Music Director.  Dana Blanton continued to serve as Minister to Youth.

2006 – Grain for food relief was sent to Niger.  Members from the church went to Niger.

2006 Oct. – Mission trip went to Mississippi to repair home damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

2006 – Major renovation of the sanctuary was completed with a new ceiling, improved lights, enlargement of the pulpit and choir area, new carpet, new blinds, pews refinished and recovered and a new sound system and visual aid screens.

2006 – Section of the cemetery was developed as space for a cremation Memorial Garden.

2007 – Members from church went to Niger with another grain shipment.

2007 – The picnic pavilion was enclosed, heat and air installed and inside finished.

2007. The Encouragers Sunday School Class founded Glory Outreach on Broaddus Ave in Bowling Green to provide food and clothing and minister to the needy.

2007 Aug.  Barbara Beale became webmaster.

2008 Dec. Gayle Terry was hired as part-time Office Secretary and also to serve as the financial secretary and as the secretary at business meetings.

2009. Mission trips were made to Charleston and to Cleveland Tennessee.

2010. Glory Outreach was moved to a larger building on Broaddus Ave and support for rent was provided. Other churches graciously joined to help with the outreach.

2010 Sep. Evelyn Norment left a gift of $30,500 for a scholarship fund being administered by the Virginia Baptist Foundation.

2010. After the death of Bernard R. Pitts, Randolph Pitts was appointed to serve as a Trustee of the church with Gordon Beazley and Allen Tignor.

2010. The youth and adults continued to make mission trips and went to Wise County, Cleveland Tenn, N.Y., Philadelphia, and the Bahamas.

2010. Young Life, an organization to present Christian principles and to use relationships to share Christ’s love in Caroline High School was started and supported by Salem.

2011. Gods Garden Daycare, later called His Kidz Preschool ceased operation due to the economic recession and the decreased need for daycare.

2011. Started using the church fellowship hall as a voting precinct and the people in the Sparta community do not have to travel to Bowling Green to vote.

2011.  The Treasurer announced the Salem Baptist Church Scholarship Fund is being managed by the Virginia Baptist Fund with a gift of $30,500 from Evelyn Norment.

2012 Jun. New windows were installed in the sanctuary wing by faithful volunteers, George Tignor, Frank Gee and Fisher Terry.

2012 Jul 15th. Homecoming service was held to celebrate the 210th year since the church was founded. This celebration has been held each five years.

2012. The youth and adults continued to make mission trips-Nicklesville Tenn, Bradley County Tenn, Kentucky, NY City, Eleuthra, Bahamas and Italy.

2014.  Dana Brawley left her position as Minister to Youth after serving 12 years.

2015.  A used 47 passenger bus with seat belts was purchased as a replacement bus.

2016.  July. Mr. Shannon Kiser was hired as the Minister to Students and Families.

2016.  July. A most successful Bible School week was completed. Kristen Beale and Shelly Beale have been the Bible School leaders for the last several years.

2016.  The church Constitution and By-laws were revised to replace the 1990 version.

2016.  Mission trips were continued by adults and the youth to Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Bahamas, MFUGE in South

Carolina and Nicklesville, Virginia.

Note:  This information was gathered from records of church business meetings which go back to 1886, from the address given by Andrew Broaddus III in 1902 on the history of the first 100 years of Salem, from “A History of Salem Baptist Church, 1802-1957” compiled and printed by Mrs. Sadie Pitts and from information gathered by the Church Historian, Miss Elizabeth Pitts.

J.W. Atkinson  1823-1851
Andrew Broaddus I  1770 – 1848
Andrew Broaddus II  1818 – 1900
Andrew Broaddus III – 1853-1926

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