Ebenezer “A Stone of Help”
Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us. 1 Samuel 7:12
The word “Ebenezer” is usually transliterated as a proper name by dropping the definite article (Ha) from the Hebrew word for "help" (Ezer) and putting it together with the Hebrew word for "stone" (Even) to create: "Ebenezer." The etymological roots of the word, thus defined, should demonstrate that an "Ebenezer" is, literally, a "Stone of Help" or a reminder of God’s Real, Holy Presence and Divine aid. Spiritually and theologically speaking, an Ebenezer can be nearly anything that reminds us of God’s presence and help: the Bible, the Sacramental Elements, a cross, a picture, a fellow believer, a hymn – those things which serve as reminders of God’s love, God’s Real Presence, and God’s assistance are "Ebenezers."
Several years ago, record shows that some baptized believers, namely Rev. James Harrison Bagley, and Deacon John Royal, gathered together with open hearts to God, to form the Ebenezer Association. According to Catherine Hawkes, one of the oldest former members, Rev. E. E. Hicks, Dr. Benjamin Stokes, Rev. C. C. Johnson, Rev. T. H. Wood, Rev. John Wood, Rev. Peter Winn, and Rev. W. H. Neal were also involved in the organization of the Association. These pastors and deacons were hungry for the presence of God and all that he had for them. The Ebenezer Association was later renamed Ebenezer Baptist Association and Its Allied Bodies, and today is known as Ebenezer Baptist Association. The Ebenezer Baptist Association is composed of Baptist Churches and its auxiliaries - mainly Missionary Ministry, Christian Education Ministry, Youth Ministry, and those churches accepted by compliance affidavit. The Body is composed of representatives sent by the different churches which comprise this constituency. The Association serves churches in Lunenburg, Brunswick, Nottoway, Amelia, Dinwiddie, and Greensville counties. The pastors of the member churches are members of the Advisory Council of the association.
The Association is affiliated with Virginia Baptist State Convention, National Baptist Convention, Children’s Home of Virginia Baptist, One Church One Child, University of Lynchburg, Virginia Theological Seminary, Virginia Union University, and Lott Carey, and Faith Leaders Moving Forward..
It is believed that the Association was established in 1909. The Parent Body would meet in October following the then Sunday School Convention, and Women’s Convention, which was held in July of that same year. The Parent Body along with the Allied Bodies conjoined for Annual Convention Week sometime in the late 1950's (Rev. Irene Bagley, 2013).
On October 7, 1955, Dr. W. H. Winston named Deacon John Royal “Father of the Association” because he was the only member remaining who was present in the organization of the Association.
Although the history is not precise, records go as far back as 1920's. As early as 1927, Rev. James Harrison Bagley was serving as Moderator of the Ebenezer Association in lower Lunenburg and adjoining counties.
The first officers were moderator, recording secretary, and treasurer, who received compensation for their services directed by the Association from year to year.
“Challenge to the Crisis in These Modern Times”
Rev. James Harrison Bagley was the youngest of seven children of Mr. Duncan Bagley and Mrs. Josephine Seward Bagley. He was born in rural Kenbridge, Virginia on May 18, 1890. He died in rural Kenbridge, Virginia in January 1944 at the same home-site where he had spent most of his life. Rev. Bagley passed away at the age of 54 years old.
After completing public school in Kenbridge, he went to the Normal and Industrial School in Blackstone, Virginia. Complete in the course of study there, he attended Virginia Theological Seminary and a College from which he graduate in.
Rev. Bagley became principal of the Kenbridge Public School after graduating. He taught as he pastored the Unity Baptist Church. He later resigned the teaching position to devote all of his time and energy to the work of the Gospel Ministry. Congregations in Lunenburg and adjoining counties sought his pastoral leadership to the extent that for most of his working years he served two churches each Sunday, preaching at one in the morning and the second church in the afternoon.
Records show that as early as 1927, Rev. Bagley was serving as Moderator of the Harmony Baptist Association, a Body composed of churches in upper Lunenburg and adjoining counties. He also served as Moderator of the Ebenezer Association in lower Lunenburg and adjoining counties.
Among the churches pastored were Flat Rock, Gilfield, Mayflower, Mt. Bethel, Unity, Cedar Hill, Mt. Mitchell, First Baptist Victoria, Mt. Moriah, and Poplar Lawn.
Willing and unable to perform his pastoral duties for four years, his son Frederick Harrison Bagley, who was in his senior year at Virginia Seminary and College, was accepted as pastor.
Rev. Bagley was married to Miss Cordelia Royal of rural Blackstone, Virginia. They were the parents of five sons and one daughter.
The Women’s Convention came seven years later. Mrs. Cordelia Bagley was the first president of the Women’s Convention. Deacon James Jordan served as president of the Sunday School Convention.
William Henry Winston, Jr., was born in Goochland County, Virginia to the late William Henry Winston, Sr. and Lena Martin Winston.
The family moved to Cumberland, Virginia where he received his early education in the Public Schools. He continued his education at Virginia Seminary and College, Lynchburg, Virginia and Virginia Union University, Richmond, Virginia.
He was baptized into the Little Fork Baptist Church, Cumberland, Virginia at an early age. Later in life he was united in marriage to Pearl Staten. This union was blessed with two children, Margie and Wendell.
Because of his outstanding achievements, the Virginia Seminary and College conferred on him the Doctor of Divinity Degree.
His Fruitful pastorate includes the following churches: West Bottom, Fluvanna County; Mt. Olive and Bethlehem, Cumberland County; New Hope, Prince Edward County; Zion Baptist, State River; Jerusalem, Buckingham County; New Hope, Albemarle County; Shiloh Baptist, Nottoway County; Rosebud, Cedar Creek, and Friendship, Lunenburg County; Burean, Mecklenburg County; New Hope, Sussex County; Poplar Mount, Brunswick County; Little Bethel, Dinwiddie County; and Piney Grove, Brunswick County.
He was a member of the Executive Board of the Bethany Baptist Association, The Virginia Baptist State Convention, The Baptist General Congress of Virginia, The Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention, Moderator of the Ebenezer Baptist Association, a member of the NAACP and the Trustee Board of the Virginia College.
Letter forms were used for each church to report its annual history. The form included the number baptized, received by letter, dismissed by letter, expulsion and death, name of pastor and clerk with address, and to report designated funds to be distributed to affiliated auxiliaries.
On October 6, 1948, a “Grievous Committee” was appointed to talk with the Moderator and Deacon Emmitt Fitzgerald – namely Sister Malinda Ingram, Rev. J. L. Wood, Rev. Kitt Jordan, and Rev. B. H. Agnew. The right hand of fellowship was given Rev. J. L. Wood, the new pastor of Mt. Poole Baptist and Rev. H. R. Watkins, the new pastor of Saint Matthews Baptist Church.
Annual membership was open to persons of good moral character by paying .25, and membership fee entitles them to the same privileges accorded delegates excepting offering resolution and voting. Any regular Baptist Church desiring admission in this Association could be received by vote of the body, and the Moderator giving its representatives the right hand of fellowship. Membership fee for a church was $5.00 each year. Today, membership fee is $500 per church.
On October 6, 1955, Rev. Megginson, Dr. King, Rev. Watkins, Dr. Perkins, Rev. Seay, Rev. J. Wood, Rev. E. E. Hicks, Dr. W H. Winston and Dr. Calveness were appointed as Presbyterians to do the examining and ordaining, to the fitness of a minister to serve in a pastoral capacity and set him apart.
On October 10, 1956, it was reported that Dr. G. W. King was a life member of the Association.
On October 10, 1957, the following Resolution was passed: Whereas, the Ebenezer Baptist Association and the Women’s and Sunday School Convention convene annually each in a two-day session, Be it resolved that (1) this body go on record as favoring a joint session annually of the parent body and it auxiliaries and (2) that cooperative efforts begin at once to bring about plans by which this may come to pass (3) that the sitting will be a three day session – thus lessoning the operative cost for each body, and cementing our work and the causes supported by the Ebenezer district. We also recommend that the history of the Association be brought back in the minutes.
Drop a stone in the water. Splash, the stone is gone--But the waves in the water Go on and on and on. So we teach the word of God to strengthen the people. And this strength will live on and on and on! (Eva Johnson 1989/James W. Falley) Ebenezer is truly a stone of help, when one stone is gone, the legacy of that stone will serve as a guide, and another will take its place to continue the work of the LORD. The association will continue to gain stones (moderators) to be strength to us and future generations to come. It will live on and on and on! We are so grateful for the old Ebenezer members who are gone, but left us a legacy. It is time for us to plan our legacy for the young ones we will leave behind. We leave our leaders of tomorrow weapons to fight against Satan; weapons like praying, faith, patience and hope. If they had not left footprints for us to follow, we would not be here in annual sessions today trying to carry out the mission they started years ago.
According to Rev. Thomas Jordan (July 27, 1997), some of the persons that served as the moderators were: Rev. W. H. Neal, Rev. J. H. Bagley, Rev. L. J. White, Rev. W. H. Winston, Rev. Royal J. Nickens, Rev. F. H. Bagley, Rev. C. A. Greenhill, Rev. H. R. Watkins, Rev. P. A. Johnson, Rev. George King, Rev. A. H. Winn, Rev. L. A. Wilson, Rev. P. B. Winn, Rev. Clarence Seay, and Rev. Herbert Anderson. Also, serving as moderators were: Rev. W. H. Mickens, Jr., Rev. Charles Shannon, Rev. Dr. Joseph Fields, Jr., and presently serving is Rev. Dr. Jimmie L. Walker, Sr. Today, Rev. Irene Allen is the only heir from the side of Moderators who is still in an administrative position in the Association. She serves as second vice moderator.
“A Challenge to the Crisis in These Modern Times”
Rev. Frederick Harrison Bagley, Sr. was born March 4, 1919 in Kenbridge, Virginia to the late Rev. and Mrs. James H. Bagley. At an early age he accepted Christ as his personal savior and became an active member of Flat Rock Baptist Church of Kenbridge, Virginia. He attended the public schools of Lunenburg County and continued his education at Virginia Seminary and the Virginia College in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Rev. Bagley was called and accepted his challenge as a minister in 1941, at which time he was ordained at Flat Rock Baptist Church. He pastured Cedar Hill, Flat Rock, Calvary, Center Star, First Baptist, Charon, Unity, Pleasant Plain, Morning Star, and Gilfield Baptist Churches.
He was Moderator of the Ebenezer Baptist Association, a Distinguished Member of the Board of Managers of Virginia Seminary, and the Virginia College. Also, he was a member of several Associations and Conferences.
He was married to the formal Irene Jones. To this union three children were born, two sons, Rev. F. H. Bagley, Jr., and Rev. C. Garland Bagley; one daughter, Rev. Irene Bagley-Allen. He had one sister deceased, Mrs. Hilda B. Hawkins; two brothers, Royal Bagley, and Wilton D. Bagley.
Remember, as you work, be kind, be patient, be faithful and full of hope each day and dedicate a few moments as a quiet time with God (Eva Johnson July 19, 1990). Mrs. Lacy Fitzgerald, president of the Missionary Convention (1989) emphasized that, “Ebenezer Association is centered in God, assured by faith and prospered by divine love. We boldly move forward, to serve humanity by building unity together. We strive to be a people with loving purpose: Reaching Out....Building Walls, and ......Building Bridges.” Rev. Lutrelle Rainey, dean of the Institute (1979) stated, “He sees our challenge today as God’s destiny, our faith, a challenge to life, a challenge to be that small flower in a field of weeds to walk and not get weary and run and not faint.”
As far back as 1947, the “Committee on Preachers” chose the ministers for the Annual Session, Missionary Sermon, Doctrinal Sermon, and the Memorial Sermon. Records indicate that July 23, 1997 was the last time the Committee on Preachers was active. When the Annual Session begin, the Body met on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday following the third Sunday in July and met at such place as selected in the annual session of the Executive Board. On July 20, 1984, a motion was moved and properly seconded that the Constitution will be amended for the Annual Session to be held two days and a night. On July 18, 2001, the beginning date of the Association Annual Session was amended to begin on Tuesday in order to give more time to the Youth Ministry; and departments were changed to ministries. The auxiliaries were Women’s Convention, Youth Convention, and Sunday School Convention. Later they were recognized as Departments and finally as Ministries.
“Cherishing the Past, Challenging the Presence, and Charting the Future”
Reverend Royal J. Nickens, Sr., 69, died early March 29, 1982 in the Petersburg General Hospital. Born in Kilmarnock, Va., on December 22, 1912 he was the son of the late Holland A. and Nannie E. Nickens. He was the widower of Mrs. Evelyn Nickens.
He received his education in the public schools of Philadelphia, Pa., Virginia Theological Seminary and College, his B.S. degree at Virginia State University, and received a Doctor of Divinity degree from the Richmond, Virginia Seminary.
Rev. Nickens was principal of Morgan E. Norris Elementary School in Kilmarnock. Va. He taught at .Carter G. Woodson High School in Hopewell and was Assistant Dean at Virginia State University.
At the time of his demise, Rev. Nickens served as pastor of five area churches: Union, Mt. Gazerine, Mt. Level, Bethany and Lone Oak Baptist Churches.
He served In the United States Army for eleven years, attaining the rank of Captain. He was a 33 degree. Mason and was Past Potentate of the Shriners.
Rev. Nickens was Moderator of The Ebenezer Baptist Association, Moderator of Bluestone/Harmony Baptist Association, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Richmond Virginia Seminary, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Keysville Educational and Recreational Center, and was affiliated with numerous civic organizations.
He had a son, Royal J. Nickens, Jr., and foster-son, Rev. LeRoy Rhone; a brother, Vernell H. Nickens, Sr.; two sisters, Juanita Nickens and Bertina Staton; two sisters-in-law, Thelma B. Nickens and Ethel H. Nickens; a brother-in-law, John A. Staton, Sr., Jean, 'Tyrus, and Elwood Burrow, arid a host of other loving relatives and friends.
"For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course; I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me that day ..." IITimothy4:6~8
On July 20, 1977, the New Bodies reported at the present there are two new circles namely Cedar Hill Baptist Church Missionary and Oak Grove Baptist Church Missionary wishing to join. During the Women’s Convention, the ministers recommended the idea of workshops for the Annual Session. On October 1, 1977, it was moved and properly seconded that the Ebenezer Baptist Association will have AND on the bank card instead of OR, and that sufficient order forms for withdrawing on the treasurer to take effect immediately.
Rev. Ralph Johnson stated that the pastor is the hub of the wheel, then the deacons, organizations and the members are all spokes of the wheel. If all the spokes are in place, then the wheel will turn properly.
On July 20, 1979, it was motion and properly seconded to accept the Shiloh Baptist Church of Chesterfield to membership of the Ebenezer Baptist Association. In 1979, a fund was established for Deacon James May of the Friendship Baptist Church to have a bathroom put in his home. He was ninety (90) years old. The fund was to be set up with the Fidelity American Bank in Kenbridge. It was moved and properly seconded that the bodies get together in the Executive Board and make a donation to Bro. May in addition to the offering lifted. The offering collected was $31.52 and a prayer was offered by Rev. Johnson. It was recommended that the Budget Committee increase staff pay by 10% and registration fee to $25.00 for churches. Also, that a Music Committee be formulated composed of Rev. David Banks, Mrs. Grace Jones and Mrs. Barbara Garris. Further, that an Education Committee be formulated to purchase audio visual equipment for the association.
“The Crisis Confronting the Pastors and Deacons in Local Churches”
Rev. William Henry Mickens, Jr., was a native and lifelong resident of Petersburg, Virginia. He was the son of the late William H. Mickens, Sr., and Mr. Rosa Rebecca Davis Mickens. At an early age, he joined the Bethany Baptist Church.
He was a Veteran of the United States Navy and for a number of years he was employed at Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company. He was a retired employee of the United States Civil Service, Fort Lee where he retired in 1970.
He was called to the gospel ministry in 1953. In 1959, he accepted the pastorate of the Marmora Baptist Church, Church Road, where he served until 1969. In 1963 he accepted the pastorate of the Mount Poole Baptist Church where he served until 1979. In 1969, he accepted the pastorate of the Star Light Baptist Church, Kenbridge, Virginia, where he served until 1982. He died January 30, 1985.
He was married to Mrs. Sarah W. Mickens, He had three step-daughters, Ms. Barbara Wyche, Miss Debra Williams, Ms. Pamela Freeman; a foster-daughter, and Ms. Rosemary Hicks; mother-in-law, Mrs. Pearl Jackson and Father-in-law, Joseph Jackson.
I may not pass this way again
Lord let me stop a while
To help some stranger on the way
And make somebody smile.
I may not pass this way again
Lord, let me find the poor
And give them food and show them love
And lead them to thy door.
I may not pass this way again
Lord let me love and give
And do according to thy will
While on earth I live!
Rev. W. H. Mickens proposed four resolutions: (1) Hayes Allen Day be implemented, (2) A bus be available to go to Lynchburg, (3) A Program Committee be established, and (4) Musical Workshops be implemented.
“Building For Better Christian Leadership”
Reverend Clarence Akin Greenhill was the son of the late Creed and Virginia Greenhill and was born April 21, 1929 in Blackstone, Virginia. Rev. Greenhill was a native of Nottoway County and lived there most of his life. He lived by the Motto: “Others first and self last.” His religious and social affiliations were widespread and his life was devoted to his churches. As a neighbor, he was always ready to help and was very active in community affairs. Most of his life he was truly a Christian which was constantly demonstrated in the way he lived. Rev. Greenhill was married to the former Agnes Epes and to this marriage were two daughters, Marjorie and Sherell.
He was the pastor of the seven churches. They were: Shiloh Baptist Church, Blackstone; Center Star Baptist Church, Dinwiddie, Virginia; First Baptist Church and Pleasant Oak Baptist Church, Victoria, Virginia; Rosebud Baptist Church, Dundas, Virginia; Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Dewitt, Virginia; and Morning Star Baptist Church, Burkeville, Virginia.
He was Moderator of the Ebenezer Baptist Association. He attended Johns Hopkins Hospital where he received training as a male nurse. He also attended VPI in Blackburg where he studied Ministry under the direction of the late Bishop Johnson, the treasurer of the Minister’s Conference of Blackstone and vicinity and a member of the NAACP.
Gilfield Baptist Church was reinstated to the Association on July 18, 1984. Morning Star Baptist Church Sunday School was seeking admission to the Association on July 19, 1984, with Rev. Paul Johnson, pastor and Miss Paulette Whitaker as superintendent. It was moved and properly seconded on July 20, 1984 that Eleven Oaks Baptist Church would be accepted to join the association. Rev. William H. Mickens extended the right hand of fellowship to Rev. C. Ruffin and the Eleven Oaks Baptist Church. Bloomfield Baptist Church was also given the right hand of fellowship by Rev. Mickens. On July 20, 1984, it was moved and properly seconded to hold an appreciation service for Mrs. Frances Watkins, former treasurer of Sunday School Department.
The New Bodies reported on July 25, 1986 that we have two bodies seeking to join the Association at this time, Mamora Baptist Church of Sutherland with Rev. J. L. Walker, Pastor, and Union Baptist Church of Amelia with Rev. Leroy Rhone, pastor. It was moved and properly seconded that the report be accepted.
"Commitment to God’s Word and Facing the Danger of Spiritual Darkness”
February 1, 1925 - April 10, 1996
Rev. Haywood Russell Watkins, Sr., was born in Meherrin, (Prince Edward County) Virginia, the seventh child of the Rev. Alexander C. Watkins, and Mrs. Jessie Towler Watkins. He completed his elementary education at the Mission School, Meherrin, Virginia. He was a graduate of Robert R. Moton High School, Farmville, Virginia; Virginia Union University and the School of Religion with a major in Religious Education and an Associate Degree in English.
He accepted Christ as Savior and Lord of his life at the age of eight years old. He was baptized and became a member of the Forest Baptist Church, Meherrin, Virginia, where he remained a member throughout his entire life.
He pastored Mt. Ellis Baptist Church, Keysville, Virginia for twenty-two years; St. Matthew’s Baptist Church, Kenbridge, Virginia for forty-three years; Poplar Lawn Baptist Church, Blackstone, Virginia for thirteen years; Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, Holland Station, Suffolk, Virginia for thirteen years; Mayflower Baptist Church, Kenbridge, Virginia for ten years; and Mt. Bethel Baptist Church for fifteen years.
He studied at St. Paul’s College, Lawrenceville, Virginia; University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia; The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia; Virginia Seminary, Lynchburg, Virginia; Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Virginia. The honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred on him by the Teamers School of Religion, Charlotte, North Carolina and the Doctor of Laws Degree by Richmond Virginia Seminary, Richmond, Virginia for his outstanding and committed service in education, civic and religious leadership.
He served the Lunenburg County Board of Education as teacher and assistant principal at Kenbridge Graded School for twenty years and Coordinator of Federal Projects for eighteen years.
He served the following with distinction: President of the Lunenburg County teachers Association; first President of the Lunenburg Chapter of the American Cancer Society; Institutional Representative for the Boy Scout Troop of Kenbridge Graded School; Treasurer of the Virginia Association of Federal Education Programs; Moderator of the Bluestone-Harmony Association; instrumental in the merger of sixty-eight churches to form the Bluestone Harmony Association; Moderator of the Ebenezer Baptist Association; secretary of the Ebenezer Association and its Allied Bodies; Virginia Seminary Extension Class Teacher; member of the Board of Directors of Virginia Seminary; member of the Trustees Board of the Baptist Children’s Home of Virginia.
His most outstanding accomplishment was being a faithful and loving servant, committed first to his God, his family and his community. His Motto was: “One tiny thought in tiny word May give a great one birth. If that thought was caused by me, I live a life of worth.” Richard F. Wolfe
He is survived by a loving and faithful wife, Mary Frances Bell Watkins; four children, Frances Ann Neely, Amenta Diane Crouch, Gale Russelle Hudson, and Haywood Russell Watkins, Jr.
July 19, 1989, Mrs. Lacy Fitzgerald, president of Missionary Department, recommended that a second vice president be elected for the Missionary Department. She asked that at least 2 or 3 activities be planned a year to include the Youth in order that they will know what is going on. On July 19, 1989, Union Baptist Church Missionary Department was seeking to join the Association.
On July 21, 1989, Rev. Dr. H. R. Watkins presented Mrs. Joanne Tabon with a plaque for seventeen (17) years of service to the Body.
On July 20, 1990, the Committee on New Bodies made the following report: That we have one new body for membership, and that is the Cedar Hill Baptist Church of Blackstone, Virginia. It was properly moved and seconded that the report be accepted.
On June 1, 1991, an appreciation service honoring Rev. Dr. H. R. Watkins, moderator was held at Saint Matthews Baptist Church, Kenbridge, Virginia.
“The Gospel of Jesus Christ for These Troubled Times”
Rev. Dr. Herbert W. Anderson is a native of Petersburg, Virginia. He was baptized at age eleven. He joined the Gilfield Baptist Church of Petersburg, Virginia. He attended the public schools of Petersburg. He graduated from the former Peabody High School, now Peabody Middle School. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Education and an Honorary D.D. Degree from the former Virginia Seminary and College of Lynchburg, Virginia, now Virginia University of Lynchburg. He is a member of the Rocky Branch Baptist Church, Sutherland, Virginia.
He has served as pastor of the Historic Sharon Baptist Church in Dinwiddie County Thirty years. He has served as pastor of the Center Star Baptist Church in Dinwiddie County, past chairman of the Trustee Board of the Children’s Home of Virginia Baptist in Chesterfield, Virginia, director of the Dinwiddie County Food Bank, president of the United Churches of Dinwiddie and vicinity, the president of the Dinwiddie County Clergy Association, past president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Petersburg and vicinity, past moderator of the Ebenezer Baptist Association, a member of the Petersburg Chapter of the Virginia University of Lynchburg Alumni Association, NAACP and the SCLC.
Rev. Anderson is married to the former Obena Wyatt of Sutherland, Virginia. On July 3, 2013, they will celebrate sixty Blissful years of togetherness. They are the proud parents of three daughters, one foster daughter, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. They reside in Sutherland, Virginia. But most of all he wants you to know that He Loves the Lord, And Will Not Apologize for It.
July 21, 1993 was the first time the Missionary Ministry held a workshop session. The title was “Mission and Stewardship,” The following persons led the groups: Mrs. Dorothy Smith, Rev. Irene Allen, Rev. Parker Ghee, and Rev. John Ghee.
Rev. Herbert Anderson recommended on July 19, 1994 a Money Making-Banquet proposal at the Children’s Home on September 23, 1995, and asked to help support the Building Fund Project. Sharon Baptist Church joined the association with their pastor, Rev. Herbert Anderson on July 21, 1994.
On July 19, 1995, Trinity Baptist Church of Petersburg, Virginia restored their membership to the Association. The Right Hand of Fellowship was extended to Rev. Adam McKee and Rev. Jeffrey Dodson. In 1995, Mrs. Eva Johnson indicated that she had served Ebenezer for thirty-five years; twenty-two as secretary of Sunday School Department and thirteen years as the president of Sunday School Department President.
It is important that we be an example for God. God will examine what kind of workers we have been for him, therefore, we should build our lives on his Word and build his Word into our lives - it alone tells us how to live for Him and how to serve Him (Elizabeth Burns, July 24, 1997). Cellar Creek Baptist Church Sunday School joined the Association with their pastor, Rev. Willie King and their Sunday School Superintendent, Sis. Shirley Banks on July 24, 1997.
July 23, 1998, Rev. Herbert Anderson recommended that all officers of the Parent Body will be elected for a four year term and they will be able to succeed themselves by reelection by the Body with the Moderators being the only ones affected in the initial election at the recommendations of the Nominating Committee. Also, he recommended that the Nominating Committee will be comprised of the presidents of each department with an addition of three other members of the body selected with the help of the Moderator. On July 23, 1998, Committee on New Bodies reported that we have one new body seeking membership in the name of the Mt. Nebo Baptist Church, Blackstone.
On July 21, 1999, Rev. Herbert Anderson stated he had served Ebenezer as Moderator for eight years and it has been wonderful. He encouraged us to Make Use of Opportunities. The opportunity of life is an opportunity to live, use every opportunity to do good and lift up Jesus, then somebody will be saved. October of 1998, Miss Hope Allen attended the Brotherhood and Youth Retreat in Petersburg, Virginia, along with Deacon and Mrs. Richard Seay, Miss Irene Allen, Miss Kimberly Welborn, and Rev. Irene Allen. The theme was “Jesus First for the New Millennium.”
"God’s People Committed to God’s Purpose”
Rev. Dr. Charles L. Shannon III, a native of Richmond, VA, is a passionate and loyal minister of God. He is a renowned leader, teacher, preacher, and speaker affirming the message of Christ. Pastor Shannon attended the Richmond Public School System and graduated from Armstrong High School in 1973.
He received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in May 1978 from Virginia Union University, Richmond, VA. Reverend Shannon was licensed to minister the Gospel in August 1987 and ordained in June 1991. Dr. Shannon was called to pastor Mount Level Baptist Church in October 1991, and by the grace of God was installed as pastor in April 1992. He received his Master of Divinity Degree in May 1991 and his Doctor of Ministry Degree on May 12, 2001 both from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology, Virginia Union University. On December 6, 2008, Dr. Shannon graduated from the Pastoral Excellence Program, of the Lott Carey Convention, receiving a Continuous Education Diploma in Pastoral Ministry from the University of Zimbabwe of South Africa. His graduation was held in the prestigious Duke University School of Divinity.
Dr. Shannon is affiliated with numerous organizations and involved in many humanitarian initiatives. He is the Moderator Emeritus of the Ebenezer Baptist Association; Professor of Religious Education and Spiritual Formation, in the Doctor of Ministry Program of Virginia University of Lynchburg’s School of Religion, where he also serves as Quality Control Coordinator; Past President of the Ministers and Diaconates Leadership Conference of Amelia, Chesterfield, and Powhatan Counties; Chairman, CEO of Creative Being Learning Center. While in the Pastoral Excellence Program of the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention, he gained mission experiences in Guyana, South America, in October 2006, Kingston, and Ocho Rios, Jamaica, in October 2007, and North West Province, South Africa, in October 2008. Pastor Shannon is a wholehearted mentor of youth in the community, inspiring them to value their divine self-worth. He motivates them to be civil citizens within their home, school, and community.
He is joyfully married to the former Shirley Burton and they are the gratifying parents of one son, Ronald. Dr. Shannon loves the Lord and is dedicated in every respect to His Service. His ministry teaches and preaches that God offers new life in Christ through the redemptive blood of Jesus, the Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit.
"Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Matthew 5:8
Miss Hope Allen and Miss Irene Allen presented Mrs. Betty Seay on July 18, 2001 a gift to thank her for all of the support and encouragement she has given to the Youth Ministry. It was customary for the president to give a detail account of activities during the past year. Rev. Irene Allen reported that the Missionary Ministry contributed to a Library Fund at the Ripberger Library in Kenbridge, Virginia in the name of Mrs. Clorann B. Bagley. She was a past president of Ebenezer Baptist Association Missionary Ministry. June 2001, the Missionary Ministry recognized Mrs. Mabel Wilson, the immediate past president, with a plaque and a money tree for her outstanding service and loyalty to the Missionary Ministry of Ebenezer. Rev. Irene Allen’s vision was by the year 2004, “If we can Strengthen our Individual Ministry, We can Strengthen our Ebenezer Ministry, thus Strengthening our Commitment to Christ.” On July 19, 2001, a motion was made that the “Permanent Committee” will no longer be known by this title, but will be known as the “Nominating Committee.”
It was reported on January 12, 2002 that the Sunday School received a letter from Poplar Lawn Baptist Church asking to be removed from their roll. July 26, 2002, a resolution was passed to establish a Brotherhood and Sisterhood Ministry; and that the Association will begin to function with a Central Treasury. Each ministry will submit a yearly Budget for approval by the Association. On July 26, 2002, the New Bodies Committee reported that Gilfield Baptist wanted to become a member of the Ebenezer Baptist Association. November 9, 2002, Missionary Prayer Breakfast was presented, if held would take place October of 2003. Monies raised would go to the Children’s Home and Virginia University of Lynchburg. The Ministry passed a motion giving Rev. Irene Allen permission to make this recommendation to the Association for possible review. The Missionary Prayer Breakfast was presented to the Association and approved.
On July 25, 2003, the Nomination Committee recommended that a new position be created to work with the pastors of our body, namely the Ministers Ministry, and further recommend that Rev. Waverly Brown be nominated as coordinator. On July 27, 2003, Rev. Dr. Yvonne Johnson, pastor of Cedar Hill Baptist Church, Blackstone, Virginia, was the first African American female Baptist pastor in the Blackstone area. On September 8, 2003, Rev. Irene Allen reported the Fall Mission Project for Missionary Ministry was to send specially designed greeting cards to men and women serving in the armed forces. A total of fifteen (15) cards were sent. Rev. Charles Shannon stated on November 3, 2003 that Poplar Lawn has expressed a desire to be a part of the association again.
Rev. Charles Shannon proposed on March 13, 2004 that the Budget for 2005 be move from $385.00 to $500.00 for each church. A motion was made by Joanne Tabon and seconded by Ruby Curtis that Rev. John Boyd will serve as Legal Policy and Procedure Advisor. Legal Policy and Procedure Advisor was to be made formal at Annual Session in July 2004. The Resolution Committee recommended changing the name from “Sunday School Ministry” to reflect Christian Education Ministry” on July 23, 2004.
On July 21, 2006, Rev. Charles Shannon recommended to have communion on the last day of the Annual Session. Also, he recommended a balance sheet to show where the monies have gone the next year.
Due to Rev. Charles Shannon’s resignation, it was recommended that he become an advisor for the remaining time.
“Chartering Our Course with a Renewed Spirit”
Rev. Joseph B. Fields, Jr., was born in Dinwiddie County to the late Pearl Fields Coleman and the late Joseph B. Fields, Sr. He is married to Regina B. Fields and they are the parents of two children, Brian and Tiffany, and five grandchildren.
He is a 1963 graduate of Southside High School, Dinwiddie County, Virginia; a 1976 graduate of Richard Bland with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts; and a 1985 graduate of Virginia State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Automobile Technology. He has also studied at Virginia Union University Seminary in Richmond Virginia Seminar both in Richmond, Virginia. He obtained his doctrine degree from the Fredrick L. Ray Biblical Institute.
He has been the Pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church, Ford, Virginia, since 1975; and the Pastor of Mount Nebo Baptist Church, Blackstone, Virginia, since 1980. He is a member of the 555th Parachutes Infantry, and a Buffalo Soldier.
He is former owner and instructor of Fields Defensive Driving Clinic. He and the First Lady are the former owners of Fields Transportation Services. He has served as an educator in Dinwiddie and Nottoway County Public School Systems. In addition, he worked at Petersburg Ford Motor Company, Petersburg, Virginia, as a Sales Manager for over 15 years.
He served in the United States Army for 3 years and is a Vietnam Veteran. His military services also include the United States Army Reserve. Above all he is a child of God.
The first Oratorical contest was held in 2006. It was a joint effort of the Christian Education and the Youth Department. Miss. Karima Elmadamy from St. Matthews Baptist Church was the only participant. She was awarded an expense paid opportunity to attend the Sunday School Baptist Training Union and participate in its oratorical contest.
On July 18, 2007, it was suggested that Ebenezer begin a Bible Bowl Group with all the churches involved.
In 2008, Deaconess Emma Baskerville was named BTU Worker of the Year for the Christian Education Ministry.
"God’s People Working for God’s Purpose”
Moderator: July 2010 - Present
The Rev. Dr. Jimmie L. Walker, Sr. is a native of Pike County, Williamson, Ga. He is the son of the late Mr. Otis C. and Thelma L. Walker. At the age of 10, he accepted Christ and was baptized at the Free Liberty Methodist Church in Williamson, Ga. He later on in life united with the Mount Carmel Baptist Church and First Baptist Church of City Point in Hopewell, Va.
He is a graduate of Pike County Consolidated High School, Concord, Ga. Pastor Walker, and while in service, attended Los Angeles Metropolitan College, Far East Division in Korea, John Tyler Community College, and the Army Logistics Management College, Fort Lee, Va. He is a graduate of Saint Leo University of Florida, satellite Fort Lee location.
Pastor Walker holds an associate degree in Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts in Business, a Master of Art in Religious Studies, a Master of Divinity and an honorary doctoral degree in Philosophy from Cosmopolitan University, Jefferson City, Mo. There is no doubt that Pastor Walker's greatest study is in the word of God.
Pastor Walker is the esteemed pastor of the Center Star Baptist Church, Dinwiddie. He has served as pastor for the past 13 years. He served for three years as president of The Baptist Ministers Conference of Petersburg, Va. and Vicinity. Also, presently serves as moderator - Ebenezer Baptist Association of Blackstone, Kenbridge, Amelia, Dinwiddie, Virginia and Vicinity.
In Pastor Walker's personal life, he has retired after 21 years of service in the United States Army. Dr. Walker's wife is the former Carrie L. Hall of Anniston, Ala., and from their long and happy marriage, there are three children, one daughter, Sheena, two sons, Jimmie Jr. and Anthony Sr. (deceased). There are eight grandchildren, Tiffany, Maurice, Anthony Jr., Ashton Mekhi, Josiah, Jonisia, Joshai and Janiya; three great-grandchildren, Tyrece Deion, KhaMari DaiJon and Makai Deion; also two daughters-in-law, Kristi and Mary; one son-in-law, Josh; and one grandson-in-law, DaQuan.
Pastor Walker retired on February 28, 2007, after 20 additional years with the federal government, civil service. As a believer in Almighty God and a known servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, Pastor Walker is a living and testifying witness that with God, all things are possible.
A new position to help spread the work around was added on July 23, 2010, namely an Executive Administrator. A motion was made by Rev. Herbert Anderson and seconded by Mrs. Beatrice Head to accept this recommendation made by Nominating Committee. On November 13, 2010 under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Jimmie L. Walker, Sr., a motion was made by Rev. Charles Shannon and seconded by Rev. Walter Gordone to purchase a credit card for the association. After some discussion about establishing an EBA Website, Rev. Walker asked the following person to work with Rev. Stephen Pugh on an EBA Website: Rev. Wanda Wallace, Mrs. Joyce Worsham, Ms. Patricia Watkins (Co-Chair), Ms. Barbara Crawley (C0-Chair), and Mrs. Crystal Jones. Later Rev. Wanda Wallace asked that Rev. Dr. Anna Wilson replace her on the Website Committee. Mrs. Crystal Jones declined due to her busy schedule. In 2011, Ebenezer Baptist Association Credit Card and Website became realities. The website address for Ebenezer is: www.ebenezerbaptistassociation.org.
As a ministry committed to meeting the needs of people and with a focus on empowerment, the Association sponsored a number of unique activities such as: Sing Outs, Queen & King Pageants, Youth Programs, Bible Bowls, Annual Sessions, Annual Institutes, Pre-Convention Banquets, Annual Banquets, Prayer Breakfasts, signed a partnership with Risk Kids, a Thanksgiving Fellowship, Spices for Life Cadre Training, Bikers Ride to support Virginia Baptist Children Home (Founder’s Day), Memorial/Candlelight Service, and Retreats.
Mt. Gazerine Baptist Church has produced the most officers in the Association over a period of time: Cordelia Bagley, Rev. Royal Nickens, Mrs. Lacy Fitzgerald, Mrs. Eva Johnson, Mrs. Connie Scott, Mrs. Shiras Scott-Craig, Miss Hope Allen-Morgan, Miss Irene Allen-Byrd, and Rev. Irene Allen.
When God told us to do something, we didn’t ignore it. We didn’t miss the boat because we listen to what God was telling us. We let down our net; we were able to draw men and women, boys and girls in from all around. We were not selfish. When our net was filled, we called ministers and missionaries from the community to help us so we would not drown and nobody be saved. That is why Ebenezer is still here doing our Father’s work (Rev. Dr. Joseph Fields, Jr., July 20, 1984).
We are “low enough to communicate effectively, high enough to help somebody, and willing to do what we can” (Rev. Waverly E. Brown, Sr., July 22, 1988). For when God steps in, He takes over and takes charge. The Lord says, He’ll fix everything and pave the way.
Our journey has been an amazing one and we have experienced the faithfulness and presence of God throughout the journey. Thank God for Ebenezer Baptist Association. We are truly a “stone of help” and hope for surrounding communities. We strive each and every day for Better Days because we are too Glad, to be Sad, too Cheery, to be weary! too Serene, to be mean! too Grateful, to be hateful! too Blessed, to be stressed, too rich, to be poor! too happy, to be snappy! We feel Good! Real Good! In every way, each and every day! We are better today than We were yesterday (Dr. Charles L. Shannon III, November 17, 1998).
Remember God had already planned our destiny. Somebody needed us, our neighbors. We are so glad that God has been in charge of us in Ebenezer. He enabled us to pool our resources so we could come together and help others.
We have been on the battlefield for the Lord 104 years. WE HAVE COME THIS FAR BY FAITH, LEANING ON THE LORD AND TRUSTING IN HIS HOLY WORD. We will not forget how faithful God has been to us since 1909, when the Association was founded.