|History of Cheerful
Hope Baptist Church
Contributed by Natasha Miles
Columbus County, NC
|Cheerful Hope Baptist Church is the oldest active baptist
church in Ransom Township. The first baptist church in what is now
Columbus County was also in the area now known as Ransom township and
was named Livingston Creek Baptist Church. It was organized in 1765 by
Ezekiel Hunter, the pastor of the New River Baptist Church in
Onslow County. White Marsh, the oldest active baptist church in
Columbus County today, was a branch of Livingston Creek Baptist Church
and was organized later the same year by Rev Hunter and other ministers
of the Sandy Creek Association. According to the Cape Fear Association
minutes in 1844, Livingston Creek Baptist Church was extinct by 1816.
The Cape Fear Association consisted of churches in Brunswick, Columbus, and New Hanover counties in North Carolina and Marion and Horry counties in South Carolina. In 1839, it added four new churches to its ranks which were Shiloh in Bladen County, Macedonia in Columbus County, Cheerful Hope and Mount Pisgah both in Brunswick County.
Cheerful Hope was organized by preachers James L Warren and A C Reption. John Thompson owned the land the church was built on and was a delegate to the associational conference in 1839. The first deacons were James Ellis and Ezekiel Smith. Abel King was the first pastor, and the membership numbered 21. According to local legend, the first church was a log building and was located south of the present location.
Joel Bennett was pastor from 1843 through 1845. W Vernon was licensed in 1843 and E Smith in 1844. George William Lennon became Pastor in 1846 and pastored the church until his death in 1863. In 1847, the church reported 29 white and 5 black members. The church was said to have a flourishing Sabbath School in 1851. John Paul Lennon was licensed by Cheerful Hope on 18 October 1855 and was ordained on 14 December 1862. He became pastor at the death of his father, G W Lennon.
Because of transportation problems and the fact that the church had a membership large enough to support two churches, part of the church was organized into Livingston Chapel Baptist Church in 1865.
J W Dickson became pastor in 1868. The first Sunday School Superintendent on record was L H Malpass in 1877. Also in 1877, Cheerful Hope became part of Columbus County with a county line change and JP Lennon became pastor again. The pastors annual salary in 1899 was reported as $43.
In August 1912, the church voted to build "a new house of worship at Cheerful Hope Church." The building committee consisted of H W Kelly, E W Fuhr, and A H Lennon. According to local legend, the framing was sawed on Fuhr's saw mill in Byrdville and donated by Lennon A Byrd, Sr. This building is believed to be the third church building. It was built in the same location as the second building, and the second church building was moved across the street. It served as a home until it burned. In 1913, the church was valued at $500.
Cheerful Hope Baptist Church did not have a deed for the property until it was 100 years old. In 1939, Ed Flynn had the property suveyed and W Tate Malpass gave the church a deed for the 1.6 acres the church and cemetery occupied.
Pastors from 1883 through 1950 were:
D C Kelly
D L Hewett
W G Moore
D P Robbins
G W Stanley
J B Downing
W R Caines
A J Freeman
J W Smith
B G Early
R S Lennon
H E Bryant
E P Butler
A D Carter
K L Stanley
W L Ballard
R H Satterfield
L R Jordan
J H Beck
James H Stanley
C B Horne
W T Hewett
L L Todd
N B Edge was pastor from 1951 through 1966 and during this time the sanctuary was remodled to its present status. An educational building was added in 1968.
Known Associational Delegates Before 1912: