History

 

Ellerbe Grove Missionary Baptist Church is definitely a historically established landmark of Richmond County. It has contributed to this county in many ways besides providing as a place of worship. In compiling this history from many sources, the two most responsible were Mrs. Nezzie Ingram Crowder and Mr. Stancil Harrington. Both are native of Richmond County, but most appropriately lifelong members of Ellerbe Grove Church. When the idea came to me about doing this, (a church anniversary) it was just an idea, but listing, reading and recalling things myself, it became very important to know more about my church and to let others know too.

Ellerbe Grove Church was established to solve a problem. There were people in the area who originally attended Holly Grove Church, but after moving to Ellerbe Grove Community, the lack of transportation prevented them from going to church. So I can only imagine those people (Ellerbe's, Covington's, Ingram's and others) started to meet it is understood that they met in a Brush Arbor for their church services. The exact location is unknown as well as the exact time. The sources had no recollection as to the amount of time this went on, but is has been found that they moved from the Brush Arbor to the Jackson House. Unfortunately, as with the case of the Brush Arbor, little information is known about the Jackson House. The first actual church was built in 1914 and built by Shaler H. Ingram. The Church was organized September 14, 1914, when a few dedicated and determined people met in the presence of Rev. S. P. Johnson. As minister for the occasion Rev. Johnson spoke from the text "And I say unto you Thou Art Peter", ad upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. This was said to be a very soul stirring sermon and experience. The offering for this special service was $5.05, then adjournment for dinner. At 3:00 pm, the afternoon services began by singing the opening Hymn #536, prayer and then Hymn #543, and then there various ones making remarks. Rev. S.P. Johnson was elected as the first moderator for this occasion. Mr. A. Ellerbe was elected as the first Church Clerk, and then the body voted unanimously to name the church "Ellerbe Grove Missionary Baptist Church". After this major business was taken care of, the doors of the church were open. On this day eleven members came and they were: H.C. Ellerbe, J.K. Covington, E. A. Thompson, S. H. Ingram, Willa Ellerbe Ingram, Nettie Covington, Frank Curie, John Hayes Ellerbe, Isadora Poe, Winston Covington, and William Barnes. The church then had twelve dedicated and determined members being willing to work and this was a very good beginning. The first active pastor was Rev. S. P. Johnson and the first pastor was Rev. Carmichael. The first ordained Deacons were Henry C. Covington and Shaler H. Ingram (who later became a minister). It is said that a deacon from Popular Spring s came to ordain them.

Shaler H. Ingram also built the second church with his own home made stones. It had no light, heat, or bathroom facilities. The church was later demolished due to insufficient roof. The third church was established to have around 175 members. The Pastor at that time was Rev. Cooper. The first person's funeral and burial in church was Caroline Dockery. The third church was closed due to modern necessities. The present church was completed in September 1975. The first service was held on the 2nd Sunday of the month. The contracted work was by the Chair man of Deacon Board, Charles Brower. Sexton Jones did the plumbing work and Fred Ingram did the brickwork. It is complete luxury compared to the first churches, with extensive bathroom facilities, lighting, central air heating, and other types of added comfort. One of the churches features is its pool for baptism. Although not included when the church was built, they felt it was necessary to have one. So on one Friday night $901.00 was raised for the addition for the pool by its members. This is an example of the members' dedication to this church. The first Baptismal Service in the pool was October 1976 with 22 candidates. The membership today is 80 and starting to grow back. It still remains mostly a family church although its doors are open to everyone. The first funeral and burial in the new church was Jesse Scott. The Cemetery was started in either 1939 or 1940. The first person to be buried in the cemetery under the tree was Olivia Covington McLean, who was in her twenties at the time. This is an example of irony due to the fact that she wanted to be the first in the cemetery under the tree. She as well as another member (Lincoln Ingram) talked about being first and getting under the tree, and she was first and they are side by side under the tree. Today there are over ___ known and marked graves. In the history of the church cemetery there were three unusual cases of double burials. Those were the burials of Sallie Ingram Covington with Willa Ellerbe Ingram, Gladys Sturdivant with Elnora Covington, and David McIver with Bowe Martin.

The church has had numerous people holding positions in the church through the years. Below are the names of those people:

Pastors: Rev. Carmichael, Rev. Justice, Rev. Womack, Rev. Buie, Rev. Ellerbe, Rev. Richardson, Rev. Spencer, Rev. Saunders, Rev. Johns, Rev. Mallow, Rev. Mitchell from Clinton, Rev. Posey (fill-in), Rev. Boones from Clinton, Rev. Easterling of Polkton, Rev. J.J. Covington of Rockingham, Rev. Ratliff, Rev. Curtis J. McIver Sr. of Hamlet, Rev. John W. Davis Sr. of Charlotte, and Rev. Darryl Carter of Fayetteville, is presently our pastor.

Deacons: Henry Ellerbe, Shaler H. Ingram, Jim Dockery, J. McCrae, Winston C. Covington, Willie Williams, Ivory Dockery, Wendell Ellerbe, James Harrington, Clarence Nicholson, Jessie J. Scott, James (Borche) Ellerbe, James Womble, Odell Sims, John Ellerbe, Benny McCain, Henry M. Ingram, Benjamin Hinson, Vea Martin, Charles Brower, Curtis McIver Sr., Leroy Crowder Jr., Wilson Strong, Stancil Harrington, Charles Swinney, Robert Swinney, George Davis, and Leroy Thompson.

Superintendents: Walter Leslie, Henry Ellerbe, Shaler Ingram, Thomas McIver, Israel Dockery, V. Crowder, Wendell Ellerbe, Aries Covington, Clarence Nicholson, Frank House, John Ingram, Vernice Evans, Fred Ingram, Cliff Harrington, Curtis McIver Sr., Robert Swinney and Leroy Crowder Jr. presently.

Trustees: Henry Ellerbe, Winston Covington, James Ellerbe , Edmond Ellerbe, Henry McIver, James Harrington, William Crowder, Thomas Ellerbe, Wilson House, Fred Ingram, Vea Martin, Wilson Strong, Stancil Harrington, James House, Bus Brown, James McNair, Warren Strong, Billy Ray McIver , Darrell McIver, Dewey Brower, Curtis McIver Jr., Michael Ferguson, Daniel Covington, Walter Crowe, Michael Swinney, Talbot McIver, Jaloni Boyd, Lee Crowder, Thad Kelly, Mike Gustine, Thomas Zinnerman, Johnnie McCain, Ervin Leviner, Billy Ray McIver Jr., Robert Swinney Jr., Quince Hailey, and Herbert Martin (Chairman).

Church Clerks: A. Ellerbe, Henry, Frank House, Henry Ingram, Lois Harrington, and presently Virginia Strong

Ellerbe Grove Missionary Baptist Church

162 Ellerbe Grove Church Rd. Rockingham, NC

Rockingham, NC 28379

(910)582-5902