|The Grooms Chapel Missionary Baptist Church began much the same way churches in the first century began. Oral history indicates what is now known as the Grooms Chapel Missionary Baptist Church began in 1915 after four Christian sisters started having prayer meeting in their homes. Eventually these services expanded and were held in a small building located across the street from the church’s present location on Grooms Road. The late Rev. Q. Rudd served as the preacher for many of these services.|
As the gathering grew, the Lord began to move on the hearts of members and friends that a more formal place of worship be built. That vision was realized in 1923, when the Grooms Chapel Missionary Baptist Church Reidsville, NC was officially registered at the Rockingham County Seat in Wentworth, North Carolina. The founding families were: Brother Major & Sister Daisy Powell; Brother Hugh & Sister Maybelle Thomas; Brother Louis & Sister Maybelle Graham; Brother Warren & Sister Mary Watt; Brother Sidney & Sister Minerva Johnson; Sister Bertha Watt; and Rev. John & Sister Alice Settle. In that same year, land was purchased from Robert and Dora Brown and construction began on a plot of land next to where the church currently stands.
In 1923, Rev. Dave Price and the members of the Grooms Chapel Missionary Baptist church began worshipping in the wooden structure that was built to accommodate the members. The members designated the fourth Sunday of each month as the day the church would meet to worship. Mary Watt was recognized as the first Church Mother, while Wesley Neal served as the first chairman of the Deacon Board. Other Deacon Board members included: Bro. Warren Watt, Bro. Eugene Thomas, Sr.; Bro. Lloyd Watt; Bro. Earnest Watt; Bro. Major Powell and Bro. Sidney Johnson. The church continued to grow under Pastor Price’s leadership. On April 12, 1939, God called Pastor Price from labor to reward.
In July of 1939, Rev. George H. Badgett accepted the call to pastor the congregation. Many new and exciting things were accomplished during his administration. In 1946, a brick church was erected across from the wooden frame which served as the first church structure. That same year, Rev. Badgett also organized the first church choir and usher board. Some of the deacons who served under Rev. Badgett included: Bro. Porter Jones, Bro. Azzie Bolden, Bro. George Watt, Sr.; Bro. Major Powell, Bro. John Joe Simpson, Bro. David Watt, Bro. Irshell Thomas, Bro. Robert Watkins and Bro. William Neal. Rev. Badgett was a well-respected and highly sought-after speaker. In addition to serving as pastor of the Grooms Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. Badgett served the three other area congregations. He also found time to serve as the Moderator of the Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Association. Under his leadership Rev. James Pickard, Rev. John Settle and Rev. Wesley Siddle were licensed to preach. In 1977, after nearly 40 years of remarkable service, Rev. Badgett resigned.
Less than a year after Rev. Badgett resigned, the church and its members were blessed as Rev. Robert P. King came to serve. It was under Rev. King’s leadership that the church began to worship every Sunday. This change led to the church growing numerically and financially. Under Rev. King’s leadership a handicap accessible ramp was installed, a public address system was purchased, the Junior and Gospel choirs were formed, a church bus was purchased and Vacation Bible School was organized. Rev. King also moved communion observance from once a quarter to once a month. Grooms Chapel grew by leaps and bounds under the visionary guidance of Rev. R.P. King. Rev. King resigned from his position as pastor in August of 1986.
After 18 months of much prayer without a pastor, God blessed the members of the Grooms Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in March of 1988 with a new shepherd, Rev. James B. Fuller. Upon Rev. Fuller’s arrival, the church was motivated and inspired to pay off the church’s $40,000 debt in one year. Rev. Fuller’s special “Twelve Tribes of Israel” was instrumental in accomplishing this goal. Rev. Fuller was a dynamic visionary and organizer. Under Rev. Fuller’s leadership many new ministries and projects were completed including: a noon day prayer service, The Young Adult Choir was reinstated, air conditioning was purchased for the church, the finance committee was formed, a new church bus and the elevation of three new men, Bro. Eugene Thomas, Bro. George Watt, Jr., and Bro. Pearlie Williamson, to the Deacon Board. Rev. Fuller resigned in 1992.
In 1993, God allowed Rev. Thomas W. Williamson to accept the call to pastor the Grooms Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Williamson’s ministry of unity and loved helped lead the church into a new era in which many people were saved and many others were restored to the church. This tender shepherd was able to bring several technological advancements to the church including a Radio Ministry on WYNC 1540 AM, a copier and new church vans. God also blessed Rev. Williamson to license five associate ministers (the late Rev. Edward Dones, Rev. Ralph Watkins, Rev. Darian Brown, Rev. Robin Bridges and Rev. Garry Percell). Perhaps, Rev. Williamson’s greatest accomplishment as pastor was leading the people of the Grooms Chapel Missionary Baptist Church into a brand new facility in 1999. After 14 years as pastor, Rev. Williamson resigned in December of 2007 saying the Lord told him his season as Pastor here was up.
After 14 months without a Pastor, God saw fit to place Eld. Kevin D. Sturdivant as pastor of the Grooms Chapel Missionary Baptist Church the first Sunday in March 2009. With this young, anointed and energetic Pastor many visions have been accomplished. Some visionary accomplishments thus far include: Organized Youth Bible Study, Youth Spark, purchased church computers, installed an alarm system, sponsored a group of “World Changers” missionaries during the summer, serve pre-Thanksgiving meal to the less fortunate, construction of downstairs bathrooms May 2010, developed church By-Laws and Constitution, paved parking lot in November 2010, Mortgage Burning January 15,2012, cash purchase of a new church van July 2012, and 2016 implementation and usage of new technologies to better serve the church and its membership. Our Church was also recognized as the “2015 Church of the Year” by the Reidsville Branch of the NAACP.
The Grooms Chapel Missionary Baptist Church has had a tremendous history of celebrating God and serving others. With God’s help, we will continue to build on that foundation to the glory of God.