Our Church History

After being freed from slavery, a group of Christians were allowed to sit in the balcony of Berea and Ground Squirrel Baptist Churches.  These churches had previously been opened to serve the white population in the community.  Being inspired by God, these people soon became dissatisfied by merely listening and wanted to be able to participate in the services.  They began to meet in the woods to pray freely and sing praises unto God.

 In 1867, Abner was organized with the Rev. Burrell Toler as its first pastor.  The Rev. John Clarke served as second pastor during which the log church was built.  The membership grew so rapidly, a larger log church was constructed.  The third pastor, Rev. Thomas Edwards, served the church for 27 years. At that time, the first frame building was erected.  Our fourth pastor, Rev. Charlie Brown served for six years.  Many members were added to the congregation and the present building was started. Our fifth pastor, Rev. Sylvanius Jones served for approximately 19 years.  During his leadership, the main sanctuary was completed, a choir stand was erected and the first choir was organized.  

Dr. I.H. Hines was our sixth pastor.  Under his leadership, many improvements were made.  A few of them were:  redecorating the church inside and out; hardwood floors, electric lights, central heat, the usher board, missionary circle, and youth church was organized.  After pastoring Abner for 28 years, God called Dr. Hines home.

Abner was without a pastor for one and a half years before calling Rev. Leroy Jones to serve as our seventh pastor in February 1963.  Under his capable leadership, the services were increased to two each month.  The membersip grew as many souls came to Christ.  There was also material growth: a new annex was added, a church bus was purchased, a youth choir, junior ushers, junior mission girls, the I.H.Hines Memorial Chorus and Vacation Bible School were organized.

Nine months after the Rev. Jones left in 1969, the Rev. D.W. Crump was called to Abner.  He made many changes in updating the services to four a month.  The Willing Workers Club and Three Score and Ten were organized.

In April of 1973, Abner installed the Rev. Warren J. Lewis.  Under his ministry, we installed air conditioning, purchased land, new cushions on the pews, remodeled the choir stand including padded chairs, organized the Young Adult Christian Club and the Young Adult Choir which later became known as the Abner Gospel Choir, and extended the annex area.

God has smiled on Abner for many years,  We proudly boast of His goodness as several ministers got their start from our church such as Louis Harris, Herbert Mallory, Sam White, Darrell Peyton, Norris Lewis, Myron (Rock) Davis, and Rev. John E. Gordon Sr.

In 1994, ten ladies were installed as members of the first Deaconess Ministry.  During this time, we organized the Women’s Choir.

The Combined Choir was fully established in 1995.  During this time, we had our first Family Day Worship Service at Goode’s Pool.  The Music Ministry has grown to develop the Sunbeam Choir into leading the musical offerings during Youth Sunday services.  The Abner Gospel Choir and I.H. Hines Memorial Chorus combined and formed the Hines Gospel Chorus.

Abner has continued to be blessed in membership and improvements which include:  blacktopping the parking lot, remodeling the sanctuary completely, foyer enlarged and bricked, a shelter was built and playground added.  After being without a bus for years, a church van was purchased in 2000.

In August 2002, Rev. Jaimal C. Hayes was installed as our tenth pastor. Pastor Hayes, even before his installation, worked diligently in securing a new sound system for the church. We have been blessed by his ministry through preaching and teaching.

God placed in the heart of Pastor Hayes that our church needed a vision; for we know that without a vision, we perish. After a number of meetings with officials and heads of all ministries, a vision statement was created. Habakkuk 2:2 states,”write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” It should be engraved in your heart and mind, so whenever you are asked, you can tell them the vision for Abner is – ”To be a Holy Spirit empowered church growing a strong family by offering a wholistic ministry which meets the spiritual, physical and social needs of the community, one member at a time.”

Under Pastor Hayes’ capable leadership several ministries have been added; the installation of more deacons (male and female); the bricking of the entire old church, licensing and addition of female Associate Ministers; and the planning and construction of a new addition to the church.

We are still on a mission for the King, which will not be complete until He says, ”Well Done.” Our prayer is that Abner will always be the church where the races of mankind can stop and find something that the world cannot provide. Many have come, many have heard, many have believed and said, ”Thank God for a few dedicated believers who saw the need to set out on this mission for the Master.” We press towards the future with a greater determination to serve as an instrument of God’s will. To God be the glory for the great things He has done! To God Be the Glory!! Learn about our ministerial staff