History of New Popular Springs Missionary Baptist Church
by Hazel Cox
The History of New Popular Springs Baptist Church is so interwoven with the history of Agricola, that any discussion of the one must involve the other.
The New Popular Springs Baptist Church was organized in 1882 by Rev. Richard Lewis, Rev. Sam Grimes and Rev. Louis Akins.
Rev. George Dozier was the first pastor of New Popular Springs Baptist Church followed by the following preachers: Rev. Louis Akins, Rev. Kary Pot, Rev. Lucius Sander, Rev. R.H. Bailey, Rev. John Garaton, Rev. Dick Willis, Rev. R.B. Ford, Rev. C.W. George and Rev. J.H. Covington.
During the absence of a pastor, Rev. J.M. Brooks would serve for the church. The first Deacons for New Popular Springs were Dea. Gue Ellis, Dea. George Oliver, Dea. John Sudder and Dea. Phil Ponds. A few years later the deacon board included Dea. Fred Pearson, Dea. Bog Smart, Dea. Ralph Gray, Dea. Bob Smith, Dea. Buddie Trimble and Dea. Jasper Holley. Dea. Fred Pearson was superintendent of the Sunday school.
Rev. J.R. McClendon served as pastor and would pay as members did; he also gave the church three months of his salary to pay on the building.
Rev. T.J. Askew served for eight years and paid his dues like the members did. Rev. J.L. Walker served for six months, then Rev. T.J. Askew returned and served for two more years.
Rev. W. M. Wiggins served for three years. Rev. E. R. Dunson served eight years. The officers were: Dea. Hal Cox, Dea. Nora Shealey, Sr., Dea. William Cox, Dea. Marvin Fielder and Dea. Bob Smith until his death, Dea. Isaac Cox, Dea. Joe Curtis Cox and Dea. Curtis Banks. Dea. Hal Cox served as chairman until his death and Dea. William Cox served as chairman.
Under our Pastor, Rev. J. C. Wright, Dea. Isaac Cox was elected chairman of the deacon board. Sis. Bettye Bailey was the church clerk, Dea. Sanders Cox, Asst. Clerk, Sis. Flora Cox was the president of the Missionary Society and Sis. Almary Cox was the treasurer. Dea. William Cox was the superintendent of Sunday school and Dea. Isaac Cox was the treasurer.
Under Rev. Wright, Dea. Tommy Fitch and Dea. Sanders Cox was elected as Deacons. Dea. Tommy Fitch served efficiently until his death. Our Sunday school teachers were: Bro. Jessie Bentley, Sis. Addie Fitch, Sis. Hazel Cox and Sis. Flora Cox. Deacons: Dea. Isaac Cox, Chairman, Dea. William Cox, Dea. Curtis Banks and Dea. Sanders Cox.
The New Popular Springs Church has been standing for one hundred and seventeen years. During Rev. Wright's pastoral service, this church was dedicated on April 29, 1980 and was built through the divine goodness and blessings from God. Also, new pews and pulpit furniture was purchased and central air was installed.
After Rev. Wright's resignation, the church elected Rev. C. E. Holloway as pastor and during his administration we have remodeled the kitchen, bought air conditioners for the kitchen, purchased a sign and P.A. systems for the church. Due to Dea. Isaac Cox's illness, Dea. Sanders Cox is chairman of the deacon board. Rev. Holloway ordained one deacon during his administration, Dea. General Cox and several new members. Rev. C.E. Holloway served 12 years.
In 1999, an addition was added to the back of the church where new bathrooms were installed, a pastor's study, a finance room, two Sunday school classrooms and the ladies lounge. Children choir robes were also purchased.
After the resignation of Rev. Holloway, Rev. Lindsey Torbert was elected and is serving at this present time. Under his leadership, we have went to full Sunday fellowship, Weekly bible study, a new members class and gained several new members. This year, under Rev. Torbert's leadership, we have added glass front doors and a chandelier in memory of Jill Langley.
By God’s grace, we are still growing. The front entrance of the church was carpeted. A porch was added to the fellowship hall, an amplifier, two speakers were purchased, a metal roof was placed on the sanctuary and a glass petition was installed around the pool.
A trustee board was elected and the members are: Bro. Bobby Cox, President, Bro. Royal Porch, Secretary, Bro. Tony Cox, Treasurer; Bro. James Davis, Bro. Jim Leonard, Bro. Tony Banks and Bro. Willie Johnson.
As of today, our Missionary President is Sis. Flora Cox, Sunday school Superintendent, Sis. Mavis Burns; President of the Matrons, Sis. Mary Potts; President of the Adult Choir, Sis. Marie Cox; President of the Youth Choir, Sis. Janet Holston; President of the Usher Board, Sis. Jennifer Cox; Treasurer, Bro. Bobby Cox; Church Clerk, Sis. Mary Warren; President of Youth Department, the YWA (Red Circles) & Sunbeam Counselor, Sis. Annie Davis and the Crusaders Counselor, Bro. Royal Porch.
Sunday School Staff at this time are: Superintendent, Sis. Mavis Burns; Secretary, Sis. Carolyn Arrington; Treasurer, Bro. James Davis; Teachers, Sis. Flora Cox, Sis. Clorene Porch, Dea. Sanders Cox, Bro. Royal Porch, Sis. Janet Sands, Sis. Mary Warren and Pastor Lindsey Torbert.
In the year of 2002, Rev. Torbert appointed four deacons: Bobby Cox, James Davis, Tony Cox and Jim Leonard. He baptized six new members.
Church Officers: Dea. Sanders Cox, Deacon Chairman, Sis. Mary Tai, Church Clerk, Sis. Mary Warren, Finance Clerk, Dea. Bobby Cox, Treasurer, Sis. Jennifer Cox, Usher President, Sis. Marie Cox, Adult Choir, Sis. Janet Heard, Youth Choir, Sis. Janet Sands, Pastor Aide, Sis. Annie Davis, Youth Dept. President.
Sis. Flora Cox has served as Missionary President for many years. Sis. Mary Warren, Matron’s Counselor, Sis. Mary Potts, Matron President, Sis. Annie Davis, Red Circles, YWA and Sunbeam Counselor, and Royal Porch, Crusader Counselor.
In the year of 2003, Rev. Torbert has ordained six deacons and five new members have united with us. Dea. James Davis is Superintendent of Sunday School. We have been blessed this year to install a P.A. speaker in the dining area, new upholstery for our pews and new windows.
In the year of 2004, under the leadership of Rev. Torbert, we have been blessed with one new member and several re-dedicated members. Sis. Mavis Burns and Sis. Mary Tai have come on board as Sunday school teachers. Sis. Annie Davis and Sis. Sonora Alvies are presiding over the youth choir. New ushers are: Sis. Mary Glenn Stone, Bro. Calvin Johnson, Sis. Julia Calloway and several junior ushers.
The Lord saw fit to call two of our dedicated church members this year, Sis. Bettye Bailey and Sis. Corene Porch. We are striving to continue to carry on the works they left behind.
In the year of 2005, our blessings continues to flow under the leadership of Pastor Torbert. The foundation has been laid for our new sanctuary and we are now in the building process.
We have been blessed with many new members who came aboard working for the Lord. Sis. Melissa Mennifield has joined the usher board. Our officers remain the same. We had a very successful youth explosion in April, a trip to six flags as a church family in June, a church picnic in August and a wedding on October
Sis. Almary Cox was called home in September after a long illness. She will truly be missed.
Under the leadership of Pastor Torbert, the year of 2007 has been a blessed year for us at New Popular Springs.
Several new additions has been completed in the new sanctuary and the windows and doors have been installed. Pastor Torbert has baptized several new members and is teaching a new members class on Sunday morning. Our annual youth explosion was a big success in June.
Two of our dedicated church members and deacon wives were called home after a long illness. Sis. Annie S. Davis in March and Sis. Flora Cox in May. They have truly been missed, but we are striving to carry on the work they left behind.
In 2008, there has been a team effort among the members spiritually and financially to complete our new building. We have been blessed this year with three new members for water baptism and one member by letter. With the help and grace of God, we are still climbing, and giving God all the praise.
In 2009, we were blessed with the dedication of our new sanctuary.
In 2010, ordination service was held on December 10th by Rev. Michael McCain for Bro. Terry Harris who now serves as a deacon.
In the year of 2011, ordination service was held for Bro. Robert Shelley and Bro. Jerome Russell, who both now serves as deacons.
In 2012, the “Laying of the Cornerstone” was held on the new church building; the old church steeple was removed from the fellowship hall and the church purchased a 12x18 utility building.
In 2013, a new room, bath and shower was built and installed for the Pastor’s Study, furnished with new office furniture and equipped with close circuit TV; purchased a 60 inch T V for the fellowship hall; also a 26 inch T V was installed in the finance office and purchased a large church sign that’s located at the entrance of the church driveway.
On 5th Sunday, the women are in charge of morning devotion. We are blessed by the grace and mercy of our Heavenly Father.
Between 2014 and 2015 the parking lot was paved and marked off for parking. A new drum set was donated to the church by Deacon and Sister Sanders Cox.
In 2015, through the encouragement from Rev. Torbert during his illness, he recommended Rev. Richard D. Jacobs to be our Shepherd. Rev. Jacobs filled in for Rev. Tolbert. In January 2016, Rev. Jacobs became the interim pastor of New Popular Springs Baptist Church. He received his certificate of ordination on April 24, 2016. On May 3, 2016, Rev. Jacobs was elected as pastor of New Popular Springs Baptist church by an unanimous vote.
In 2016, the fellowship hall was dedicated in honor of Rev. Torbert as the Lindsey Torbert Fellowship Hall. On Dec. 11, 2016 our beloved Pastor, Rev. Torbert felt comfortable about leaving us (NPSBC). Under the watch of Rev. Jacobs, Rev. Torbert went to his heavenly home - we miss him dearly.
Also in 2016, we lost one member Sis. Carolyn Arrington.
In October 2017, the Lord saw fit to call two of our dedicated members Sis. Edith Russell and our oldest Deacon, General Cox.
In 2018, the Lord saw fit to call another one of our dedicated members, Sis. Mavis Burns.
In 2018, we are striving to reach higher heights under the leadership of Pastor Jacobs. Our blessings continue to flow with many upgrades to the church. Many new members have joined our congregation and are active in various ministries in the church.
By the grace of God, we are celebrating our 136th Church Anniversary!
In 2019, the Lord saw fit to call two of our members home; Bro. Timothy Holloway and Bro. Jonathan Goodman.
Under Pastor Jacobs’s leadership, we are continuing to strive to reach higher heights! The church is undergoing new additions to be completed early next year. We thank God for His many blessings!