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A Brief History of Jersey Baptist Church

        A colony from New Jersey came south and settled on the banks of the Yadkin River sometime prior to 1755. Benjamin Miller, a pastor from Scotch Plains, New Jersey, preached at “The Jersey Settlement” in 1755. Around 1756, John Gano, who was also from New Jersey, accepted a call to “work among the people at Jersey.” After two and a half years, Mr. Gano and his family returned to New Jersey because of the hostility from the Cherokee Indians. It is believed the congregation temporarily disbanded at that time. Gano later served as a Chaplain in George Washington’s army and is said to have baptized Washington at his request.

        Church records state the church was reconstituted October 16, 1784 with fourteen charter members. There are continuous records since that date except for a few years in the 1930’s.

        Missions and ministry have been primary in the life of Jersey. In 1907, a small band of women organized Woman’s Missionary Society. They began learning about missions, sacrificially giving to missions and praying for missions. The women of Jersey have helped spur Jersey to embrace missions as an integral part of its identity.

        The Brotherhood was organized later and become sponsors of Royal Ambassadors which provided opportunities for men and boys to participate regularly in missions outreach.

        Now the church collectively pursues intentional ways to fulfill their God given identity as a missional community of believers.

        Many youth and adults have individually, and in groups, been involved in missions on the local and state levels. Many have served as volunteers in both Home and International Missions.

        Ordained ministers from Jersey include Dr. J. Lee Carrick, Dr. Forrest C. Feezor, Jeanne Hollifield Baucom and Bobby Lyon. Each was either a member or former member of Jersey when ordained. Each has made a great contribution for the cause of Christ as they have served.

        Records indicate there was a meeting house at Jersey in the early days of the church. The present sanctuary was built in 1842 on one-half acre of land purchased for fifty cents with the deed being made “between Judith Ellis and trustees of the united congregation consisting of the professors of the Church of England, the Church of Scotland, and the Baptists in the Jersey Settlement.” In 1933, eight classrooms were added at the back of the sanctuary; in 1953, additional rooms were built; in 1965, the Gano Building was completed; and in 1992, an activity building (now called the Multi-Purpose Room) was constructed which includes a large fellowship hall, classrooms, pastor’s study, offices for secretary and other ministerial staff, parlor, fully equipped kitchen, and storage rooms.

        Pastors who have served Jersey in recent years are: Rev. Robert S. Harrell, Dr. Roy J. Smith, Rev. William C. Adams, Rev. Morris S. Hollifield, Dr. Brooks L. Hunt (Interim), Dr. J. Michael Collier, and Rev. Don Durham (Interim).

        The present pastor, Rev. T. Matt Riggsbee, has been serving the church since January 10, 2016. Jersey remains a community of believers who are “people living with God-given values and priorities.”

  • Worship and Bible Study

  • Unity

  • Generosity

  • A Welcoming Spirit

  • Loving, Serving & Supporting Our Community and Each Other

  • Worship & Bible Study

  • Community Ministry & Missions

  • Pastoral Care

  • Ministry with and to families 

  • Informal Social Discipleship


Faith is more than what happens on Sunday mornings. It's a part of who we are, inside and out. At Jersey Baptist Church, we believe in sharing the joy of the gospels daily, and living a life that embodies the spirit of Christ.

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