Vision and History
"We are a Full-time Caring Church Searching for the Lost"
Our Church History
In Matthew 18:20 Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Jesus was in the midst of a few worshippers as they gathered together at a Brush Arbor to worship and give thanks to God at a site near Buffalo Creek. Blacks and whites worshipped together then. Thus,
’s history began. Shoal
Around 1867 the blacks started worshipping at a Brush Arbor on Shoal Creek
Branch about one-half (1/2) mile of the present site on Mr. Gus Border’s farm. They worshipped there until around 1874. God moved on the hearts of men and they all got together; all on one accord and with a mind to work, and built a log cabin church. At this time, there were 43 members. The first pastor was Reverend Samuel Fox. Deacons were Noah Gaston, Chairman of the Board; Harry Sherrill, George Borders, Joe Gaston, Clerks; Levi Hardin, treasurer; and Dock Rippy, Sexton. Mr. William Hambrick gave the logs and the land to build the church. It was located about 100 yards west of the present church site.
By the Grace of God the membership grew and around 1895 another church was built. Louis Hardin gave this land and the church was a wooden building. Reverend Samuel Hunter was pastor. Shoal Creek has had many great leaders who helped to establish the first church. Some of the first ministers included Rev. Sandy Ellis, who was one of the founders;
Rev. A.A. Norris,
Rev. R.F. Gingles, Rev. A.H. Hopper, Rev. O.J. Allen, Rev. Bud Lindsey, Rev. V.G. Gaston, and Rev. A.H. Hopper. Some of the Deacons included Brothers: Louis Hardin, Fuller Ross, Charlie Accor, and Abe McBrayer.
Another church was built in 1924 with Reverend Ambros Hopper as pastor. Other ministers serving during this period were Rev. W. R. Weaver, Rev. Perry Miles Beam, Rev. Price, Rev. G.H. Nelson, Rev. Perry Wallace, Rev. McCrae, Rev. J.A. Dawkins, Rev. Ijames, Rev. Choice Jolly, and later, the Reverend John Gaston was elected as pastor. The church saw much progress during Rev. Gaston’s leadership with the establishment of many new organizations.
The Rev. W. C. Foster was elected pastor after Rev. Gaston. Rev. Foster continued to carry out the work already started prior to his pastorate. The Reverend John M. Alexander, Sr. was elected pastor of Shoal Creek the first Sunday in June 1958. Under his leadership a new church was built and completed in April 1960.
Rev. and Mrs. Alexander
In October 1980, Rev. John H. Grant was elected pastor and in 1986, under his leadership, we secured a Church parsonage and witnessed the beginning of another building program. Following Rev. Grant, Rev. James William Sanders, Jr. was elected Pastor in July 1991.
Our present pastor, Dr. Michael A. Isaac, was elected in July 1996 and preached his first sermon as pastor on Sunday, August 4, 1996. Under Dr. Isaac’s leadership we have seen much growth in membership, the establishment of many new church ministries, as well as the addition of First Sunday Evening Services, third Sunday Bible Study, and Wednesday Morning Bible Study. The active membership currently consists of more than 600 members. Also our building program vision that began in 1986 has become a reality and we became one of the first black churches in this area to utilize the Challenge to Build Fundraising Campaign. The first service in the present sanctuary was held on Sunday, September 3, 2000. The new sanctuary and remodeled church facilities were dedicated and the cornerstone laid on Sunday, January 7, 2001. Current land holdings consist of some 17 acres.
Our Youth Department too has experienced tremendous growth; first with the receipt of a government grant through United Way to fund the STARS tutoring program. The program started in 2002, lasted three years and was funded for two years. Another youth program funded through United Way, Peers Relating to Peers (PR2P) began in 2003. PR2P focused on meeting the academic, social, and cultural needs of our youth.
In 2002, Shoal Creek became one of the first two churches to receive Federal Emergency Management Funds (FEMA). We are the only Black church receiving funds in the local area and the first church to participate in the pilot program for Emergency Assistance Task Force through United Way.
Health issues have been a growing concern of Shoal Creek; especially with that of high cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Shoal Creek wanted to create the holistic being; spiritually, physically, mentally and educationally. Therefore in May of 2002, we applied for and received the North Carolina Alliance for Health 2010 Community Grant through the Cleveland County Health Department for funding the Healthy Temples for Christ program. In 2005 we held our first and successful blood drive at the church and currently participate in the Food Commodities program. Our youth also received the Heart Start and Fit Kid’s Program grant from Alliance for Health in 2006.
We are very thankful to God for the Heritage of our church and with God in our midst; we shall strive to continue what was started these many years ago. The future of
, as in the past, is built upon the strength of the membership’s faith in the living God who provides leadership, support, and wisdom to His body, the church. We have come a long way, but we have a long way to go for we have not won our last soul, dreamed our last dream, given our last dollar, prayed our last prayer, or made our last sacrifice. We give God the glory for our successes and his blessings upon us. As God’s chosen, called, and appointed Preacher-Pastor, Dr. Isaac continues to move our church family with God’s guidance progressively forward. “We are a full-time, caring church, searching for the lost.” Shoal