In 1890, a small flock of Christians began to meet in a schoolhouse. The worship extended to prayer meetings in various homes. Eventually this band of Christians purchased a piece of land at the corner of Pine and Prince Streets, and organized and named the Evergreen Baptist Church. Rev. Dickerson was called as Pastor. Rev. Dickerson served for a time and after inner struggles, resigned.In the next few years the following ministers served: Rev. Lowery, Rev. McGriff, and the Missionary Sis. Hallie Morris. Later, Rev. John Rhone served a second time and under his leadership the sanctuary was completed.
In 1900, Rev. Jack Rhone labored as Pastor, and in the years that followed the name of the church changed from Evergreen Baptist Church to Magnolia Baptist Church. Rev. Rhone was succeeded by Rev. Jim Alford with Rev. R. Jackson as his assistant. When the property on which the church now sits was purchased, the vision of the sanctuary was ignited. Rev. Alford, along with Bro. Henry Fields, Bro George Fennel and the congregation, worked towards this reality. In the process, Rev. Alford resigned and was succeed by Rev. John Rhone.
Successors to Rev. Rhone were Rev. Freeman, Rev. Ernest Kirkwood, and Rev. Ed Cannon. Under Rev. Cannon's leadership, the Mount Gilead Baptist Church was organized while Magnolia was lead by Rev. Kelly. Rev. C. B. Bailey succeeded Rev. Kelly in 1923.
After the normal experiences/stages of growth and development under Rev. Bailey's administration, Magnolia became a viable vine in our Lord's vineyard, establishing a firm foundation on biblical principles. The congregation grew numerically and spiritually, impacting the entire community. Prior to Rev. Bailey's death, at his request, Rev. D.C. Coney became our next pastor in 1960.
Like the Jordan River, freely flowing into channels uncharted, Rev. Coney was an open conduit wherein wasted lands became fertile soils, valleys lifted, crooked places made straight, high places were brought low.
As a major theme, "Study to show thyself approved unto God..." in September of 1965, the congregation began to build an Education Building that was completed and dedicated on December 4, 1965.
On November 7, 1969, the mortgage note was burned and by February 23, 1981, due to God's faithful promise, "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto me," the need for a new sanctuary emerged. On September 6, 1981, the new edifice was completed, entered, and dedicated. On July 15, 1990 due to faithful leadership and committed follow ship, the mortgage note was burned on the edifice.
It was on October 14, 1994, that another great servant/leader, Rev. D.C. Coney fought the good fight, finished his course, and moved on to rest in the bosom of our Lord.
Within seventy years, and through Rev. Bailey and Rev. Coney, God proved himself that "His Will, will be done and His Kingdom, will come!"
The continuation of His promises and the fulfilling of the same, evidenced itself on April 30, 1995. God did say, "And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." (Jer. 3:15) God gave us Pastor Dwight Benoit.
With the knowledge and appreciation of the firm foundation of yesteryear laid, never forgetting the lives and services rendered by those before him, with the inner-conviction of his calling and, sent as Pastor-Teacher of this congregation. With "Faith in God" (Matt. 25:16-20), with the aid of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of God's Word, souls are being saved, families number our membership, Home Mission, Christian Education and Foreign Mission is our service. Ministries of Holistic teaching are intact; Magnolia is a beacon in our community. district, state, nation, as well as the Continent of Africa.
Under Rev. Benoit's leadership, our Church Mission Statement - "JESUS CHRIST, ONLY ALWAYS" based on I Corinthians 2:2 and Vision Statements - to Enhance every Worship experience; to Edify and Equip saints; through Discipleship, Witnessing and Evangelism, has produced Kingdom Missions and Ministries: G.R.A.C.E (Giving Recovering Addicts/Others a Changed Environment); Feeding the Homeless (Sundays/Mondays weekly); Brotherhood, Mission, Youth and Outreach Ministries (Local Nursing Homes); Foreign Mission Tours to South/Central Africa: 1999, 2000-2007, 2010-2011, where thousands of souls were won to JESUS CHRIST, the hungry fed, the thirsty given water, homes built for the homeless, the sick medically attended to, churches repaired/built, primary/secondary schools repaired/built. We continue to support the Missionary Enterprises through Trinity Valley Missionary Baptist District Association; B.M.&E. State Convention and National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc.
In 2011, we were blessed to fulfill our LORD'S Vision to build a Progressive Edifice, dedicated to GOD on May 15, 2011. The Edifice seats approximately 450 and is 21st Century technically equipped. The stained glass windows depict; JESUS teaching His disciples; JESUS blessing the children; JESUS healing the blind; JESUS praying; JESUS baptized; JESUS administering the Last Supper; JESUS crucified; JESUS resurrection; JESUS ascension and JESUS coming again.
What a heavenly experience these 25 years have been. And, as it is written, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which GOD hath prepared for them that love HIM' (I Corinthians 2:9).