New Hope Missionary Baptist Church
Hobson City, Alabama

The Church with an upward look


Sunday School     9:30 AM
Sunday Worship 11:00 AM

Each Wednesday
Youth Bible Study 4:00 PM
Adult Bible Study  6:00 PM

Church History

The Origin of the New Hope Baptist Church

Since the New Hope Baptist Church had its origin in the white Baptist Church of Oxford, Alabama, it is therefore necessary to go back to the close of the civil war in 1865, or even before and view Negroes as being members of the churches of white people in the south.

The history of the First Baptist Church of Oxford, Alabama is salted and peppered with Negro members. In the organization of this church in 1836, a Negro woman, Rachel, was a charter member. From 1836 to 1865, many Negroes continued to join their master’s church. Their privileges were restricted, and they had no other choice but to worship with their white brethren. They had no church houses in which to worship, nor schools or homes they could call their own. Therefore, the roots and heritage of the Negro Baptists of Hobson City go farther back than the year of 1865. Provision for the Negro in the years prior to 1865 had been cared for. Though he was not permitted to take an active part in the services, a gallery was usually built where he could go and listen to the minister preach of the love of God. With closed lips he worshipped most loyally from the depths of his soul. On June 16, 1866 a resolution was drawn up in the white Baptist Church urging Negroes to organize themselves into a separate church. This they did in 1868.

So, it was in the white Baptist church of Oxford, Alabama that the New Hope Baptist Church had its beginning. These few Negro men and women, no longer wanted as members of the white church, began early in 1865 to seek means to worship the God they had been taught about and had learned to love so much. They began to go from house to house and sing, pray, and preach as best they knew, for they had no church house. The desire to worship together and in one place, dedicated to the God of the whole world, led to the building of a log cabin in what was called “Dark Corner” Oxford, Alabama in the year 1868. In this same year, these faithful members organized the Colored Baptist as best they knew. Hence another fragment of this great institution of God was launched on a long and rough, but happy voyage.

The Colored Baptist Organized by the White Brethren

For three years, these Colored Baptists worked, prayed, and preached as best they could, having among them some preachers, of whom honorable mention is made, viz Rev. Harrison Mattison, Rev. Carter Pyles, Rev. N. Snow, and Rev. Green Cunningham.

The newly formulated Colored Baptists had a deep desire to be recognized by their white brothers, and to be sure that they were founded according to the teachings of the New Testament Church as established by Jesus Christ. A council of white Baptists was invited in the year of 1871 to organize the colored brethren according to due form. This Council met March 19, 1871 in a little log cabin at “Dark Corner” Oxford, Alabama. The Rev. S. G. Jenkins, a white brother, was selected as the Moderator of the Council. The Church was organized with nine members, and the Colored Baptists became known as the New Hope Baptist Church on March 19, 1871.

The following is a list of those nine original members:

         Peter Cunningham                Bertha Mattison
         Bethel Teague                      Thomas Griffin
         Harrison Mattison                  Carter Pyles
         Nica Cunningham                  Reta Mattison
         Dolly Mattison

The First Pastor of the Church

On the same day of the completion of the organization of the church, March 19, 1871, a call was extended to Rev. S. G. Jenkins who had served as Moderator for the meeting. Rev. Jenkins was a man of much experience and was indeed an apostle of missions. His sermon on Missions in the New World was heard far and wide. Rev. Jenkins was a writer, a noble preacher and Moderator of the Coosa River Association. He was also pastor of the First Baptist Church of Oxford, Alabama from 1840 to 1843. He was later called back to the First Baptist Church, Oxford in 1851 and served three more years. As pastor-elect of the new Colored Baptist Church, Rev. Jenkins set in motion the machinery that was to be found in operation years to come. Under his administration the church progressed from one Sunday to two Sundays and from two Sundays to three Sundays per month. Conferences were held preceding each Sunday’s worship, usually on Saturday or at the close of service on Sundays.

Many new members were added to the church during his administration.  Brother N. Snow, Brother Green Cunningham, and Brother Carter Pyles were ordained for the ministry in 1875 by Elder Jenkins.  Rules of procedure and decorum, including the duties of the deacons, was a part of the work of the first pastor of the Colored Baptist Church of Oxford, Alabama, now known as the New Hope Baptist Church of Hobson City, Alabama.

Under the leadership of Rev. S. G. Jenkins, one acre of land was bought in the town of Hobson City on August 6, 1878 for the building of a new church. The church was later built on the southwest corner of this acre almost where the present building now stands.

Rev. Jenkins, having served New Hope Baptist Church for seven years and five months, offered his resignation in 1878, and was succeeded by Rev. Carter Pyles who acted as pastor for nine months. In July of the following year, Rev. Pyles was elected as pastor. Hence, he was the first Negro pastor to pilot the ship.

The Sweet Rock Baptist Church was organized out of the New Hope Baptist Church in 1898.

Other Pastors

Rev. C. J. Pyles, who succeeded the Rev. S. G. Jenkins, served as acting pastor for nine months and was then elected as pastor. After serving as official pastor for a number of years, it was his privilege to act as pastor on many other occasions. His administration was highlighted by a series of conferences destined to keep the morals of the church on a high level. As under the past administration, the church’s first colored pastor could be seen and felt.

The very popular W. M. Mund, who took the reigns of leadership in the early eighties and carried on faithfully until the late nineties, succeeded Rev. Pyles. The Rev. Mund was followed by Rev A. A. Battle, who apparently took the ship through the turn of the century or early into 1900.

Rev. Battle yielded the reigns in 1908 to Rev. S. B. Brownlee, who was installed as pastor on April 19, 1909. The coming of this minister ushered in a new era for the New Hope Baptist Church. Under the administration of this minister, plans were launched for the building of a new church to accommodate the growing membership. With a minister of state and national reputation, and a reputation as a builder, the people had a mind to work. In less than three years, ample funds were available to start the work on the new building, which was completed in 1912 under Rev. Brownlee’s leadership.

Rev. Goatail then took over as pastor, elected in the usual manner of electing pastors, which was by ballot. Rev. Goatail not only inherited a new church, but a debt on the new building. He served faithfully and was succeeded by Dr. S. N. Reid. Many improvements were made under Dr. Reid’s leadership.

Other ministers who have served are Rev. Marcus, Rev. T. J. Martin, and Rev. C. G. Barnes. Dr. S. N. Reid, having completed his second term, resigned and on July 3, 1942 the church then extended a call to Rev. H. A. Gibson, who served about two years and resigned. Rev. J. H. Chapell, who served until 1950, succeeded him.

On October 22, 1950, the New Hope Baptist Church extended a call to Rev. H. B. Vincent of Selma, Alabama. This minister accepted the call and moved into the parsonage to live with the people he was to serve. Under his leadership, many improvements were made. The membership increased from about 300 to more than 500. Approximately $20,000 went into the church plant: a new roof, a piano, new wiring, replastering and painting the inside, asbestos siding for the outside.

An educational department, with modern facilities, including an office, kitchen, lounges, and restrooms were installed. The parsonage was painted inside and out and equipped with modern facilities.

As the chapter closes on the ministry of that gallant leader, Rev. H. B. Vincent, in 1962, notably he served longer than any pastor preceding him. The members of New Hope went in prayer and the Lord sent them a young dynamic leader to take over the reigns as pastor, the Rev. E. M. Davis, who saw the need to deal with the internal affairs of the church, introducing a new bookkeeping system. Rev. Davis also sought to initiate a day care center that would provide a head start for deprived children, while at the same time providing jobs for many members of our community.

November 1965, the call went out and was heard in Dothan. The caller said come over into Macedonia and help us. Rev. Judge L. Stringer heard the call and responded with a resounding “yes.”

Rev. Stringer took over the reigns in December 1965 and served for 41 years. Many outstanding accomplishments were achieved during his leadership. In August 1969, ground breaking ceremonies were held, which led to the construction of the present building at a cost of more than two hundred thousand dollars.

Rev. Stringer served faithfully until the Lord called him home December 2006.

At this writing, NHMBC is embarking on a new journey and we invite you to go with us. We have called as Shepherd of our flock the Rev. Dennis E. McKinney, who was installed in July 2007. Under his leadership and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we expect to reach new heights in our joint ministry.