The Good Shepherd Baptist Church, Petersburg, Virginia, was organized between 1930-1933 by the late Reverend Emmitt Peterson. It was located in a house at 515 St. Matthew Street as a Christian Mission. Reverend Peterson relinquished the leadership of the Mission to his son-in-law, the late Reverend Elijah E. Hicks, in February 1936. Reverend Hicks, desiring to organize a Baptist Church, moved the Mission in July 1936 from St. Matthew Street to the corner of Bolling Street and Virginia Avenue. This was 921-923 Bolling Street, a double tenement, which was converted into one large room for worship and other church activities.
On December 8, 1936, Church Recognition Council was called to accept the Good Shepherd Mission as A Baptist Church. Because the Council did not recognize it immediately, the Mission was not granted status as a Baptist Church until March 11, 1941. Reverend Hicks served as Pastor of the church for thirty-six years (1936-1972). During his tenure, the church experienced a new awakening. Just to name a few Deacon, trustee, Choirs, and Usher Boards were organized. Upon the retirement of Reverend Hicks, the Reverend W. Benson Thomas became the second Pastor of the Good Shepherd Baptist Church (September 9, 1973) and was installed on November 11, 1973. Under his leadership, the church became a member of the Baptist General Convention of Virginia and the American Baptist Churches, USA, Region of the South. The church was granted provisional accreditation by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, becoming the first black congregation in the nation to serve as a training institutio n in theological education and ministry development.
In September 1974, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the preparation of a new building. On March 23, 1975 service was held in our new church and was dedicated to the glory and honor of God. In December 1987, Reverend Thomas resigned to become a full-time CPE Supervisor (1973-1987). The Reverend Doris R. McCray served as Interim Pastor of the church during its transition (1988-1990). In August 1990, the church called the Reverend Dennis Ray Everett, Sr., a native of Louisiana, as our third Pastor. His dedication to the ministry provided many days of spiritual guidance during his tenure. To further his career in Christian growth, Rev. Everett accepted a pastorate at his home in Shreveport, Louisiana in the fall of 1992. Upon the leaving of Rev. Everett, our Associate Pastor, the Reverend James Byrd, and Mr. Clyde Pender, Chairman of the Deacons Board carried on diligently the duties of the church.
In May 1994, Reverend Jeffrey L. Reaves, Sr. accepted the call of the church, as Pastor-Elect. Reverend Reaves is a native of the Bronx, New York. He came to us from Little Zion Baptist Church, Carson, Virginia, where he was Pastor for eight years. At the age of twelve, he sensed the calling if God upon his life to preach the Gospel and at the ripe old age of seventeen accepted and acknowledged after several personal and private trials he acknowledged His calling.
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